There is no God waiting for you in paradise. No afterlife where friendships severed by death are reformed and families reunited. There is only the Aether, a dimension of insatiable hunger that will possess you no matter the life you led or the beliefs you held.
Yet there is hope for a lucky few. Archivists, existing between the world of the living and the world of the dead, can offer salvation… for a price. Taking your essence in the final moments before death, they become your afterlife, allowing you to speak with those who remain.
When the last archivist is tricked into murder by troubled teenager Sun-young Kang, he finds himself the centre of a suicide cult that die at his feet. But there is more to these deaths than the Archivist realises. Someone is coming for him.
The Archivist may be the closest thing to a god that walks the Earth, but is that enough to keep those he cares about safe?
May the Aether be merciful.
This book broke my heart! Squeezed it so damn hard it shattered to pieces and got pulled into the Aether, where nothing but hunger and death resides. Oh. My. God – I mean Archivist – as clearly God does not exist in the V.S. Nelson’s created world, but an Archivist does. With a godlike ability he can possess souls, granting them life after death while possessing their essence. He almost pulled me in, too, with his calm confidence and ethereal vibe.
I absolutely loved this book, from the characters to the plotline to every single printed word on the pages that was executed to perfection, reeling me in, twisting my heart strings, playing tricks on my mind and gripping my very existence.
This incredible story was dark with death in the form of suicides and murder woven deeply into the very core of it. Sun-young’s personal trauma with a man playing at being her guardian drives the plotline from one side, while the Archivist’s loneliness and desperation pull it together into a beautiful string of facets – a memory, a piece of the author’s soul that has been left on the pages. The forming relationship between the two characters is breathtaking in its tentative affection and I partly wish it had grown into something more, seen the connection they shared that ran deeper than words can describe in more debt. The subtle dance around their feelings lured me in as much as the investigation of deaths they were part of. I loved them both deeply by the end of the book and IT BROKE MY HEART!
I will not leave any spoilers. Just know, this book is a must read. It is a beautiful masterpiece and I fervently recommend it to anyone brave enough to put their own heart on the line. I wish it had never ended while I also wish it hadn’t ended the way it did. But I have no control over this creation just like nobody is truly in control of their existence.