Maja (The Nocturnal Library)'s Reviews > The Reapers are the Angels

The Reapers are the Angels by Alden Bell
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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... shadows that once taught me an important lesson I'll never forget. One of them is Stephen King's Dolores Claiborne. Alden Bell's Temple is another.

This woman, this young girl, this child, is sixteen characters folded into one, and yet on the surface she is as simple as a girl can be. She is a character that makes your heart ache and your head spin. She is someone you have no choice but to love... someone you'll do your best to understand... someone you'll always want to be.

At first I was expecting a paranormal YA novel... I didn't read any of the reviews and I guess I just made a stupid assumption. Temple IS fifteen years old and the book really HAS zombies, but that's where the similarities with all the novels we usually read end. The Reapers Are the Angels is NOT a YA novel! It's post-apocalyptic fiction at its best. Actually, it's not a novel that people under the age of 18 should read. It has violence, sex and more violence and it's scary and horrible at times. But it is also wonderful and deep and mature and not to be taken lightly at all. The psychological developement of Bell's characters is astonishing, almost incredible.

If you have a strong stomach and you want to take a break from all the predictable fiction that surrounds us, The Reapers Are the Angels might be the novel for you. It doesn't follow any rules, it will make you skip dinner, and it will definitely make you cry. But most of all, it will surprise you with its simplicity and its depth and it will probably teach you a thing or two about yourself... and about who you want to be when world as we know it comes to an end.

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Alden Bell's gorgeously written and bloody tale, which mutates from a zombie story into something of beauty and meaning. . . . Bell clearly owes great literary debt to Cormac McCarthy's "The Road" and the Southern Gothic school of Faulkner and O'Connor, but The Reapers Are the Angels shows the reader that they need not settle for mere blood 'n' guts when horror tales can, and should, go many extra miles.
—Sarah Weinman, Summer Reading Pick, Salon.com
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Quotes Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Liked

Alden Bell
“God is a slick god. Temple Knows. She knows because of all the crackerjack miracles still to be seen on this ruined globe.”
Alden Bell, The Reapers are the Angels

Alden Bell
“Beyond the pursuit of meaning and beyond good and evil too, she says. See, it’s a daily chore tryin to do the right thing. Not because the right thing is hard to do—it ain’t. It’s just cause the right thing—well, the right thing’s got a way of eluding you. You give me a compass that tells good from bad, and boy I’ll be a soldier of the righteous truth. But them two things are a slippery business, and tellin them apart might as well be a blind man’s guess.”
Alden Bell, The Reapers are the Angels


Reading Progress

03/25/2011
40.0% "Definitely skipping dinner. Actually, I doubt I'll ever eat again."
03/25/2011
50.0% "All these zombies are just disgusting! I see a weight loss in my future, lol." 1 comment

Comments (showing 1-21 of 21) (21 new)

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Annie (Under the Covers Book Blog) Wow. sounds insanely good! I'm adding it to my TBR!


Maja (The Nocturnal Library) It's amazing, but it's also pretty gross at times so be prepared. :)


Annie (Under the Covers Book Blog) LOL, thanks for the warning! i appreciate it :)


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

Our library has this one, but I can't check it out yet. Too many library books on my nightstand now. :)


Maja (The Nocturnal Library) You should definitely choose audiobook if you can. I have the ebook and the audio, but I think the audio brings something extra to it. I liked it a lot. I read the last two chapters last night, but it just didn't have the same impact.

Still thinking about it today. I just can't get this girl out of my head.


message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

Oh wow...I'll see if OverDrive has the audio.


Maja (The Nocturnal Library) I honestly didn't think you would consider reading a horror story. Ah, well, I've been making all kinds of stupid assumptions lately. But I'm sure glad I was wrong...


message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

Maja, it's not stupid. I just get settled on a genre and that's all I read until I get tired. About seven years ago, horror was the only genre I read. Then I moved on to mysteries, then thrillers, then romance and last was YA. Now I'm into paranormal, romance of any kind, and YA. I've been picking up what I call wild card books--ones I wouldn't normally read. That's proven to be fun.

I've been saving titles for October. That's when I'm going all out with horror.


Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Oh, that's a nice surprise. I guess I know who to ask for a recommendation when I want to read something a bit different.

I wanted a good crime novel just the other day but couldn't come up with a good title, so I just gave up.

I'll also have to consider using your wild card strategy. I've read all the high rated UF and now I have to wait for new installments. I'll have to think of something... it's getting harder and harder to choose a book.


message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

For something different, I highly recommend Faking It
by Elisa Lorello. It was an adult coming-of-age. I found the characters engaging, meaningful--loved it. Believe it or not, this was a self-published and then Amazon picked it up as part of their Encore books.


Maja (The Nocturnal Library) I'll read it next weekend when I'm relaxed (or as relaxed as I can be, lol). Can't wait. Thanks!


message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

Cool! Can't wait to see what you think.


Wendy Darling Great review, Maja. I will have to read this one, too...with maybe a bit of a break between post-apocalyptic zombie novels. ;)


Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Definitely a break - they are both emotionally draining.:)


Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead I have this book on audiobook but never got around to it. After seeing your review, I'm very curious.


Maja (The Nocturnal Library) I had the audio, too, Michelle. It's really great - I think in this case, it's better than reading. You should really try it, it's a powerful book.


Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead Maja wrote: "I had the audio, too, Michelle. It's really great - I think in this case, it's better than reading. You should really try it, it's a powerful book."

I will, I just moved it up. It is now 3rd in line!


Nikki Finally picked a copy of this up. Now to find time to read it amongst all the other books screaming to be read!


Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Nikki, how did I not see this comment?!?! I'm so sorry and I really hope you like the book! :)


Laura I am REALLY looking forward to this one! It will make me skip dinner!!! :O
I can’t wait now! :D


Maja (The Nocturnal Library) I think you'll love it, Laura. Almost everybody did. It's a very special little book. :)


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