Never has a book been so perfect for me as Candy Skulls is. It pretty much has everything I enjoy in a book – humour, action, magic, human nature, and a darn good story. It’s like a modern day book on mythology.
The book follows Death, the person who takes you away when you die but God, Jesus, the archangel, Fate, Lucifer, etc. also make appearances. There are a select few humans, known as gifted, that can see these deities but this gift usually goes away once they become adults. At what age did you stop believing in Santa Claus, The Tooth Fairy, and all their friends?
I’m not sure if this is an insult, as it certainly isn’t meant as one, but the witty humour used in this book, all through the characters, makes it clear that the author is female. Although in the book it is revealed later that Death is a male, I’m still going to think of Death as a female just because the personality of the author flows all over that character. Odd thing to say I suppose considering I don’t even know the author except through this book and a couple e-mails talking about the book.
Now I personally know of some writing instructors who would go absolute bonkers at the “lack of physical description” of Death, but personally I love it. To me, reading, unlike watching a movie, is not a spectator sport. You have to exercise your eye muscles to read the words but more importantly you have to exercise your imagination. In the cases where the author withholds physical description, he or she is trusting the reader to come to an appropriate image on their own. It’s like the classic phrase “show, don’t tell” applied to physical description instead of action. Well the whole book was written in Death’s point of view anyways, so it would be rather strange describing your own physical appearance. Death, being a spirit, didn’t have a physical bodyanyways. Well until…., oh never mind. Read it yourself.
I don’t often like to compare one writer to another, as they are all unique. On occasion I will compare one story to another, especially if they have similar elements, but rarely one author to another. But in this instance I think it’s a fair comparison to make between the author of Candy Skulls, McKenzie Maclaine, and Mitch Albom. I actually enjoyed Candy Skulls more than The Five People You Meet in Heaven and Have a Little Faith (I haven’t read Tuesdays With Morrie).
I once, actually probably more than once, stumbled on a discussion thread in facebook asking, “which author, dead or alive, would you most like to sit down with and talk to?” At the time I didn’t really have an answer. Certainly I have authors that I like, but if I sat down with them I wouldn’t even have a topic of discussion with them besides the usual, “how long did it take you to write the book?” Well I could definitely see myself just sitting down with this author and enjoying myself in a nice, pleasant conversation. Her views on life are simply fascinating.
After reading a particular scene with God talking about how he lives among us humans all the time and we don’t even realize it, I am reminded of the song What if God Was One of Us? by Joan Osborne. Dunno why that is important or why I mentioned it, kind of just came up.
Being that Candy Skulls is a self published book, you won’t be able to find it at the bookstore (unless I am mistaken) and will have to order it from Amazon.com using the link Candy Skulls or from a much cheaper source at http://www.authorhouse.com/ (thanks for pointing this out McKenzie). I do fully expect a publishing house to pick it up though because it is just that good. I’d lend you my copy to read just because I think everyone should read this book, but I don’t want it to get lost.