I love to laugh so it should come as no surprise that I also love books that make me laugh. Granted, some of my favorite books are poignant classics or tear-jerking works of literary fiction, but I'm also a huge fan of straightforward well-told stories that bring a smile to my face and make me giggle a bit as I read them. So it was with Vessel by Tominda Adkins.
When five strangers share recurring dreams about both ancient Egypt and the Statue of Liberty, they all know something strange is going on. However none of them, least of all pop star Jesse Cannon, could have expected that behind the dreams lies the truth that they each represent the reincarnation of a god sent to defeat evil incarnate. A firefighter, a philanthropist, a convict, a diva celebrity, and an amnesiac who just might be a terrorist make an odd host for the spirits of earth, water, fire, air and light; but it's up to this cocktail of characters to stop the plague of zombie-like Hollows determined to destroy them and spread a deathly plague. For Jesse, saving the world is going to have to wait until after his appearance on Oprah, and it's up to Jesse's frazzled assistant - the book's hilarious narrator - Jordan to keep the unlikely heroes in line.The biggest downside to books that make me laugh is that a good portion of my reading is done in public. It's always an interesting experience to be stifling a snicker when the bus riders around me are casting strange glances my way. Are you a fan of funny books? Do you prefer more serious literature? Or do you like to mix it up?
Vessel, Book I: The Advent is the first in Tominda Adkins' new series, and if the subsequent books are as well done as this one, readers are in for quite an enjoyable treat. I love the characters that Adkins created and the witty banter - especially between Jordan and Jesse - was delightful. From New York to Chicago and Toronto with flashbacks through the Middle East, Vessel blends fantasy with real life details to give the story a great structure. The Hollows were also a unique and wicked creation. Described as "the lasting imprint of a dying person", these flesh-eating beings masquerading as humans were a frightening and suspenseful addition to the story.
Adkins' book is not a life-altering work of profound literature but what it is, is a heck of a lot of fun. Multiple passages that are literally laugh-out-loud amusing are mixed with nail-biting action sequences to create a fast-paced story that is highly entertaining. With a writing style that might best be described as Rick Riordan meets Christopher Moore, Tominda Adkins shows wonderful promise with this debut work and I eagerly look forward to the future books in the Vessel series!
Stay tuned this week for my interview with Tominda Adkins and a Vessel giveaway!