The Fetch by Laura Whitcomb
Calder is a Fetch, an otherworldly escort who appears to people on death’s door. If a soul decides that it is ready to die, it is his job to use his key to open a door, through which lays the path to heaven. In general the living can not see him, and he is not to interfere with the soul’s decision. He knows that someday, he must choose a squire, a dying soul to whom he will offer his key, acceptance of which will apprentice them into a “life” as a Fetch. It has been over 400 years though, and Calder has yet to find the right soul. Until he sees her. A beautiful young woman, weeping for the dying soul of a baby boy. A woman that he is certain can sense his presence.
His overwhelming desire to meet this woman leads Calder to do the unthinkable. He convinces a dying soul to let him use his body, an action that creates havoc between the delicate balance of the real world and the afterlife. What Calder doesn’t realize is that the woman who fascinates him is Alexandra Romanov, the Empress of Russia, and that body he has taken belongs to Grigori Rasputin. What follows is a spiritual and epic story set in the midst of the Russian Revolution, where worlds dangerously begin to collide and overlap.
Overall, despite being a little slow in spots, I really enjoyed this book. Going into it, I didn’t know about the historical context of this story, with Whitcomb offering an explanation about the mystery which surrounds the Romanov family. Without this context, this would have just been another book about a supernatural being. I would definitely recommend this to teens who like the otherworldly books, but are looking for something with a little more depth.