Here's the synopsis -
A jazz musician at heart, Chaz Domingue begrudgingly joins Fresh Start, the multi-billion dollar resurrection empire his family owns. Working as a Babysitter, a warrior-chaperone with more authority than the local mugs, he spends seven days guiding Newbies through the transitional period from one life to the next. But there’s something wrong with his current Newbie—a beautiful young woman with 50-odd years ahead of her. Her circuits aren’t firing right and she can’t remember her past lives. Somewhere within her subconscious mind lies a secret that could change the world. In her previous life she stole invaluable research, just before she was murdered. And the organization she secretly worked for will do anything to get the research back.For a larger taste, you can read an excerpt on the HarperCollins website. I asked Merrie if she would expand on the research she did for the novels unique afterlife ideas and she has written this terrific post that makes me want to dive into the book right now! Merrie has generously contributed a signed copy of Afterlife for a giveaway for one lucky reader. To enter, comment on the questions that Merrie poses at the end of her post.
Merrie will be dropping in frequently to chat, so please welcome her to the urban fantasy community!
I must confess, the science in my debut novel, Afterlife: The Resurrection Chronicles, is never really discussed in the book. My bad. The science is there, nonetheless—it thuds below the surface and affects the entire world, from the family unit to the judicial system to every major world religion. The story idea began with just a kernel, the concept that if we could find a way to lengthen the telomeres in our DNA (and please pardon my non-technical understanding of a very complex science), then we might somehow stumble upon the key to immortal life. So, I created a world where the science of resurrecting the dead was already in existence.
|Human chromosomes (grey) |
capped by telomeres (white)
In other words, nothing lasts forever.
Therefore, I created a limited cycle for resurrection. In Afterlife, people can resurrect up to nine times—and nine times only. The original DNA breaks down with each successive resurrection, a situation that causes a lot of problems.
Especially for Nine-Timers.
See, Fresh Start and its resurrection monopoly happen to be located on the street corner where faith and science and the supernatural intersect. For the characters in Afterlife, the decision to jump from one life to the next—thus avoiding death—often cuts through relationships like a two-edged sword, dividing families and separating spouses. One-Timers, like the main character, Chaz Domingue, usually choose not to resurrect for either moral or religious reasons. For Chaz, it’s because he believes in another kind of afterlife, one where he can go to heaven and be reunited with his loved ones.
And while Fresh Start offers a temporary solution to the quest for immortality—500 years at best—there are others who want more.
Because nine times is never enough.
This is where the story line crosses over into the realm of the supernatural. The ability to resurrect, in the same body, without a clone, is one of the last thresholds that separates man from God. What happens when mortals dare to trespass on holy ground, stealing something that wasn’t meant to be ours, not now, now yet?
To find out the answer to that you’ll have to read the book. (Insert evil author laugh here.)
The Monkey’s Paw, for the people in the book need to be careful what they wish for. And it’s also a story where elements of faith run throughout the book, like silver threads that have been woven into each and every character. It’s a tale filled with ‘what ifs’ that will make you stop and think about the choices you would make if this world was real.
So why not start now? I have a few questions for you, blog readers, and I’d love to hear your answers. Here goes:
- If this technology was available today, would you choose to resurrect instead of die? Why or why not?
- Would you want to stay in contact with your family members in your next life?
Thank you Merrie. I'd sure like to know how to sign up for my extra 8 lives!
Afterlife book trailer:
Important Links for Merrie Destefano:
Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | HarperCollins Microsite | HarperCollins Purchase
- Leave a comment responding to Merrie's questions to enter.
- One name will be drawn at random. Open to US/Canada.
- Giveaway runs until Midnight, Monday, October 18.
- Leave a way for me to contact you.
- Links to this post on your favourite social media sites, blogs, etc., would be appreciated.