Andrea's Reviews > Death Screams

Death Screams by Tamara Rose Blodgett
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's review
Jun 14, 2012

really liked it

This is a series review of the DEATH SERIES, by Tamara Blodgett. I struggled with a way to review each of these books without spoiling them and without becoming redundant. Tough job. So what I decided to do is, spotlight each book, then review the series as a whole.

This series has been on my radar for quite some time now. I actually bought DEATH WHISPERS last summer, I think, and planned to read it at some point. So when the author asked if I might review the series, I knew the time had come.

So what did I think of the DEATH series? I really liked it. The concept was original and smart. Basically, scientist mapped out the human genome and then developed the capability to expand paranormal abilities. Every school-aged child is given a drug cocktail that enhance said abilities. When the children reach puberty, their bodies aren't the only things to develop. Each teen's ability manifests in a different way. Some may become Empaths. Others may become Telepaths, or Telekenesis, or the biggie Affinity for the Dead(AftD). Caleb Hart, series hero, has AftD, and he's the son of the scientist partially responsible for the discovery. Lucky boy. Good thing Caleb has the "J's", his best friends John and Jonesy, and his new girlfriend, Jade. Add in supportive, if quirky, parents and Caleb has support on all fronts.

Beyond the original concept, I love how Blodgett expanded on the story. Caleb and his friends would struggle to survive and solve one complicated scenario, then another would crop up. The first book begins with Caleb, John and Jonesy trying to get the school bullies off their backs. Then they must avoid Caleb, because of his unique abilities, being exploited by the government. Even when Caleb gets out of hot water, the Greysheets are always watching him. And when he's not dealing with the Greysheets, Jade's abusive father is on his case. Oh, and the Affinity for the Dead ability? Not only is Caleb saddled with that, he is also a Cadaver-Manipulator. A necromancer. The dead that Caleb raise obey him, faithfully. He can use them to scare his bullies, or to ward off the bad guys. And sometimes, he loses control of his minions. Not good.

I mentioned the support cast, but they all play a huge role in the books. I really enjoyed Caleb. His voice felt very authentic. He was snarky and sarcastic, but also caring to those he loves. Throughout the series, Caleb is put to the test. He makes some dangerous, unwise choices at times, but mostly for the right reasons. His best friends, the J's, were very funny and always had Caleb's back. I adored Jade. Jade comes from a rough background. She has an alcoholic, abusive father. She was removed from the home and lives in the care of her aunt. A lot of people judge her, but Caleb only sees her for herself, a girl he's crazy about. Their caring, slow-building relationship was probably my favorite aspect of the story. Call me a romantic. Their relationship doesn't exactly go smoothly, though. Jacob's abilities, her family, and circumstances beyond their control put them to the test. And lastly, Caleb's parents, Kyle and Alicia. I found them to be funny, a great source of comic relief. And most importantly, they're present. They play an actual, big, part in the stories.

So...I do have to say that while I did like Caleb and the snark, it did begin to wear on me after a while. I just felt the internal and external quippiness was a bit much. But, to be fair, teenage boys are a bit much at times, so there's that. ;-) Also, Caleb likes the word "retarded". A lot. Like, he says it so much, it's like he's trying to make a point that he'll say it just because he can. I know words only have the power we give them, but I've never liked that one. So that did bug me. But, I will say that as the series progresses and Caleb matures, he does ease up on the annoying language.
Also, the villains sometimes felt a bit cartoonish to me.

The DEATH SERIES was, overall, a really fun, unique ride. The scientific aspect was clever. The characters were funny and memorable. The action never stops. I think this series would certainly be a hit with teens, specifically teen boys.

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Reading Progress

June 14, 2012 – Started Reading
June 14, 2012 – Shelved
June 14, 2012 –
June 16, 2012 – Finished Reading

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