Heather's Reviews > Once Dead, Twice Shy

Once Dead, Twice Shy by Kim Harrison
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Sep 15, 09

bookshelves: 2009, ya
Read in August, 2009

Sadly the best thing about this book was the cover. I’ll admit, my expectations for this book were rather high, I was greatly anticipating this book release; however, I imagine I would have been thoroughly disappointed even if I had none. This book was completely and utterly juvenile. Why it is classified as YA is beyond me, it shouldn’t have even made it to print! Once Dead Twice Shy was chalk full of nonsense, the plot was entirely underdeveloped, as were the characters, and was often hard to follow. Furthermore, the dialog was ridiculous, littered with phrases like “Son of a dead puppy” which is not only bizarre, but incredibly childish to boot. Newsflash Kim Harrison, teens curse, especially the kind that dye their hair purple, wear skull and crossbones accessories and sneak out of the house in the middle of the night. But I digress.

Once Dead Twice Shy tells the story of Madison Avery. Scathed on her prom night, she is now dead, but tethered to this world via an amulet which she stole from the dark reaper who scathed her. The amulet gives her the semblance of a body and with the guidance of her light reaper friend, Madison is attempting to harness her newly acquired amulet’s powers. She hasn’t had much success and after a run in with another dark reaper, she learns why. Apparently the dark reaper who scathed her wasn’t a dark reaper at all, but a dark timekeeper. If that sounds like hokey plot device, I assure you are not delusional, it is that crazy. Continuing on, Madison is quickly assigned a guardian angel, who is very grating, obnoxious at best, to protect her while her light reaper friend and the light timekeeper Ron petition the scathes to allow Madison to keep her amulet. If that sounds like a sad attempt to get these two characters out of the way, that’s because it is. What follows is a truly pathetic story. It is entirely unbelievable, not because of the supernatural plot line, that was fairly inventive, but for the sickly sweet characters and their unbelievable reactions. If it’s possible to obtain a cavity from reading, this book would be the one to do it. There is no way I will be continuing on with this series as I refuse to be bested by Kim Harrison again.
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Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

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message 1: by Tatiana (new)

Tatiana Really THAT bad?


Heather I was so childish. The characters have ridiculous, childish, clueless reactions, and Madison was not developed enough for me to like her.


message 3: by Tatiana (new)

Tatiana I am not going to read then, but I'll give adult series (witches?) a try nevertheless


Heather Dead witch walking. Its part of her hollows series. You know, I think I'm not going to bother with this author. I didn't really care for her short story that I read, and I h8d this book so I think I'm over her.


message 5: by Tatiana (new)

Tatiana Ok. I'll take one for the team then. I'll let you know if it's worth reading


Heather That sounds like a plan :)


Jennifer Jensen (Literally Jen) I really like Kim's adult series and recommend it to people who like the paranormal genre. It's well plotted out and there are little "hints" throughout the earlier novels that all start to make sense in the later books.

Since DDW came before any of her short stories, I can see how someone would come to a quick conclusion to not give the series a try. On her website, there is the order in which to read the books and the short stories. I don't care much for anthologies because the stories never seem to be stand-alones; you always seem to need to read the authors' books first.



D.A.-It's a copyright • Not your right to copy. Even 10 books in, The Hollows adult series is good. I'm partway thru library copy of this Madison thing and not getting into it; the Hollows had interesting characters you can get into and decent world-building. Author also writes as Dawn Cook if you've come across the Decoy Princess or First Truth fantasy series (both of which I suspect adult and YA audiences will like more than Madison Avery)


Mackenzie the book is actually really good to me. i don't know if it's just that i get into books easily or it's just a good book, but i thought it was great. and i've heard the hollow series was great, i would try it out. her adult books are said to be better than her young adult books


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