“So you’re saying that the journey is key, not the destination.” – Kate
This sentiment – expressed in the very beginning of Mur Lafferty‘s Heaven – echos heavily throughout the novella. After dying in a car crash, best friends Kate and Daniel find out death isn’t what they expected. While they’re both superficially happy in their afterlives, they become restless when their questions about Heaven are not met with answers they’re comfortable with. Soon, they begin their travels throughout the different Heavens – a separate one for each religion and mythology, and become part of a larger tapestry than they realize.
Ms. Lafferty’s easy, entertaining style pulls the reader along as mysteries are unraveled, strange prophecies are revealed, and previously unknown dangers are faced throughout the Heavens. By weaving together different religions and mythologies, intriguing and unexpected situations develop via Kate and Daniel’s journey from Christian Heaven to Elyisum, Shinto Heaven, and even the Norse afterlife.
Kate and Daniel, though committed to each other, keep secrets – secrets that motivate them along the path set before them even as it grows more treacherous. The dangers they face come from both outside themselves, as well as their struggle to maintain their friendship while battling their own personal demons.
The novella concludes with a major plot point being resolved, while still leaving more to unfold in the next book. That’s the closest thing to a downside in the entire story; it leaves the reader wanting more. Luckily, the next book, Hell, is available for immediate download and promises just as many thrills and adventures.
Fans of Ms. Lafferty’s popular podiobook series would enjoy this book, though some text differs from the podiobook. In my opinion, the changes improved an already excellent story, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this to speculative fiction fans everywhere. Heaven is a thoroughly enjoyable read.