Also by this author: Styx and Stoned, Styx and Stoned, Dead Spooky: A Novella (Grim Reality Series)
What do you get when you cross a hockey mom with the grim reaper? Me, Lisa Carron. If being a depressed, frumpy, widowed mother of three wasn’t bad enough, I just found out I’m a grim reaper. I know what you’re thinking. Wow, that’s kind of sexy and full of awesomeness. Hardly. Oh, and my clients? Stupid people. Like I don’t get enough of that from the living. Since Alaska is big and angels of death are few, I’ve been partnered with reaper extraordinaire, Nate Cramer. He’s strong, silent, and way too good looking for my recently widowed state. Oh, and he reaps violent criminals, so that should be interesting. Forget the danger and the hours of self-analysis it will take for me to find my reaper mojo. My biggest problem? Hiding it all from my overly attentive family and nosy neighbors. Now that’s going to take a miracle.
I was at Coastal Magic in a panel when I met Boone. Mel won a book from her and I read a couple of pages in the hotel room that night. I instantaneously fell in love with not only Boone’s writing style, but more over, I fell in love with Lisa, a mother who is really at the end of her rope.
So this book starts with the cover. A short-haired, young woman wearing black clothing, with a basket of groceries and a mop. Yes, in this book, reapers are employed, and they are not paid as well as they could be, but you know, seniority and all of that. So Lisa, a widow, with three kids, including a teenage girl, and younger twin boys. Her husband died in a car accident the year before and she has been in a very low place in her life, not showering, not caring. With the anniversary of his death, she finally decides that something needs to happen because she is wasting away, and because of that her children are as well. So on her first day of the rest of her life, she walks into a mart to get soda. While at the mart she is an unwilling part of a holdup, which then turns into a reap. A Reap that she unintentionally performs with the help of the studly man who while never eating a Twinkie in his life, was looking at the nutritional value of one immediately before the holdup began.
This one event changes Lisa future and present in the matter of minutes. Her past is changed when she accepts the position and learns that not only she is an ancestor of Cheron, the ferryman, but so was her husband, who was an employee of the same company prior to his death. There are some questions regarding her husband that I hope that the author answers in the 3rd or 4th installment since they were not answered in the 2nd. I know I am giving a little spoiler, but it upset me a little that something that is pretty important was not mentioned after the first discovery.
So this book is ultimately about how Lisa, essentially stay at home mom, deals with not only becoming a reaper, but handling family life at the same time. She breaks some rules, some probably a little more grievous than others, but when you are essentially coerced due to obligations to work in a job that is hazardous and secret, why not break some rules. This book also details the first real reaps that she performs and how a reaper career is second to her title as mother, no matter how bad ass being a reaper is.
This unique take on how one becomes a reaper is interesting and what drew me to the story originally. That interested added to the author’s voice really kept me entertained. This book is such a good read that I read the first one on a plane trip after two others, and I read the second one while sitting on my couch. This isn’t just a story about Lisa, but also about her children, Nate, and her best friend. I like that because it gets you pulled into all of their lives, and what makes them tick, and with Lisa, apparently it is soda and making her children do chores.
If you like reaper stories, and like stories about individuals who become paranormal in unique ways, this book is for you. But if you read the first one, make sure you have the second one close, because you will want to read the second one right away.
I originally ranked this as a 4.5 star, but after reading the second one, it made me appreciate the first one more.