Wow. TJ Klune is an undeniably gifted author. I plan on devouring his backlist like a big bag of potato chips! I went into UNDER THE WHISPERING DOOR completely blind, and I am so glad I did. The story Klune weaves features nuanced prose and undeniably beautiful characters into a hard-to-put-down and ultimately heartwarming story.
Channeling Scrooge from A CHRISTMAS CAROL in the body of a jerk middle-aged lawyer, the story starts with the death of our main character Wallace. From there, Wallace discovers that death is just another step in the journey. With the help of a rich and diverse cast of characters, he slowly figures out the importance of found family, friendship, and love. The romance in this book is woven sweetly and slowly as Wallace figures out how to care for others.
There were so many beautiful and unexpected moments in this book, but I think my favorite scenes were the funny ones. Wallace could be cutting and mean… but he could also be hilarious and kind. My favorite character was Mei! She was the grim reaper after my own heart, and honestly, she stole every scene she was in.
There were some repetitive scenes in this book that kept me from giving it a full five stars. I felt like the middle dragged, and there were a few too many subplots. But that didn’t take away from my ultimate enjoyment of the book.
Kirt Graves’ narration was MASTERFUL. His nuanced vocal changes with each character and emotion kept me hanging on his every word. Which is saying something, because this is a long audiobook!
Fantastical, queer, diverse, TJ Klune has created a world I left wishing was real. I could feel his deep exploration of grief and what happens after death. This is a beautiful story to get lost in for a few hours.
**I received a free copy of this audiobook in order to provide an honest review**