Alicia (is beyond tired of your *ish)'s Reviews > The Reapers are the Angels

The Reapers are the Angels by Alden Bell
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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 which those pesky quotation marks really only get in the way of dialogue. So the reader must wade through the excessive, flowery writing only to be taken further out of the story by having to figure out if the characters are talking to each other or if the protagonist, Temple, is thinking/talking to herself.

Yet, in all of this, attention to detail was lost. This is set some 25 years after the zombie apocalypse. Nevertheless, Temple is able to find gasoline at gas stations? And there is still running electricity? There was a lot of basic science that was ignored in this book.

Early in the story the blaring lights of a nearby city prompted Temple to investigate and she found a well-formed society of survivors that welcomed her. Of course, safety and comfort are not meant to be and soon she is on the run again only now she has a man, Moses, chasing after her (view spoiler). These are the way things go in a dystopian society. But I was still enraged by the way the other adults simply shrugged at what happened. And found no real problem with this grown man's grudge against a child.

There is nothing really wrong with Temple herself. She is 15-years-old, has lost everyone who meant anything to her, and is imbued with the fierceness one must have to survive in the zombie apocalypse. The biggest issue I had with her were the names she called a companion she picked up along the way. Although, her actions after she had to flee the first group – (view spoiler) – had me screaming, "Oh, my God, what is wrong with you?!"

On the run from her stalker she ends up in yet another unlikely situation. This was my breaking point. Already frustrated by the writing, grammar, and ridiculous plot elements we're hit with Temple (view spoiler). I don't care what kind of society I'm reading about, that will never be okay with me. I'm sure it's fine for many people, since we seem to live in a time where "young adult" really means "children characters in adult stories." That's simply not how I roll.

So here is where I parted ways with this book. I did go looking for a synopsis of the story to see what happens and I was incredibly happy that I did give up on it. She ends up in one unlikely and ridiculous scenario after another (and keep in mind this is a zombie book, so it broke my already suspended belief). And the ending, especially Moses's over-wrought philosophical view of what had occurred, would have had me tearing my hair out.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
October 1, 2010 – Finished Reading
January 21, 2011 – Shelved
May 9, 2011 – Shelved as: zombies
May 9, 2011 – Shelved as: caused-me-rage
July 20, 2011 – Shelved as: ugh-young-adult
July 20, 2011 – Shelved as: wtf-is-this
August 7, 2011 – Shelved as: lurking-pedobear
November 2, 2011 – Shelved as: trees-died-for-this-crap
April 25, 2012 – Shelved as: judging-you
May 24, 2012 – Shelved as: me-and-ranty-mcgee
June 16, 2012 – Shelved as: drank-the-haterade
September 11, 2012 – Shelved as: rapey
April 16, 2016 – Shelved as: flounce

Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

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message 1: by rameau (new) - added it

rameau That Friends photoset kills me. In a good way.

But really? Purple prose? That pretty ensures my disinterest. The plot twists you mentioned I could hand when done well, but not if they're buried in custard-like writing. Moving shelves, I think.

message 2: by Alicia (is beyond tired of your *ish) (last edited Jan 30, 2012 04:36PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Alicia (is beyond tired of your *ish) rameau wrote: "That Friends photoset kills me. In a good way.

But really? Purple prose? That pretty ensures my disinterest. The plot twists you mentioned I could hand when done well, but not if they're buried i..."

Haha, I love it. There's really a friends gif or photoset for every occasion. Yes, the writing and the grammar are what killed it for me. Even with my breaking point, I would have been continually pissed, but I would have kept making an attempt to finish.

Here's a paragraph from a review on as an example: But it was exceedingly difficult to get past the voice the author used for Temple, and of a significant part of the narration as well. Consider the following passage, which comes after the [spoiler removed], when Temple’s on the run and comes to a river, where she washes, and she’s described as being “like a tiny despoiled innocent washing away the marks of her ruin, dunking her head under the baptismal fount of heaven, and rising up again with the pink of her flesh beginning to show through the mask of putrefaction.”

The entire book was written like that.

message 3: by rameau (new) - added it

rameau Wouldn't be that bad if it were occasional glimpses into the character's psyche, but the whole book? ...No. Just no. Katinki might enjoy such things, but not I.

Alicia (is beyond tired of your *ish) In my opinion it only serves to confuse people into thinking they're reading great writing when they are not.

Sirensaria Thank god it's not just me!!! The book kept getting such good reviews, that when I read it (I never actually finished) I thought I was missing something. I'm so thankful I'm not the only one who didn't like it. And I didn't like it based mostly on what your review covered.

Alicia (is beyond tired of your *ish) Yeah, the good reviews for this thing baffle me. The writing style and grammar alone were awful but then add in all the story elements that were just wrong, bad, etc. and I just don't get it. I'm glad I'm not alone in that, too.

message 7: by Rose (new) - rated it 1 star

Rose THANK. YOU. I was pulling my hair out trying to get through this book. Your review is spot on.

message 8: by Natalie (new)

Natalie Thank you! My thoughts exactly. (Even down to the rage about the gasoline).

message 9: by Bisquit (new) - added it

Bisquit Oh thank you. I was just starting this book, but couldn't handle the "beautiful writing" - so clunky and horrible to read! I don't like decoding each overly complicated sentence, that's not good writing in my opinion. Also, the flaws and plot points you describe are another breaking point for me. Thank you so much for your review, now I don't have to torture myself reading on.

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