4 out of 5 stars
I was quite reluctant to pick up the second part in the Madison Avery series after the not-so-great first part, Once Dead, Twice Shy. Luckily, we do see some improvement.
In this book Madison is the dark timekeeper, and she is struggling with her new position. She does not believe in fate, but in choice, and this collides with her new responsibilities. Together with her two angels, one dark, one that was once light, and not to forget tongue-in-cheek guardian angel Grace, she tries to prevent people from making the wrong decisions in live, so they won't have to be scythed (or in human: killed).
Kim Harrison does know how to write an amusing story with interesting characters. It probably has a deeper layer, with all that choice vs. fate stuff, but it is well concealed. We don't get enormous monologues about philosophical topics, to teach us a lesson. That, I really liked. Some books you just want to read to take a little break, and have some relax-time. This is a book you can certainly pick up when you're in that kind of mood.
That doesn't mean this book is flat and brainless. The characters are very well thought out, and overall nicely balanced. You get to know all their little quirks and they live up to the expectations you have of their personality. The plot made sense, and was nicely fast paced overall. There was enough action and tension to keep us busy, and prevent this from being a little bit boring.
The main reason I liked this book more than Once Dead, Twice Shy, was probably that my expectations weren't that high. I was pleasantly surprised, actually. I read this in two sittings, while I at some points really had to labour through ODTS. I'm not sure if there will be a third part in the Madison Avery series, but if there will be, I will buy it without second thought.
Seventeen, dead, and in charge of Heaven's dark angels—all itching to kill someone.
Madison Avery's dreams of ever fitting in at her new school died when she did. Especially since she was able to maintain the illusion of a body, deal with a pesky guardian angel, and oh yeah, bring the reaper who killed her to his untimely end. Not exactly in-crowd material. It's amazing that her crush, Josh, doesn't think she's totally nuts.
Now Madison has learned that she's the dark timekeeper, in charge of angels who follow the murky guidelines of fate. Never one to abide by the rules, she decides it's time for a major change to the system. With the help of some unlikely allies, Madison forms a rogue group of reapers who definitely don't adhere to the rules of Heaven.
But as she grapples with the terrifying new skills that come with being a timekeeper, Madison realizes she may not be prepared for what lies ahead—unless she gets some seriously divine intervention.