Sunday, August 3, 2014

Graveyard Shift (Lana Harvey, Reapers Inc. #1) by Angela Roquet

We were big fans of the TV show a decade ago called "Dead Like Me". When a book that had a reaper as a main character showed up for free for my e-reader, I figured I'd give it a whirl, especially when I saw it had a number of good reviews on various places in the readers' portion of the internet.

Angela Roquet has made a kingdom or two out of the afterlife. I felt like I needed a guidebook and a map to keep everything sorted. The underworld here is an amalgam of every sort of human belief in what happens after death, and where you go depends on what you believed in life. It's the reaper's job to collect your soul and get you to where you need to be. There's even a spot for atheists, which amused me no end:
<blockquote>The Sea of Eternity used to be a river, but that all changed when humans began dabbling in science. More atheists and agnostics die every day. It's their souls that fill the sea, making my job even grimmer.</blockquote>

All is not well in the underworld, though, and Angela is caught in the middle of it, when her boss (yes, the Grim Reaper, generally known as Grim) gives her the chore of finding a special soul who will help keep eternity in order. The bad guys want that soul too, and soon it's angels, reapers, demons, and gods all in a tumble.

I feel that this could actually work as a series, if the reader doesn't get too lost amidst the varying characters, particularly those who appear with vastly different personalities than normally given them. I got lost in the details at times. But the setup is there, and the main characters are set.  With time and space to develop this would probably feel a little less like a short story run amok.  Rounding this up to a 3 from 2.5 because I liked quotes used as chapter heads, the author's note at the end, particularly where she thanked her editors and proof readers for making sure all her heroes had "shiny black hair not shiny back hair". Humor goes a long way with me.

Tags: e-book, ok-but-not-great, read, thought-i-was-gonna-like

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