Once Dead, Twice Shy (Madison Avery Series #1)

Once Dead, Twice Shy (Madison Avery Series #1)

by Kim Harrison


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061441684
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/27/2010
Series: Madison Avery Series , #1
Pages: 232
Sales rank: 194,162
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.80(d)
Lexile: 750L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

New York Times bestselling author Kim Harrison was born and raised in the upper Midwest. Her bestselling Hollows novels include Dead Witch Walking; The Good, the Bad, and the Undead; Every Which Way But Dead; A Fistful of Charms; For a Few Demons More; The Outlaw Demon Wails; White Witch, Black Curse; Black Magic Sanction; Pale Demon, A Perfect Blood, Ever After, and The Undead Pool, plus the short story collection Into the Woods, The Hollows Insider and graphic novels Blood Work and Blood Crime. She also writes the Madison Avery series for young adults.

Read an Excerpt

Once Dead, Twice Shy
A Novel

Chapter One

I leaned my shoulder against a rough boulder and fumed. Dappled sunlight shifted upon my sneakers as the wind made my hair tickle my neck. The sound of kids swimming at the nearby lake was loud, but the happy shouts only tightened the knot in my gut. Leave it to Barnabas to try to turn around four months of failed practice in a mere twenty minutes.

"No pressure," I muttered, glancing across the dirt path to the reaper standing against a pine tree with his eyes shut. Barnabas was probably older than fire, but he blended in nicely, with his jeans, black T-shirt, and lanky physique. I couldn't see his wings, which we'd flown in on, but they were there. He was an angel of death with frizzy hair and brown eyes, who wore a pair of holey sneakers. Would that make them holy holey sneakers? I wondered as I nervously rolled a pinecone back and forth under my foot.

Feeling my attention on him, Barnabas opened his eyes. "Are you even trying, Madison?" he asked.

"Duh. Yes," I complained, though I knew this was a lost cause. My gaze dropped to my shoes. Yellow with purple laces, and skulls and crossbones on the toes, they matched the purpledyed tips of my short blond hair, not that anyone else had ever made the connection. "It's too hot to concentrate," I protested.

His eyebrows rose as he looked at my shorts and tank top. I actually wasn't hot, but nerves had made me jittery. I hadn't known that I was going to summer camp when I'd slipped out of the house this morning and rode my bike to the high school to meet Barnabas. But for all my complaining, it felt good to get out of Three Rivers. Thecollege town my dad lived in was okay, but being the new girl sucked eggs.

Barnabas frowned at me. "Temperature has nothing to do with it," he said, and I rolled the bumpy pinecone under my foot even faster. "Feel for your aura. I'm right in front of you. Do it, or I'm taking you home."

Kicking the pinecone away, I sighed. If we went home, whoever we were here to save was going to die. "I'm trying." I leaned against the boulder behind me, reaching up to hold the black stone cradled in silver wire that hung around my neck. At Barnabas's impatient throat-clearing, I closed my eyes and tried to imagine a hazy mist surrounding me. We were attempting to communicate silently with our thoughts. If I could give my thoughts the same color as the haze around Barnabas, my thoughts would slip through his aura and he would hear them. Not an easy thing to do when I couldn't even see his aura. Four months of this odd student/teacher relationship, and I couldn't even get to stage one.

Barnabas was a light reaper. Dark reapers killed people when the probable future showed they were going to go contrary to the grand schemes of fate. Light reapers tried to stop them to ensure humanity's right of choice. Having been assigned to prevent my death, Barnabas must have considered me one of his more spectacular failures.

I hadn't gone gentle into that good night, however. I had whined and protested my early death, and when I stole an amulet from my killer, I'd somehow saved myself. The amulet gave me the illusion of a body. I still didn't know where my real body was. Which sort of bothered me. And I didn't know why I'd been targeted, either.

The amulet had felt like fire and ice when I'd claimed it, shifting from a dull flat gray to a space-deep black that seemed to take in light. But since then... nothing. The more I tried to use it, the more stonelike it was.

Barnabas had now been assigned to shadow me in case the reaper who'd killed me came back for his amulet, and I'd gone back to living as normal a life as I could. Apparently just the fact that I had been able to claim it without blowing my soul to dust made it—and me—rather unique. But watching over me wasn't Barnabas's style, and I knew he couldn't wait to get back to his soul-saving work. If I could just figure this thoughttouching thing out, he could resume his regular duties, leaving me reasonably safe at home and able to contact him if the dark reaper showed up again. But it wasn't happening.

"Barnabas," I said, weary of it, "are you sure I can do this? I'm not a reaper. Maybe I can't touch thoughts with you because I'm dead. Ever think of that?"

Silent, Barnabas dropped his gaze to the pine-rimmed lake. The worried lift to his shoulders told me he had. "Try again," he said softly.

I tightened my grip until the silver wires pressed into my fingers, trying to imagine Barnabas in my thoughts, his easy grace that most high schoolers lacked, his attractive face, his riveting smile. Honest, I wasn't crushing on him, but every angel of death I'd seen had been attractive. Especially the one who'd killed me.

Despite the long nights on my roof practicing with Barnabas, I hadn't been able to do anything with the shimmery black stone. Barnabas had been hanging around so much that my dad thought he was my boyfriend, and my boss at the flower shop thought I should take out a restraining order.

I pushed myself away from the rock. "I'm sorry, Barnabas. You go on and do your thing. I'll sit here and wait. I'll be fine." Maybe this was why he'd brought me. I'd be safer waiting for him here than several hundred miles away—alone. I wasn't sure, but I think Barnabas had lied to his boss about my progress in order to get out and working again. An angel lying—yup, it happened, apparently.

Once Dead, Twice Shy
A Novel
. Copyright © by Kim Harrison. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

What People are Saying About This

Melissa Marr

“With a Kim Harrison novel, I expect action, humour, worldbuilding, strong female characters, true friendships, and a bit of realistic romance. I found it all right here.”

Kelley Armstrong

“Harrison injects her young adult debut with style and originality. Rocking good fun, packed full of twists and turns.”

Customer Reviews

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Once Dead, Twice Shy (Madison Avery Series #1) 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 206 reviews.
ariesbooklover More than 1 year ago
This book will defently stand out in the teen section. It started out kind-of confusing but by chapter 2 I was hooked. I read the whole book in one evening and I cant wait for book 2.
Scotti_LeeMarie More than 1 year ago
This book has a great plot. It's a seriously different idea than other dark romance/fantasy novels today. The only thing that bothered me about it is that when I first started reading it I felt like I had missed a huge chunk of the story because it throws you in after Madison dies. She's in the middle of a mission when you're not really sure why she is doing what she is doing until get further into it. The more you read the more you can fill in the blanks, though it would have been better had there been some sort of background in the first chapter at least. But I gave it a chance & it ended up being a really awesome story. I recommend.
Heather_Lynn More than 1 year ago
This was an okay book for me. There was a lot of information which made it a little hard to read. First there is the understanding of what happened to Madison and then trying to enjoy the small romance and running from death thrown in there. It was a little confusing. However, the second book is better than this one, so try to stick through it in order to read the second. I would tell people to give it a try but it would not be the first book I would recommend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So good i was hooked!!!
BooksWithBite More than 1 year ago
I picked up this book at my local wal-mart cruising the book section. The book section there has gotten fairly large and that make me happy! You see, in order for me to get books, I have to go to out to the mall that has the ONE book store Waldenbooks/Borders. So for me to take a trip all the way downtown....yeah it takes time, money, gas,etc.... So I found this book and it caught me eye. This is a very different very interesting book. At first I thought this was vampire and it was not. It is based on Light and Dark Reapers. Which of course you don't find many YA books based on a plot like this, so I was very happy to be reading something different. Madison was killed om her birthday/prom day. A Dark Reaper is after her due to something in her future. Apparently her saw something that she does to interrupt his plan and so he sets off to kill her. But he did not succeed. Instead, she got a hold of his amulet, which is allowing her to manifest a body, allowing her to stay earthbound. My favorite part of this story is the G.R.A.C.E.S. or Guardian, Reaper-Augmented Cherub, Extinction Security. This little guardian angel was funny. All her little one-liners kept me laughing.She defiantly added humor in this book. I also enjoyed how Madison chose to make her own decisions. We all have a choice in what we do, no matter what fate says. Fate may say we do this, but we can always change that. I admire her for that passion. This book was a small, fast, easy read. It had no curse words or sexual references. Kim Harrison did a fantastic job writing this. I'm glad that I found a book that is suitable for teens, but also great in the paranormal area.
houseofnight14 More than 1 year ago
This book was ok. Not my favriote I found it hard to really get into the story, but still a fairly good read. I would recomend it if your looking for a casual read, nothing that sucks you in.
Well-Goodbye More than 1 year ago
I felt it was too generic for a teen fantasy/fiction book and tried a little too hard, I also felt like it just didn't hit where the author intended. I would of liked to have started from the beginning and went on, not start in the middle and work through. I will not recommend this book to my friends. What drew me in was the plot, it seemed very interesting, as well as the cover. But overall, I was not not happy with this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It doesnt explain things very well. But it still has any interesting story line!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
haylie-highlanders_foreve More than 1 year ago
haha okay so yeah people said it kinda sucked but by the third chapter i couldnt put the book down it like sucked me in and i was living maddisons life !!! it was my favorite!!!! <3 and her little friends helped her and after i finished it i wonder what had happened i doona know but i would love to discover it !!! shes the dark time keeper but she always looked good haha !!!!
Jennyfer_32 More than 1 year ago
this book is awesome. if your into supernatural you'll love this! I recomend reading prom nights from hell-the exterminators daughter, it will bring you full circle with once dead twice shy.
alexia561 More than 1 year ago
Madison is the new girl in town, just trying to fit in. Doesn't matter that she just happens to be dead. Barnabas, a light reaper who is trying to teach Madison how to use her new amulet, does his best but something just isn't right. Not only can't she figure out how to use the amulet, but she also has to deal with all of the dramas of being a teenager as well. I don't like spoilers in reviews, so let's just say that Madison is caught in the middle of the classic struggle: Dark vs. Light, Fate vs. Choice, Hot Reaper vs. Hot Teenage Boy. Madison comes across as a believable teenager who is smart and resourceful, but still human enough to make mistakes. And I loved the guardian angel! These characters seemed oddly familiar and I finally figured out that I had met them before. Kim had originally introduced them in the anthology Prom Nights from Hell. It might help to read Madison Avery and the Dim Reaper first for the back story, but this book can certainly stand on it's own. All in all I think this is the start of another good series for Kim! Can't wait to see what happens next.
BrookeReviews More than 1 year ago
Today is the release day for Once Dead, Twice Shy (Madison Avery, Book 1), so here I am with an attempt to get you to run out and buy it, if you haven't already! If you want some background story to Once Dead, Twice Shy (Madison Avery, Book 1) you should read Kim Harrison's short story in Prom Nights from Hell anthology! A Blurb: Madison Avery is dead. After running away from her prom date with a strange guy she's never met before, they get in a car accident. This does not kill her. The guy's (a Dark Reaper) sword stabbing her does. She doesn't know why he came to kill her, but she knows that by stealing his amulet she is able to keep her soul in her body and continue living life normally, or as normal as possible when you're a dead teenager. Now she is constantly under the watchful eyes of Barnabas, a Light Reaper, and Grace, her new Guardian Angel. While trying to learn to read auras and thoughts, Madison is trying to keep up the facade of a normal life at home with her dad, and her relationship with Josh (her prom date). Since I assure you I could not go into the depths needed to describe Light Reapers, Dark Reapers, and Time Keepers and have it make any sort of sense, I send you to here to get a Librarian's perspective! http://kpl-teen-reads.livejournal.com/73554.html The Thoughts: I love Madison. She's a super spunky girl trying to get used to being dead. Something we all can relate to right? Once Dead, Twice Shy (Madison Avery, Book 1) is not a book to read super fast, because you need to be able to understand what you're reading. You have to pay attention to the world Kim Harrison has created, so you won't be sitting there scratching your head going "Duh, what just happened?" I thoroughly enjoyed this book, the characters are great, especially the addition of Grace the Guardian Angel! She's a smarty pants, and she reminds me a lot of Jenks from KH's Hollow Series. The world created is just like ours, but with this huge secret that (most) mortals don't know about. Mainly because the Reapers and Time Keepers can wipe the minds of humans and make them forget everything. Once Dead, Twice Shy (Madison Avery, Book 1) is a unique and exciting addition to the Young Adult Paranormal world! I'm excited to see the journey this series will take us on, and I hope that it is just as successful as The Hollows Series. Fans of Harrison's Hollows Series will surely enjoy this YA series, and it's worth checking out just to prove me right or wrong though!
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Madison's dead. Well, sort of. See, there was this dark reaper who scythed her, for reasons she still hasn't figured out, and technically she should be long gone. But when he came back to destroy her soul as well as her body, she was able to steal an amulet from him that's allowed her to keep walking around and breathing (even though she doesn't really need to), and appearing alive to anyone who doesn't know any better. Unfortunately, the owner of that amulet wants it back - badly. And the light reaper assigned to help Madison adjust to her new pseudo-life may not be able to protect her from him. As Madison struggles to hold onto her life and to save those she cares about who end up targeted as well, she discovers there's a whole lot about this life and death thing she doesn't know, and uncovering those secrets may be the only way she can hope to survive. ONCE DEAD, TWICE SHY is a fast-paced and engaging read from start to finish. Madison makes an enjoyable narrator, stubborn and sarcastic but with a lot of heart, and enough smarts to get her through some very sticky situations. Harrison has created a fascinating and unique world of reapers and other afterlife figures, though at times readers may find all the information a little hard to follow. With plenty of suspense and humor and a little romance, this book will appeal to paranormal fans of all ages.
Anonymous 27 days ago
Kim Harrison is one of my favorite authors.
miyurose on LibraryThing 29 days ago
This is Kim Harrison¿s first series since her Rachel Morgan series, and being such a huge fan of that one I had to give this a shot. This is a young adult series, so I expected the tone and writing style to be different. It was, but the things that make Harrison¿s writing so good were still there ¿ color characters, interesting sidekicks, and a compelling new world.At first glance, Madison¿s world is just like ours. Except, she¿s dead. Now, she¿s trying to keep from the clutches of the dark reaper who didn¿t finish his job, all while learning how to become a reaper herself.In many ways, this reminded me of the (much too short) Showtime series Dead Like Me, about a group of reapers out to save the souls of the recently departed. But not completely. Madison is a softer lead character than the bitter, sarcastic George of the TV series, and there is more of a good vs. evil feel to the book.Overall, I enjoyed listening to this, but I do have one major complaint. When the book opens, you are thrown into the story without any real explanation of what¿s going on. This is something Harrison does very well in the Rachel Morgan series, but in this case I just felt like I was missing something. So much so that I double-checked that I wasn¿t listening to the second book by mistake. I really could have used a slower introduction into what was going on.I¿m not sure if this will end up being as fantastic as the Rachel Morgan series, but I will certainly read on!
sharonluvscats on LibraryThing 29 days ago
I don¿t think that I have ever done so much head scratching when reading a book before. Once Dead, Twice Shy had such a confusing plot. I was able to follow along pretty well through the first half of the book, but towards the end I became totally lost. There was just too much world building information for me to keep track of. I¿m not even sure how to write this review because I am so mixed up about Once Dead, Twice Shy.Madison was a very spunky and rebellious character. The plot may have confused me, but Madison was a likeable and fun character. In my eyes, this pretty much saved the book. I would have normally been tempted to stop reading a book the drove me so crazy, but I enjoyed reading about Madison enough to continue on. The relationship between Madison and the other characters in the book was one dimensional with the exception of the character Josh. Like Madison, Josh was very likeable and spunky. I really wanted the two of them to wind up together.I was pretty much lost by the end of Once Dead, Twice Shy. I didn¿t understand the role of the timekeepers nor, the dark reaper who was trying to kill Madison. This was the most confusing aspect of the book for me. I really would have liked for Once Dead, Twice Shy to have ended in a way that helped rid me of some of my confusion. Alas, it did not and I¿m still sitting hear scratching my poor sore head.Overall, I would not recommend Once Dead, Twice Shy. The plot was too confusing and devoid of meaning. I will not be reading any future books in the series.
Starsister12 on LibraryThing 29 days ago
**CAUTION: MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS!**"Once Dead, Twice Shy" has a good premise that is presented in a rather shaky manner. When I read the book jacket, I was interested in reading about Light and Dark reapers, their relationship with humans and their purpose on earth and how a girl who died isn't really dead, but the Dark reaper who killed her is still after her to finish the job. Also thrown into the mix are Barnabas, a good-looking but overworked Light reaper who is in charge of teaching Madison how to exist in her new state, Madison's crush Josh, and a mischievous guardian angel who likes to sing limericks. In addition to Dark reapers (who kill people before their time) and Light reapers (who try to stop Dark reapers from preemptively killing people) there are timekeepers who are humans given the responsibility to find the humans who are targeted for early death. However, the first chapter left me very confused because I was expecting the story to open with Madison still alive so we could see how she was killed, how she escaped the Dark reaper who targeted her, how she met Barnabas, and her initial adjustments to her new (non)existence. But the story opens with Madison already dead and already familiar with Barnabas and her solid-illusion body. I actually checked the book to see if I had picked up the second in the series by mistake. In addition, the rules and roles of the various people and powers in the story is rather vague and sometimes contradictory. Madison seems more irresponsible and impulsive than courageous (although some courage is there), surviving mostly through luck. There doesn't seem to be any real pressing motivation for her to try to return to life since her possession of an amulet gives her a body corporeal enough that no one knows she's dead. In fact, she has the advantages of not needing to eat or sleep or feeling pain. And, honestly, I wanted to know more about Barnabas and couldn't care less about Madison's crush Josh (who got more of the spotlight than Barnabas) or Madison's feeble attempts to fit in to her new school. Sorry, but when you're dead, you'd think she'd have more interesting questions on her mind and more dangerous things to worry about. All in all, "Once Dead, Twice Shy" had a great deal of promise, but with a murky delivery that left me unimpressed and wishing that the manuscript had gone through a few more edits...or had a prequel.
Senfaye on LibraryThing 29 days ago
Title: Once Dead, Twice Shy Author: Kim Harrison Publisher: Harper Teen Number Of Pages: 232 Publication Date: May 26th,2009Synopsis from back of book: 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 Madison realizes she has to take control of her own fate once and for all, before it takes control of her. Well, if she believed in that stuff.New York Times bestselling author Kim Harrison¿s teen debut comes to Technicolor life with mischievous humor, attitude, and enough paranormal thrills to leave readers dying for the sequel.Review: Once Dead, Twice Shy is a really good book. It has witty characters, an interesting storyline, and was a really fun read. Although, I really think that the plot was too rushed! Oh, and you should probably read the short story in Prom Dates From Hell because it provides a lot of information about the book. I felt Once Dead, Twice Shy had a good story, but I wish that it was written a little better. I really don¿t have too much to say about Once Dead, Twice Shy. I will definitely read the sequel though.I recommend this book if you like paranormal books, Kim Harrison books, and YA novels.
hjjugovic on LibraryThing 29 days ago
I didn't really click with this book. The characters were so-so, and that meant it hard for me to feel suspense over their fates. I think the book is mostly appropriate for young adults (more than others I've seen on that shelf) and adecent read, but nothting special.
kayceel on LibraryThing 29 days ago
This was ok fun - an interesting concept, but it seems...a lot less, when compared to Harrison's adult writing (Dead Witch Walking). Madison's stolen a reaper's amulet - of course, the reaper had just killed her, so she seemed to have the right to it. But what this ability means to Madison's murky future is a surprise she's never have considered.Madison is a strong and a bit quirky character, and one can't help but root for her. Siegfriend's reading, however, is quite annoying. I can't stand it when narrators read teenagers in the same whiny, annoying tone. Not every teenager whines EVERY MOMENT OF THE DAY. Sigh.
theepicrat on LibraryThing 29 days ago
Once Dead, Twice Shy has too many things that are happening and too much information that it tries to squeeze in, yet the full story somehow escapes me. Apparently there is a "prequel" short story in Prom Nights From Hell that tells a more detailed story about Madison's killer prom night. It would have been nice to read that piece beforehand since I do not feel that the prom night fiasco had been recapped well in Once Dead, Twice Shy. Or the whole dark/light reaper had been explained well either. The ending was too neatly-tied for my tastes - and tied in a such a way that I'm not sure how the sequel will go (I think there's supposed to be a sequel), but I suspect the direction will be as criss-crossed.My main disappointment had been the less-than-dominant presence of the evil villains - Kairos and company. I had hoped for more face-to-face between Kairos and Madison, but sadly there was not enough interaction to satisfy me.
BookWhisperer on LibraryThing 29 days ago
I was really excited for this book to be coming out. I am not a fan of any other Kim Harrison series, and I thought maybe I would be able to read this one. Only I find myself in the same perdicament that I do all of her series. I do not feel connected to Harrison's characters, and I have trouble with the stories. I was unable to finish this book, and as much as I hate to say it I think after this I have to write off being a Kim Harrison fan.
ElizaJane on LibraryThing 29 days ago
Madison dies on prom night with her date holding her hand. Not as romantic as it sounds though. As he's only her date because their dad's set it up for them and she's not really dead as she was scythed by a dark reaper and managed to steal his amulet in the morgue when he came to claim her soul, thus she claimed his powers. Now she's been taken in by the light reapers and being taught there way while living on earth, as a dead girl, having several people's memories of that fateful night erased, but when the truth of whose stone she really carries comes out she is left alone at home with a guardian angel to look after her. Of course, this is exactly when the enemy strikes but instead of going for her they go for someone close to her and Madison must spill the truth of her death to a living person and that person soon becomes the only one whom she can only trust as light and dark and fate and choice battle it out with each other.A fabulous book! What a whirlwind read from start to finish. The two main character's Madison and her friend, Josh are wonderful, well-rounded teens who at first seem stereotyped. Josh being a gorgeous, jock with an attitude and Madison a goth girl who tries to be as weird as possible but we soon see this is not so as we learn their many layers to discover that looks are often deceiving. Fabulous plot! I just love angel stories, but only when they are actually heaven sent angels. And while not harped upon it is mentioned these angels do come from heaven and that's enough for me. The story contains two factions, both originating from the same place, one dark and one light and each containing angels, reapers, and timekeepers. From above they can visit the higher beings, seraphs, or call upon lower beings, guardian angels, in this case a cute little cherub named Grace with a real fun sense of keeping her protectorates from harm. One night while looking after Josh she makes his little brother stub his toe every time he swears making a restless night for everyone! I hate to admit this is my very first Kim Harrison book but I thought it would be a great place to start and I was right as it has me anxiously awaiting the next in this series and even more eager to read her adult books. This is her first book for YAs.One thing bothers me about the book and that actually has nothing to do with the writing but the cover. Which I will say that I do love, but after reading the book you will know that Madison's hair style is referred to over and over again. It really takes on a point of symbolism in the story and the girl's hair style on the cover is so not the one in the book. Really, what's up with that?Not to end on a negative note for such a great book, one thing I especially liked and am often particular about in serial books is that the book did have a complete and final ending. One could read this book and happily not need to continue on, but on the other hand it does end so obviously as really just the beginning of a whole new story. Everything has changed so much since the beginning, one can only wonder what life will be like for the main characters and the newly befriended ones now. Great stuff, bring on book #2!!
astults on LibraryThing 29 days ago
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.