‘The Ferryman Institute’ is the debut novel by Colin Gigl though you wouldn’t expect that once you crack open the first page. In its pages, we explore the world of the Ferrymen, those who are tasked with guiding people who have lost their lives onto their journey to the afterlife. Specifically, we’re following Charlie Dawson who has never failed in an assignment as the star of the Ferryman Institute. Hero to some, annoying to those who are jealous, things go sideways when instead of taking Alice Spiegel to her destiny he talks her into not taking her own life.
In fact, he is given the choice to either take her and continue on as a Ferryman or save her. As he’s been wanting to get away from the constant death he has experienced for the last couple hundreds of years and has had constant denials for transferring to another department, this was a no brainer.
With a newly saved life on the line, with permission from having saved her from the President of the Institute and potentially being free from his old responsibilities, you would think that Charlie would be at the top of the world. He is until the Institute finds out about this discrepancy and Inspector Javrouche is tasked with tracking him down for internal affairs.
In a mixture of modern society, Greek mythology, the idea of Ferrymen and the Grim Reaper, and so much more wrapped into this story there could be high expectations from anyone jumping in for a good read. For the most part, Gigl delivers a solid story with fun characters. The one problem being Alice. The woman which Dawson is set to save feels a little flat on the page compared to everyone else that we’re introduced to. For the reason that Charlie abandons his duty of 250 years, I was just expecting something a bit more from her.
That complaint aside, when we have Javrouche and Charlie going at it on page, the writing truly stands out. From chase scenes to dialogue, this is clearly a book that you’ll enjoy reading. This is also a complete story and while more could easily be written in the world that Gigl has crafted, you thankfully don’t have a cliffhanger which is going to have you counting down the days until the next installment is released.
Not a perfect novel, but for a debut, this is one of the better pieces of fiction that I’ve read.
‘The Ferryman Institute’
September 27th, 2016