I like stories about grim reapers. The obsession began when I saw Dead Like Me for the first time, and I have been fascinated ever since. As far as this book is concerned, it is an interesting take on the idea, and one I ultimately liked, but it did mean a lot of world building which slowed things down too much in the end. I gave it three stars, but if you are into grim reaper stories like I am, you still might find it worthwhile.
On her eighteenth birthday, Blake gets a few big surprises, and none of them are particularly good. Surprise number one: Her dead mom? Yeah, not dead – she’s the Grim Reaper and she needs Blake to help move souls over to the other side. Surprise two through ten? Well, I don’t want to spoil anything. This book offers a unique perspective on grim reapers and death deities and pulls in ideas from a multitude of cultures. The atmosphere was a lot lighter than I expected because, well, Death. It was a nice change to see an andrenaline junkie cheerleader take up the scythe, and, though there were a few graveyard scenes, I otherwise found it a much more realistic and bright approach to the business of death. I enjoyed the secondary characters most. I liked Blake’s best friend, and I think it would be fun to let her narrate the next book – her fashion sense made her distinct, and her loyalty was a big draw for me. I also wanted more of Blake’s dad – he seemed like such an awesome character, and I really wanted Blake to spend some more time with him. I was rather meh about both Blake and the romantic interest. They were nice enough, but nothing about them really struck me as memorable beyond their unique lineage. This book had a pretty slow start for me, and it picked up the pace along the way, but it still seemed to be hurry up and wait while we explain things. That is expected when introducing a mythology and building a world for readers, but it did interrupt the action, especially in the last third of the book where there was maybe too much information at once. Overall, I liked the book, but I got frustrated by the fact that the urgency of certain situations was delayed by explanations. I would be interested to see where the next book leads, and the ending did indicate that there was more in store for readers in the future. Language and situations are appropriate for high school readers.
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.