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The Reapers are the Angels (Reapers #1)

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  6,949 ratings  ·  1,232 reviews
Zombies have infested a fallen America. A young girl named Temple is on the run. Haunted by her past and pursued by a killer, Temple is surrounded by death and danger, hoping to be set free.

For twenty-five years, civilization has survived in meager enclaves, guarded against a plague of the dead. Temple wanders this blighted landscape, keeping to herself and keeping her dem
Paperback, 294 pages
Published August 3rd 2010 by Holt Paperbacks
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Wendy Darling
4.5 out of 5 stars This is a gruesome and beautiful book. This allegorical tale of a 15-year-old girl wandering a barren wasteland should not be beautiful, because she's fighting off zombies and a guy who's dead set on executing her. But it is. The writing is lush and gorgeous, the kind that makes you want to sink down and roll around in it until some small part of it is absorbed into your skin.


It was deep night when she saw it, but
book two of "october is zombie month" was so much better than book one. sooo much better.

i was intrigued by this book, until i read mike reynolds' devastatingly negative review of it, and it got shunted to the mental back burner. but eventually i remembered that i am not as smart as mike reynolds, and i am content with playing with little glass paperweights refracting in the sunlight while giggling, so i read it. and i loved it.

(see, pretty!)

but it's good - i lovingly thumb my nose at the nega
Aug 07, 2011 Tatiana rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those looking for a different zombie story, with a philosophical flavor
Recommended to Tatiana by: Megan
I just finished reading probably a couple of dozens of the book's reviews and feel like there is hardly anything left to add. Except maybe that The Reapers Are the Angels is one of the very few zombie books I have ever finished and pretty much the only zombie book that I finished with pleasure and emotional involvement. Most likely because this novel isn't really about zombies. It is about us, people, whose conscience (and not external circumstances) often is our most dangerous and relentless en ...more
Jeffrey Keeten
The field is the world; the good seed are the children of
the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the
wicked one;
The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the
end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.
As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire;
so shall it be the end of this world.

There are people who are not going to read this book just because they don’t read books with zombies. They may not read it because it is horror, fearing that they will be expo
I had this crazy dream about zombies the other night. I can’t remember a goddamn thing about it now, and the aftermath is a little fuzzy, but apparently when I woke up I was convinced that they were in the house, because I shot straight up in bed and screamed, “THEY’RE COMING UP THE STAIRS!” My fiancé had no idea that I’d been dreaming and thought that someone had broken into the house. Chaos ensued.

Now before you go thinking “Oh that poor man” let me tell you that this is rare for me. Like may
It’s like all the best parts of The Road, The Walking Dead and Winter’s Bone.

Temple is a fifteen year old girl who has grown up in the ruins of America following the zombie apocalypse. She wanders the remains like a post-apocalyptic tourist looking at the wonders created by a 'slick god' and encountering a variety of people along the way. Supremely capable and confident, Temple has little problem surviving and dispatching the 'meatskins' she runs across, but she winds up with a determined kille
I’m glad I read Megan's review, or I might have overlooked this slim but very satisfying post-apocalyptic story.

If you are looking for thrills, mad and ravenous zombies, and intense gore, look elsewhere. You won’t find it here. Not that there isn’t violence or zombies, it’s just that they don’t overpower the story.

Without family or a place to live, 15-year-old Temple wanders around a bleak and barren landscape ravaged by zombies. Many of the human survivors live in groups, sheltering themselve
Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
The harvest is the end of this world,
and the reapers are the angels.

I've read countless books in my life and through them I've been introduced to literally thousands of characters. Some of them I forgot almost instantly. Others I need to be reminded of and even then remember only faintly. Then there are some I remember clearly because a part of them was important to me. But there is also a very small number of characters that stay with me always, characters that follow me around like shadows..
A girl who’s traveled the land, her mind filled with people, sights and words, with sins and redemption. She’s only 15 and has killed many the rule is kill or be killed. A desolate land of death and zombies, she did not choose this destiny. Amongst the contagious spreading of zombies, she hides from many in the shadows and is well equipped to fight twice her size equipped with her Gurkha knife. This story is written well, a story so bleak about death and survival and love has some beautifully w
Dec 04, 2012 Carol. rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: zombie fans, apocalypse fiction fans
Recommended to Carol. by: Trudi
Would it be a stretch to call it a Faulkner-esque zombie tale?

From the start, Reapers quickly distinguishes itself in the zombie apocalypse genre. Temple, our heroine, has found herself a deserted lighthouse when she experiences the miracle of the fishes.

"She left the lighthouse and went down to the beach to look at the moon pure and straight, and she stood in the shallows and let her feet sink into the sand as the patter-waves tickled her ankles. And that's when she saw it, a school of tiny fi
The Reapers are the Angels is one of those books which I find extremely difficult to review because whatever I might say about it, it is never enough and it sounds banal.

Right from page 1, it was clear to me that this book stands in a category of its own in respect to YA lit - but then, can it even be considered YA lit? One sure thing I can say is that this is literature.
In fact, one of the traits which make this book really stand out is certainly the quality of its writing: metaphorical, evocat
Alicia (is beyond tired of your *ish)
From the beginning this reads like an author trying desperately to write an intelligent and literary young adult book. If only the execution had worked. It read like a clumsy attempt at so-called beautiful writing in that way where you're envisioning the people who write with a Thesaurus open on their lap and change every other word to make their writing something it's not.

The story was weighed down by the purple prose. It was a clunky read, only made worse by the "style" the author adopted in
3.5 – 4 stars

Well, I gotta say I didn't expect that ending.

_The Reapers are the Angels_ is my first foray into the très au courant genre of zombie apocalypse. It was a fortunate choice and I can only hope I enjoy other forays into the genre as much. One thing I can say is that it’s definitely a real page-turner . The story of Temple, the young bad-ass action-grrl born into a world after the rise of the undead, is compelling and engrossing and has definitely got velocity. Temple herself is intere
Rhianna Schoonover
Absolutely one of the WORST books I've ever read. The plot is inspired, but its butchered by piss poor authorship & the biggest fuck up of an editor on the planet! It makes the book not even worth the paper that you wipe your butt with!

25 years AFTER the zombies rise we still have electricity, Coke, ice, power enough to run elevators, & plenty of gasoline.Diesel engines still cross the country. The power grids are all still intact, apparently humans don't need to like, SERVICE the machin
Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead
AH and Regina did an excellent review of this book here...

or you can read my much less exciting review below...

4.5 stars out of 5

If you could take all the strong, fearless, intelligent, compassionate female characters from all the books you have read, you'll come close to Temple's character.

If you take all the screwed up, guilt ridden, angry, sad female characters from the books you have read, you'll come close to Temple's character.

Temple will go down as
This book is a very interesting blend of literary fiction, horror, western, and post-apocalyptic landscape. It’s original and it stands apart from the ravenous mobs of zombie novels published recently. The main character has a very well developed point of view that I haven’t seen before, and the ending left my mind reeling with possibilities.

The opening of the story seems beautiful, almost idyllic. Temple has found a sanctuary in an island lighthouse, where she goes through the daily chores of s
Alden Bell proves that the literary zombie novel is not an oxymoron. Review to follow.

About zombies, you can say I’m … earnest. I love how they can be so many different things at once – pathetic, savage, terrifying, unrelenting. Zombies are shambling and starving, haunted and lost. They ramble and feed, yet there is a hint, always just a hint, of some long lost memory of who they used to be. Nothing captures that better than the scene from Romero’s 1978 Dawn of the Dead when the zombies come in
This is probably going to be the vaguest, wishy-washiest review I’ve written. But I find that it’s imperative not to go into too much detail with this one. If you’ve read it or when you’ve read it, you’ll probably understand why I’m reluctant to go into too much detail. This book asks a lot of questions and doesn’t offer a lot of answers… and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Books are supposed to make you think and this one certainly does.
If you do want a crack at some answers Lisa and Catie
Robert Beveridge
Alden Bell, The Reapers Are the Angels (Holt, 2010)

Amazon Vine, wonderful folks that they are, provided me with the best book I read last year hands down, China Mieville's The City and the City. And now, they've provided me with another book that has a strong chance of topping 2010's list: Alden Bell's debut novel, The Reapers Are the Angels. (If you're wondering, as I was, about the awkward title, it's a Biblical quote.) Actually, while it's Alden Bell's debut novel, it's not, really. Alden Bel
This contains some spoilers and is a bit of an ‘all over the place’ type of review. I had a hard time gathering all of my thoughts into an organized review.

The world that Temple lives in is the only world she’s ever known. She never lived in a world where there weren’t any zombies, a world where everyone was peaceful and didn’t have to wake up and fighting to survive each and every day.

"The world, it treats you kind enough so long as you’re not fightin against it."

Temple is a great character. Sh
I can't get over the fact that I'm giving 5 stars to a zombie book. I loathe the entire zombie genre...the utter impossibility of corpses lurching around trying to snack on regular folks is laughable in the extreme. Even if zombies were real, six fat bald men with spiked clubs could wipe out the entire zombie nation without having to put down their beverages. The creatures are so slow and dull-witted that children can elude them without breaking into a scary is that? And there are so ...more
Shelby *wants some flying monkeys*
Nov 26, 2013 Shelby *wants some flying monkeys* rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Shelby *wants some flying monkeys* by: Silver Thistle
I don't understand what makes a blockbuster of a book. I read The Road and honestly hated it. This book does a similar theme and does it so much better and is so much better written. So why does one succeed and one isn't as well known?
Temple is a young 15 year old girl on her own. She wasn't born before the zombies took over. She was born after. It's all she has ever known. This character is one of the strongest female characters that I think I have read about. I ADORED her. She feels that she i
She turns her back on the lost and the dead and the trampled down, she leaves them to their airy graves, and she and the big man next to her look upward at heaven and find there not just gates and angels but other wonders too, like airplanes that go faster than sound and statues taller than any man and waterfalls taller than any statue and buildings taller than any waterfall and stories taller still that reach up and hook you by the britches on the cusp of the moon, where you can look and see t
Dec 30, 2014 David rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: illiterate fifteen-year-olds, Momma gonna kill you
Over a hundred people have shelved this as a YA novel. This is not a YA novel! The prose is artful and does not condescend, there is a fair amount of (admittedly half-baked, being birthed in the brain of an illiterate fifteen-year-old) philosophy that does not bear directly on the story, but most importantly, it doesn't have a YA ending.

YA novels pretty much have to have a happy ending. Or at least a triumph. Sure, the author might kill off a kid sister or a friend or two, but ultimately the her
Three words:



Intense. So intense in fact that relief is what I felt with its ending. Well, relief and confusion and anger but yes, most definitely relief.

Temple is fifteen and making her way across a destroyed, zombie-filled America. This destruction is tackled in detail. Everything from where they live, how they live, what they had do to survive is described in detail~ wherein the gruesome nature of the book pops up. This isn’t for everyone, and is definitely not for the faint
Feb 16, 2013 Jonfaith rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Jonfaith by: Jeffrey Keeten
Katniss Everdeen apparently became lost while bow-hunting in what passes for YA Dystopia. She quickly found herself in a global charnel house, a dread zone, while trekking up a I-90 ravaged by the walking dead. Before she can mutter poppenjay, she's become a real killing machine, as opposed to the bloodless slaughter of the Volturi. Ree emerges gore-spattered and prone to psychotic rages. Transformed and seeking atonement, Bella is saddled with Lennie Small as they attempt to outwit Anton Chigur ...more
Aug 12, 2012 Bill rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: horror
I see a lot of reviews that compare this novel to The Road. I guess that's valid, but I couldn't make it past a dozen pages of that one. I can take bleak, but The Road just seemed to smother me with it.

The Reapers are the Angels is also about as bleak as you can get, but pressing through this is, at times, wonderful writing, and a very good story. There is no use of quotation marks, which for some reason at the beginning I found a bit know, the old style over substance thing, b
Well this was certainly a strange book, wasn’t it?

Not a ton of plot, but Temple. Temple was a freaking fantastic character. I could easily have read a couple more books about her, if it wasn’t for the way that (view spoiler) goddammit.

The best part of setting the book twenty-five years after the zombie apocalypse is that you’re able to include characters who never knew what life was like Before The Zombies Attacked.

(The worst pa
I received a review copy of this book from the publisher, and I must say that I was thrilled with the offer because 1) I love zombies, and 2) I love apocalypses and this story has both. It didn't disappoint in either of those regards.

It took me a little while to get into this story, honestly, even though the premise is one that appeals to me so much. The story is told in a 3rd person omniscient narration, but also through Temple's eyes, in a way. Her unique take on life comes through the narrat
For over a week now I’ve been holding off on writing this review because nothing I can think of even comes close to describing how amazing this book is. Zombies! Hillbillies! I’m inclined to ask, “does it get any better?” except… for all of the awesomeness and horror in those two words, The Reapers Are the Angels is about so much more. It is about society (aren’t all zombie books?), family, relationships, and the big picture in life. Fifteen year old Temple is just about the most fucked up and k ...more
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Alden Bell is a pseudonym for Joshua Gaylord, whose first novel, Hummingbirds, was released in Fall '09. He teaches at a New York City prep school and is an adjunct professor at The New School. He lives in New York City with his wife, the Edgar Award-winning mystery writer, Megan Abbott.
More about Alden Bell...

Other Books in the Series

Reapers (3 books)
  • Exit Kingdom (Reapers, #2)
  • Somewhere I Have Never Travelled
Exit Kingdom (Reapers, #2) Somewhere I Have Never Travelled

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“God is a slick god. Temple Knows. She knows because of all the crackerjack miracles still to be seen on this ruined globe.” 42 likes
“...a noisy parade of memories that frustrate her because of the way they play themselves out. These memories-it feels like she's back there in the moment, like she has the moment to do over and make different choices than she made. But she can't, because they're just memories and they're set down permanent as if they were chiseled in marble, and so she just has to watch herself do the same things over and over and it's a condemnation if it's anything.” 36 likes
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