Title: The Reaper's Daughter
Author: K.M. Randall
Format: eBook ARC
I received this ARC from NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Blake just turned 18 and found out her mom's not dead—her mom's actually Death. And needs her help. Seemingly self-aware and not taking itself too seriously, The Reaper's Daughter could have been a rather good book. Unfortunately, it suffers from plot holes, cardboard characters, and writing that just kept getting on my nerves.
All-in-all it's pretty stock-standard fare for its genre, so if you really like paranormal urban fantasy, you still might enjoy it. I personally couldn't take the light purple prose strewn throughout the book (the protagonist has unearthly blue eyes and you'll know it by the end) or how the characters seemed to just be high school stereotypes thrown into college without any regard for the fact that they're in college.
There's also a few discrepancies. Things like how she mentions being a sophomore in college this year (they never explain why she's in college early, despite eagerly explaining how she's special in every other way) but then mentions this is her first year in college later. It honestly felt like originally Blake was supposed to be a high school student, but this got changed at the last minute. The characters are written like they're in high school, with strict adherence to cliques and blushing about "getting to third base."
Sometimes a lantern is hung on some of the gaping plot holes, which is appreciated, but just makes the unaddressed ones stand out more. The book also seems to be aware of its own tropiness at times, which I like. If this book were trying to take itself super seriously, I would have one-starred it so fast. The plot also seems to pull whatever the fuck it needs out of its ass to fit the situation. Sometimes it feels like it's planned ahead by a little bit, but it's still eyeroll-worthy.
The writing also suffers beyond the purple prose. They mention at one point that six months have passed and I basically went, "Really? Really?" There was almost no sensation of time passing at all in the book.
At the same time, though, every once in a while the writing will actually get a bit clever. I also really liked the idea that death deities are non-human in some ways, though I feel like that wasn't expanded on and used to its full potential. Oh, and the evil characters are so obviously Evil in so many ways. Gag me with a spoon. There's no room for grey in this book, which is a pity because again, there was room for it.
Again, though, if I knew someone was looking for a paranormal urban fantasy book, especially with a female protagonist, I might suggest it to them. It's not nearly as super sexist as a lot of others in the genre and it's set up for a sequel. Which, who knows? Maybe it'll be even better.
Planned publication date for The Reaper's Daughter is May 9th.