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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Funeral Daze is a work of fiction in the interpersonal drama, suspense, satire, and adventure subgenres. It is best suited to the general adult reading audience for its occasional use of explicit language and theming around death and dying. Penned by author Dorian Box as the sequel to the hilarious and darkly dramatic Psycho-Tropics, we find ourselves back with protagonist Danny Teakwell five years after the events of the previous novel. But when the now-twelve-year-old Jessica Jewel turns up homeless and missing her parents, the reluctant and grief-stricken Danny feels compelled to help her. So begins an investigation and an adventure that might just bring Danny back to life as a result.
Author Dorian Box has crafted a uniquely entertaining novel that gives a fresh coat of paint to the 'unlikely duo' trope as Danny and Jessica set off to solve their mystery together. I always enjoy tales with precocious children in them, and Box’s knack for dialogue really sparks with Jessica, offering real laugh-out-loud moments despite the dark and deadly lacing of mortuary humor that runs throughout the novel as a whole. Danny’s emotional journey is also a great triumph in terms of its pacing and intimate portrayal, as we see him handle real, powerful, and palpable grief in one moment, which is then juxtaposed against some really amusing absurdist plot interjections. This clash works beautifully to showcase all the weird and wonderful facets of life and provide color and life to smash through Danny’s gloomy outlook. Overall, Funeral Daze is a novel that takes both light and dark elements to present a fantastically engaging, emotionally resonant story in a deeply humorous and satirical fashion. Unmissable reading.