Grim Leaper is a romance story that’s a little f—ed up. Lou Collins keeps dying, but a curse brings him back to life in a new body each time, only for him to die yet again. In between his deaths, Lou tries to enjoy the simple pleasures of life, like junk food and beer, but that all changes when he meets and falls in love with Ella, who is just as cursed as him.
There are several layers to Grim Leaper. The first is the core concept, which is incredibly well executed. Each of the lives Lou and Ella jump into are varied and have their own mysteries that occur in a Quantum Leap-like style, only without the happy endings. These different characters and scenarios lead to some incredibly cool, if twisted, moments. As you might imagine, there’s a lot of death in Grim Leaper, and it’s gory as hell. This second layer doesn’t shy away from showing gruesome depictions of death, and the twisted ways to die shown in this book must be the product of disturbed individuals. Our third and final layer is the romance story between Lou and Ella, which takes place alongside the gory deaths and alternate lives. Unlike a lot of the romances stories I’ve seen lately, I actually felt the spark between Lou and Ella and found myself rooting for these two cursed kids.
All of these different ideas work so well together and make Grim Leaper unlike anything I’ve read before. The dark humor gets a lot of mileage in this book, and many of the death scenes are so absurd that they are funny. When a funny and gory death happens in the middle of a romantic moment, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to laugh, go, “Aww . . . ,” or cringe. I can’t think of another work of fiction that made me feel those conflicting emotions at the same time.
If you’re looking for a different kind of work, like dark humor, and you’re not opposed to either gore or romance, then Grim Leaper needs to make your comic wish list. Even if you don’t end up liking it, I promise it’ll be a unique experience.