Once Dead, Twice Shy

Once Dead Twice Shyby Kim Harrison

Madison Avery is dead but no one knows it.  On the night of her prom she was killed by a celestial being, a dark reaper, but somehow managed to snag his amulet and give her ghost self a corporeal form.  Now she is being guarded and taught by a light reaper named Barnabas.  Avery is a bit of an anomaly, even in the strange new world of which she is now apart, and Avery and those who are trying to save her must figure out what she is and her role in her new ghosty life before the dark forces find her once again and try to get rid of her once and for all.

Reaction: Wow, it was hard to write an understandable plot synopsis for this one.  Avery’s world is complicated.  There are light reapers and dark reapers.  Dark reapers decide to take the lives of people before their natural death time in order to stop something it is predicted the person will do in the future that the dark reapers don’t want to see happen.  Light reapers try to stop the dark reapers from prematurely ending a life.  Light reapers and dark repears are angels of sorts and are sent on their various missions by two timekeepers, one dark and one light, who used to be human and are not immortal.  A dark reaper was sent to and did kill Avery but somehow after she was dead she got a hold of the amulet of the dark reaper who slayed her and this gave her special ghosty powers, like a body even though it isn’t actually her body because the dark reaper stole her real body.  The story is about what Avery is supposed to do now, who is after her and why, and what her future as a dead girl holds.

These are the basics of this complicated story but it felt like basics are all we really get.  The story is more of an outline or unfinished, undeveloped full story.  Details are not explained or not explained very well.  I wanted to know more about Avery’s hinted to past — the whole story behind why she now lives with her dad.  I wanted more background on the light and dark reapers — what they were exactly, where they really came from, how they were assigned — and the timekeepers — how are they chosen, what are all of their jobs, powers, and functions.  And then there was Avery and Josh.  They had an odd history.  I wanted to know why Josh agreed to ask Avery to prom, I wanted to know why Avery said yes in the first place since they seem so different, and I wanted to know who Josh’s real friends were since he was so nice and his friends were such jerks.

Overall, I’m interested to see where this series* goes because it’s a unique and interesting premise but I just hope that there is a lot more development and explanation in the next book otherwise I don’t see this series going very far.

The cover, though.  The cover’s awesome.

*I’m assuming this is a series.  Her other books are a series and this one is very open ended.  I couldn’t find any information on other books but I didn’t dig too hard.  I guess we’ll see.


About Casey

I am a librarian who loves all things reading, especially teen literature.
This entry was posted in Reviews, Reviews - Teen and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Once Dead, Twice Shy

  1. Kristen says:

    Love her books and it looks like it’ll be a series. She has an adult series that I love too – the first book is called Dead Witch Walking. There’s a short story that introduces Madison in the anthology Prom Dates from Hell.

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