The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch [Review]

Posted February 23, 2017 by Lizzie in Review / 1 Comment

The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch [Review]The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch, Vol. 1: At the Edge of Empire by Daniel Kraus
Series: The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch #1
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on October 27th 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical
Pages: 656
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Series Rating: five-stars
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository

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.

My Thoughts

You guys this book hit me in the feels so hard I am actually having a hard time making a joke about it right now. I’m not even sure where to begin talking about it! I guess I will go with the basics. As per usual, books I love get a review that’s short and sweet. So:

Zebulon is a HILARIOUS narrator. Kraus is a phenomenal author, his wit and charm seriously jump off the page. I exclusively bounced between smiling and crying while reading, no in between. Zebulon is also incredibly complex, he’s funny and smart, stupid and crass, hopeless romantic and so freaking deep it hurts. I am adding him to the top of my favorite characters of all times list, because seriously wow. How are more people not talking about this?!

This is not a short book by any means. ~600 pages of some serious time hopping. Kraus takes you on quite the historical ride, it makes the whole book feel more like a collection of related novellas than one big story, and I kind of loved it. This way you got to see a true evolution of Zebulon. All the people he meets and all the trouble he seems to keep finding himself in are so well laid out, it’s impossible for them not to feel like watching a movie of someone’s life.

Have I said it enough? This book was amazing. I’m giving my heart a break and waiting a little before I read the conclusion sequel to this series, but I am so looking forward to it. If you’re looking for something a little different, some good laughs and a serious cry – something with heart: go pick this up.



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