Teenage grim reaper Lex and the rest of the underworldly inclined residents of a magical upstate–New York town return for this entertaining follow-up to Croak (2012).
Still reeling from the murder of her twin sister, Lex’s guilt and agony is assuaged too neatly when she’s able to visit Cordy in the Afterlife—a cleverly imagined ethereal space where a dour Edgar Allan Poe and his raven, Quoth, must endure practical jokes played on them by other historical figures. Zara, the rogue Culler of souls responsible for Cordy’s death, is still on the loose, looking to force Lex, her Uncle Mort and her boyfriend, Driggs, to reveal the location of a legendary book she needs. Along the way, there are dastardly plots carried out both by Zara and by others, resulting in the unpredictable deaths of major characters and the revelation of powers that will undoubtedly feature heavily in the clearly foreshadowed coming war. If this is a bit too convenient at times—Driggs’ pal Ferbus exclaims at one point, “Bullshit! Your stupid girlfriend Damns the ever-loving crap out of our collective grandfather, and you just so happen to be able to fix it?”—it also mostly succeeds in building a suspenseful setup for the next outing.
An amusing blend of whimsy and humor with serious drama and blood. (Fantasy. 14 & up)