Saturday, 18 August 2012

ONCE DEAD, TWICE SHY by Kim Harrison

Book One in the Madison Avery Trilogy
Publication date: May 22nd, 2009
Number of Pages: 232
Date read: November 5th, 2010

(Description source: Goodreads)

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 had one hell of a prom, she was killed... by a dark reaper... on her birthday. The reaper, he wanted her dead and gone, but before he could get rid of her soul, she snatched an amulet from around his neck and got away.

Wearing this amulet allows Madison to appear alive even though she is dead and the reaper is after out to get that amulet back and get rid of Madison for good, but she's not about to sit around and let this reaper finish the job.
With the help of a (light) reaper, a cute guy from her school and her newly attained guardian angel, Madison is taking control and fate is not getting in the way.

Madison is a strong, kick-ass character and she has her own style of dealing with things. Barnabus, the light reaper, is quite stoic and rule-abiding, it's really quite funny. The concept of light and dark reapers, and of reapers in general, is something I had never read about before reading Once Dead, Twice Spy.
The concept of reapers is incredibly interesting and the multiple themes are really intriguing, the main one being fate. Madison firmly believes in choice, and the different ideas presented on the topic are really interesting and add a lot to the story.
There is action, there are fights, there is corruption, lying, trust, hope and changes of heart. This is a great read, it's reasonably short but entirely fun. If your looking for a nice, pretty quick read on a topic not covered too often, then this is the book for you.

“Breaking rules isn't bad when what you're doing is more important than the rule itself” 

I rate Once Dead, Twice Shy Four and a Half out of Five!

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