Once Dead, Twice Shy by Kim Harrison

Posted in Review at 8:05 am by Amber

  Once Dead, Twice Shy

In Once Dead, Twice Shy, Kim Harrison introduces the reader to Madison Avery shortly after her 17th birthday.  It’s an understatement to say her birthday isn’t the best day of her life.  The all important high school ritual of prom is the same day, her date is the son of her father’s friend who took her as a favor since she’s new to school, and the handsome stranger she left prom with purposely crashes his car.  When she doesn’t die he scythes her because he’s a reaper.  But she steals his amulet which gives her the illusion of a body.  She’s dead and stuck on earth with no body.

While reading this, I was reminded a little bit of the tv series Dead Like Me.  The reapers are given their assignments and they’re supposed to help the souls go to a better place until they’ve done enough assignments to go on to their own reward.  Once Dead, Twice Shy is only similar on the surface.  There are dark reapers who believe in destiny and cut down those who would make a name for themselves in history.  Their counterpart, the light reapers, believe in free will and they protect people who are about to die.  The reapers are angels who have been assigned this duty.

I loved this book.  Madison sounds like a self-aware teenager who misses her old life.  It can be difficult for a writer to nail the voice of someone 20 years younger.  The world Harrison has built is complicated.  Avery is kept as much in the dark as the reader regarding the motivations of other characters and how the magic works.  It’s great to read a book where you’re learning about things along with the main character.

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  1. GMR said,

    November 8, 2009 at 4:05 am

    Enjoyed the post! I’ve seen this book a hundred times in store….the cover grabs my attention. I haven’t read it myself, but it’s always great to get a fellow readers perspective on a title. Thanks for sharing!
    .-= GMR´s last blog ..Food for Thought: National Bookstore Day =-.

  2. Ivana said,

    November 8, 2009 at 9:13 am

    Great review, this book is already on my TBR list. And you’re right, is annoying when a teenager sounds like fifty.

    Happy reading,
    .-= Ivana´s last blog ..TSS Guest Post =-.

  3. Saturday Review of Books: October 31, 2009 : Semicolon said,

    December 23, 2009 at 10:04 am

    […] Daughter)106. Sarah (Remembering)107. Debbie Rodgers (The Chronicles of Fairacre by Miss Read)108. Amber (Once Dead, Twice Shy)109. Amber (A Field Guild To Burying Your Parents)110. Books & Other Thoughts (Speak of the […]

  4. Lacey said,

    July 26, 2010 at 6:57 pm

    Loved the first and second book!!! But is there gonna be a third book??

  5. Amber said,

    July 26, 2010 at 11:23 pm

    I always thought there would be three in this series but I haven’t heard anything about a third book. Maybe she doesn’t have a contract yet for it? Or she’s still writing it. 🙂

  6. Early to Death, Early to Rise by Kim Harrison | Amber Stults - Book Reviewer and Writer said,

    September 21, 2010 at 6:41 am

    […] When we last met Madison Avery she was left in charge of the dark reapers.  Not believing in fate, she decides there are going to be new rules put into place.  Her reapers are going to give people a choice before they are scythed.  That’s right, she’s going to change how her reapers do their jobs.  Meanwhile, the light reapers are still using their old rules to run things their way.  It’s inevitable the light reapers will get in her way. […]

  7. Mailbox Monday - June 13th | Amber Stults - Book Reviewer and Writer said,

    June 13, 2011 at 3:00 am

    […] It’s the third book in the Madison Avery series. I’ve reviewed the other books – Once Dead, Twice Shy and Early to Death, Early to Rise. It was a Reader’s Choice win from Suzanne Johnson. If […]

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