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Rating: 4 wings
Genre: paranormal, fantasy, review-copy, YA
Reaper’s Novice is an original edition of the paranormal story – there are no werewolves, vampires or traditional angels. However, as the title suggests the reader meets the Grim Reaper called Ernest (!), who accepts a novice, Ana, after she exchanges her soul for her family’s after they were killed in an accident. The deal is that she must complete her training within 13 months and the souls of her family will be free but she will continue to be immortal.
However, as Ana discovers life as a Reaper’s Novice is not as simple as collecting souls. there are souls stealers to beware of and the Mirrorlands where an immortal soul such as hers is priceless! Ana finds out that everyone around her is keeping secrets and it appears that telling her the full story may harm her in some way. Ana is frustrated by this and has trust issues, although she finds a friend in her fellow collector Zig. Ana also has friends outside the underworld but sees these relationships changing, particularly with her boyfriend Rolf. He becomes withdrawn, violent and secretive.
I really liked Ana’s character – she is strong but also has a vulnerable side which she is not afraid to show. The banter she shares with Zig creates a blase tone, amongst the severity of the rest of the plot. Ana’s adventure as the reaper is exciting, at times frightening and sentimental, but the characters she meets along the way make this an interesting read for fans of fantasy and paranormal books. I felt that Cecilia Robert had worked very hard and succeeded in stamping her own twist on the genre
I really look forward to the sequel and perhaps more of Bastian (swoon!) – definitely one to read!