Friday, June 26, 2009

Book Review: Once Dead, Twice Shy by Kim Harrison


Madison is the new girl in town, just trying to fit in. Doesn't matter that she just happens to be dead. Book Info:
• Hardcover: 232 pages
• Reading level: Young Adult
• Publisher: HarperCollins (May 26, 2009)
• Language: English
• ISBN-10: 0061718165
• ISBN-13: 978-0-06-171816-8

Book Blurb:
"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. For some reason she's been targeted by a dark reaper -- yeah, that kind of reaper -- intent on getting rid of her, body and soul. But before the reaper could finish the job, Madison was able to snag his strange, glowing amulet and get away.

Now she's stuck on Earth -- dead but not gone. Somehow the amulet gives her the illusion of a body, allowing her to toe the line between life and death. She still doesn't know why the dark reaper is after her, but she's not about to just sit around and let fate take its course.

With a little ingenuity, some light-bending, and the help of a light reaper (one of the good guys! Maybe . . . ), her cute crush, and oh 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.


Madison is the new girl in town, just trying to fit in. Doesn't matter that she just happens to be dead. Barnabas, a light reaper who is trying to teach Madison how to use her new amulet, does his best but something just isn't right. Not only can't she figure out how to use the amulet, but she also has to deal with all of the dramas of being a teenager as well.

I don't like spoilers in reviews, so let's just say that Madison is caught in the middle of the classic struggle: Dark vs. Light, Fate vs. Choice, Hot Reaper vs. Hot Teenage Boy. Madison comes across as a believable teenager who is smart and resourceful, but still human enough to make mistakes. And I loved the guardian angel!

These characters seemed oddly familiar and I finally figured out that I had met them before. Kim had originally introduced them in the anthology Prom Nights from Hell. It might help to read Madison Avery and the Dim Reaper first for the back story, but this book can certainly stand on it's own. All in all I think this is the start of another good series for Kim! Can't wait to see what happens next.

3 comments:

  1. Does the book go into background information a lot? or is it good enough that you can read it on its' own and you won't go "huh? when did that happen?"

    anyway the book looks good I might give it a try.

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  2. While reading the short story will give you more of Madison's background, it's certainly not necessary. I didn't realize at first that I had met these characters before, and had no problem following things. Hope you like it, as Kim Harrison is one of my favorites!

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  3. This sounds exactly like something my 16 year old would read! I'll have to refer her to your review.

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