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The Reapers are the Angels

(Reapers #1)

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  11,504 ratings  ·  1,636 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 d
Paperback, 225 pages
Published August 3rd 2010 by Holt Paperbacks
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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
Wendy Darling
May 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of the Newflesh trilogy or The Fledgling
Recommended to Wendy Darling by: Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
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
Jeffrey Keeten
Feb 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: post-apocalyptic
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 exp
Aug 01, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  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
Dec 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
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 ma
Claude's Bookzone
I am currently on my 'Zombie-a-thon' so will do the reviews for previously read zombie books too.

Well this is absolutely amazing and one of my favourite books ever! The fact that it has zombies in it is just a bonus. Temple is one of the most raw, honest , and insightful characters I have ever come across in a YA novel. I felt so much emotion reading about this brave girl and her simple views on living in this ruined world.

“Truth be told, the inward gaze is something she's not too fond of. But
Mar 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Nancy by: Megan
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
May 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
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
Rhianna Schoonover
May 19, 2011 rated it did not like it
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 machinery of p
May 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: june-read, horror, ya, zombies
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 beautifull
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
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
Jun 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Shelby *trains 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
Actual Rating: 1.5 stars

DNF at 90%. I stopped only one hour short of finishing the audiobook.

The book just wasn't telling me anything, so I figured it was not going to be able to redeem itself in the hour that I got left and so I did't think it worth it to finish it.

I am not really sure why , but I kept comparing it to The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa, maybe because I read it recently and they both are set in an post-apocalypse universe with zombies involve in the mix. The thing is that I
Jun 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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
Victor *I was in the pool!*
But you gotta look at the world that is and try not to get bogged down by what it ain't.

Zombie Literature with Southern Twang, Charm, and Hospitality

In one of my updates on goodreads, I wrote that this isn't your typical zombie story and it isn't. There is little in the way of killing zombies and the associated gore. This is a story of adventure, redemption, and miracles. Oh, and the prose is to die for.

Our MC is 15-year-old Temple AKA Sarah Mary Williams and this is her story.

The apocalypse occ
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
It's not so safe for a little girl to be wandering around the countryside by herself. I don't know if you noticed, but we got a bit of a zombie problem.

Born after the "zombie problem" began, fifteen-year-old Temple has spent her whole life struggling for survival. She is gutsy, and strong, and she's stayed breathing while others around her have fallen. Like many a young girl, she's got some wanderlust - places she'd like to see and visit. Plus, she's learned that one of the best ways keep yours
Feb 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
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
Carole (Carole's Random Life)
This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life.

Somewhere along the way, I have decided that I love zombies. I have to admit that The Walking Dead probably has been a large part of my new found love of all things zombies. When this book came across my feed on Goodreads, I just know that I was going to have to read it. Everyone seemed to absolutely love it and I just knew that I was in for a treat. I liked this book well enough but it didn't turn out to nearly as good as I had been expectin

Buddy read with Gavin


I really wanted to like this more. I'm so conflicted, feeling like I have a split personality, on how I want to star the book. But I can't give it more than 3 stars. Some things were just ..... ugh!

And I don't feel like writing a full review at all. Reviews for 3 stars books are the hardest one to write, at least for me. I'm browsing through some reviews now and I'll probably make a compilation of the ones which hit close to my own thoughts and feelings about
Jun 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Catie by: Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
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
Edward Lorn
Jul 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've debated back and forth on whether or not to post a review for this book because I have nothing new to add to the conversation. But that got me thinking. What is a conversation other than the sharing of opinions and ideas? So what if a book has umpteen million reviews. So what if none of my friends might be interested in it or have already read it. To even think I hold sway over what anyone else reads stinks of narcissism, and, while I am the sexiest, smartest, and most-loved reviewer on thi ...more
Feb 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 18, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
4.4 stars
Quick and dirty-Bloody, Gore Filled, Putrid, Rotting, flesh eating zombie story all centered around a fifteen year old survivor. (Not a YA read)
This is what I want in zombies, disgusting stinky hungry monsters. There is not a moment of doubt that these nasties want to eat, rip and kill all living meat. Beware, the descriptions can turn your stomach they are so detailed and visual, this is some great writing. I loved that they had some confusion but no humanity let in them. There was ju
Apr 19, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-books
This book was one of the more disappointing and frustrating YA books I've read lately. The story offered just enough that I tolerated the many flaws and dragged myself to the end. My endurance was rewarded by one of the worst endings in the history of fiction.

The sad thing is the post apocalyptic setting had potential. This story takes place 25 years after a zombie apocalypse has wiped out the better part of the population. We follow Temple, a 15 year old girl, as she struggles for survival in
Nov 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommended to jenny✨ by: Claude's Bookzone
Not all the magic of the earth is benevolent.

This came highly recommended to me by several Goodreads friends, and it did. not. disappoint.

In fact, I would say that this is some of the best zombie fiction I’ve read in a long while, and I’ve read a decent amount. (I am a SUCKER for stories set amidst the zombie apocalypse. There’s just something about the undead that really gets under my skin in a creepy, catch-hold-of-my-interest-and-never-let-it-go kind of way.)

The writing in this book is a
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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

Other books in the series

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

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18 likes · 4 comments
“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.” 56 likes
“God is a slick god. Temple Knows. She knows because of all the crackerjack miracles still to be seen on this ruined globe.” 45 likes
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