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Friday, July 17, 2009

Review: Once Dead, Twice Shy by Kim Harrison

Once Dead, Twice Shy by Kim HarrisonPublisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Pub. Date: May 2009
Age Range: 12

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.
First I have to mention that this novel is a follow up to the short story Madison Avery and the Dim Reaper in the collection of short stories Prom Nights from Hell. I was a little confused when I first started reading this because I had not read Prom Nights from Hell, but after I finally started to understand what was going on, the plot started to get interesting. I like that this book is different in that it’s about Light Reapers vs. Dark Reapers, so I liked the originality of the story and the world that Harrison created.

I wish that I could have connected more with the characters, but maybe in the next installment, Harrison will share more background info on some of the characters like Barnabus & the dark reapers because they were really interesting. I think that if Harrison had recapped more of the events from the short story, this would have helped me get a feel for some of the characters. One of my favorite characters in this book is Grace – Madison’s Guardian Angel, so I can’t wait to read more about her. Madison’s crush, Josh finally started to grow on me by the middle of the book, so I can’t wait to see what direction their relationship heads into.

Overall this is a good read, but make sure you read the short story first so you’re not confused like I was. This was a quick and fun read! Harrison’s world is fascinating and I hope the next book lives up to it.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars


  1. Thanks for letting us know about the short story!
    I really liked your review :o)

  2. Thanks for the tip about reading the short storiy first, I wouldn't have known that...

    Great review!

  3. Enjoyed your review! I really enjoyed this book, and it's always nice to read someone else's viewpoint. I agree with you about Grace! Loved her! And I'm looking forward to seeing what they all get up to next.

  4. Thanks for the review. I've heard mixed things about this one, but I might check it out.

  5. Hm, I haven't really heard of a lot of positive reviews for this one but I might check it out.

  6. I've already read Prom Nights From Hell, and I had no idea that this was the continuation of the short, which I loved. I just never made the connection. The entire book has five great reads. Kim Harrison is a huge favorite of mine.

    I love how Madison swipes the amulet, that will teach her date to try to do her in.

    Dottie :)

  7. I'm glad you told everyone to read Prom Nights from Hell first --I can see how that would be so confusing. Great review!!


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