Schnaucl's Reviews > Death's Daughter

Death's Daughter by Amber Benson
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Aug 10, 09

bookshelves: august, fiction, library, read_2009, series, urban_fantasy
Read in August, 2009, read count: 1

This was very nearly a one star book, but ultimately I decided it wasn't quite that bad.

I knew it was a bad sign when the book started with the main character complaining about her blind date's height (too short) and her boss being overweight.

Calli thinks she's a normal girl working as an assistant in the fashion industry until she eats an organic chocolate treat that removes her forgetting spell and her father's executive assistant (a faun) shows up to tell her that her father and older sister have been kidnapped.

Her father is Death, CEO of Death, Inc and she and her whole family are immortal. Although the entire book is about how she has to take over her father's position or else her family will become mortal and Bad Things Will Happen, it's never once explained what it means to be CEO of Death, Inc. Death has the power to kill people pretty much with a thought, and there's one scene that shows reapers collecting a soul, but there's no indication what Death actually does. Is Death responsible for killing people whose time has come? Is Death supposed to decide who lives and who dies? Does Death dispatch reapers? We have no idea.

There's one other competitor for the job, the devil's protege, who is, of course, an impossibly sexy man, who she fights with but very much wants to sleep with (of course).

The problem with the book (besides world building that makes no sense) is that the main character is utterly unlikable. She's vapid, selfish, and self-obsessed. She spends most of the book whining, whining about whining, and generally feeling sorry for herself. She occasionally resolves to stop whining and do something, but it's never more than a page or maybe two before she's whining again.

She shows almost no concern for anyone else. Even when it's made clear that should she fail to complete the tasks her family will become mortal, and implied that sudden mortality for Death would be very, very bad for her father she doesn't seem to care. She goes on repeatedly and at length about what a terrible inconvenience this whole thing is for her but not once does she worry about her family and what they're going through.

As the person with (theoretically) the most to gain from her father's absence, she naturally falls under suspicion. But the very idea of her as a suspect is laughable. To be head of Death, Inc. she'd have to actually work and presumably have some kind of responsibility and it's abundantly clear she's allergic to both those things.

And then there's the language. She sounds more like a Jr. High student than a post-college adult. She frequently makes a statement then adds "Not!" I'm pretty sure that went out of fashion in the 80's. She also refers to people as "jerkazoids."

It's possible it would have worked better as a young adult novel.
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