I Died Once is a haunting novella by James Mahoney, a friend of mine from the other blog I write for The Dark Globe. This is Mahoney’s first published novel (not including his poetry book Winter, Lust and Wonder).
Now I’m not one to read this Teenage Issues sort of genre, but I really did like this novella.
Mady is a fifteen year old girl who is desperately unhappy with her life. Living with her mother, and the mythical shadows of her father. After an abrupt tragedy, this young girl is thronged head first into a great life change, or second life, as her reality shifts from a grey dream state existence, into one of great color.
The first thing I want to say if how much I love the cover art for this book, I know Mahoney didn’t do it himself, but it’s stunning and really captures what this story is about.
Now to the actual review part of this review. It starts off with the line “Mady was a Dark Child…” which I think sets up the whole story. Straight away you’re hooked wondering Why is Mady a Dark Child? and Was? Does that mean she’s not any more? From then on you have to keep reading to find out all about Mady. At first I didn’t really like her, she seemed difficult and rude, but you can see why she acts the way she does as you see the other characters around her like her mother.
It’s funny because by the second chapter the story had taken a different turn to what I was expecting and that intrigued me. I wanted to know where Mahoney was going with this story. Suddenly I had no idea what was going to happen next and I was carried through Mad’s extravagant adventure with her father in Africa. I liked Mady’s journey for finding herself and I came to like her more and more as the story went on.
Like I said, this is a genre I don’t usually read, but Mahoney’s novella is good to read.
You can also visit James Mahoney’s blog for more details on this work.