Genre: YA urban fantasy
My name is Madison Avery, and I'm here to tell you that there's more out there than you can see, hear, or touch. Because I'm there. Seeing it. Touching it. Living it.
Madison's prom was killer - literally. Now, thanks to a mysterious amulet, she’s stuck on Earth: dead, but not gone. She has no idea why the dark reaper who did her in was after her, but she’s not about to just sit around and let fate take its course. With a little skilled light bending, the help of a light reaper (one of the good guys … maybe), her cute crush, and o yeah, her guardian angel, Madison’s ready to take control of her own destiny once and for all, before it takes control of her.
Well, if she believed in that stuff.
I love Kim Harrison’s Rachel Morgan series, so when I found out she was writing a YA series; I just had to try them too. I don’t read all that many YA, but when one of my favourite authors tries her hand at it, I want to read it. And I am very glad that I am not disappointed, as I really enjoyed this book. So I am happy that I have the next two on my shelves already.
Madison should be enjoying her summer vacation, but some weeks ago she died. Or rather, her body died, but thanks to a strange amulet she pulled from her killer’s neck, her soul survived. And the amulet provides it with something just like her body. No one knows what has really happened, as this is not something that has happened before. So now Barnabas, the guy who should have prevented the dark reaper from killing her, is training her to be a light reaper, protecting souls from being killed by dark reapers because they will be, or might possibly, be changing history in a bad way somewhere in the future. Barnabas was late, as Madison was killed just a few minutes after her 17th birthday, when she left the prom with a gorgeous stranger.
But so far, her training is useless, she cannot seem to learn to talk with Barnabas in her thoughts alone. And that is one of the basic powers a reaper should have. Barnabas is getting impatient, but the time keeper has ordered him to stay with her. So when Barnabas gets a new assignment to protect someone, Madison has to go with him, or Barnabas will have to fail in his mission, again.
The dark wings are gathering, but it is still not clear who the target is. A group of young people are heading to the docks for some waterskiing, and they invite Barnabas and Madison along, as they need spotters. They divide up over two boats, boys in one and girls in the other one. Barnabas thinks he knows who the target will be, and at first it seems he is right, but then Madison has to prevent the dark slayer from killing one of the girls in her boat. And while she succeeds, and the dark slayer escapes, things are not going as planned. Barnabas will have to alter some memories, but that does not always work as it should. They just saw too much.
And what’s more, the dark reaper, Nakita, recognized the amulet Madison is wearing as belonging to Kairos. Kairos is not an ordinary dark reaper either; he is the dark time keeper. So why would he reap a soul himself? It is not his job to do that.
After reporting everything to Ron, the light time keeper, he promises to talk to the seraphs and arranges for Madison to have a guardian angel, who will keep her safe from Kairos.
While walking her bike back home, as it has a flat tire, Madison comes upon Josh, the boy she went to the prom with. She really likes him, but as the date has been arranged by their fathers, it was doomed from the start. But Josh offers her a lift to the bike repair shop, and Madison accepts. Kairos knows who Josh is, and he will use him to track down Madison to get his amulet back, and to finish the kill. Of course Josh doesn’t believe anything Madison tells him, even if she explains that the nightmares he is having about her, are no dreams, but what really happened to her. But when the dark wings go after Josh (looking to normal people like crows), and Kairos shows up, Josh has no choice but to believe Madison. So how is she going to keep them both safe? Her guardian angel can only protect one of them at the time, so they will have to stay close together, while Madison learns how to use her amulet’s powers.
The more answers they get, the more questions arise, and nothing is as it seems anymore.
It did take me a while to understand what was going on, as you are just “dumped” into Madison’s life, or death. The book starts with some action, and bit by bit you learn about what happened to Madison, and why.
I liked Madison, she doesn’t whine about what happened to her, although she really wants to be alive again and live a normal teenage life. But she doesn’t give up, and fights when necessary. It is not easy for her to deceive her father, but it is necessary. Madison does grow, and she also accepts that she has to get over the things that made her mother ship her to her father, and made her act out so much. She has a new life now, a new purpose.
I am looking very much forward to the next book, and how Madison and her new friends will cope with life at Highschool, and saving people. It is very hard to tell if light or dark is evil or good in this book, and I like that.
© 2013 Reviews by Aurian