Review: Never Die by Rob J. Hayes

42732016This one’s been on my TBR since I saw this lovely cover, so when I was offered an ARC to read, I could hardly resist. (Then of course five thousand things fell into my lap before I could read it. You know how it goes! ^_^)

So, I did receive a free copy of this book from the author, and here is my review of it!~

Ein is on a mission from God. A God of Death.

Time is up for the Emperor of Ten Kings and it falls to a murdered eight year old boy to render the judgement of a God. Ein knows he can’t do it alone, but the empire is rife with heroes. The only problem; in order to serve, they must first die.

Ein has four legendary heroes in mind, names from story books read to him by his father. Now he must find them and kill them, so he can bring them back to fight the Reaper’s war.

It takes a lifetime of evil to be a villain, and only one moment of good to be a hero.

Never Die is the story of Ein, who is an 8-year-old boy who was brought back to life by a shinigami and given a mission. He is to kill the emperor of the land, who is quite evil. He’s grown up (to this point, anyway) on stories that his father told him of the heroes of the land, and he knows that if he’s going to do this, he’s not going to be able to do it alone, so he goes out looking for some heroes.

Of course, in order for them to join with him, they have to die first.

Ein was given the power to resurrect a person once. Those ressurrected are then bound to him. They can’t get too far away from them or they’ll start to die again, and food and drink taste like ash. They’re only mostly alive. If they complete this mission, the shinigami has promised that they’ll get their lives back.

First to be recruited is Itami Cho, a swordswoman known as The Whispering Blade. She carries two katanas with her, only one of which she ever draws. She also has a sort of shout attack that she uses which works as a sort of knockback.

Then The Emerald Wind is recruited, and he is… well he’s a bandit. A legendary bandit who uses hooked swords. He’s usually kind of wondering how he got roped into joining this group.

Then there is Iron Gut Chen, who has, as his name suggests, a gut that is pretty impervious to anything, like poisons. He also has skin like iron, which can’t be cut by blades.

Next up is Death’s Echo, the only living member of the group. He’s a leper, and is fairly near death. He is hoping that Ein can bring him back to life when he dies of his disease. He’s an assassin, and a fantastic shot with a rifle.

Lastly, there is Bingwei Ma, a master of unarmed combat, who has never lost a fight in his entire life.

Once this ragtag group of heroes is assembled, it’s time to head towards Wu, where the Emperor of Ten Kings resides, and take him down. Shenanigans ensue!~

This was an engaging story, which flowed pretty well. I thought it was well written, and had a rather unique idea presented, which reminded me in ways of many of my favorite anime, video games, movies, and what have you. I had no problems imagining Ein and his group, or some of the things that they ran into on their adventure. It had some twists and turns that I did not at all see coming, and the action scenes were well done and easy to visualize.

I ended up liking some of the characters quite a lot. I really liked Itami Cho. I thought she was a cool character with an interesting backstory, and I rooted quite hard for her to win the day. I also really liked Bingwei Ma. I started out not really liking The Emerald Wind but by the end of the book he was one of my favorite characters in it.

The only problem that I think I can say I had with this one is that it could really use another pass or two of copy edits. There are some grammatical errors, and some missing punctuation and that sort of thing… though none that I can say truly ruined any aspects of my time with this novel. No points off, so to speak, but just something that I can point out that could use a look to make this book even better. It breaks my flow if I run into something that doesn’t look right, and that happened a few times here. Not something that isn’t fixable in the grand scheme of things. 🙂

Can’t help it. Blurb gets me every time. ^_^

So, all told, this was a short, quick, and engaging romp through a world that I imagined as feudal Japan. Princess Mononoke, but with more dying and less animals, I guess? Maybe Princess Mononoke and Inuyasha with way more swearing and death? 😀 😀 I can definitely say I had 4/5 stars of fun with this one. Fun times!~



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