String of Pearls opens with an assassin receiving his latest hit and I was instantly intrigued by what was happening to this character (and the end of the Prologue certainly doesn't disappoint!). The writing is clear and concise, and author deserves serious praise for his creative/amazing similes. 4 stars out of 5.
Once Dayson is introduced, I found myself interested in his story but at the same time felt like I was kept at an arms length from him as a character. The beginning could have been a bit more relatable (more an idea of the overall conflict that's driving the story), especially as the reader is primed for a supernatural/paranormal experience and for a substantial period of time the novel feels very much like old school colonialism (there were some serious Lord Jim/Heart of Darkness vibes).
The plot follows multiple characters, perhaps too many, and it detracted from the events of Jean and Dayson, at least for me. For such a novel concept, and the fact that once you find out Dayson is dead you are launched into a new world in chaos (which the reader isn't quite privy to), there were too many things up in the air.
String of Pearls offers something unique to the fantasy world, and the ending, while not without questions, resolves the story nicely (there are an additional two books that continue from where the first left off). In a way, purgatory, heaven, and hell are treated much like a new fantasy universe: they have their own rules, religious system, citizens, cities. It's best not to read the book thinking of heaven and hell in the Judeo-Christian sense: it's more of a new fantasy world that has been created.
Volumes 1–3 Amazon (6.49)