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Feature book: Lost Reaper

6 January 2016

Lost ReaperLost Reaper by Shelley Russell Nolan

Tyler Morgan is a part-time university student who lives and works with her best friend, Sarah. She is dating Logan, who turns out to be a misogynistic jerk but is well liked by her family. Tyler’s mother died in a car crash when Tyler was three months old. Her father, Robert, believes women shouldn’t be educated but should just marry, be grateful and put up with whatever their husband does and wants. She has an older brother Andrew (whose mother was Robert’s first wife) and a younger brother Connor (whose mother, Rhonda, is Robert’s current wife). Connor is the golden-haired child of the family.

There are two potential sexual/love interests in Tyler’s life. The first is Detective Sam Lockwood, who investigates the murder that transformed Tyler into a reaper. Sam is unaware of Tyler’s involvement in the incident. Her second potential interest is Chris Bradbury, who is wealthy, good looking and a resurrected reaper. It’s not clear whether Tyler actually likes Chris, even though she is attracted to him. It might just be a result of his resurrected soul appealing to her new reaper status.

Tyler careens from one encounter to another, between Sam and Chris. Both men are grabby with her, showing their dominance over the other, while each has little real care for the woman they’re pissing testosterone over. They continually taunt each other, so there’s not much traction in the romance department, mainly angst. It’s a weird, attracted to one guy who-I-have-to-hang-with-because-he knows-my-secret-but-I-think-I-could-have-a-relationship-with-the-cop-if-I-wasn’t-a-reaper thing.

New adult books tend towards angst; Lost Reaper has it in spades. Tyler has little of anything positive in her life from the opening pages of the book. She encounters one bad situation after another, creating lies to cover why she is linked to a string of murders. Her family is horrible, and she is betrayed by her best friend, Sarah. The Grim Reaper (her boss in her newly acquired reaping job) is the devious and scheming underling of a demon-type creature who will create hell on Earth if he is released from his current realm. So, the fate of the world is placed squarely on Tyler’s shoulders. Adding to the overall hopelessness, Tyler’s daytime boss at the newspaper is a hard-nosed bitch. The misogyny of Tyler’s family and boyfriend made the story too unpleasant for my taste, but everyone is different. Lost Reaper reads like the first book in a larger story arc.

Reviewed by Gina

A review copy of this book was provided by the author.

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