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Big Hero 6: The Series, Volume 1 by Hong Gyun An
Checked Out for Murder by Allison Brook
Coached to Death by Victoria Laurie and Rachel Dulude (Narrator)
Dead, Bath, and Beyond by Lorraine Bartlett and Laurie Cass (Narrator)
Dead Dead Girls by Nekesa Afia and Shayna Small (Narrator)
A Dilly of a Death by Susan Wittig Albert
Early Departures by Justin A. Reynolds
Finding Mighty by Sheela Chari
Gideon Falls, Volume 6: The End by Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino
A Hex for Danger by Esme Addison and Emily Durante (Narrator)
Mardi Gras Murder by Ellen Byron
Muffin But Trouble by Victoria Hamilton and Margaret Strom (Narrator)
Muffin to Fear by Victoria Hamilton and Margaret Strom (narrator)
Rules for Vanishing by Kate Alice Marshall
Samantha Spinner and the Boy in the Ball by Russell Ginns
The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham
Tippy Toe Murder by Leslie Meier
What the Cat Dragged In by Miranda James
When Fairies Go Bad by Ursula Vernon
When the Grits Hit the Fan by Maddie Day and Laural Merlington (Narrator)

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5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish



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Early Departures: 10/31/21

Early Departures

Early Departures by Justin A. Reynolds starts with an argument between two former best friends. Jamal blames Q. for the deaths of his parents. How exactly is slowly and painfully outlined through disjointed flashbacks.

After some soul searching, Jamal decides it might be time to reconcile with Q. Unfortunately that chance is ruined by another horrible accident. Q. is dead but representatives of a mysterious organization is offering his mother the chance to say good bye properly. They can revive him but the effect will only last at most a month.

Having so thoroughly enjoyed Opposite of Always for how he played with various time travel tropes, I came into this novel with similar expectations. I thought it might also sit on the Road Narrative Spectrum at maybe 99CC33 (scarecrow/minotaur traveling to or through uhoria via the Blue Highway) but it doesn't. Instead, the reanimation process is a means to an end, a plot device to force a sped up reconciliation to force Jamal to learn something.

Instead the plot unfolds in a predictable fashion. If you've read Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes (1959), you've essentially read Early Departures. I had hoped Q. would buck the obvious plot and get a happy ending. He doesn't. His death times two is just there to teach Jamal a lesson about life.

Three stars

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