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Author: Gina Damico Series: (Croak #1) Published: March 20th 2012...

Author: Gina Damico
Series: (Croak #1)
Published: March 20th 2012 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

“Come on, Cordy,” said Lex. “Don’t fear the reaper.” Cordy snickered, despite her best efforts not to. “How long have you been waiting to say that?” “Since I arrived.”

Lex Bartleby is our main girl here. She’s ill-tempered and aggressive; having knocked down the entire hockey team to her mercy and leaving dental imprints to a guy who called her vampire wannabe. Her hostile behavior had led her to spend her summer working on her Uncle Mort’s farm. But her uncle is no ordinary farm guy. And Croak is not an ordinary town. He’s a grim reaper. And so is she.

Grim reaper. Personification of death. They kill people for a living. They harvest human soul. Harvesting? Um, maybe this is where the pun about the farm came. Harvest—reaping…they’re connected! Why haven’t I thought of that? Brilliant.

Croak (as a reaper book) is brilliant. I loved how it blended humor and death puns. I loved the whole setup about the reapers and their community. I loved the ether and the afterlife full of US presidents famous people. I loved their bread knife size scythe. And the black hoods. I loved about the whole reaper thing; from reapers working in pairs (a killer is the one releasing the soul, official term for soul was gamma and culler who collects and transport souls) to sophisticated abbreviations like GRIM (Gamma Removal and Immigration Managers). Even the jellyfish! This book is chockfull of silly but interesting ideas. The real standout for me. It’s is undeniably entertaining.

However, the characters fell short. I’m a bit torn with Lex, while I admit that she successfully made me laugh, but I felt sometimes that her character was forced. Or maybe it’s just her dialogues, sometimes it’s just don’t fit her. Her character is tad inconsistent, like one moment she’s this uber violent, punching her partner on the eye then next she’s this righteous girl? I do get her and her reactions, it’s just…off. Out of character.  Even her humor at times felt forced too. But she’s ok. Driggs too, I got his character right off the bat. I probably liked him better than Lex. I was seriously surprised and bemused about his confession about Lex. It’s just came out of nowhere. Felt disconnected if you consider their past interactions. Even Zara came to me as dry and weak as an antagonist. I did not expect it, but she wasn’t really convincing. There’s something not right, something lacking…

That said I enjoyed it. I was fascinated more with concept of the reapers than anything else. I was so into it that I didn’t dwell too much on the characters’ short comings. Croak is a good book. And if you’re as fascinated as I am with reapers, you will definitely like this one.