Saturday, March 17, 2012
44) Croak by Gina Damico
Sixteen-year-old Lex Bartleby has sucker-punched her last classmate. Fed up with her punkish, wild behavior, her parents ship her off to upstate New York to live with her Uncle Mort for the summer, hoping that a few months of dirty farm work will whip her back into shape. But Uncle Mort’s true occupation is much dirtier than that of shoveling manure.
He’s a Grim Reaper. And he’s going to teach her the family business.
Lex quickly assimilates into the peculiar world of Croak, a town populated entirely by reapers who deliver souls from this life to the next. Along with her infuriating yet intriguing partner Driggs and a rockstar crew of fellow Grim apprentices, Lex is soon zapping her Targets like a natural born Killer.
Yet her innate ability morphs into an unchecked desire for justice—or is it vengeance?—whenever she’s forced to Kill a murder victim, craving to stop the attackers before they can strike again. So when people start to die—that is, people who aren’t supposed to be dying, people who have committed grievous crimes against the innocent—Lex’s curiosity is piqued. Her obsession grows as the bodies pile up, and a troubling question begins to swirl through her mind: if she succeeds in tracking down the murderer, will she stop the carnage—or will she ditch Croak and join in?
My Review :
I have had this ARC on my Kindle for months. However I am not one of those people who likes to read a book and then review it six months before it actually releases. I could hold back my review but I am sure I would forget to post it. So I waited till the month of release to actually started reading this one. I kind of wish I hadn't of waited.
This story was amazing from the word go. You start off with a spunky young girl who is in a lot of trouble with her school for beating people up. Sounds like your normal bully who needs to be expelled but what evolves from this situation is a funny twist that has her going from spending the Summer at home with her twin to spending the two months with her weird uncle.
Lex believes she is going to end up on a farm milking cows but the reality is that her uncle collects souls. Soon Lex is thrown into training and finds out that she really does have a gift. That there is an explanation and reason for her behaviour back home. However the job isn't easy. Especially when you can see the murderer. This gets easier to deal with but the strange cases of deaths labelled as unknown has Lex and her fellow apprentices looking for answers.
A great plot, a superb concept and some amazing characters. I really didn't want to put this one down and kept grabbing it to read whenever possible. There have been enough grim reaper stories before now but the author has really put some amazing twists and unusual aspects to the story to make it original and special. Croak is a fun town and cool setting. The ghosts and jellyfish add something bizarre but appealing to the book while the other elements the author adds manages to give everything depth and meaning.
Don't be put off by Croak technically being a Young Adult. This one really has a lot of situations and angles that show Lex and her friends are wiser and more experienced that most adults. There aren't really many holds barred in this book and the author doesn't shy away from adding realistic angles to everything. While there is some romance involved in the story the author doesn't make this story sexual. Which, for me, was a big plus seeing as the majority of YA authors seem to believe you need that to make your book good.
I really hope that Croak is a series. The end of the book does support a continuation of the story and I hope that we will be treated to it sooner rather than later. I can't wait to read about Lex's future in Croak and to find out how she deals with the massive changes she goes through in this book.
A must read! This book releases next week and if you are looking for something new and special then make sure you check this one out. Huge kudos to the author for bringing out such a spectacular debut. A definite new must buy author and series.