Jo's Reviews > The Reapers Are the Angels

The Reapers Are the Angels by Alden Bell
Rate this book
Clear rating

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 both do a great job on this reviews comments and it’s definitely worth checking their thoughts out.
Of course, I get distracted by Idris Elba and contribute nothing.
Because that’s how I roll.

“She knew about the forces of things, and she understood about America the Beautiful, and she was unafraid, except of herself.”

High Points.
Language. Temple. Makes you think. Maury. The beauty in the world. Road trip. Slugs. Ambiguity. Grief. Guilt. Isolation. Companionship. Hope. Humanity. Survival. Allegory. Conscience. The now.

[Please note that I haven’t mentioned the ‘z’ word here. I think it would do this book a great injustice to call it a zombie book. It’s about a lot more… zombies seem to be peripheral in this one.]

Low Points.
Do not go into this book thinking you can get away with just reading it and forgetting about it. It’s one of those niggly books that worms its way into your brain and takes root. I haven’t decided whether that’s a good thing or not. The reason why that is a low point is because if you read this book and take it at face value it probably won’t make any sense. So I’d advise you to read this book when you’ve got your thinking hat/bonnet/fedora/headdress on.
I wasn’t a fan of Moses and his role in this book. I got it (I think), I just think there could have been a better away to get the point across. But don't ask me how, because I couldn't tell you.
But that’s all I’m going to say because I’m being mysterious.
Ditto with Millie.

Temple is one of the strongest and most memorable heroines that I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. She is resourceful, she is powerful, she is rational and she is only fifteen. Born into a world that was already in the grips of this ‘slug’ apocalypse, Temple had to grow up quickly and deal with things that are impossible to fathom. And all of that puts a lot of things in perspective....
And that’s all I’m saying.

Theme Song.

The Road- Frank Turner.
I instantly thought of this song when I finished this book.

To the east to the east
The road beneath my feet
To the west to the west
I haven't got there yet
And to the north to the north
Never to be caught
To the south to the south
My time is running out.

And I just believe Frank Turner is a lyrical master. And kinda cute in a London-boys-wear-plaid way.

Sadness Scale.
5/10. I know this is going to sound strange, especially if you’ve read this book and know what happens in the story, but this book made me feel really happy. A lot of awful things happen in this book or have happened and are alluded to but there is a definite vein of hope that pulses through Temple’s story.
That isn’t to say that every character is like that, far from it, but the characters that I will remember the most (Lee, for example, and Temple herself) had not given up and are still looking for beauty in a world where it would be easy to believe that everything is decayed and tainted.
I really respected Temple's acceptance of her place in the world and how she never fails to see and make the most of her time on this world. It may not be perfect and it may not be what she would’ve chosen but it’s what she has and it’s her now and there’s no point looking backwards and she isn’t going to waste a minute of it.
After all- “It never pays much to go backward to someplace you already been.”

Recommended For.
People who like to think after they’ve finished reading a book. People who like gorgeous prose. People who like strong female protagonists.

Told you it was going to be wishy-washy!
I’m going to end this review with a few of my favourite quotes from the book.

”The world, it treats you kind enough so long as you’re not fightin against it.”

“They travel from place to place, living off the land and trying to see the lengths and breadths of this great nation of ours before it goes under for the last time. There are still majestical things to see.”

“See, there’s a music to the world and you got to be listening otherwise you’ll miss it sure”

You can read this review and other exciting things on my blog here.

20 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Reapers Are the Angels.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

9.0% ""See, there's a music to the world and you got to be listening or you'll miss it sure.""
50.0% ""And in this way the paths narrow for the tempters of fate.""

Comments (showing 1-50 of 130) (130 new)

message 1: by Jo (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jo Readalong with Catie.

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Well, well... :P
I am watching!

message 3: by Jo (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jo Like a HAWK.
I knew the word 'zombie' would make you crawl out of the woodwork.


Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Haha, nah, Temple is the one who did it. I love that girl.

message 5: by Jo (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jo I'm so excited for this one.
I haven't read a zombook for a while :-D

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) You better like it, or else. :D

message 7: by Jo (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jo Oh gosh, it's not been made into a film starring Adrien Brody has it?
You need to e-mail me a list of films I need to watch so this sexual tension between us disappears.


Catie Photobucket

Definitely your place this time. :), I mean '), I mean 8)

Damn it. My emoticon wink isn't working.

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Pah! I laughed so hard I woke my poor child! :D

Catie Also, just to start things off...

KETCHUP EGGS?? I really wish that I hadn't just read that while at the same time chewing a huge bite of food.

How does she know about ketchup?

message 11: by Jo (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jo I just vommed everywhere. :-|

I have a secret (view spoiler)

Catie Hmm. Did you read the beginning yet? Specifically, page 12?

message 13: by Jo (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jo I'm on my kindle, so I'm in percentage mode.
Which bit did you mean?

This book is gruesome.. :-D

I also love the word 'palaver' and wish it was used more in every day conversation.

Catie This part:

"The place where the eye was is now a mushy soup of thick clear fluid mixed with blood, like ketchup eggs."

message 15: by Jo (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jo Ohh, yeah I just got to that bit. I'm sorry but a lot of things would be going through my head if there was a decomposing body on the beach.... oh yeah... WHO WAS STILL ALIVE.... but ketchup eggs?

Probably the last thing that I would think of.


Catie Actually I thought that was very descriptive. I just wonder if she's running into ketchup in this post-apocalyptic world.

I wonder how long everything's been going on. And by "everything" I mean hordes of zombies taking over the planet.

I better keep reading!

message 17: by Jo (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jo The synopsis says 25 years...

I'm loving the prose so far though. It is descriptive... if not a bit grim.

But I love grim because I'm a freak.
And I love authors who aren't afraid to be a bit vile and 'Eeeeeh, that's gross'... :-D

Catie Yeah, me too.

I never read the synopses. Not because I don't want to be spoiled so much as I just don't think about it. I'm all..."What? Maja says it's good? SIGN ME UP!" and I have no idea what it's even about.

I still have no idea what this book is about, other than zombies.

message 19: by Jo (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jo Me either, actually!

But to be honest, anything zombie-ey and Maja-approved is good enough for me, too. :-D

Catie Hokay, well happy reading tonight. I've gotta go put the mini-mes to bed. I might be on later, but it will be the wee hours for you.

Iffen I don't see ya, I'll catch up tomorrow!

message 21: by Jo (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jo Yes yes... I think I'm gonna stop at the end of chapter two :-D

I'm doing sweet F.A tomorrow so I'll be able to crack on with it.... although I have approximately a bajillion reviews to write and... *shudders* real life stuff.


Bonnie Major ew. Real life stuff sucks.

message 23: by Jo (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jo I agree, Bonnie.

End of Chapter two: (view spoiler)

Wendy Darling I am SO excited you are reading this. But I warn you, our friendship hangs in the balance. o - O

Bonnie Wendy Darling wrote: "I am SO excited you are reading this. But I warn you, our friendship hangs in the balance. o - O"

Lol No pressure.

Catie Jo wrote: "fecal ooze"

My husband thinks that would be a great band name.

That scene was INTENSE! My heart was in my throat. She's all calm, like, "Oh look, the flashlight has fallen to the ground. Oh well." And I'm screaming, "THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS IN EVERY ZOMBIE FILM!! RUUUUUUNNNN!"

But then she killed them all quite handily so I shouldn't have been worried.

I kept reading because I didn't see your note. I'll stop soon (to give myself a bit of a buffer for when you wake up and read like a maniac tomorrow morning).

I am at 15%. I don't trust these guys.

message 27: by Jo (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jo Haha, I know. I was so on edge through that scene.
She's so unflappable. I think if I was her sidekick in this book she'd just shoot me and put me out of my misery.
I've just gone past 15%, I was expected them to pull a 28 Days Later on us... and I guess I wasn't that far off!

"They don't bother you so much, she says, if you can stay out from between their teeth."
Hahaha... I'd like to think if I was in an apocalyptic scenario I could come up with quips like that... but I doubt it.

Catie I am at 44%. I read for a while last night. *Sheepish look*

I will be gone all morning though. The drama camp is culminating in what I can only assume will be a tony worthy performance this morning. I will be doing the gushy mom thing with camera and so forth.

So, needless to say, I really love this book. It's making me think a lot. I think that Temple is one of the most well developed and thought out characters I've read. He really thought about what kind of a person would emerge from a childhood of violence and survival with very little stability.

message 29: by Jo (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jo Haha, don't worry... I read on too.
I'm stopping at 50% now (which is handy because it's the end of part 2)

I've got a few things to do today anyway, so I don't mind waiting.

Haha, that sounds so sweet Catie. (view spoiler)

Catie Exactly!! And videos!

Phew, I'm glad that you kept going. It's hard to stop.

message 31: by Jo (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jo Haha, I know.

I bet I end up finishing it today and ignoring everything else.

I'll try not to. But I ain't promisin' anything.

message 32: by Maja (The Nocturnal Library) (last edited Aug 19, 2011 05:25AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) OK, guys, I have to say this, but I swear I'm only going to say it once, just one little time, and I will never, ever, under any circumstances say it again. That is, unless you ask me to. Nicely. :D

Here it goes:

(view spoiler)

message 33: by Jo (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jo (view spoiler)


Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Oh, but you were right too! I'm loving The Knife of Never Letting Go so much! I've never read anything at all like it before.

message 35: by Jo (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jo Yes. Yes. YES.

I love that book. I've always been scared to recommend it to people because it's a bit different and the last person I did (my sister) gave up on it.

I think the whole idea is so ingenious and horrifying (view spoiler)

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Oooh, and the writing, the language (you were so right about that!) and the repetitivness... I feel like I'm drowning in it. I hope Vinaya likes it too because I intend to gush and gush some more!

But back to Temple!

message 37: by Jo (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jo Haha, I'm stalking your updates.

(view spoiler)

message 38: by Jo (last edited Aug 19, 2011 10:29AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jo 68%: Mmmm. I'm not entirely sure about this bit...

Catie Alright. I'm back, finally. Now to catch up!

message 40: by Jo (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jo Reeeeead.

I'm still loving it but there are certain parts that I wish weren't in it... haha, don't mean to sound so vague.

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Are you talking about the bench?

message 42: by Jo (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jo ....bench?
(view spoiler)

Catie Okay, back in a mo.


Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Aaaah, now I get it!
(view spoiler)

message 45: by Jo (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jo (view spoiler)

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Well, it was my least favorite part as well. But I guess it had it's purpose.

Catie, leave those spoiler tags alone. :D

message 47: by Jo (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jo Hmmm... I've only just left that part so it might more sense as I go on.

And yeah Catie. NO CHEATING.

Catie Haha, I feel like I just got transported to a scene from The Hobbit.

Catie And now I'm in Deliverance.

Limonessa Ok, now I'm following this thread too. Gotta know where the cool kids are.

« previous 1 3
back to top