17- year- old Ana Maria Tei’s life has always been perfect: loving parents, good grades, and a future so bright it outshone the sun. But now words like “separation” and “divorce” are sending her world plummeting to hell. Determined to keep her family intact, Ana plans a family-bonding trip from Vienna to Tuscany. Except fate has other plans. Ana’s parents and siblings are killed in a car accident on their way to pick Ana up from school.
Enter Grim, aka Ernest. He promises to relinquish the four souls if Ana agrees to trade her soul for theirs and serve a lifetime as his novice. In order for Ana to graduate from her Reaper’s Novice station to a Soul Collector graduate, Grim puts her to test. To her horror, she finds out becoming a Reaper’s Novice didn’t happen by chance. It was preordained, and she is forced to make a choice: save her family’s souls or come to terms with who she really is and complete the task set for her.
This book was crazy, complicated and all over the place, and I LOVED IT.
Reaper’s Novice was another one of those books that I chose to read because of the awesome cover. The interior settings of this story are just as beautiful, and that’s what initially kept me reading. I was also very curious to see how our main character’s violin played into the story. Avoiding any spoilers, let’s just say Ana, her violin, and some ancient music are a force to be reckoned with.
This book had a depressing and dark start. Ana, our MC, loses her family to a car accident. We actually read about her seeing the wreckage, and touching her dead brother’s hand. However, things lighten up dramatically when a mysterious man visits Ana and makes a mystical proposition: Your soul for the return of your family. Ana, of course, relinquished her soul to save her family, but at what cost exactly?
Ana does not die in place of her family, but instead becomes immortal and is put into servitude to THE REAPER. There’s something special about Ana, and he needs her help collecting souls. Ana’s adventure quickly begins, and she is soon leading a double life. After strange coincidences, Ana starts to wonder if all of her friends are who she has always thought they were. Could any of them be players in a scheme to make her fail in the parallel world that she is helping Grimm in? To Ana’s amazement, she finds her friends have some HUGE secrets of their own, and that she might be a key player in a war between worlds.
Reaper’s Novice takes turn with cruise control, to sped along pacing. The world that Cecilia Robert builds around Ana is detailed and realistic. Everything from the Reaper’s world to Ana’s own mundane surroundings are presented to us with all of their intricacies, and I loved it. There was just enough character development to everyone in Ana’s life to make things believable and entertaining. There ends up being three males that take turns center stage in Ana’s life, and I enjoyed the variety of what they had to offer to the story.
There’s some really great writing in Reapers Novice. I found myself ”highlighting” a lot of favorite lines. (His kisses taste like curiosity and peppermint.) Some dialogue, situations, and pacing reminded me a little bit of Demonic Dora. There is a lot to keep track of in this story, and it sometimes felt overwhelming, but in the end I enjoyed it. There were so many puzzle pieces needed to see the whole picture of this story, but the author manages to bring them all together for the reader. Reaper’s Novice is a unique story chock full of drama, action, magic, and suspense. I’m glad I had a chance to read it in October, because it was a creepy and comical treat.
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