*REVIEW* Once Dead, Twice Shy


My name is Madison Avery, and I'm here to tell you that there's more out there than you can see, hear, or touch. Because I'm there. Seeing it. Touching it. Living it.

Madison's prom was killer—literally. For some reason she's been targeted by a dark reaper—yeah, that kind of reaper—intent on getting rid of her, body and soul. But before the reaper could finish the job, Madison was able to snag his strange, glowing amulet and get away.

Now she's stuck on Earth—dead but not gone. Somehow the amulet gives her the illusion of a body, allowing her to toe the line between life and death. She still doesn't know why the dark reaper is after her, but she's not about to just sit around and let fate take its course.

With a little ingenuity, some light-bending, and the help of a light reaper (one of the good guys! Maybe . . . ), her cute crush, and oh yeah, her guardian angel, Madison's ready to take control of her own destiny once and for all, before it takes control of her.

Well, if she believed in that stuff.

Once Dead, Twice Shy begins by introducing us to Madison, a girl who was killed by a dark reaper. The catch? She stole his amulet, allowing her to have a corporeal form and trick everyone into believing that she didn't actually die after all. With the help of Barnabas, a light reaper, Madison has been trying to learn skills, skills that will hopefully aid her as she adjusts to undead life and tries to stay off the radar of the dark reapers and the one who tried to kill her, the one who has her actual body stowed away somewhere.

Things aren't as they appear though, and Madison quickly learns that she may not know the whole truth about why she was targeted, and who the bad guys really are. An encounter with Josh, a cute boy from her school, leads Madison to finally confide in a living soul and chaos ensues as Madison and Josh decide to take the fight to the source himself, Kairos, a dark timekeeper who seems to be pulling all the strings. Will Madison finally learn the truth about why she is caught up in this war between reapers? And will she have the strength to make a choice and/or accept her fate? Fate and free will collide in this tale from Kim Harrison.

I have to admit that I wasn't super thrilled with this one in the beginning. I kind of felt like I was dumped into a story that had already been going on for quite awhile. After doing some research on Goodreads, it appears I am correct. Madison's story actually began in Prom Nights from Hell, an anthology published in 2007. So I think to really feel settled when beginning this book, I would recommend reading Prom Nights from Hell before starting it. And even after I figured out how Madison had ended up in this position, it still took me awhile to fully grasp what was going on and I think that confusion kept me from really enjoying the book for several chapters.

Once I felt more comfortable with what was going on, I thought this book was pretty good. It definitely had it's confusing moments, but I ended up invested in Madison's story and I HAD to see where the story would take her. And I really liked the ending and where things seem to be headed next. The author really makes an interesting case: Is fate the most important force in the world, or does free will overcome all?

While I didn't love this book, I did like it and will be reading the next book in the series, Early to Death, Early to Rise. I'm excited to see what happens next. Anyone read the whole series and have insights? I'd love to hear them! *XOXO*


John The Bookworm said...

I've always wondered about this series. Based on your review, I think I might try it. Everyone loves her adult urban fantasies - which I've not read - but her young adult books don't get much press. I'll be interested to see what you think of the second book.

Karen said...

That's funny, I haven't read her adult stuff either! I have the first few sitting on my shelf. I need more hours in the day to read everything I want to read! :) I'll keep you posted, I've started the second book...

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