Friday, June 10, 2011

Once Dead, Twice Shy (Madison Avery #1) by Kim Harrison

Genre: teen paranormal
Series and Book #: Madison Avery #1
Pages: 232
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.


I felt like I was just plopped right into the middle of the story, with really no introduction to the characters or why they were with Madison. And that, my friends, is a result of not having read Kim Harrison's short story Madison and the Dim Reaper in the book Prom Nights from Hell.

I loved Harrison's writing. I thought, like Lauren Oliver, she wrote just enough to make you want to keep reading without sounding too old or too young. I didn't think that she had quite enough characterization and at points she went a little too fast with the story and I had to reread to understand what was happening. But I thought that Madison was a real MC and the story ended where I understood what was going on, but still had some questions, making way for the sequel.

Overall, I loved this book. I thought that Kim didn't really explained the reapers and angels well. When she talked about them in the book, she didn't really go deeper than "this happens when you do that" and "that happens when you do this." Well, why? Since I didn't read the short story beforehand, I guess that it might make more sense if you do. So, if you decide to read these books, read Kim Harrison's short story in Prom Nights from Hell titled Madison and the Dim Reaper.

The Cover: It really captures what I thought Madison looked like. I like it!

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