Lucian North is supposed to be dead.
Suffering from a rare heart condition that doctors say should have killed him over a year ago, Lucian is playing a video game when Death finally comes.
Rather than give in, Lucian pulls a gun on the Grim Reaper.
As the two stare each other down, terrible demons known as injuresouls swarm into the room in pursuit of Death.
Summoning courage he never knew he had, Lucian comes to Death's aid. And for his troubles, he is awarded Death's Mantle.
Transported to a spiritual world he could have never fathomed, Lucian finds that he is instantly powerful, able to conjure weapons from scratch and perform incredible feats. He introduces game mechanics to his new role, develops a carefully curated inventory list, and modifies a HUD system that allows him to better track his targets.
It isn’t easy being Death, and Lucian will need just about everything he can get as he faces off against fallen angels, appalling parasites, demon-born injuresouls, and savage Death Hunters.
Regardless of his sudden strength, his newfound enemies, and his gamer ingenuity, Lucian can't communicate with the living, which wouldn't be a problem if he hadn’t discovered something terrible about his family...
Lucian’s brother is scheduled to die, and only Lucian has the power to do anything about it.
Death’s Mantle is a dark fantasy GameLit novel that LitRPG, metaphysical fantasy, occult sci-fi, and thriller readers will love. Death’s Mantle is written by Harmon Cooper, bestselling GameLit author of Way of the Immortals, House of Dolls, Cherry Blossom Girls, The Feedback Loop and Monster Hunt NYC. It was inspired by the anime Parasyte, the comic book series Sandman and Spawn, the books On a Pale Horse and the Tibetan Book of the Dead.
My Opinion: 541 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
Full Disclosure: I received an advanced copy for review.
This is an entertaining look at how a new grim reaper uses his gamer experience to become more powerful. The story has a light power progression mechanic. As he kills various parasites that attach themselves to humans extending life or causing various vices, he gains death points that he can use to create powerful weapons or powers. The story has a goal for the main character but it mostly explores the idea of death being similar to the shinigami of the death note or bleach anime with a gamer interface thrown in the mix. It questions what role death has and why they're opposed by other spiritual factions. A bit of it is almost philosophical in that it explores the morality of the system.
An interesting read but too light of the progression system for me to get a better score.
Score: 7.1 out of 10