The Reaper’s Daughter is the first in a new paranormal young adult series by KM Randall. It focuses on a young college student named Blake who discovers that she is the daughter of Death.
“I’ve always felt like an average girl … except for my strange relationship with death. You could say I like to court it. Whether I’m soaring through the air as a flyer for Specter University’s cheer squad, or speeding down the steepest mountain with only grace and balance keeping me from an icy end, I’ve always needed to feel a rush. But now Death is courting me―in more ways than one. First, there’s Rishi, a rogue death deity who has a penchant for annoying me nearly to my grave and whose intense gaze has the power to see right through me. Then there’s Hades, who I’d rather had stayed just a myth. Now that he knows I exist, he’s not going to leave me alone until I meet the same end as my mother.
Oh yeah, did I forget to mention her? I spent my whole life thinking she had died when I was a baby, but now I’ve found out she’s much more than dead. Fifty years ago, Hades banished my mother from the underworld and took away her ability to cross over souls―souls that have wandered lost through the world ever since. Now she wants me to clean up the mess. You may have heard of her before…
They call her the Grim Reaper.”
I received an ARC of this in exchange for an honest review and, although I was intrigued by the premise, the first few pages were disappointing. The writing quality was not as I expected. In particular there was a very clunky sentence about Blake kissing her boyfriend that made me metaphorically face-palm.
The quality improved however and the book turned out to be fairly enjoyable.
Blake as a character is pretty good; she’s knows her mind and seems like a normal college student. Her supposed ‘death wish’ type adrenaline seeking behaviour, which is supposed to be a result of her death deity heritage, felt a bit forced and we never actually see her do much that is particularly dangerous (unless I’m severely underestimating the riskiness of cheerleading?). Her relationship with her boyfriend on the other hand was a refreshing change from the ‘insta-love’ trend that is so popular in YA books these days- it was normal and established and didn’t rely on any mystical powers or what-have-you. There are occasions where Blake doesn’t react in a realistic way and towards the latter third of the novel she gets positively whingy- I understand that she has mummy issues but head in the game girl! Bigger picture!
The secondary characters are ok- the dad is a bit of a non-entity, Rishi is pretty interesting and Shelby desperately needs a flaw (other than the apparent sleep disorder she has- who sleeps that much??!).
The plot is not entirely original but maintains interest and enjoyment. The pacing is a little off – way too much time spent travelling considering the high-stakes mission – and the world building could use some work- soul apps? death deity training school? Doesn’t really fit the rest of the mythology to be honest.
There is enough here to make me interested in reading the sequel when it appears. I’d like to see more time spent in Abaddon and more time spent exploring the in-world mythology.
3 bites today