Out of Body by Christopher John Chater
Out of Body by Christopher John Chater, is the story of Harley Baker, a college student that, after surviving an almost fatal crash that took the lives of his parents, becomes obsessed with the afterlife. He’s studied multiple religions, and every opinion to try and figure out what comes next. He’s reading about out of body experiences, and accidentally astral projects. When he tries to come back, a demon has possessed his body and he’s stuck in the spirit realm, watching a sleazy demon uproot his life. (Though in the demon’s defense, he did help him out financially, and with the girl) Harley has to figure out how to stop the demon from destroying the world and get back into his body before he’s trapped in the spirit world forever.
While this was an easy read, it was odd, to say the least, so it took me a bit longer to finish than normal. The author has a different take on possessions, and the tie to the spirit realm was a nice twist. But compared to some movies and TV shows, these demons were a bit tame by comparison, especially the one that possessed Harley. I didn’t understand why he was the leader when he never seemed to get his hands dirty. He was just old. Sure there were human sacrifices and deals that cost people their souls, but the main bad guy was more interested in greed, money, and destroying the global economy than violence and gore. Though now that I think about it, that’s probably more terrifying than murder, possession, and gore.
Overall, the plot was interesting, and didn’t end as I’d anticipated, or even hoped, but there were some twists, especially the showdown with the Big Bad, that I hadn’t anticipated, but enjoyed immensely. Though the body Harley borrowed should not have been able to be used, and therefore was a bit unbelievable to me. Also, Stephanie’s reactions afterward were pretty annoying and selfish and inconsistent with how her character had been portrayed up until that point.
However, I wasn’t really a fan of any of the characters, even though they reacted exactly as I’d expect anyone would react when encountering a spirit or demon. I also really didn’t like Darren, and didn’t see why Harley was friends with him in the first place. Harley was also kinda stagnant in the beginning, not really doing much with his life besides casually going through college, and didn’t inspire me to root for him much at all. Had it not been for a couple supporting characters, he would not have made it to the end of the book, and I wasn’t entirely sure I wanted him to, though he really shaped up by the end.
I did find a few misused words as I read (life instead of live, that sort of thing), but nothing too distracting. It was a simple, fairly quick read, and I enjoyed the integration of different beliefs that the author wove together.
I think that this book was a little bit of a different wheelhouse for me (I don’t read thrillers or conspiracies very often. I’m more of a cozy mystery person) but for someone that reads that genre a lot, I think they’d get an enjoyable afternoon or evening read out of this book.
My Rating: 2.7/5
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