Once Dead, Twice Shy (Madison Avery 1) by Kim Harrison
Publisher: HarperCollins (April 2010)
17 year old Madison Avery is dead. Bummer. Killed on prom night by a dark reaper named Kairos, she manages to steal his amulet (a source of his power), thereby keeping the illusion of a physical body, and, more importantly, allowing her to keep her soul. She is guided by Barnabas, a “light reaper”, as he tries to train her in the duties of a reaper. Complications ensue when Kairos comes looking for his amulet, and her prom date’s life is threatened in the process. Along with prom date Josh, and her new guardian angel Grace (charming, scene stealing, and limerick singing), she must stay one step ahead of the persistant Kairos (who has good reasons for wanting his amulet back) and a beautiful but deadly dark reaper named Nakita, find her body, and keep her friends safe in the process. All in the day in the life of a dead girl, right?
I am a HUGE Kim Harrison fan, and she didn’t disappoint me with her first installment of her YA series! Just like with the Hollows , the action moves right along, and her characterizations are great, especially the wonderful Grace. Madison is a lot of fun, and it’s interesting to see how she handles her rather unique set of circumstances while dealing with the normal problems of teen life, such as fitting in and finding your place. Josh provides the romantic interest, but it doesn’t distract from the story, instead providing depth and fun diversion. I loved Harrison’s seraph/angel mythology and her rip roaring action sequences, and her exploration of free will and fate will get you thinking! This was a quick read, and I was never bored (I devoured this one in one sitting). Madison is not to be missed!
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