Welcome to my stop on the Zebulon Finch Vol 1 blog tour, hosted by Irish Banana Tours. Today we are celebrating the paperback release of Vol 1, just in time for Vol 2’s release next week. Check out my thoughts on the book and don’t forget to enter the giveaway before you leave!
The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch, VOL 1: At the Edge of Empire
Published: October 25th 2016 (first published 2015)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster BFYR
Genres: YA, Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Format: Hardcover 656 pages Source: Publisher
My Rating: 4 Stars
May 7, 1896. Dusk. A swaggering seventeen-year-old gangster named Zebulon Finch is gunned down on the shores of Lake Michigan. But after mere minutes in the void, he is mysteriously resurrected.
His second life will be nothing like his first.
Zebulon’s new existence begins as a sideshow attraction in a traveling medicine show. From there, he will be poked and prodded by a scientist obsessed with mastering the secrets of death. He will fight in the trenches of World War I. He will run from his nightmares—and from poverty—in Depression-era New York City. And he will become the companion of the most beautiful woman in Hollywood.
Love, hate, hope, and horror—Zebulon finds them. But will he ever find redemption?
Ambitious and heartbreaking, The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch, Volume One: At the Edge of Empire is the epic saga of what it means to be human in a world so often lacking in humanity.
After six days of navigating this book, I can honestly say that it is unlike anything that I’ve ever read. At the Edge of Empire will have you turning the pages and looking baffled at times, but it is quite the tale. There are lots of characters to meet, as Zebulon’s life spans decades, and you will not like them all. I just want to put that out there.
Zebulon narrates this tale of his death and resurrection, and all the atrocities that he’s witnessed and been a part of. There were moments when I just felt bad for Zebulon and kept thinking that this is cruel. Why not just let the boy die? Yeah, I talked to myself a lot throughout, but if you read this book then you will understand my ramblings. And a part of me feels that the target audience for this is a little much for the things that go on in this book. Then I realize that this is just a “forever seventeen-years-old” boy experiencing life through trying times.
What kept me reading is Zebulon, himself. He errs on the side of witty sarcasm and all the while keeping his late 19th Century decorum. Well, as much manners as a gangster can have. His voice is really original and I found myself looking forward to each and everything that he experienced. There were a few moments when I wanted to skim events because I felt that it was a little too gory for me, but I endured it all and couldn’t wait to read the next installment.
I definitely recommend reading Zebulon Finch Vol 1 (and vol 2), if you love historical fiction. Having a rotting teen lead you through the eras is just a bonus. I don’t know what else to say that won’t spoil this for you. There are hints of science-fiction, romance, mystery, and horror in this fantasy tale that I think lots of readers can appreciate.
Daniel Kraus is the acclaimed author of The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch, Volume One: At the Edge of Empire;The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch, Volume Two: Empire Decayed; The Monster Variations; Rotter; and Scowler. With filmmaker Guillermo del Toro, he wrote Trollhunters. A writer, an editor, and a filmmaker, Daniel lives with his wife in Chicago. Visit him at DanielKraus.com.
3 finished copies of ZEBULON FINCH VOL 1 (US only)