Don’t Fear The Reaper

cover art of once dead, twice shyYes that’s an awesome song by Blue Oyster cult, and the song is actually mentioned in the amazing book Once Dead, Twice Shy by Kim Harrison. I was having mixed feelings about running Angel Month for Teen Tuesdays after I read Hush, Hush but Harrison’s novel has me enthused again.

Free will vs. Fate is the big debate this book will spark, and I love a good debate or any book that makes you think about big picture concepts.

What I found most interesting about Once Dead, Twice Shy is the angel mythology that is either new or different from what I am familiar with. That reapers are a kind of angels, and there are different classes of angels within the dark and the light is fascinating stuff.

I love that the dark and the light are not completely clear. With the “dark” angel having white wings and the “light” reaper having grey wings, the ambiguity of their place in the universe as good or bad is seen on a literal level. There is no pure evil and pure good that you might expect in such a story, and both free will and fate make some good arguments.

Everything I felt was lacking in Hush, Hush I found here.

  • Angel mythology
  • A character I liked and related to
  • Male characters who weren’t pigs, masculine minus the stalker/violent syndrome
  • Personality over power (cool powers but they don’t overpower the story)

I will definitely be looking for more by Kim Harrison!


Hush, Hush hype could have hushed?

hush hush coverI have to say I was deeply disappointed with Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick. I was really looking forward to reading it for a long time, and I promoted it at the library as part of the upcoming Angel themed Teen Tuesday because of good reviews and a teen read award nomination.

My main problem with the book is the unhealthy relationships the main character has. Both of the men she is attracted to are creepy. If it bothered you in Twilight when Edward confessed to breaking into Bella’s room and watching her sleep before they were together, then this will bother you too. Except Nora suspects she is being stalked, she recognizes that the guys are probably dangerous but she goes out with them anyway. She ditches her friend to go be with a guy she is afraid of, and this isn’t portrayed as particularly problematic.

Bad boys are often seen as hot, which is probably where the Teen Read Awards Best Hottie nomination came from. The thing is, there is a difference between a slightly rebellious teenage boy and one who stalks and intends to actually harm a girl. Nora quickly jumps from accusing to kissing, and I think this sets a terrible example for young readers.

Unhealthy relationships have their place in literature, as commentary on unhealthy relationships, but that does not appear to be the goal here.

My other issue is that there was not nearly as much about the angels, and what it is to be fallen, and how the Nephilim aren’t overrunning earth by now if they don’t age. There was a chance to have a lot of interesting material that was just skimmed over without much detail.

I can’t say I was particularly attached to Nora, Vee or any of the characters. Normally in 1st person narratives I have a lot more sympathy for the narrator.

I bought this book anticipating I would be writing a rave review, or at least have some favourite parts to comment on, but I am very disappointed. Maybe it’s just that I am past the bad boy stage in my life…

I know there is a long waiting list for this book at the library, and I can’t imagine rereading it, so to the donation bin you go…