Wendy Darling's Reviews > The Reapers are the Angels

The Reapers are the Angels by Alden Bell
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Jun 20, 11

bookshelves: pn-zombies-biters, young-adult, adult, dystopian-post-apocalyptic-utopian, horror, read-2011, gorgeous-prose, heroines-butt-kicking, favorite-ya, favorites-all-time, 2010-favorites, western-ish, mature-ya
Recommended to Wendy Darling by: Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
Recommended for: fans of the Newflesh trilogy or The Fledgling
Read from June 04 to 05, 2011

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.

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Excerpt:

It was deep night when she saw it, but the moon was so bright it cast hard shadows everywhere on the island...a school of tiny fish, all darting around like marbles in a chalk circle, and they were lit up electric, mostly silver but some gold and pink too. They came and danced around her ankles, and she could feel their little electric fish bodies, and it was like she was standing under the moon and in the moon at the same time.

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And that is just the first page. Six pages later, Temple stands over a zombie on a beach and crushes its skull with a huge rock. This author does not spare the terrible violence of encounters with the undead, and each confrontation is absolutely brutal and wince-inducing in its savagery. But there are some things you just have to do in order to survive.

Temple is also one of the most unforgettable fictional characters I've ever come across. She is bold, fiercely independent, and terribly damaged. Left on her own by an infected uncle and parents she doesn't remember, she encounters all kinds of people in her travels: a commune of frightened survivors, a group of men who have resorted to creative ways of finding food, a band of vicious mutants, a pitifully tragic family wasting away in their elegant manor, and a mute, helpless man she takes on against her better judgment. And of course, there's also the guy who's tracking her, hell-bent on justice because she dared to kill his brother in self-defense. It's an interesting situation when you have to fear both the living and the undead...as well as the mistakes you've made in your past.

This is a fairly short novel that is written almost like a post-apocalyptic western, but it is one that is packed with incredible power. It's been a few days since I finished reading this book, and I can't seem to forget the bleak intensity and magnificence of its imagery. I suspect that I never will.
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Quotes Wendy Darling Liked

Alden Bell
“Truth be told, the inward gaze is something she's not too fond of. But there are secrets that lurk in the mind, and she doesn't want any of them sneaking up on her. Sometimes it pays to take a deep look inside even if you get queasy gazing into those dark corners.”
Alden Bell, The Reapers are the Angels


Reading Progress

06/04/2011 page 7
3.0% "Wow, the writing is fantastic already." 2 comments
06/04/2011 page 36
16.0% ""It feels like punching a sack of warm giblets." Hah hah hah! I love this girl." 2 comments
06/04/2011 page 182
81.0% "Here's what I've learned from the last few zombie books I've read: there will still be plenty of Coke."

Comments (showing 1-50 of 72) (72 new)


Anne Nikoline I've been looking at this book for a while now, not sure whether to read it or not. Now I'll definitely read it!


Wendy Darling It's an incredible book, Anne. I'm still sorting out my feelings about it, but it's either 4 or 4.5 stars from me.


message 3: by Flannery (new) - added it

Flannery Maja's been talking this one up so much--i can't wait to read it:)


Wendy Darling That Maja is the source for all things zombie-related these days. You'd like this one, Flann--there's a lot of chomping action.


Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Lol, you just wait. I'm going to read Rot & Ruin next. And then the stalking begins again... :)


Wendy Darling I will await your review. :) Has anyone read Warm Bodies yet? Reviews seem to be either love it or hate it, but it sounds kind of intriguing. Gross, but intriguing. It's so weird to me that we're even having this conversation because I keep saying I'm not a big zombie person...but all the zombie books I've read recently have been so good!


message 7: by Maja (The Nocturnal Library) (last edited Jun 05, 2011 10:36PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) I have, I even wrote a review maybe ten days ago. Now that one is really gross.

Btw, still no notifications?


Wendy Darling Wow, you sure did! I just left a comment there. And yeah, I hope GoodReads figures this notifications stuff out or I may have to drive down to Santa Monica myself and give their computer guys the stink eye.


Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Oh, I bet they're all running around scared now! Be gentle with the poor people. ;)


Anne Nikoline That sounds great! I'll definitely be reading it!


Wendy Darling I'm glad to hear that! :)


message 12: by Maja (The Nocturnal Library) (last edited Jun 06, 2011 10:14AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) I adore this review, Wendy. I want to print it out and carry it around in my pocket.

I'd spent so much time trying to forget the 'finding food' part, but here I am, thinking about it again. :D


message 13: by Lora (new) - added it

Lora I'm interested in this as well as Feed, but I hate zombies. Not sure if I'll read them.

Great review :)


Wendy Darling Hah, thanks ladies. I would rather carry this book around with me, Maja, I must find myself a copy to keep.

Lora: it is with great affection that I say that this is probably not the book for you. :)


message 15: by Lou (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lou Aha i have this one to read you have made my mind up to make it sooner than later thanks


message 16: by Lyndsey (new) - added it

Lyndsey Love this review, Wendy!! Definitely getting this one soon.

Maja, I'm not sure how you'll like Rot & Ruin. Especially after already reading Feed and Reapers are the Angels.

Rot & Ruin is more of a zombie book for people who haven't read a zombie book before. It has good ratings but most of the good ratings are from zombie first timers. Personally, it reads more like a kiddie post apocalyptic novel. You know, zombies are people too, whistle while you work, and preachy preachy stuff. But a lot of people do like it.


Maja (The Nocturnal Library) I carry the book around already. I have the audio AND the ebook in my iPhone. I never leave the house without it. :D


Maja (The Nocturnal Library) @Lyndsey: Oh, well, I already downloaded, but thank you! No going back now. :( I have nothing better to read anyway. Nothing grabs my attention after Deadline.


Wendy Darling Thanks! I look forward to seeing your reactions, Lou and Lyndsey. It's powerful stuff.

I carry the book around already. I have the audio AND the ebook in my iPhone. I never leave the house without it. :D

Maja, somehow this information does not surprise me.


message 20: by Lyndsey (last edited Jun 06, 2011 12:24PM) (new) - added it

Lyndsey Yeah, Maja, I understand that feeling. I went through that after reading the Fever series. Nothing measured up.

Just don't have high expectations, I guess. That's what killed my experience. I think if I had known how cheesy it was going to be, I would have been able to laugh a bit and enjoy it more. But I was expecting violence and edginess. So I felt completely let down.


message 21: by Wendy Darling (last edited Jun 06, 2011 10:53AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Wendy Darling It sounds like Rot & Ruin is written with younger readers in mind...not like this one, which is definitely for adults and the older end of the teen spectrum.

I probably should have added that the author doesn't use quotation marks for his dialogue. This kind of thing usually drives me crazy (why why why?), but the writing and story were so incredible here that it didn't bother me.


message 22: by Nic (new) - added it

Nic Adding to my wishlist! Great review Wendy :)


Wendy Darling Thanks Nic! This one is pretty stunning.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads) Oh, Wendy. You are not helping me wear down my tbr pile. Great review!


Tori  smexys_sidekick Loved this book. Wonderful review.


message 26: by Cheryl (new) - added it

Cheryl Landmark You've convinced me! I've just added this book to my wish-list. :)


Wendy Darling Thanks so much! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did Lady D and Cheryl.

Smexy, I really liked your explanation on your review of how "The writing is descriptive and blunt. It reads as though an uneducated yet gifted person is speaking to you." That's exactly right. I wasn't bothered by this (or the lack of quotation marks) at all, though, as it was so beautifully written.


Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker Jeez Wendy... I read your blog and you barely give 5 stars! Lately, you must be extremely lucky with your books, because I've seen quite a few 5 star reviews out of you! I'm glad you are enjoying so many books.


Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker Wendy Darling wrote: "I will await your review. :) Has anyone read Warm Bodies yet? Reviews seem to be either love it or hate it, but it sounds kind of intriguing. Gross, but intriguing. It's so weird to ..."

I have the book and after my current reading collection, it will be next up. I just didn't want to read it right after Deadline for obvious reasons.


Wendy Darling I've been extremely lucky with my books lately, Michelle, and I blame my GoodReads friends for that! It's true that I don't give very many 5 star reviews. I tend to save those for ones that move me unbearably for one reason or another.

I can't wait for you to read this one...I think you're going to love it.


Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker Wendy Darling wrote: "I've been extremely lucky with my books lately, Michelle, and I blame my GoodReads friends for that! It's true that I don't give very many 5 star reviews. I tend to save those for ones that move me..."

I've had this on audiobook forever (ok, that is a slight exaggeration) but for some reason, I started it and stopped it. Maybe I need to read the hard copy.


Wendy Darling How is the narrator? The dialect is a little rough, so I'm curious how he/she would handle the transition between that and the beautiful prose.


Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker Wendy Darling wrote: "How is the narrator? The dialect is a little rough, so I'm curious how he/she would handle the transition between that and the beautiful prose."

I don't think I liked the narrator. I kept stopping it. I didn't give it much of a chance!


Wendy Darling Sounds like the book is the way to go, then!


message 35: by [deleted user] (new)

I feel like you are on a roll for 4-5 star reads lately. lucky girl...
Like Lora, i generally think zombies are just yuck and unfascinating. But honest to God, I would consider becoming one if they offered me perfect prose. So I remain undecided...


Wendy Darling Waaait. You'd consider becoming a zombie if they offered you perfect prose...?

And yes, I've had a lot of luck recently. I mean, I've read a lot of disappointing ones as well, but there have been more than the usual number of gems in the past couple of weeks. It's about time!


message 37: by [deleted user] (new)

mmm it's true, i have such a weakness for it. but I'm pretty sure i'd chicken out. LIke I said zombies are gross.


message 38: by Wendy Darling (last edited Jun 07, 2011 10:52PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Wendy Darling They really are gross. If someone had told me even a month ago that I'd be so into reading zombie books I would have rolled my eyes. These just happen to be so well-written, and they're not gross/traditional horror novels at all.

But in the end, I blame Maja, really.


Maja (The Nocturnal Library) I admit it! It's all my fault! *bows head in shame*


Wendy Darling Zombie-lover! Blame = credit, though. :)


message 41: by Maja (The Nocturnal Library) (last edited Jun 08, 2011 12:15AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) I've been called a lot of things in my life, not all of them good, but zombie-lover was not one of them. I like it, though. That's what you should call me from now on. :D


message 43: by Sarah (new) - added it

Sarah Wendy, what a great review! :D After reading Feed and liking it so much I would definitely put this in my tbr list.

BTW I've already read Warm Bodies. It's my first zombie book and I expected the zombies to be like in the movies. But Warm Bodies shed a new light on the zombies I knew. That's why I gave it a 4. But it's a lot quiet and boring than Feed so for me, Feed is definitely more superior. I'm actually planning on lowering its rating to 3 after I finish my review.


Wendy Darling Thanks Sarah! I look forward to reading your review of FEED. And hurry up and read DEADLINE and REAPERS so we can compare notes!

Thanks for the feedback on WARM BODIES, too. These days I don't expect anything to measure up to Newsflesh and this book, but I'll still check it out at some point. It's funny how Mira Grant has set the standard now by which all zombie books are judged. :D


message 45: by Sarah (new) - added it

Sarah Mira Grant did one heck of a job. I'm really impressed even though I'm not really into zombies.

And I think for now, I'll leave my Feed review to the eloquent reviewers here in GR like you and just focus first on getting my so behind review for Warm Bodies. After of course I finish reading Deadline. :)) Is it true that Deadline is the BEST-EST sequel ever?


message 46: by Wendy Darling (last edited Jun 10, 2011 11:51AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Wendy Darling Deadline will knock your socks off. Seriously, if you were shocked or moved by the previous book, this one will absolutely flatten you. As my wise and witty friend Jo says about the angst scale:

16/10. That’s right. THIS BOOK DEFIES THE RULES OF MATHEMATICS.


message 47: by Sarah (new) - added it

Sarah Really? WOW. (Sorry, that's just me being speechless with excitement). If this book defies the rules of my most favorite subject (gag), then I'd definitely have lots to expect. I've just borrowed Deadline from my friend awhile ago and I'll be receiving it in less than 8 hours. YES!


message 48: by Milly (new) - added it

Milly I'm surprised this is the first time I've heard of this book considering how great it sounds! Nice job with the review...again Wendy! You and Nomes do such great jobs with reviews! I just love reading them! Thanks!


Wendy Darling Aw, thanks so much Milly! I always enjoy reading Nomes' and your reviews, too. I've had so much luck with books lately because of my GoodReads friends.


message 50: by Milly (new) - added it

Milly Wendy Darling wrote: "Aw, thanks so much Milly! I always enjoy reading Nomes' and your reviews, too. I've had so much luck with books lately because of my GoodReads friends."

I know, me too! Such good friends and good sources of great reads! And, you're very welcome Wendy. It's always a pleasure reading your reviews!


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