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Death's Daughter (Calliope Reaper-Jones #1)

3.22  ·  Rating details ·  3,104 Ratings  ·  505 Reviews

For the last few years I'd been in a state of bliss--living under a self-imposed Forgetting Charm, because I so did not want to go into the family business. What I wanted was a glamorous career in New York City and the opportunity for a normal life--buying designer shoes on sale, dating guys from craigslist, Web surfing for organic dim sum for my boss. A
Paperback, 359 pages
Published February 24th 2009 by Ace (first published January 16th 2009)
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May 04, 2009 rated it liked it
Warning: Really annoying use of pop culture references all the way through the book. I was kind of nervous when I found out that Amber Benson was one of the actors from the tv show, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Turns out that I had good cause to be worried. The entire book seemed to be written in a cheesy(er) version of Buffy-language. Don't get me wrong, Buffy was a fun show to watch. But what was cute and funny ten years ago...meh, not so much anymore. Also, I found Calli to be an annoying heroin ...more
Jun 29, 2009 rated it did not like it
I love me some Buffy, and I love me some Tara, and that's why I stuck it out on this book. And I know that Amber Benson is on Goodreads and I would love for her to love me, but I guess she's just going to have to hate me. I tried to like this.

1) Calliope put herself under a forgetting spell. Tara from BTVS fell under the prey of a forgetting spell. It's kind of hard to ignore that.
2) Calliope likes to make sizeable ironic statements and then deadpan, "NOT". It's not 1996, this is not a
Apr 04, 2009 rated it liked it
I had my doubts about this book for the first 100 pages. Calliope Reaper-Jones is a shallow, silly, whiny girl. She is obsessed with designer-brand fashion and she's kind of a fat person hater/sizist. I'm all about fleshed-out characters; protaganists with real flaws and pecadillos, but if there is nothing to like about the hero, how can we become invested in their journey? Also, while I am always a huge fan of a female hero (I am a BIG believer in running the "Bechdel Test" on everything I read ...more
It's really a 2.5, but I just couldn't give it my average/3 rating. The main character is a wise-ass, but not clever. As much as I hate to do Buffy comparisons, the author was Tara on Buffy and has written a character who's clearly supposed to be very similar to Buffy. Smartass, dumb blond moments (although not a blond I think, but there sure are some dumb comments), etc. The thing is, the book doesn't have the Buffy wit or heart. It's got the fluff but no substance to hold it up. I like the ide ...more
Feb 02, 2011 rated it did not like it
Oh how I wanted to love this book. I love Amber Benson, and I've read some of her work on comics, so I figured even with the kind of lame premise this book would turn out ok. But unfortunately, it's pretty terrible.

For starters, there is exactly one mildly likeable character in a cast of dozens, and it isn't the heroine. The "heroine" mostly sits around and whines, and waits for other people to save her. Also, she's pretty much obsessively attracted to anything with a long as he's no
Tim Simard
Feb 18, 2009 rated it really liked it
Review final version:
I came at this one from the wrong point of view & with the wrong attitude. Like any first installment, quite a bit of background info must be introduced & that can slow a storyline down to a crawl. As I read this book, the character grew and I grew right along with her. Now, I find that I care about the characters & want to see how they develop. And there are so many places this one can go! I eagerly await the next installment!

Review version 2:
The more I read thi
Jul 23, 2012 rated it did not like it
I'd give this book zero stars if I could and it would still count as "rating" it. However, I can't.

Let me just say that I really wanted to like this book the concept is really interesting. The daughter of death! How cool is that. I mean Terry Prachett writes about Deaths grandchild and does it well so I was looking forward to something at least that good. Unfortunately, that didn't happen.

First, I didn't finish the book. I made it half way through and realized if I tried to read any more of it
Mar 08, 2010 rated it did not like it the first chapter has revealed Calliope to be a forgetful space case, a bit spastic, super over-reactive, and a somewhat snobby weightest. Great. And good grief, the italics!! I mean really? Does there have to be an italicized word in every single paragraph? I get it, you are trying to emphasize, but when you emphasize every single sentence it makes everything seem unimportant - an annoying. A bunch of other reviews say that once you get past the first few chapters though and it's worth ...more
May 10, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: don-t-read
The fact that this book got published is an insult to all authors and readers who have come before. The tone is snide, selfish, snobbish, and rude. The complete and total massacre of the English language should shame the writer and the editor. This book was so bad that I threw it away instead of selling it to a used bookstore as no one else should be traumatized by it.

" I mean, I hadn’t had a real date in, well … It was so pathetic an expanse of time that I didn’t even want to talk about it." --

„Lieber Tod als Teufel“ habe ich bereits vor einigen Jahren schon einmal gelesen. Ich weiß noch genau, wie sehr ich mich darüber freute, dass meine Mutter es mir schenkte; nicht nur, weil die Inhaltsangabe vielversprechend klang, sondern auch, weil die Autorin Amber Benson jahrelang die Figur der Tara Maclay in der Serie „Buffy – Im Bann der Dämonen“ verkörperte und dadurch bei mir einen besonderen Stein im Brett hat. Mir gefiel das Buch damals wirklich gut, doch die Fortsetzung Einmal Tod is
Feb 19, 2009 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Hard core Amber Benson Fans
Calliope Reaper- Jones is a sad young woman living in New York, working as an assistant for a company called House and Yard. Lately, things have been a little off for her. She starts seeing things that shouldn’t be there, and some random stranger comes to kiss her feet. She’s left totally and utterly confused and blows it off, until she eats a charm breaking cupcake and all her life long memories emerge. She finds out not only did she put a Forgetting Charm on herself 3 years ago, but that she i ...more
May 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cute-hellhounds
(3.5 stars) She thought the devil wore Prada...until she met the real one!

Before I begin this review, a confession: I'm a sucker for any novel containing cute hellhounds.

Calliope Reaper-Jones is living the life of a typical New York office flunky, dealing with a diva boss, less-hunky-than-advertised blind dates, and a lust for designer clothes she can't afford. That is, until her father, who happens to be the Grim Reaper himself, is kidnapped and Calliope is swept back into a dangerous supernatu
Kendra Recht
Jul 21, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: urban-fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
Calliope Reaper-Jones just wanted a normal life, she wanted a normal career, and wanted to live the life of a New York City girl. She was doing a pretty good job of it too. That is, until the forgetting charm she put on herself wore off and reminded her of who she really is. Calliope Reaper-Jones is death’s daughter. Like, the actual death, the one who comes to tell you that your time is up. When her dad is kidnapped it is up to Calliope to take over the family business. Before she can do that t ...more
Feb 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
Having just finished reading the first solo effort as an author by the remarkable Amber Benson, I have to say I was really surprised! I was quite caught up in the continuing & sometimes very unexpected adventures of Calliope, who is also the middle daughter or none other than Death himself!

It took me a little while to get into the style of first person inner monologue, perhaps because Calliope - also known as Calli to her friends & family - has such different aspirations from me... I ca
Mary (BookHounds)
May 31, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: borrowed
Calliope Reaper-Jones, longing for a normal life and a glamorous career, is called into the family business when her father, Death, is kidnapped and, in order to step into the CEO slot on the company board, must compete against the Devil's protégé to find three objects of power in hell. Original.
Calliope Reaper-Jones so just wanted a normal life: buying designer shoes on sale, dating guys from Craig's List, web-surfing for organic dim-sum for her boss... But when her father -- who happens to be
Jan 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: supernatural
Not a bad beginning to a series at all.

Calliope Reaper-Jones is literally Death's Daughter. Add the Devil sulking about, and his son, plus God kinda makes an appearance, and all sorts of gods and mythical monsters (I want offspring of Cerberus I can name Runt), and I really can't wait to read the rest of the series. The ending of this has me wondering about the other books, since it ends in a very defined way, and hopefully Amber won't keep using kidnapped Death as the catalyst for everything.

Jeremy Preacher
I admit that I picked up this book entirely because of the author's turn as a beloved character on Buffy. I did not have very high expectations, and the book exceeded them, I suppose - but not by too much. The writing is competent and clear, the plot, while a little muddy at times, moves along at a reasonable clip, and it's definitely not the Terry Pratchett ripoff I expected when I read the synopsis.

That being said, I am not sure I'll go out of my way to read the next ones, and there's really o
The main character is far too Gossip-Girl-fashion-frenzied for my tastes; the surprise twist villain is not so very surprising; the actual writing leaves something (!) to be desired. That said, this book is fun. The pan theism is well done, the quest itself is interesting enough to make me Wikipedia some facts, and the characters (my personal approval of their traits aside) are believable. For instance, I generally dislike Buffy-esque "just want to be a normal girl" characters like the novel's p ...more
May 04, 2012 rated it liked it
You know when you say that you love a main character because their believable snarky? Well, you haven't read Death's Daughter. Calliope Reaper-Jones is the very, very real version of a chick with an attitude, and it doesn't always come off very well. In fact, I had a hard time wondering what they main guy saw in her. On top of that some of her reactions didn't fit with her personality. On the other hand I really liked how sometimes she just sat down and cried and other times she dug her heels in ...more
Mar 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
This was a very fun book! From the first page, Calliope has such a fun voice that you just want to keep reading. It's first person POV, so you can hear all of her hilarious, snarky, and sometimes a bit naive thoughts as she bumbles her way around, proving to the powers that be that she is a worthy successor to her dad. Who is Death. THE Death. He's been kidnapped, along with most of his helpers, and Callie's taking the blame unless she can become the next Death and solve the mystery. Tons of fun ...more
Mar 15, 2009 rated it liked it
An interesting introduction to what I hope becomes a longer series. Amber Benson creates a universe similar to Piers Anthony's On a Pale Horse. Like that series, the role of "Death" is suddenly forced upon the main character, who quickly must learn to cope with a multitude of other Powers who might have other agendas.

The story weaves numerous pop culture references with a first person point of view that quickly lets the reader identify with the main character.

The writing style makes me wonder
Aug 06, 2011 rated it liked it
Like several others mention, I really don't care too much for the main character. While the story is a rather enjoyable, albeit fluffy, tale; it's hard to truly like a book when the main character is so unlikable. It's not that she has flaws, because flaws in main characters is certainly a common way to endear them to us, it's that she's incredible self-centered, shallow and whiney. That combination of flaws only serves to annoy me.

I am really liking some of the secondary characters, however. Li
Barbara ★
AWEFUL book! Calliope is a twit and acts like a teenage girl. She is literally Death's daughter and is such an airhead. There really aren't any likeable characters in the entire book...except maybe Daniel, her rival for the CEO position at Death, Inc. At least he has personality and chutzpah. All in all, just not a good book. The premise sounds rather interesting but the novel just falls short.
Jul 14, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: death
This book was awful. I barely finished it. The main character was dumb as bricks and a coward. The writing was unnecessarily vulgar; added nothing. At the same time the book was drawn out, going into random tangents that were ridiculous. I don't want to know why you hate throwing up and the story behind it. If you want to get into the head of a brainless valley girl who can't put two and two together, thinks in exclamations, and is the worst sort of coward, be my guest.
K.J. Bryen
Jun 20, 2014 rated it liked it
You have to go into this book with an open mind. The plot line is interesting, with some good twists in the story. The problem lies with the characters. The main character seems to possess zero intelligence. She is snarky and stubborn, but not in a likeable way. Also, the events that transpire are fast paced, some unexpected, so you really have to keep up with what's going on. It was a decent read, but you have to go in with an open mind, and be prepared to want to punch Calliope.
Jul 10, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: paranormal
I liked this book. The ONLY problem I had with it was that Calliope seemed to be the most selfish person I've ever heard of and SUCH a cry baby. And I couldn't figure out how old she was due to the fact she used "like" an awful lot. I was going to put her at 15 but she was obviously much older since she had a full time job and a 17 year old YOUNGER sister. Go figure. Her sister seemed more "adult" than she did. Anyway, other than those issues, it was good.
Jul 25, 2009 rated it liked it
While I am on a month-long break from grad school, I wanted to do some fun, light reading, and this definitely qualifies. While the main character, Calliope Reaper-Jones, is likable, she's a little too girly-girl "why me?" for my taste. However, the story was interesting and the deities well-researched enough to bring me back if a sequel is published. It's no "American Gods" or "Jitterbug Perfume" but it was a good first novel by Amber Benson.
Feb 27, 2012 rated it did not like it
I don't have high expectations for actors turned writers. The terrible looking cover didn't reassure, but this still failed to live up to even the low expectations I had.

The main character is completely vapid and every event that comes her way is random, and resolved just as randomly. Is there an underlying logic to the world here? Perhaps, but it's not revealed by this story.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.
More about Amber Benson

Other books in the series

Calliope Reaper-Jones (5 books)
  • Cat's Claw (Calliope Reaper-Jones, #2)
  • Serpent's Storm (Calliope Reaper-Jones, #3)
  • How to be Death (Calliope Reaper-Jones, #4)
  • The Golden Age of Death (Calliope Reaper-Jones, #5)