“An Accidental Messiah” by Dan Soper

I reviewed the first book in this series, “An Unexpected Afterlife,’ a few months back. The second book in the series continues the struggles of Moshe Karlin to make a place for himself in a world that considers him dead.
I enjoyed the last book, but considered the humour sometimes interfered with the build of tension. I have to say that in this novel the humour has stopped interfering with the tension, but at the expense of the humour. The quirky insanity of the situation is wearing off, both for Israel and for the reader, and it just isn’t that funny anymore.
The tension, however, has been increased, although in an episodic form. The new conflict involves Karlin’s attempt to persuade the Powers that Be to give resurrected such as himself official status. The story relates the steps of ascending desperation he goes through as each progressive attempt is slapped down by his enemies.
This creates a more standard conflict arc. Perhaps too standard, as each strategem gets destroyed every time to the point where we ask, not, “Will he make it this time?” but, “How are they gonna beat him this time.” Which isn’t quite so suspenseful.
The saving grace in the quirkiness is the subplot with the Prophet Elijah and Noga, his therapist girlfriend. In the last book, she persuaded him that his existence as a Prophet was an illusion. In this book, she begins to believe that he really is the Prophet, but he plays all her cards back at her, trying to persuade her that she is now the deluded one. Scope for all sorts of zaniness.
Recommended for fans of the first book. You pretty much have to read that one before you get into this one. Do it. You’ll have fun.
4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

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