Life After Death

Atria. Mar. 2021. 352p. ISBN 9781982139131. $27. F
The long-awaited sequel to Souljah’s The Coldest Winter Ever begins with Winter Santiaga approaching the end of the 15-year prison sentence she was dealt at the end of the first book. Her brother-in-law, Elisha, proposes that she star in her own reality show starting as soon as she walks out of prison. Winter sees the show as an opportunity to reenter society at the top of her game. But fate has other plans: Winter is shot dead as soon as she walks out. The rest of the book takes place in a purgatory-like place called the Last Stop Before the Drop. Winter is “rescued” by a man with whom she becomes sexually involved; he has everything she wants, and despite having other women in his bed, he treats her like she is special. Winter also meets Bomber Girl, who bears a resemblance to a young version of herself. Bomber Girl, along with her army of UBS (Unborn Souls), attempts to save Winter and other women stuck in the Last Stop before they are turned over to the Eternal Fire by informing them of Allah’s teachings and urging them to leave behind their sinful ways to pass on to a Heaven-like place.
VERDICT Souljah takes a bold but ultimately disappointing step with this next installment in Winter’s story, which is definitely not what readers may expect. Some may say it goes too far in places, such as descriptions of bestiality, while Winter is in purgatory. Only purchase where avid fans await this sequel.
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