96 points, 5 STARS!
A dinosaur detective in the land of unwanted ideas battles trauma, anxiety, and the first serial killer of imaginary friends.
Most ideas fade away when we’re done with them. Some we love enough to become Real. But what about the ones we love, and walk away from?
Tippy the triceratops was once a little girl’s imaginary friend, a dinosaur detective who could help her make sense of the world. But when her father died, Tippy fell into the Stillreal, the underbelly of the Imagination, where discarded ideas go when they’re too Real to disappear. Now, he passes time doing detective work for other unwanted ideas – until Tippy runs into The Man in the Coat, a nightmare monster who can do the impossible: kill an idea permanently. Now Tippy must overcome his own trauma and solve the case, before there’s nothing left but imaginary corpses.
Available now! Order from Amazon and other major retailers because Tippy is the bestest stuffed triceratops ever!
“The worst part? A part of me feels good. I’m on a case, and that means I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing. And maybe this time.. maybe this time I can make it make sense. Real healthy there, me.”
I have never read anything at all before like this adorable, mushy, perfect mystery novel. I need you to read this, because you need to read this. On the surface, this sounds like a trippy, really weird mystery in a really novel location. But below? Below that surface is everything awesome and wholesome that exists in this world.
Tippy is a stuffed yellow dinosaur who is a private investigator, because that is what his Person needed from him when she created him. Tippy specializes in cases about people new to the Stillreal, the world where imaginary friends go when their Person no longer needs them. He has magic stuff(ing), which helps him on his cases. And Tippy is one of the most kind hearted, genuine people I’ve ever met. (And so is the author, Tyler Hayes.)
Through Tippy, we the entire Stillreal is filled with some of the most kind, amazing people. Unless it is contrary to who they are as Friends, that is. Everyone wants to make everyone else happy and make them feel like they belong. Even if they are nightmares. Because everyone in the Stillreal is broken, just by virtue of being in the Stillreal in the first place. Because in order to become a Friend in the Stillreal, you have to have lost your Person. Which is traumatizing for an imaginary friend!
The Imaginary Corpse features a murder case, in a place where, by definition, there can be no murder. Not because they are not real, but because they cannot die. Yet, Friends are dying. And everyone is scared. But because Tippy is on the case, everyone feels like it will all work out.
And really this is just adorable.
While reading The Imaginary Corpse, I wished dearly that this was a book that you could read to your children. Don’t get me wrong, this is definitely a book for adults. But the themes and qualities The Imaginary Corpse covers is perfect for children as well as adults. It talks about the consequences of actions, and learning to work with others. It is about how you treat your friends and family, as well as perfect strangers. It is about morals. It is about how not everything always goes the way you want it to, and sometimes bad things happen, and it is okay to feel bad about it. It has everything you want a child to learn, while still being an amazing story for adults. And it is a completely wholesome story you rarely get to see. Unfortunately, I think this just has a few too many adult themes for children.
The Imaginary Corpse, at the core, makes you feel. It makes you feel happy when it can, and accepted always. It makes you feel love for those you know. It lets you make friends with those you don’t know yet. It makes you feel fear in the face of death, and anger when you cannot stop it from happening. And you feel the heartbreak of being ripped away from people you love, whoever it may have been. But always, always, it is about belonging and acceptance.
I received this book from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Tyler Harris, Angry Robot, and Edelweiss for providing the opportunity to review this copy!
I’m posting this as part of the The Imaginary Corpse blog tour. To see the other stops on this tour, check out the other blogs on the list! Plus, follow Tyler Hayes on Twitter, because he is an awesome person.