Series: The Reluctant Reaper #1
Published by Pocket Star on 17 June 2013
Genres: Adult, Paranormal
Kristy D'Arc's soul was reaped by mistake the night of her 25th birthday. The reluctant reaper who mistakingly slashed at her with his scythe was none other than Dante - yes the one who wrote the Seven Circles of Hell... As Kristy first has to come to terms with the fact that someone she trusted had tricked her, and then to start a new kind of un-life in Hell, she comes to appreciate certain things she hadn't appreciated when she was fully alive in the real world.
*I received a free ARC of The Reluctant Reaper from Pocket Star via Edelweiss in exchange of an honest review*
On the night of her 25th birthday, Kristy’s life as she knows it takes a huge turn for the worse, or maybe actually better. As her soul is reaped by mistake, her body is in a coma, and she is brought to the Netherworld by Dante. The Reluctant Reaper is filled with 80s and 90s references that truly had me laughing out loud, and the wordplay is masterfully done. There is a lot of it, and I had trouble choosing what to quote in my review!
Kristy is lamenting her sort at first, and in a way, I felt sorry for her, but I also wanted her to get her act together and fight what was happening to her incorporeal self. Dante feels so bad about what has happened to Kristy he doesn’t know what to do to make things right. At the same time, he now feels that his job is to protect her. Before actually leaving the world for hell, Kristy sees her co-workers reaction to her almost-demise, and it’s truly not what she would have thought! Nobody seems to be all that upset about the fact that she’s in a coma – in fact, they soon start fighting each other for her office supplies. Her good surprise comes when she finds her body, and the two aunts who raised her, at the hospital. Then, she finally realizes that she is loved, and that her aunts have always done everything in their power so she can have a good life.
The Reluctant Reaper is pretty fast paced, and it’s a fairly quick read. I loved all the references to the decades of my youth, there were clothing, songs, bands and movie references galore! Some of the wordplay was so cheesy I laughed even harder than I would have if it was a little meeker, and I laughed out loud so many times I lost count before I had read half of the book! Kristy meets a lot of uncanny characters in Hell, and their description through her eyes are hilarious. There are, of course, some well-known faces, but also some I had never heard of before. The characters names’ do say quite a bit about what can be expected of them – and readers would do well to think about what Kristy’s own last name might mean…
Dante is very hot, and this is pointed out by Kristy more than once. As time passes differently in the Underworld than up on Earth, Kristy doesn’t know how much time she has spent away from her body, and it happens that she meets someone she knows in the reincarnation center. Seeing how other people deal with dying, and maybe being reborn soon troubles her quite a lot, especially since her own situation is different from everybody else who is already in Hell. Kristy finds herself some new friends in her kind-of-afterlife, and they are all very funny as well – even if we, as readers, don’t get to know them all that well. I think we’ll see more of them in the next book in the series, though.
If you are looking for a quick, laugh-out-loud read, you should get The Reluctant Reaper when it is released, definitely worth it!
Some quotes that had me snorting:
On one hand, they weren’t that deep, but on the other – well, no, on the same hand actually – they hurt like a bitch.
When life had handed me lemons, I’d gone online and purchased grapefruits. Victoria’s Secret was safe with me.
My new motto was going to be Trust no one. It had worked for Mulder.
New world, new rules, I always said. Well, if I didn’t say it before, I’m saying it now.
There might have even been some leg-warmers in the crowd, along with sweatshirts with the sleeves artfully ripped out. What a feeling. I had a sudden urge to break out into break dancing.
In fact, the sex was so good that even the neighbors had a cigarette.