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Reviewed by Carla Trueheart for Readers' Favorite
Out of Body by Christopher John Chater opens with a bit of a mystery and keeps going, full speed, from there. Harley, a twelve-year-old boy, is in a car accident with his parents, and all three die — until Harley is brought back to life. Just before the accident, Harley’s mother had given him a silver star necklace and told him to never take it off. Fast forward ten years and his best friend Darren rips the necklace off Harley’s neck, thinking it’s just a silly New Age piece of jewelry. From there, Harley continues an obsession with out-of-body experiences (astral projection), having been close to death, and longing to return to that otherworldly state. Unfortunately, Harley, unprotected and not knowing some important things about his past and his parents, becomes stuck in the astral world while a demon steps into his physical body and assumes his life. The demon entices Darren, begins a romantic relationship with the girl Harley is interested in, and does some funky things to Harley’s bank account. Stuck, Harley can only watch helplessly while the demon destroys his life and his relationships.
There are quite a few vivid and imaginative scenes in this book. In astral projection, Harley is able to travel to other places in the world, and he can see every person in his life without their knowledge. He can also see demons, which is interesting, as they appear in unlikely places. Harley tells his tale from the perspective of a brooding college-aged boy, and he is easy to identify with and has a strong voice and unique demeanor. Readers will enjoy Harley’s voice and the intriguing plot. Overall, Out of Body is a quick read and moves along at a good pace, never once straying from the plot. I would recommend the book to paranormal/supernatural fans or anyone who enjoys fast-paced reads with edgier occult story lines.