Top Tier (4 to 5 stars)

The Long Way Home [On Behalf of Death #6], by E.G. Stone

5 out of 5 stars. Be warned, there be dragons here! And also stern looks from mothers.

5 stars
This book is set to be published on November 26th, 2021.

Cal is back – and not just in a new book, but also in London. With his cousin and his mum. After being presumed dead for two years. And the way his mum reacts to him makes you think she might has misplaced her soul, too.

(By the way: I’m kind of sad Cal didn’t start the conversation with »The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated«. I denounce that as a lost opportunity!)

Now when Life and Death both agree that Cal should return home to London to sort out a problem – probably of apocalyptical proportions – you just know there’s trouble ahead. Because Life and Death actually agreeing on something? It’s scary, believe me

Life and Death are not only opposites (also married), they usually also have opposing opinions. It’s a bad day for all of us when they agree to each other

While reading this book, I was remembering my interview with E.G. Stone, shortly after the first book of this series. Especially this part:

Once I have the basic scenes and plot points put onto paper (yes, actual paper) then I can go in and start writing away. The details sort themselves out, and if I happen to diverge from my plan, well, there be dragons?

E.G. Stone

And dragons there are! (Giants and angels as well.) So it’s come to this now – and humanities last hope is a marketing specialist. And his petty criminal cousin. At least they are joined by Mercy, who hates Cal but will do everything to serve the balance.

But to be honest – Cal is so much more than a helpless human these days. He’s starting to grow confident, and I think we’re getting to the point where we are nearing his rebirth in the Hero’s Journey. (See my review of book 5.)

Chess is war! It’s also better than war (for everyone with the exception of the pieces).

Did you know that there was a chess Olympia back in 1936? Only it wasn’t really part of the Olympic games, it was just named as such and took place shortly after the Olympic summer games. (By the way, Hungary won.)

Calling that tournament Olympia was kind of cheating, and there is a reason I’m mentioning this that I can’t explain to you because it would be a spoiler. Let’s just say I have seen now the most creative use for a game of chess in literary ever!

In the end, there be dragons and much more. And it’s a kind of end that seems to taunt me with the promise of more to come. (Luckily, I know book 7 if currently being written. What will I do till I get my next fix?) Anyway, I encourage you to get the whole series and devour it. The development Cal undergoes is just great, and it’s a lot of fun to walk this road with him.

Disclaimer: I’ve received a free Advanced Reader’s Copy and am leaving this review voluntarily.

By Stefan

father of two, not enough time to read everything I want to read

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