The story within the story is that of the girl, Keturah, who meets Death in the woods. Much like the classic, One Thousand and One Nights, she begins telling him a story so he would spare her life. But she leaves off the ending and promises to tell it the very next day. Things happen and Death relents a bit each day, which is how she manages to stay alive.
So, this might have been more of a romance than anything else. But I liked it for the beautiful language. It had a lyrical quality to it.
The ending was very much expected — Death gets the girl — but I wouldn’t have liked it any other way. Maybe I should try out the other books by this author. What do you think?
Call it YA or NA — I suspect it was the latter because sex did happen even if it was behind-the-scenes. But I liked this book. It started in the most typical of ways: a girl rejected by her parents and in a kind of Jane Eyre-ish situation but only because they believed she was sired by Death.
Another very YA trope was used when she was married to a disgusting and disgustingly older man than she. Eventually, though, her destiny takes her to a convent where she is trained in the art of murder and seduction. The acolytes there claim to do Death’s bidding.
She is sent on a mission, which is where things became less YA-ish and more historical romance-y. Of course, she falls in love with the person she is investigating.
If it was so typical, why did you like it so much Midu, you ask. Because of the way the author doled out historical facts. The protag and her honey were fighting for Brittany’s independence from France and seeking help from England. It was just fun to read about the convoluted plots and treasonous moves. Sorry, is my weirdness showing? *tucks it back in*
A humorous instance:
Like the previous books in this series, this installment takes the reader on a wild ride. Of course, the name of the book is a dead giveaway when it comes to the plot. But the rest is an action-packed blur where Artemis — a boy thief with a girl’s name — learns to accept that he has friends who might need his help — regardless of his previously mercenary leanings. There is humor and there are lessons to be learned along the way.
So, this one starts abruptly and just about throws you in the deep end of the pool. But I liked it. The art is beautiful, and the action deadly. A guy becomes a part of a gang that thrives because of a mostly-symbiotic relationship with spiders. He has to find his way through convoluted conspiracies that he wants no part of. I did find it difficult to believe how quickly he caught on how to use his spidery powers but otherwise, I liked it.
This one was part of the Death Personified shelf-full of novels that I downloaded once upon a time. And I am so glad I did. It had flavors of Pratchett and Douglas Adams that made me laugh out loud. The goldfish had a surprisingly big part to play in the grand scheme of things. And the poor Devil was so put upon by God and Death both.
Like all novels involving the Devil, this one too started when he hatched a plot to take over the world. Pity that things didn’t go as well as he’d thought they would.
The world-building in this novel is good for a first novel. I also liked that the protagonist is a different kind of witch, i.e., she raises shades from dead bodies so she can solve murders. The whole part about raising one so it could give her testimony in court was fabulous and tastefully done. What I don’t like is the main character. I don’t know I find her annoying. Again, I think I would have enjoyed this book more had I read it a few years ago.
Review of the first book.
I really really liked this one. It was violent and bloody and everything that UF should be. Even the good characters aren’t good and the fight at the end is bloody af. The protagonist is a reaper and reports to work one day to find all hell has broken loose.
A few new words that I learned:
I love mythology, which is why finding out about a whole new aspect of Death caught my eye. Check him out:
The protagonist bumbles through the whole book, but we know it is because he has been slacking on the job. He doesn’t know a whit more than he needs to know to reap — or pomp souls. In fact, that is also why the villain keeps him alive because he’d be easy to defeat. It is believable.
It was set in Australia, which I found interesting since I haven’t read many books by Australian authors.
The world-building is slow and juicy as we get to travel the underworld in this book.
Some humorous quotes:
Two other terms relevant to the story:
1. The author described a character’s eyes as Modigliani eyes. So, I went and looked him up:
2. Death had Brueghel’s Triumph of Death in his office:
The only thing that kept me from rating this one four stars was that the hero and heroine instantly fall for each other. It felt contrived even more when I discovered that this would be an important plot point later. But I wanna read more and I will!
My fave supernatural family is back! They are as dysfunctional as ever, but they still haven’t given up on being a family. They fight together and slay monsters with each other, which brings them closer. The brother — I forget his name — is getting stronger at raising hell. I can guess he’s going to be tempted by the dark side before soon.
The demon they fought was absolutely delish. Oh, and did you know Netflix is making a show based on these comics? Can’t wait!
In which Death decides to take an apprentice and introduces us to his adopted daughter. There is a wizard who isn’t very good at being a wizard — no, not Rincewind, the other one — and a princess who is dead but is very much alive. Hilarity and beautiful language are the two trademarks of all Pratchetty novels and this one was no different.
YA. Dystopian. A boy and a girl meet in trying circumstances and don’t trust each other. The girl is too cool and the guy has a chequered past. There are extremely bad guys out to get them. Sounds like it has all been done before. Right? Wrong!
The way this author tells the story made it different. For instance, the guy isn’t a teenager who has no clue how to survive when we meet him and then suddenly becomes G.I.Joe. He is already tough and out of fucks. Secondly, he doesn’t fall for the girl just because she is pretty. But because he has a debt to pay.
I liked the violent world that we are thrown in right from the start. But what I would have loved is to be told more about how it came to be like this. Maybe we find that out in the upcoming books?
I found only one typo, so that’s something.
I really liked this one but rated it just 2 stars because of how the heroine irritated me. She kicked ass but kept wallowing in self-doubt about how no one could ever love her. All the time, I was like, have you seen yourself? You survived “the basement” — she was tortured by her boss for three months in every way while unable to resist because of a compulsion he had placed upon her. I understood her rage and I understood how powerlessness she might have felt. But that feeling of not being good enough hadn’t been developed there in the dark. She had felt that way even before the trauma. Why? Just because the author thought she needed to be feminized for the hero to love her? I dunno; it just didn’t sit right with me.
Another thing that irked me was how the lead couple kept rehashing the same conversation in every scene where it was just the two of them. Ugh boring!
I loved that the author showed us that self-preservation can make us selfish or doesn’t stop us from being jealous of the ones we love. For instance, the protag’s sister loved her but didn’t try to hard to undo the blood binding because that would mean facing that hell on her own. Similarly, the protag was jealous of the relationship that her sister had because she had never had one of her own. It didn’t make her become a bitch or anything but acknowledging that made me like her more.
Review of a book from another Vincent series
So, this is how I spent January. What did you do?