The Big Reap by Chris F. Holm (Angry Robot Books-July 30th, 2013)-My favorite soul collector is back in The Big Reap and true to form, it’s even bigger and better than the last book (and they’re all good!). The Brethren are a powerful group of collectors that have managed to break their bonds with Hell, and they’ve been wreaking havoc for quite a long time now. Lilith has tasked Sam with taking down the Brethren, and what a task. These guys and gals are bad news and out of control, but as usual with Holm’s characters, it’s not as simple as all that. There’s a back story for these characters, and it’s a fascinating and complicated one. The author’s monster mash approach to the Brethren is pretty awesome and it’s something I’d like to leave for the reader to discover but I’ll give you a hint: think classic monster myths and legends. It’s very, very cool. We’re also taken on quite a whirlwind trip to different locales and a few times I was reminded of the very best of the show Supernatural (yes, I’m a Supernatural geek). You’ll also get a glimpse into Sam’s very first, and very high profile, reap. Again, awesome.
If it seems like I’m being coy, I apologize. These books are like juicy onions, with lots of wonderful layers, and if you haven’t read the series, I don’t want to spoil the utter fun and endless inventiveness of it. I said in my review of The Long Goodbye that Chris F. Holm will soon be giving some of the big UF authors a run for their money. He’s gone and done it, as far as I’m concerned. This is one of the best series out there right now, period. His baddies are bad, yes, but when an author can get you to sympathize with some pretty nasty characters, I consider that a rare skill indeed. Sam keeps growing from book to book, and with each installment, I fall in love with him a little more. Have you also been wanting to get to know Lilith, Sam’s beautiful and sometimes treacherous handler, a bit more? You’ll get that in The Big Reap too, oh boy will you. This one hit me a bit hard emotionally, but that’s a good thing. I like being invested in a book’s characters. The only problem I had with this book is the knowledge that I’ll have to wait a bit for the next one. Hopefully it won’t be a long wait, but either way, I know it will be worth it.