Harley Baker's obsession with the afterlife leads him to experiment with astral projection, but when he doesn...

Out of Body by Christopher John Chater

Out of Body

Harley Baker's obsession with the afterlife leads him to experiment with astral projection, but when he doesn't take the necessary precautions before an OBE, he comes back to find that a demon has taken over his body. While in spirit form, Harley watches the impostor romance the girl he's crushing on, ace his college exams, and impress his best friend with opportunities for wealth beyond his wildest dreams. 

Not only does Harley have to figure out how to get his body back before he's trapped in the astral plane forever, but he has to stop the demon from a plan that will veil the world in darkness and enslave the human race.
"I died that day. Twice."
If that first line doesn't get your attention, then nothing will. Out of Body starts as the story of one Harley Baker, who experienced death as a pre-teen. Ten years later, he is obsessed with death and what happened to him when he died. While trying to recreate it with an Out of Body Experience, ie. astral projection, Harley gets stuck in the ether when a demon sees the vacancy and decides it's welcome to the neighborhood time. 

I liked Harley. Average joe, mediocre life, limited ambition. While he's obviously not very appreciative of his second chance at life, he's still the guy you want to cheer on. You want to see him back in his own body where he is supposed to be. Even when he is not succeeding, you want to pat him on the back and tell him to try again tomorrow. On the other hand, the demon Horace is precisely as expected. Smooth and slick, he exudes charm and wealth. Part of what makes him scary is that he is someone to be emulated. His apparent success and celebrity is something that others, like Harley's thick-witted best friend Darren, covet for themselves. The only character that disappointed was Stephanie. I had a hard time suspending disbelief over some of her actions, especially the ending. It seemed extremely out of character from what was portrayed earlier. I just couldn't see her in the same light that Harley obviously does. 

While there were some pacing issues at the beginning for me, the rest of the book quickly (too quickly!) flew by. Out of Body cleverly perceives life from the outside in. The uniqueness of the story kept me turning pages long after I should have gone to sleep. There are thrills, chills, humor, and a bit of romance thrown in for good measure. The descriptions of astral travel are incredibly creative and imaginative. The ending, while unexpected, was completely apropos. Fantastic read! 

4 Paws Up!

4 paws up

About the Author

Christopher John Chater

Christopher John Chater is the author of the novels The Traveler's CompanionOmegasphereAquarius RisingOut of Body, and the award winning series, Dating in the Apocalypse. He was born in Burbank, California, but has lived all over, the East Coast, the West Coast, and the South. He's worked in several industries, a production assistant in the film industry, a song plugger in the music industry, and a bartender and server in the hospitality industry. He now lives in San Diego and writes full time.