Kirkus Reviews QR Code
REAPER by K.D.  McEntire


by K.D. McEntire

Age Range: 13 - 15

Pub Date: Aug. 24th, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-61614-632-0
Publisher: Pyr/Prometheus Books

Urban fantasy whose original ideas aren't sustained by the overall package.

In this sequel to Lightbringer (2011), Wendy just tries to survive in the complicated dual world she inhabits. She's inherited the duties of a Reaper from her mother, who recently died and then became an evil adversary—in that order. Wendy exists simultaneously in the worlds of the living and the dead, taking care of her siblings in the real world but using her Light to destroy maggoty Walkers in the parallel Never, the world of the dead. When a new and dangerous opponent arises among the dead, Wendy's erstwhile (and deceased) boyfriend, Piotr, navigates the overly complex metaphysics and politics of the Never in an attempt to help her. Meanwhile, Wendy discovers a never-known family of aunts, grandmothers and female cousins, Reapers all, and most definitely not on her side. Realism is not enhanced by Piotr's friends: Lily, who, like the Tiger Lily of Peter Pan for whom she is named, plays generic exotic Indian rather than an individual from an actual tribe, and ghostly flapper Elle, whose Damon Runyon–esque dialogue ("it's the cat's meow to doll up and ritz it up for a night again") feels as forced as Piotr's frequent das and nyets.

What could be interesting worldbuilding drowns in infelicitous prose and inexplicable machinations. (Fantasy. 13-15)