In San Francisco, the souls of the dead are mysteriously disappearing - and you know that can't be good.
This is the second, and I think the only, book in the Grim Reaper Series that started with A Dirty Job. In the last installment in the Grim Reaper series everyone is back to once again save the world. A year has passed since the events in A Dirty Job, and for a year it seemed like the world had gone back to normal. Well, as normal as it can seeing where Charlie Asher's soul ended up. However, the world isn't anywhere near back to normal. In fact things have gotten worse, much worse.
I was beyond excited to bust into Secondhand Souls, but I have to admit I was also a little nervous about it too. This year has been the year of disappointing sophomore books for me. So I was a little worried that this would be another book that was alright, but wasn't as good as the first book. That maybe it wouldn't make sense having a second book after the first one tied it up so well, but I was very pleasantly surprised. In fact I was not a fan of going to bed or work or doing anything that meant I had to book my book down.
Everything I loved about the first book was what I loved about the second. The amount of sass that came with Lily was still there, the humor was still there, and that blunt sort of way that Christopher Moore has at looking at the world was there. There were several times throughout the entire book that I found myself laughing out loud, that ugly laugh that makes people stare. My favorite bits pretty much always included Sophie, now a year older and fully accepted that she is the big D. Kids say the weirdest things, and even more so when the kid has seen the things that Sophie Asher has seen.
Some old enemies returned in this book as well, and while at first I was little annoyed they were back again, I realized I do like them. I love the things they say to each other about "up there". I also really liked the new plot line for Secondhand Souls. In many ways it was the same, Death Merchants weren't doing their jobs, but this time it was for completely different reasons. Except for Rivera, he just couldn't even apparently.
In fact, Rivera really was the only downside for me in this book. I just, I just found myself annoyed by his general presence. In the first book he didn't bother me so much, he was sort always there when Charlie needed him. However, in Secondhand Souls I just wanted to hit him in the face with the book and ask if he learned nothing from the last year he spent stalking Charlie Asher. I would have been okay if we killed him off.
A few new characters pop up throughout Secondhand Souls, and as well as some favorites from A Dirty Job. The new characters were fine, in fact the Banshee was the best part of the scenes that involved Rivera. I really did love her and her lightening box. She had me ugly laugh on more than one occasion with her sass. The Squirrel People came back and are weirder than ever, but none as adorable as Wiggly Charlie and his need for cheese.
By the time I finally closed the book with nothing more to read, I realized that I enjoyed Secondhand Souls. In fact I think I might have enjoyed it more than A Dirty Job. It felt like Christopher Moore had a better hold of who each character was, the atmosphere felt comfortable. Whatever it was, it totally worked for me and I enjoyed every second, every page, of the book. Well, there was one part I did not enjoy at all. In fact there was a brief moment where I was very upset with Christopher Moore, and was not amused about a dark car ride home. I'm still not happy about that moment, no matter how the book ended.
Secondhand Souls could be read as a stand alone without too much confusion despite being the second book in the Grim Reaper series. Christopher Moore does a little bit of explaining here and there about what happened in the year prior to the plot of the of this installment. Not enough to bore someone who just read A Dirty Job, but enough if you hadn't picked up the first book you wouldn't be totally lost.
I could probably completely fangirl more about how much I loved this book, about how Charlie Asher is probably my spirit animal and Lily completes me in so many way. I won't though, because you should totally pick up these books and find out for yourself. If your a fan of Christopher Moore or looking for something fun and a little weird, Secondhand Souls is totally for you.