Friday, March 8, 2013

Once Dead, Twice Shy by Kim Harrison

Once Dead, Twice Shy by Kim Harrison
2009, HarperCollins
Series: Book 1 of Madison Avery

Synopsis: 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.

The Good: This is light versus dark, good versus evil, done right. Instead of everything being easily defined, there is a lot of gray in this book that Harrison takes complete advantage of to keep readers guessing. Madison is a really great character, being different (besides the dead part) without seeming to try to hard to be something other.

The Bad: While I loved the story, the writing itself wasn't fantastic or anywhere near up to Harrison's usual standards. Perhaps writing YA threw her a bit because the language definitely felt forced and well below what one is used to seeing in current young adult books.

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