Sunday, June 27, 2010

Once Dead, Twice Shy

I was completely unfamiliar with Kim Harrison’s work until the Supernatural Tour back in May; and after her reading from Early to Death, Early to Rise, and seeing that a good 80% of the folks there were there just to see her, my good friend Jenna and I decided it was time to sink our teeth into her new YA series.
Madison Avery is dead, but still enjoying teenage life with the added difference that she has a Light Reaper, Barnabas as a constant companion now. There’s a slightly complicated story line about Light Reapers versus Dark Reapers, Light Timekeepers versus Dark Timekeepers and choice versus fate in human life. Wrapped into all of this there is the greater story of why Madison was killed by a Dark Reaper and why she’s dead but still functioning almost completely normally.

My very first comment on this story is it took me most of the book before I really wrapped my mind around what Kim Harrison was getting at. I felt like there needed to be a much clearer set up early on to explain the workings of her fantasy world. My second comment is I read the whole book and didn’t come away with an attachment to any of the characters.
None of them.
And thirdly, although it’s a rapid fire book I was never particularly drawn into the action, repeatedly putting it down in the middle of important big moments. At a very brief 256 pages I should have breezed through this story in a couple of days, tops. Instead I was carrying it around with me for a good 5 days or so.

Not a great read, however, trooper that I am, I carried on to book two in the hopes most of the wrinkles would be ironed out and I’d get down to why Kim Harrison is such a popular author.

Once Dead, Twice Shy, By Kim Harrison
Published by HarperCollins, April 2010

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