Calder has been a Fetch, a death escort, since his own death at 19 hundreds of years ago. Struck by the beauty of a woman present at a couple death scenes he is sent to, Calder implusively steps from Heaven back to Earth. Doing so strands him in the chaos of the Russian Revolution and tears a wound in the ghost realm where lost spirits begin a revolution of their own.
The Fetch is billed as a supernatural romance, but I would hardly describe it as such. Calder is much too restrained and detached to be a romantic hero, and though he and Ana do seem to care about each other, they never generate any real heat.
It does succeed on many other levels however. The earthly setting is a world ripped apart by World War I and Whitcomb makes Rasputin and the deposed Romanov family major characters in an globe-spanning adventure that blends fact with inventive speculation. History buffs have a lot to chew on here.
Whitcomb’s vision of the afterlife is never completely revealed since these scenes are all through Calder’s eyes and he seems to have missed the official employee memo about a lot of the specifics, such as what exactly hell is, but what we do see is certainly thought provoking.
The end verdict? I enjoyed it and admired it. But I could have used a tad more emotional investment to be truly passionate about it.
The Fetch is available in hardcover now.