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Reviewed by K.J. Simmill for Readers' Favorite
In D.B. Sieders's Raising the Dead, Vivian had not asked for this life. She had not asked to be alive yet trapped between the world of the living and dead. She came into this gift following an agreement, a debt she had taken on in the hope of sparing someone she loved. Her powers were meant to help the guardians, bring peace to the spirits left roaming the land, and ease the burdens of others and the transition between the two worlds, but the act of her helping the living as well is ruffling more than a few feathers. Threats and danger surround her as someone watches, judging her, deeming her unfit to be a guardian as she uses her skills to ease the suffering of others. This rogue guardian has decided to take things into their own hands; they had warned her, but now will ensure she suffers. Humans do not belong working alongside guardians, and it is a situation they intend to remedy.
D.B. Sieders' Raising the Dead is the second book in the Soul Broker series and an engrossing addition to the paranormal/supernatural genre. I loved the mechanics of this book, from the divide between reapers and guardians to the hidden similarities between their work. All is not well in the spirit world, and poor Vivian is caught in the crosshairs. So much is expected of her, and whilst she is technically freelance, the guardians frown on her helping the spirits who have not yet crossed, forcing her to help others in secret and to deal with the reaper, Lazarus Darkmore, in order to cover her tracks. I enjoyed the relationship between her and Darkmore, and their adapting relationship as the plot intensifies. Vivian is supported by a strong cast of characters, both living and departed, who help her grow and understand more about herself.
I found the third-person writing style flowed seamlessly and combined an expert mix of description, settings, and character interaction. Surprises await and darkness lurks as Vivian's journey unfolds in a plot wrought with danger, heartache, betrayal, and mystery. Not having read the first book in the series, I can confidently say that the book works well as a stand-alone, and any missing information is seamlessly added to give the reader a complete experience.