Friday, 15 February 2013

Review - Don't Fear the Reaper by Michelle Muto

Don't Fear the Reaper (Netherworld, #1)

Description: Haunted by memories of her murdered twin, Keely Morrison is convinced suicide is her only ticket to eternal peace. 

But in death, she discovers the afterlife is nothing like she expected. Instead of peaceful oblivion or a joyful reunion with her sister, Keely is trapped in a netherworld on Earth with only a bounty-hunting reaper and a sarcastic demon to show her the ropes.

When the demon offers Keely her ultimate temptation--revenge on her sister's killer--she must determine who she can trust. Because, as Keely soon learns, the reaper and demon have been keeping secrets and she fears the worst is true--that her every decision changes how, and with whom, she spends eternity. 

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Where to find Michelle

When seventeen-year-old Keely commits suicide, she expects to be reunited with her murdered twin sister Jordan, whose death she never recovered from, in the afterlife. Instead, she wakes up looking at her own corpse and in the company of two men in suits: Banning, a reaper employed to escort her to the afterlife, and Daniel, a demon. Suddenly death doesn’t seem so simple.

Now in purgatory, bound to walk the earth amongst the other souls unable to move on, Keely is faced with a choice. She wants to find her sister’s killer, and when Daniel offers her that chance, she finds herself torn between saving her own soul and avenging her sister.

This is the first book by Michelle Muto I’ve read, and it was amazing! Don’t Fear the Reaper is a haunting take on life after death, and I was instantly drawn in from the first chapter. The themes of teen suicide and murder are undoubtedly bleak, so I knew this wasn’t going to be a light read, but Muto does an excellent job of capturing the emotions surrounding death and in particular, Keely’s realisation of the pain she has caused her family. Her regret and grief make her sympathetic despite her selfish act.

Sad and poignant, this is an extremely well-written novel which draws on the idea of purgatory as simply earthbound, lingering in the living world. This unseen world of reapers, angels and demons is made plausible through the details and through the characterisation. Daniel is another interesting character: a demon with a conscience. Daniel is unable to help what he is, but as it’s his job to convince Keely to give up her soul, he is not trustworthy even though he may be Keely’s last hope to find her sister.

I found the lack of romance refreshing for YA novel, and I didn’t feel it detracted from the story. Far more important was the sisters’ close bond and the personal stories of the individual characters. This is a powerful and thought-provoking tale of death, life and hope, and I will definitely be reading more from this author!

Rating: 5 stars.


 About the author:

Michelle Muto lives in northeast Georgia with her husband and two dogs. She loves changes of season, dogs, and all things geeky. Currently, she’s hard at work on her next book.

1 comment:

  1. I haven't heard of this book before but it sounds really good. It's something that I might try in the future now that I've read your review. :)