karen's Reviews > The Reapers are the Angels

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

's review
Oct 13, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: pretty-girls-make-graves, october-is-spooky, zombies-r-bitey

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 negative reviews. and then duck.

this isn't a YA novel, although many people on this site have decided it is. and that's fair - the protagonist is fifteen, and the pacing matches that of a YA novel. but my barnes and noble overlord classifies it as adult, and we all know they would never make a classification error. so let's call it an adult novel so as not to scare off the old stuffy types, and the rest of you, i will just "shh, yeah, i know."

and i have to admit, i have only read one flannery o'connor book (for shame!!) although i have seen wise blood because, well, duh:

but so as far as the "derivative" accusations go, i am as clean-wooled as a baby lamb. but i plan on reading more of her soon, i swear.

this is basically the kind of book i love - the gothic-western justice-novel, but with some supernatural spice. it is more or less true grit with zombies. temple speechifies in roughly the same biblical manner - with a mixture of retributive old testament and a soft sticky center of love thy (deserving) neighbor, jesus-style; a mixture of poor grammar and poetic resonance. i love her character. she is eminently capable, running from her past and her mistakes which haunt her way more than any slow-shambling zombies, which act more as set-pieces than as any real threat.it is fairly episodic, and the basic theme is about the path to forgiveness and redemption, and the progression of that kind of grieving, healing process, but let's not forget, there are also zombies, so it isn't all whiny mitch albom stuff.

what is great about this book is that temple was born into this world. she has never known a world without desolation, without monsters, without danger or the necessity of moving on. she is unattached and detached, but retains some inherent glimmer of humanity that constitutes her own moral compass. and it is gorgeous to watch a girl operate under the weight of her guilt and the necessity of her survival instincts. she does not take any shit, but she is not without empathy. nor without understanding of other people's personal moral code, even as it works against her.

also great is that, starting the way this one does, in the waning years of an infestation, we do not have to read any boring scenes where people have a slow dawning realization of the situation. we are thrust into a world that is, not that is becoming.

i love it i love it i love it.

it is exactly what i needed to be reading - a "horror" novel that has more depth than just "braaaaains," one one whose themes are smack in my area of interest. plus, tom franklin (my new love in life) blurbed this puppy.

and it turns out, this guy is married to megan abbott, who i have been meaning to read for forever.
147 likes · flag

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

Comments (showing 1-50 of 56) (56 new)

Wendy Darling This makes me happy.

karen i was thinking of you! i am doing "october is zombie month" i start this one today.

Brittany (UnderTheRadarBooks) I am excited to see your review. I have been wanting to read this for a long time.

Wendy Darling Awesome! I've been reading a bunch of horror-type books this month, too. I hope you like this as much as I did.


karen oops i was shouting.

Wendy Darling YAY YAY YAY!!! Shouting here, too. :D

Limonessa oohhh

message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

yay karen! i love zombies!! I'll read it!

message 10: by Jason (new)

Jason Never trust me! (Nice review!)

karen haahah but you like good stuff! you has the taste and all. usually. this time, i thumb my nose etc...

message 12: by Jason (new)

Jason I loooooved the Daryl Gregory you're reading....

message 13: by Krok Zero (new)

Krok Zero I like that crazy-eyed Brad Dourif is apparently a hottie/dreamboat for you.

message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

Krok Zero wrote: "I like that crazy-eyed Brad Dourif is apparently a hottie/dreamboat for you."

...and she has to fight Moira for him too. Brad speaks to the ladies with his crazy eyes, and some of us listen.

karen yeah! i just started it, but so far it is fantastic!

and yeah - dourif is a total dreamboat - pale and creepy - my type of guy!

i shove moira.

message 16: by Jason (new)

Jason Book reviews are not for shoving.

karen scolded!

karen i don't know that it is official, but in my reading,it will be zombie month. feel free to join me.

karen ooh, i liked that one.

message 20: by Maja (The Nocturnal Library) (last edited Oct 17, 2011 09:37AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Yours is by far my favorite review of this book. I'm so happy that you loved it.
I really hope you'll read Feed too.

karen aw, thanks!

yeah - i really want to read feed. it seems to be very polarizing. i want to love it, though. i am going into it pure of heart.

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) I'm glad to hear that! I hope you'll love it, but even if you don't, at least you'll know what all the fuss is about.

I'll be very interested to read your opinion on Stony Mayhall as well. I had numerous issues with it, but some of my friends really enjoyed it.
Oh, and yay for zombie month!

karen i will finish it today, probably, i have had too many non-reading distractions. or non-pleasure reading distractions. many academic articles and whatnot.

message 24: by Denae (last edited Oct 18, 2011 07:36AM) (new) - added it

Denae Your reviews make me happy. They also tend to add to my already gigantic to read mountain range. ;)

karen yeah, goodreads.com is terrible for that. i love the idea of learning about new books, but in reality, it can be overwhelming...

message 26: by Denae (new) - added it

Denae My to read list was 300 when I joined in January. I believe it's now pushing 2200. My boyfriend keeps pointing out that I'll never run out of books to read, which is true, but...it's still scary sometimes.

karen i want to become a zombie, just for the whole immortality/time to read part.

message 28: by Denae (new) - added it

Denae Vampire would work for me too, since I tend to avoid the sun anyway.

karen but that really cuts the day in half. i would need the whole 24 hour period to get through it all...

message 30: by Denae (new) - added it

Denae hmm, good point

Shannon HAHA! I totally hear you on negative book reviews...I have read some that scare me from certain books...when I later find when I read them- I love them- So I try not to read negative reviews unless I hate the book in the first few chapters- No loss!

But honestly every book has negative reviews- If I connect with the lead character I am ALL in. I mean no book can fit everyone's idea of perfect- and if twilight were written better it would kind of be perfect- I mean the two leadslive happily ever after... Yet no one is happy when it's happily ever after and then when it's not everyone is mad too,LOL!
I just enjoy being steeped in another world and being taken away. As long as the book seems to follow what the character would do- and they grow and learn- I am all in!

karen yeah, i try to avoid reading reviews when i am actually reading the book. if i read them far enough in advance, i forget them and am safe!

Jason Can someone clarify why Temple is illiterate but has a vast vocabulary? just curious. did this bother anyone?

message 34: by Mark (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mark Matthews My favorite Zombie book ever. There is a sequel, only available in some corners of the world, but the cover looks like it's taken a different tone.

Jason I think it's a prequel

message 36: by Mark (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mark Matthews Jas wrote: "I think it's a prequel"

Ah, that makes sense. The cover evokes a whole "YA" twilighty feel to it.

Jason Mark wrote: "Jas wrote: "I think it's a prequel"

Ah, that makes sense. The cover evokes a whole "YA" twilighty feel to it."

yeah. i heard it fell flat. i think Karen read it and loved it, though. the whole going back thing, adding to an already FANTASTIC novel is really a difficult task.... i dont want to taint this book if its prequel isnt the best of the best.

message 38: by [deleted user] (new)

The tone in the next book is very similar, and the cover is just cover dumb. It's about Moses Todd, years after this book, telling a story from years before this book about his brother...and other things. I didn't like it as well, but it's solid, and there are some just breathtaking sequences. So prequel and sequel both. Fwiw.

America, why u no publish Exit Kingdom?

karen i did love it.and agree about the cover.

message 40: by Kelsy (new) - added it

Kelsy Can I ask why you write without capitalization of pronouns and proper nouns? Just curious.

karen lazy typist

message 42: by Kelsy (new) - added it

Kelsy Haha I wondered if it was a style thing...the length of your review indicates that you are not lazy!

Anyway, I am in the mood for a zombie book. Started reading "Zone One" by Colson Whitehead and it's too stylistic and boring for me. I'm going to give this one a try.

karen hmmm.. this one is one of my favorites, but it's not really zombie-centric, just so you know...

message 44: by Mark (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mark Matthews Kelsy wrote: "Haha I wondered if it was a style thing...the length of your review indicates that you are not lazy!

Anyway, I am in the mood for a zombie book. Started reading "Zone One" by Colson Whitehead and ..."

If you don't like it you're going to be scratched out of my will. Yep, you were in there.

karen iiii liked zone one. am i in that will?

message 46: by Mark (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mark Matthews karen wrote: "iiii liked zone one. am i in that will?" I never read it. I was going to, but heard enough things that turned me away. I probably read 1/10 the amount you do.

Yes, you get a lump sum of 5 million dollars upon my death. But the way the will reads, you first have to spend a night in my basement with the centipedes and disfigured demons and a noisy furnace. Otherwise the money goes to charity.

karen not a problem. i'll make the s'mores

Andrea I just finished this book and I loved it, but since I've reread your review I can't stop wondering what dinner conversation (not to mention pillow talk!) between the author and his wife, Megan Abbott, is like.! What a brilliant couple!

karen snif. according the the computer, they are no longer together. i just read his new one under real name When We Were Animals and it felt so abbotty. and then i was sad to learn.

Andrea Noooo! Oh hell.

« previous 1
back to top