The Rebel Christian

Book Reviews

The Shadows of Shuffleboard Manor

By Joe Basara

By Joe Basara

This is a very unique book. I think calling it weird would be insulting but the word ‘trippy’ comes to mind when I think of the events that unfolded in the pages. I did like it but I was left shaking my head at the end, like, what?

I want to first say that this was a good book. One that fans of fantasy and otherworldly adventures are sure to enjoy. It deals with the afterlife and the concept of passing into a new life, if you’re into that stuff then you’ll like it. But there’s a comedic side to the story that really helps elevate the mood to something a bit lighter. When it comes to purgatory and people passing on, things can get a little depressing and dark—especially when your cast is mostly people old enough to be your parents, some even my grandparents.

I thought I would be bored by this book, honestly, I thought a book about an older lady moving on would be tiresome but I was wrong. Our protagonist has quite a personality and calling her old isn’t something I would say fits her very well. I think the story, at its core, was sweet and it was an eye opener to the emotions people face when they have been separated from someone they love by the inconvenience of death. Love exists beyond this lifetime, I think that was an underlying theme in this book and it worked really well. I did like the sarcastic wit and seeing the world through the eyes of a character I never imagined I could relate to. The adventures were refreshing, unexpected, and simply enjoyable to read. I think Basara brought originality and entertainment together in this novel.

My one complaint would be that there was a very large number of characters in this book. An unnecessary large amount. Some of the characters were people in passing, and that was fine except that they were described in great detail as if they would soon become part of the main cast. Then I realized, pages later, that individual was just another passing face. Sometimes I care about everyone’s life story, in the right book it works, but sometimes I just want to get to the point and I felt that here with this book. Some of the details worked but when it came to the large cast, the extra details, the backstories, describing the characters’ relationships, jobs, and retirement plans seemed a bit much.

Beyond that, I did like taking a closer look into the lives of people who live in retirement homes, even though it was based on fiction and eventually led to the exaggerated events in the protagonist’s journey, the parts that were ‘normal’ were really well written and simple.

*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*