Read Death Ain't But A Word by Zander Marks Online


Just because Wilkin's a crackhead doesn't mean the shadows aren't real.They're real. And they've been haunting him since he was seven years old. Mostly he ignores them.But when the ghost of his childhood friend shows up at the local motel, Wilkin can't ignore the call of friendship. And when his friend's killer buys the motel so he can destroy the remains, Wilkin can't ignJust because Wilkin's a crackhead doesn't mean the shadows aren't real.They're real. And they've been haunting him since he was seven years old. Mostly he ignores them.But when the ghost of his childhood friend shows up at the local motel, Wilkin can't ignore the call of friendship. And when his friend's killer buys the motel so he can destroy the remains, Wilkin can't ignore that, either.Wilkin steals his friend's skull before the killer can destroy it and is plunged into a hot mess of a supernatural thrill ride.A death-race pursuit of a child's skull. A ghost-talking trucker hauling plush toys to Kansas. Five demonic farm-kids in a housing project. A Dodge City marshal with justice on his mind. And a graveyard full of snitches.It's enough to make you want to hit the crackpipe. All leading to a climax where staying alive is the least of Wilkin's worries.Because when most of the people around you are spirits anyway, DEATH AIN'T BUT A WORD....

Title : Death Ain't But A Word
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780988548510
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 318 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Death Ain't But A Word Reviews

  • Michael Austin
    2019-05-22 01:49

    I have to admit right up front that I have read very few paranormal mystery novels, and even fewer with homeless crackheads as major protagonists. I didn't really know what to expect when I started _Death Ain't but a Word_, but I am so glad that I invested the .99 cents and one evening (I read it in one sitting) to find out. It is a remarkably good novel that is fast-paced, compulsively readable, thought-provoking, and fun.The novel centers around Wilkin Jones,a homeless man and halfhearted crackhead from Dallas, Texas, who happens to have a second sight: he sees dead people. As the novel begins, his dead-people seeing starts to focus intensely on a young boy named Humphrey, who had been his best friend in childhood until being murdered by a psychopath when he was seven years old. As the novel progresses, Wilkin, Humphrey (the ghost version thereof), and the psychopath are all sucked into a a subtle revenge plot where death is only the first move. As he comes to terms with his personal ghosts--both past and present--Wilkin discovers that there are other people like him scattered around the world dealing with ghosts in much the same way that the Men in Black deal with aliens--a development that gives us hope that we might see these same characters again in another adventure.It is important, I think, that the story takes place largely among homeless drug addicts, who are easy to stereotype and, therefore, able to surprise us constantly with their wit and their humanity. Zander Marks has an excellent ear for dialogue and a strong sense of what makes a story impossible to put down. There is not a wasted word in the book. The story is always moving towards its final culmination, with mysteries constantly being introduced and unraveled, and characters who really matter to the reader. _Death Ain't but a Word_ is also one of those rare novels that manages to be serious without taking itself too seriously. There is a moral to the story, and some profound analysis of human nature, redemption, and forgiveness--but none of this gets in the way of a wickedly funny, smart, and action-packed mystery about crackheads talking to ghosts.

  • Nathan
    2019-05-03 19:55

    Fantasy Review BarnTo me this is the perfect example of Urban Fantasy done right. A tight and focused book, it picked a small element of supernatural to work with and then built an amazing story around it. Strong imagery that excels in its simplicity, smart and realistic dialog, and a never bloated, always compelling plot. Wilkin is homeless and a crackhead, but he isn’t crazy. He started seeing ghosts long before he ever ‘flew to Peru.’ We first meet him helping a friend rob a house, knowing the owner is in the hospital. Immediately we know he may not be perfect, but he tries to still do right; he peels off enough cash from a hidden stash to convince his friend of a successful robbery while leaving the majority in the house. Staying at a trashed out hotel that night he sees the ghost of his childhood friend, and his hard life starts to spin a whole new direction.Turns out his friend was murdered years before, but for reasons unknown the murderer is suddenly buying the hotel in order to erase the last of the evidence. Wilkin digs up his friend’s skull and starts running. The journey will include, a crazy trucker, a famous lawman from the Wild West, and a little old lady with wit sharper than a knife.There is so much to love about this book. While there is nothing novel about a talented person who sees ghosts, almost everything else about the setting is practically one of a kind. Homeless drug abusers in Dallas are not the typical UF cast. A unique setting along does not a good book make, but lucky for a reader, there is more to love. Wilkin is an incredibly engaging character, and his love for his childhood friend is surprisingly moving. His rap sheet does nothing to hide his large heart, and the already well-conceived conclusion to the book is so much better because of the strength of his character.Some other characters are just as strong. Dead childhood friend Humphrey is something different; a nice counter point to the ‘forever innocent’ thought of children, without ever going into silly horror movie territory. The psychopath chasing Wilkin may be a little overwhelmingly evil, but his obsession kept me hooked page after page. Most other characters are vessels to move Wilkin on, but each fits their role well, and most have something distinct about them to make them seem more like people that plot devices.The plot itself moves at a fast pace and is basically a couple of interwoven revenge tales. As the title points out, death is only one small part of life. Wilkin meets others who can see ghosts as well; he learns but refuses take part in what they do to keep the peace between the living and dead. While raw and gritty with a decent amount of violence, the author never is gratuitous with it. Early on even the narrator swears pretty regularly, though that aspect seemed to lessen as the book continued. Oh, the conclusion! Even some great books run out of steam, but not this one. As mentioned above it fit perfectly with Wilke’s growth throughout the book.Because I am a nitpicker I will point out the few small issues I had. Every character from Dallas seemed to have an important place in the story, but when Wilke reached Kansas the same could not be said. One cop was added, then disappeared without making any impact to the story. And while most the major questions were answered, the exact duties and territories of ‘yardwalkers’ are vague and unanswered by the end.5 StarsThis book was gifted to me by the author through Goodreads. In no way did this influence my review; the book was really this good.

  • Olivia Friary
    2019-05-04 03:42

    I kept entering the giveaways for this, but no luck. Instead I splurged the 99€ and got Kindle edition. It was definitely worth it! The main character, Wilkin, sees ghosts and self-medicates with crack cocaine, but he's really not much of a crackhead. The pull of his childhood friend's ghost is stronger than the addiction, and he's next in line as a "yardwalker" at the local cemetery. If you like Charles De Lint's grittier Newford storied, then you'll be a fan of Zander Marks' world of urban spirits. I hope to see more "yardwalker" novels in the future.

  • Shambhawi P.
    2019-04-25 20:08

    More like a 4.5 rating but what the heck - I'm rounding this up!The blurb describes this book as a 'supernatural thrill ride' - and what a ride it was! We follow Wilkin, the very non-prototype protagonist of this story. Wilkin's a crackhead who occasionally 'flies to Peru', sees ghosts and is guided by a cold feeling at the pit of his stomach. But he is not really crazy - and the ghosts and the feelings are real. And when he recovers his childhood friend Humphrey's skull from a rundown motel's backyard the real supernatural chase begins.Marks has hit the nail on the head of the UF genre with his debut book. A compelling narrative, interesting characters, a plot that hooks the reader right into it and a very well maintained mixture of wit and horror - what more could a girl ask for? The book managed to make me laugh out loud as much as it made goosebumps break out on my skin - and that is something few writers can evoke in their readers. The book is unique from the ones we are usually see in this genre - the characters, the setting and the plot is completely different from what we are used to reading. But Marks manages to mesh this all well together and had me at least gobbling all of his words from the very start.I was expecting this book to be especially engaging and interesting, but Marks exceeded all my expectation. He is definitely a writer to watch out for if he keeps on writing amazing, out of the norm books like this one!This ebook was provided to me by the author in exchange of an honest review.

  • Fred Hughes
    2019-04-28 22:53

    This book was supplied by the author for review purposes.Two crack heads Wilkin and Broderik just need some cash to; you know, continue their “good life”. What better place to rob then someone they know is in the hospital. Only problem is that Wilkin has this link to the dead and they just keep interfering with his work, of robbing people.If Wilkin didn’t have bad luck he wouldn’t have any at all. And soon he is a on a physical and metaphysical adventure meant to mean his life continues.Wilkin’s romp has its ups and downs, and he is occasionally brilliant. At least from his perspective.The book is a fast read. The characters are brilliant and flawed. The story line streaks along at a fast pace. Their is definitely skulduggery involved (inside joke).An enjoyable read. Recommended

  • Lori Tatar
    2019-04-26 21:46

    "Death Ain't but a Word" is a very compelling story about a good-hearted crack addict who is confronted with decisions most of us will never have to face in this lifetime...or the next. Zander Marks uses his mastery of language in its different forms to take the reader exactly where he wants, much like Walter Mosley does. Marks paints a perfect picture of inner-city projects as easily as a countryside. There is a scene at the end that will prevent me from ever looking at my dog the same way again. What is she really thinking? If you believe the worst of your troubles end when you leave this world, think again. The story also focuses on the responsibility we have to ourselves, to those we love and to those things for which we are called. Plan on reading this in one sitting as it is quite a challenge to put it down, even for a minute.

  • Leah
    2019-05-14 22:04

    Wow, that's all I can say....This book was "a supernatural hot mess" and I couldn't put it down....Pure Awesomeness....I'm going to be honest, from the description of this book, I was skeptical about reading it because it wasn't my normal go to read. However, I received the book from Zander Marks, so I figured I would give it a try. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I honestly enjoyed this book. The beginning was a little slow for me to pick up on. I loved the concept of seeing dead people and being able to communicate, come on, that's interesting and a completely new concept in my reading genre. However, I was confused when the chapters jumped between characters and before I was able to pin point who was who and figure out what was going on, I was lost, but enjoying the storyline nonetheless. Most stories I have read are told from one characters view point and I enjoy reading what the character is thinking. This is a story told from an outsiders viewpoint and I surprisingly enjoyed that too. I was able to watch the story played out as I read. I would have liked to see some insight to what Wilken was thinking. That may have given the reader more insight to his actual gift or curse, as he would call it, and allow more feelings to be shown. I really liked the way the characters were portrayed in this story. They all worked really well together. However, I hated Bobby from the beginning and I was so glad when the tables were turned on him. One of my favorite parts of the story, was the dreams Humphrey was sending to Bobby. I was a huge fan of Humphrey from the beginning. A young boy, taken way to soon, seeking revenge. I would love to read this story from his perspective as well. I also have to say, that all of the ghost personalities were exciting to read out and learn about their passing's. My only problem was in chapter 50, when we get back to the couple with the skull. The boy was Kyle in the previous chapter and then in 50 his name was Keith. That threw me off a bit because I was thinking who's Keith now, but then realized it was suppose to be Kyle. Overall, I think that Zander Marks is a fantastic storyteller and I would definitely recommend (which I have already done) to others. I definitely give this book 5 stars, for a storyline that was refreshing and new to the normal supernatural book world and kept me reading and entertained, which is a major plus. I want to thank Zander for allowing me to read this book and sharing his talents with me. I can't wait to see what you have coming up. I want to read more from you soon!! :)Quote "We fight chaos," the man explained. "Think of all the pain in this place. The regrets. The missed opportunities. The unfinished business." - Yardwalkers

  • Hydra M. Star
    2019-05-20 19:56

    This book is hands down the most heartwarming story about a homeless crackhead that sees ghosts and steals the skull of a murdered child that they’ll ever read... No, seriously!Wilkin is a crackhead living on the streets in a midsized Texas town. Among other issues in his life Wilkin sees ghosts, usually in minors, and can communicate with them, to a degree. He also communicates with the Ganesha statue on the counter at the local motel where he sometimes hangs out and works doing odd jobs for the owner... No, he’s not one of those homeless people who talks to themselves... Okay, well he is, but he’s not crazy. The gods, dead folks, and demons he’s dealing with are real. Just like the psycho killer that murder his childhood best friend and is now after Wilkin.Believe it or not, I found this book to be quite realistic, at least in so much as the characters seemed very much like real people. Wilkin and his crackhead buddies talk, act, and live like real crackheads. Mr. Christmas reminded me so much of my own grandfather, when he went to buy his first mobile phone, I laughed out loud at his antics with the salesperson. Even the owner of the local food store where the local people and crackheads shop seemed just like the sort of guy that would run a shop in such an area, trying to do a little good by the community and the people but also fully understanding the nature of some of people he’s dealing with.None of this is to mention the fast paced and thrilling story line. It is quite the adventure and ‘hot mess” Wilkin finds himself in.This is a fun book and I highly recommend everyone check it out.

  • Jennifer Boyce
    2019-05-21 20:42

    First of all, I didn't technically win this book from a Goodreads giveaway… I entered the giveaway but wasn't selected as a winner. Yet the author sent me a copy of the book anyways (as well as a thank you note for reading and reviewing it)!I really enjoyed this book! It's a unique story and was definitely much better than I expected. I received the copy in the mail yesterday and finished it this afternoon, I couldn't put it down!This book takes a couple of chapters to really get into. The first few chapters are a little confusing, but once all the characters are introduced the plot really gets moving. Whether it's a chase scene or ghosts seeking revenge on the people who wronged them, this book is full of action.The characters in this story are really likable. Wilkin, the main character, is relatable and definitely shows growth throughout the story. Having a crack head as the main character isn't extremely common in books of this genre, but I thought it added a unique perspective. I'm hopeful that Wilkin's future life will morph into a series of books as he deals with the ghosts that surround him.There were a couple of parts in this book that read awkwardly, really just a sentence here or there. I wasn't entirely sure if the author was purposefully trying to make sentences seem disjointed or if it just turned out that way. Usually though, the story flowed nicely and was easy to read.I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys action packed books with a strong supernatural element. Even if you don't think this book is your cup of tea I would definitely recommend giving it a shot, odds are likely you will be pleasantly surprised!

  • William
    2019-05-14 19:54

    I'm a casual fan of urban fantasy novels. Charlene Harris, Jim Butcher and others can be found on my bookshelves and Kindle. “Death Ain't But A Word" is as good, if not better, than any single novel I've read in the genre. It's the best novel I've read in any genre in quite a long while.Wilkin is a character that embodies the flawed beauty within every soul and the story itself sends a powerful message: We are not alone and we are never abandoned. Sometimes we need a push and sometimes, maybe, we need a brutal shove ... just hopefully not from dead friends or sociopathic killers.I don't know what Xander Marks has in store for his future writing, but I'm almost positive I'll be one of the first to buy it. It isn't often a writer can bring a smile to your face and make you feel the hollow hurt at the core of life's worst in a single sentence, but that is what Marks does so well here.Urban Fantasy, ghost story, Ghost Whisperer meets Bubbles (from the tv show The Wire), redemptive tale of a crackhead ... all of these terms and phrases could be used to describe this book, but i think the heart of it is this: We've all got losses to bear, some more than others, but it isn't how or when we take up our losses that matters. The only thing worth knowing is that we live shouldering what we can and hoping for the same in others. And just like approaching this book, leave your assumptions and expectations at the door. The surprises will bring us unimaginable joy and sorrow ... and make it all worthwhile.

  • Marvin
    2019-05-02 19:52

    I'm a sucker for novels with down-and-out losers who are essentially decent and are given a chance to win occasionally . Wilkin Jones, the main protagonist in Zanders Mark's Death Ain't But a Word, is such a character. He is a crack addict barely making it through burglaries and odd jobs, having to deal with urban misfits who are as "crazy as a rabbit sandwich". The only one who seems to take an healthy interest in him is an elderly cemetery caretaker There's a reason for that: Wilkin sees dead people. And the dead person that bothers him the most is his best friend who died when Wilkin was seven years old.This is a hard novel to describe without giving too much away. Suffice to say there is a psychopathic villain, a mysterious consort of psychics, and lots of ghosts both good and bad. The author is very good at taking somewhat stereotypical characters and giving them a new slant. The plot is in no way stereotypical as Marks moves it from the inner city to the rural mid-west with ease while developing those "stereotypical" characters into ones with three dimensions. Wilkin is the star though. Streetwise but likable and witty, he carries the story. I'm not much on sequels, but this is one time I'm hoping for a sequel just because I like Wilkin Jones so much. This is a an exceptional first-time novel that should appeal to anyone who relishes supernatural fiction.

  • Sue
    2019-05-08 23:54

    I received a free copy of "Death Ain't But A Word" by Zander Marks in exchange for an honest review.I must admit I didn't know what to expect when I received this book, but I have an open mind.This book combines fantasy,supernatural but with a great story to hold it all together.The dialog is simple and urban in its nature. The main character,Wilkin is homeless and a crackhead, but he has a good heart. He has been seeing ghosts for along time.Wilkin is pulled into helping his friend Broderick, rob a house where the widowed elderly woman is in hospital.While searching the bedroom, Wilkin finds a large sum of money but only peels off $300. No need to take the silverware now.Wilkin is staying at a run down dump of a motel.He starts to see the ghost of his childhood friend, and everything changes.But his friend was murdered years ago,and now the murderer is buying the motel in order to destroy all the evidence. Wilkin digs up his friend’s skull and takes off.This was a fast paced easy to read book, that kept you fully engaged.Wilkin was a very likeable character with a huge heart, and a great love for his childhood friend.A very enjoyable read.

  • Edwina Callan
    2019-05-07 00:10

    I don't like the title of this book nor do I like the cover.Based on those two things, I would have never bought this book if I saw it in a book store.Zander Marks, the author, very kindly sent me this book to review and I am so happy that he did.This book is amazing. A non-stop thrill ride that is hard to put down. A can't-wait-to-turn-the-page-to-see-what-happens-next kind of book. This book was a pure pleasure to read and I was sad when I came to the end of it. I can only hope that Mr. Marks continues on with a series of books about Wilkin and Humphrey as I see endless possibilities there.Not only should you never judge a book by its cover, but, never judge it by its title either, because you might just miss out on the best book you've read in years.Thank you Zander and Bravo on an excellent debut novel.

  • Nancy Brady
    2019-04-22 01:51

    "I see dead people." This could be the title of this story about a crackhead named Wilkin who talks to his friend Humphrey, a seven-year-old ghost. In a life full of unintended consequences (enter Ganesh), Wilkin experiences it all. The man who killed Humphrey many years ago is trying to retrieve his skull, and Wilkin is standing in his way so the chase is on to eliminate Wilkin as well. Wilkin' s power to see ghosts, as well as others who share this same power, are out to protect Wilkin, but at what cost? Humphrey is changing; people are being killed, and it is one wild ride after another. Definitely an off-beat, quirky novel that was difficult to put down, difficult to categorize, and at times difficult to read. What next for Wilkin as he accepts his role in life as a yardwalker, a man who deals in seeing and talking to dead people?

  • Mike
    2019-05-18 20:51

    It's been a while since I've gulped down a book in an afternoon but once I started with this one I couldn't stop. Although I don't usually care about plotting or story (I read for other reasons) the events in the book are interesting enough that I was actually curious about what would happen next. The writing and characters are excellent, particularly in the first half, and dialogue that in the hands of a less-skilled writer would become farcical or worse is handled very well. The only reason I don't give it five stars is that the second half of the book devolves a bit into short action scenes that lack the excellent pacing in the first half, but that's a common thing in novels. I'm looking forward to reading whatever the author does next.

  • Ms. Nikki
    2019-05-13 00:11

    The idea of a "yardwalker" is a very original one. A boy, Wilkin can see and speak to ghosts. His best friend, Humph, was killed and has plans for his killer and he's dragging Wilkin along for the ride. Ghosts are carrying on conversations in this read. This can be real confusing if you get distracted easily. The writing itself is really good, I just wish there had been more action. There were lulls when the momentum of this read needed to be picked up to give the reader a sense of urgency. Still, the story was good and I want to thank the the author, Zander, for gifting me his work. Job well done.

  • MollyK
    2019-04-27 01:02

    *** Give Away Winner *** I absolutely loved this book. Sounded a bit wierd from the outset, but then again so am I. So I decided to try for it. Now I am extremely grateful that it won and opportunity to read this book. I love mashups and this is like a mix of urban meets ghetto fantasy meets ghost story. I am hoping for a whole series with sequels for Wilkin and ancillary books for the other characters. More please?!?

  • Sabrina Morgan
    2019-04-21 20:58

    I just finished this book and thought it was a very good, quick read. I didn't think I would like this book by judging it's cover. I am so glad I gave it a go because it turned out very interesting, I was on the edge of my seat routing for Wilkins when he's on the run. And how can you beat a ghetto story that has the Earp brothers in it. This book is a very worthwhile read.This is a Goodreads win.

  • Caddy Rowland
    2019-05-18 02:01

    This book was a blast! I loved the "indie film" feel of it. Raw, streety and surreal, it reminded a bit of Willima S. Burroughs in some ways, the beat author who wrote "Naked Lunch" and "Junkie" to name a few.I loved the way Marks took me into a completely new world so well that I forgot it was fictional. Well done. A crazy, oddly addictive ride.

  • Diane Henders
    2019-04-25 20:09

    Don't be fooled by the "hot mess" in the subtitle - this is an excellent read! This is the first time I've ever read found myself rooting for a crackhead. The characters are well-written and the story is riveting. It's a rare author who can end with a murder and still leave me smiling and thinking "happy ending". This one's going in my "to-read-again" pile.

  • Janelle Dazzlepants
    2019-04-24 20:09

    Not gonna lie, the protagonist's crack addiction is what drew me to enter the giveaway for this book. I've read quite a few paranormal mysteries and urban fantasies in which the protagonist suddenly discovers the supernatural realm after some catalysing event. These books usually feature whiny young girls with wannabe chips on their shoulders. I can safely say that this is my first time reading an urban fantasy/paranormal text that centres on a character's drug addiction! I'll warn you though: if you're expecting something gritty and disturbing a la Law & Order or a life on the streets doco, look elsewhere. Despite how utterly rubbish his situation is, Wilkin is an incredibly jolly, smart and funny character. He may be homeless, he may have a drug addiction, and he may smell downright rank, but he's still able to laugh and poke fun at Landline and his atrocious yellow sweatshirt. If you liked Alison DuBois in Medium or Miles Straume in LOST, you'll like Wilkin. In fact, one of the first scenes we see of Wilkin is of him using his supernatural abilities to find money hidden in a house, much like Miles' first scene in LOST! You can't blame the guy for succumbing to a crack cocaine addiction - after watching how little sleep Alison DuBois gets on Medium, I figure I'd either turn to drugs or wind up in an insane asylum. If you like to see inside your villain's twisted psyche, you've come to the right place. This book affords a view from each character's perspective, and Buddy-buddy murderer man's isn't pretty. We have hints of animal cruelty (which I had to skip past as even the slightest hints can make me nauseous or reduce me to tears), and a killer who doesn't even get off on what he does. He killed a child almost in the same way you'd make a sandwich. He enjoyed it, but it didn't leave a long-lasting impact on him. He recounts the event with the same kind of enthusiasm as you'd tell someone 'I had a tuna sandwich for lunch'. But not only that, we see that our villain has standards when it comes to his behaviour. He sees his child-murdering ways as acceptable, normal, just something he did once upon a time. But when Humphrey's ghost starts taunting him with pedophile jibes, Buddy-buddy can't handle that at all. He's cool with the fact that he took a young child's life, but don't you dare insinuate that he has sexual feelings for young boys! Basically if you can handle or like the despicable villains seen in Stephen King novels, you'll enjoy Buddy-buddy's fucked up brain. But I'm getting ahead of myself, and I should probably discuss the story! It really wasn't what I expected, and it turned out for the best! A large portion of the story centres on Wilkin and his murdered childhood best friend, Humphrey. After 20-odd years laying low, Humphrey suddenly reveals himself to Wilkin, spurring him on to find his remains, discarded so many years ago at a dingey motel. Wilkin learns who murdered Humphrey, and unfortunately for Wilkin, said murderer finds out that Wilkin has taken some of Humphrey's remains. Worried that Wilkin will turn him in, he embarks on a deadly game of cat and mouse with Wilkin. Based on the first two thirds of the book, I thought the story was going to lead up to a showdown between Wilkin and Buddy-buddy. I thought that Buddy-buddy would attempt to kill Wilkin, but in the process the cops would show up and arrest Buddy-buddy for his crimes. Buddy-buddy would end up on death row, Wilkin would somehow end up with a roof over his head and money in his pocket, and Humphrey would finally be at peace. That's not how it happens at all. Two thirds into the book, the author makes the startling revelation that Wilkin is not alone. The elderly man that he helps at the convenience store, Mr Christmas, is not an ordinary elderly man at all. He possesses the same supernatural abilities as Wilkin, using them to watch over the local cemetery and keep the spirits in check. We learn that there's an entire network of people out there, keeping spirits in check! And this network of people know aaaaaall about Humphrey. They know his intentions aren't good: he doesn't want to bring Buddy-buddy to justice, he wants to enslave him. He wants to rid Buddy-buddy of his mortal body, then rip his ghostly body to shreds. He's been stewing for 20-odd years in hate and misery, and now that he's learned a new trick or two, he's going to unleash that pain at full force. I've always been fascinated by ghosts in film and TV. They seem to portrayed in much the same way no matter where I look: the dead can barely touch us, and it takes a great deal of energy just to make the lights flicker or a chill run down our spines. That's not the case in this book. Making the lights flicker is nothing to these ghosts - they can implant thoughts in your head, infiltrate your dreams, sing 'whisper songs' to lure you off the edge of a cliff, and rip apart a soul like a school of hungry piranhas. It's a shame this appears to be a standalone book, because I want to know more about the yardwalkers! I was absolutely taken by the concept of 'whisper songs', and the kind of hallucinations and feelings they can incite in the living. I'd also love to know how ghosts and yardwalkers 'execute' vengeful spirits - I'm assuming it's something a little more violent than salting and burning remains a la Supernatural! I'd also love to know where they go afterward, if the 'executed' spirits go to Hell or move on and finally find peace. I'd also like to know what happened to Humphrey. I was hoping that we'd get to see him 'put down' like a rabid animal, but his shock and horror over losing Wilkin was a beautiful, poetic and satisfying ending nonetheless. I'd like to think that Virgil and Clemont executed Buddy-buddy for being a repulsive excuse for a human being, and that Humphrey willingly moved on after realising that his actions had cost him his only friend. There wasn't a whole lot I didn't like about this book. Nothing overly shitted me about the story, though Buddy-buddy's sheer evil did make me want to lob my book across a crowded train at peak hour once or twice! My only real beef is with how the story looks on the page. There was a lot of white space above and below the text, with unnecessary indenting and hard returns/spacing. With smaller margins and tighter spacing (the Adobe InDesign nerd in me is screaming 'no more than 3mm space after!'), the book could have been half the size - and surely that's not a bad thing for keeping printing costs down? I also wasn't a fan of the giant chapter numbering and the headers at the top of each page. Overall: Death Ain't But A Word wasn't what I expected, and I like that! I was expecting a depressing, gritty urban fantasy that turned my stomach and made me want to cry. Instead I got a happy, humourous protagonist that had a bright outlook on life, despite being weighed down by a drug addiction and cumbersome supernatural abilities. The book initially began as a tale of exposing the truth and exacting justice, but then the author weaved a complex mythology that had me wanting more. If I had to sum up my experience reading this book in two words, it'd be 'pleasant surprise!' FTC Disclaimer: This book was provided for review by the author. All opinions are my own, and if I hate a book I'll tell you as much. :)

  • Andrea Hickman Walker
    2019-05-17 21:07

    I enter every single giveaway on GoodReads. All of them, unless I'm paying enough attention to notice that the book isn't in English. I didn't win this one, but the author sent me a copy anyway. I wasn't expecting much, all I knew was that it had a cover I found unappealing and was about a drug addict and had something supernatural going on, I assumed vampires because it seems like every second thing has vampires in it these days. I read it in less than three hours. It is absolutely amazing. It's about ghosts and death, growing up and friendship, duty, responsibility, integrity. And the main character is a self-described crackhead.The basic idea regarding Wilkin and his abilities is similar to Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely. The nature of what he sees is very different, of course. I'm left with all sorts of unanswered questions (see below) and I want a sequel, well, not so much a sequel, though that would be awesome, but I want other books in this universe, I want to know how things developed. I want to know what happened to the other characters, both before and after.(view spoiler)[I want to know what happened to Humphrey. I gather he lived, since he didn't actually complete what he intended to do to Templey. I want to know about the Earp brothers. I want to know about Eulia and Melanie - and what on earth they were doing with the tuning fork. How did Humphrey learn all the things he did, about messing with people's dreams and what the Mayfield ghosts did? What happened to the Mayfield ghosts and how did they end up becoming so demonic? What happened to Broderick? What was the deal with Artie and the fruit? I want to know what happened to Wilkin, what was it like when he first started seeing things? What happened to him after his parents died and how did he get into drugs, and what was the aunt he lived with like? Were his parents in their mausoleum? If he'd always wanted to see them and speak to them, why didn't he just go over to the cemetery and see if they were there? (hide spoiler)]So many questions. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for other books by this author.

  • Stephanie Ziegler
    2019-05-08 20:54

    When Bobby Templey was in the 4th grade, his teacher knew something happened over the weekend. With help from the authorities, Bobby confessed to killing a cat while he made his friends watch and even participate. Bobby hated that teacher. He devised a plan and waited. Waited seven years. "Humphrey Timmons, age seven, abducted from his street and murdered at the former Sunrise Motor Lodge." Only one other person knows that Bobby killed Humphrey with piano wire and buried him at the site of the old hotel.Wilken Jones may be a crackhead but for good reason. He can see ghosts in mirrors and feel their vibrations. He starts to wonder why he is beginning to see ghosts without the mirrors. He knows that Bobby bought the hotel, presuming to finally get rid of any evidence of Humphrey's existence. Unfortunately for him, Wilkin got there first and stole the skull of his childhood friend. When Bobby found out, a lone manhunt begins. But after 23 years of quiet, why does Bobby care now?I GIVE THIS BOOK: 3 3/4 out of 5 starsVery interesting story. I liked it. With better writing skills, this book could be big! Get the word out about this book! I think this is the first book I have come across where I will actively help the author. Issues that need to be addressed include why twenty-three years later? Why not sooner? What was with the bathroom scenes? Confusing and not needed in the story. I would have liked to know more about the chain of people who helped Wilken. Who are these people? They just showed up with no explanation, know what is happening, and Wilken trusts them. I need the who, what, where, when and they why. I believe I understand the point of the story, but the barn scene needs to be expanded. Not just Bobby but Wilken's role. If Wilken stayed with Humphrey for twenty-three years, the bond of the friendship should have been explored deeper.There was so much detail in the beginning of the book and as the climax came, we got less story. It was as if you worked so hard to get to the climax but never exploded this awesome ending. The story is good. The story at the climax is good, but the writing was sub par. Until next time, live life one page at a time!

  • Raquel Leite
    2019-05-02 23:55

    Eu recebi uma cópia deste livro gratuitamente pelo autor, depois de ter perdido o sorteio do Goodreads. A minha opinião não tem influência nenhuma nesse acontecimento, e quando digo que gostei é porque gostei mesmo.A sinopse foi o que me levou a concorrer ao sorteio. Wilkins, viciado em crack que o levava a ver fantasmas. Algo que pensaríamos ser normal, mas não é, Wilkins é mesmo assim.Adorei os fantasmas, quem diria que o que eles precisam mesmo, é de mimo, e muito. Caso contrário andam de um lado para o outro a escravizar os outros fantasmas e a atormentar a vida de inocentes.Wilkins pode ser viciado em crack, mas não é nenhum louco. Ele vê mesmo fantasmas, inicialmente vemo-lo a ajudar um amigo a roubar uma casa, pois ele mesmo sabe que o dono está no hospital Mas quando pensamos que ele usa o seu “dom” para fazer mal e ganhar dinheiro, deparamos-nos com o seu lado bom, ele a tentar fazer o que está correcto, nas suas próximas acções.Numa das noites, Wilkins decide ficar no hotel que irá mudar por completo a sua vida., em que o fantasma de um dos seus melhores amigos de infância parece-lhe.Acontece que ele foi assassinado um ano antes e ninguém sabe porquê. Mas o seu assassino está prestes a comprar o hotel de maneira a poder eliminar as provas. Wilkins, que sabe, cava o crânio do seu amigo e põe-se em fuga. E é esta viagem que ele faz que é cheia de personagens incríveis e bem construídas.Wilkins é claro uma personagem cativante e igualmente bem estruturada, apesar de ser toxicodependente (que uma pessoa pensa sempre que tudo que ele vê da droga) tem um carinho especial pelo amigo.Penso que Marks, pegou num elemento paranormal e a partir dai construiu uma história em torno dele. Transformando-a numa fantasia urbana muito bem imaginada e conseguida. A história em si tem um ritmo acelerado que conta as suas vinganças mas que não oferece a violência gratuitamente, o que é um ponto positivo.Foi um óptimo livro, que me prendeu de página a página onde a minha curiosidade aumentava para saber como é que iria terminar esta história.

  • Kathy
    2019-05-02 21:54

    I am very excited to have received this book- courtesy of the generous Zander Marks who had noticed I had entered the Goodreads contest, but had not won. It is not my usual genre, but as I adore some of the gritty shows like The Wire and Breaking Bad, it did intrigue me. I cannot help but notice how many glowing reviews are posted both here and on Amazon. Congrats to Mr. Zander, and I hope I can add my enthusiastic reviews before long. Continued...Well, I did finish, and will take this as a lesson to not judge a book by it's cover. Honestly, if there were any bookstores left in my neighborhood to peruse, I would not have picked this up. And that would have been a shame. As I mentioned, it is not my usual genre ( historical fiction/biography/non-fiction etc.) the cover looked pretty urban for me etc. As I read the book, the cover became more and more fitting, and I realized, this is actually an excellent cover for Wilkin's story. Even the look on the character's face ( I presume this is Wilkin) is a good fit. Well done.The opening has a wonderful hook. And there were twists and turns and some goosebumps of suspense. The characters were interesting and very real. There is not a huge amount of detail/descriptions and yet I totally could visualize each scene. Memorable characters and some very memorable phrases make for a rich and rewarding experience. So, for anyone out there that has read some of the reviews, be brave! Step out of that comfort zone, pick up this book and check out this new and exciting voice in fiction. I will be watching for what Zander Marks does next.

  • PepperP0t
    2019-04-29 02:01

    (4.25 Stars Actually)Wilkin Jones lives on the other side...of the tracks. He's one of the unseen and ignored. Wilkin is an urban outdoorsman, a soft-hearted homeless drug addict. Wilkin's days and nights are filled with theft, crack cocaine & ghosts. Wilkin's affinity with ghosts affect his thieving and his crack enjoyment when he can't get a murdered childhood friend out of his mind. Wilkin's dead friend, Humphrey, is about to be unearthed to settle the murderer's mind. But when the murderer goes to retrieve Humphrey's body, he finds the skill mysteriously missing. As the story twines into a tale of vengeance, guilt , love friendship and regret , Wilkin learns even more about himself. While not exactly my taste (too close to the horror genre), there are things to commend the author. This story was written so tightly making such liberal use of Wilkin's gift that the tension remained high. I fully expected horror elements on every page. At first blush, the story seems to be quite straightforward and simple but there is much more here than meets the eye. The vividly drawn characters raise your curiosity almost from the moment they appear and you want to know more about them and what they're going to do next. This urban fantasy mystery weaves and bobs as it speeds to a satisfying conclusion. Whatever expectation you have when you first start this read, put it out of your mind because that's not it. More reviews can be found at

  • Neil McCrea
    2019-05-11 22:04

    This is a solicited review.I don't read much self published literature. My own modest work was published through a small press but it still had a significant vetting process to get there. I read self published work from my friends and from poets I've seen perform, but this is the first self published novel from someone I have no connection with that I've read in a very, long time.Some recent dabbling notwithstanding, I don't read much in the way of paranormal adventure / urban fantasy. I enjoy Buffy and True Blood on the small screen, and I loved Caitlin Kiernan's mean spirited send up of the genre (Blood Oranges), but in general it ain't my bag.This book surprised me. I don't quite know how to rate it. If I were wearing my professional academic hat, I'd probably give it two stars for its stylistic awkwardness. However, I'm not really that guy anymore and I was won over by the novel's sheer inventiveness. I was a tad disappointed to learn that Death Ain't but a Word doesn't quite stand alone and is the first book in a potential series, but that is a minor quibble. Wilken, our crackhead medium/spiritualist is a unique character and the world he inhabits is refreshingly different from anything else I've seen or heard of in this subgenre.I've settled on giving this book 4 stars because it's damned entertaining, and I want to see the author succeed. Now then, I'll be watching you Mr. Marks and I'll read your next book, but I'll expect to see some growth.

  • Cindy
    2019-04-30 22:43

    Impressive debut novel - I really went back and forth about this rating and finally decided that it was worthy of a 5 star rating. I did not find anything that I didn't like about this novel (well, except for the cover and title - and I would not want to be accused of "judging a book by its cover"). The cover/title really do not do this gem justice. The premise is simple - there are some folks among us that can see/speak with the dead and some of these folks become 'yardwalkers' - those who settle the dead, keep the peace, and ease their transition. When identified, these yardwalkers are usually taken under the wing of an older, more experienced mentor. But sometimes that doesn't occur and these folks have to find their own way and that does not always turn out well. Wilkin is a homeless, crack addict - not your normal hero - and truly, he's not a normal crack addict. His best friend is Humphrey, a ghost. When the site of Humphrey's murder is bought and scheduled to be torn down, a cascade of events is touched off that lead to an intense climax. I found the conclusion totally satisfying and hope that there might be more adventures down the road for Wilkin. This is a supernatural thrill ride - thanks Mr Marks. I'll be on the lookout for more from you.

  • Jem
    2019-05-03 23:04

    A coming of hero story can’t start much more rock bottom than with a homeless crackhead, can it? While this introduction to the main character might make you want to give Death Ain’t But A Word a skip, you’d definitely be missing out on an entertaining ride. Wilkin, with all the faults and, at first glance, few of the attributes of a very reluctant hero, starts out the novel doing his best to live and die in the gutters. We’re thrust into his world at a low point when he seems destined to bail out on life and instead finds himself on a very unplanned and unexpected journey – all because of the ghost of a childhood friend. While this isn’t your kick ass vampire slaying style of action urban fantasy, it still ticked all the genre boxes for me. The pace was by no means slow and the unfolding story revealed the characters piece by piece, giving them depth and making their motives understandable, and luring the reader in page by page. Hopefully there’s a series in this as Death Ain’t But A Word certainly sets up an intriguing and fresh new world that I’d love to visit again. I received my copy of the ebook from the author.

  • Lise
    2019-05-18 23:47

    I received free Kindle edition of this book after failing to win the Goodreads First Reads giveaway contest.A simply written and addictive little story of a world whose dynamics are very different from our own. Not so much the 'hidden world of ghosts and yardwalkers', that's well within the expected for urban fantasy, but a world where homeless crackheads are sold drinks in plastic bottles and made to eat fruit, and are respectful and grateful for the hopeless sentiment. A world where the cops are quite happy to give the homeless a good meal and a bed for the night, and feel sorry for not buying them peach cobbler. In short, in this ghost and sometimes drug infused underworld, a homeless man is subconsciously recognized as a member of an unofficial priest cast by the unsighted members of society at the same time as those who share his brotherhood of the sighted recognize his potential.It's a world where love performs miracles of redemption, even in the most hopeless situations. A very worthwhile read I will keep coming back to, I am sure.