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The Reapers are the Angels (Reapers, #1)
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Monthly Group Reads > September Group Read #1: The Reapers are the Angels

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message 1: by Jim (new) - rated it 1 star

Jim | 219 comments Mod
this group read will start Sept 1. This is a place holder for now.

Netanella | 2107 comments Hello! Do we have a volunteer to lead this discussion?

message 3: by Jim (new) - rated it 1 star

Jim | 219 comments Mod
Greetings group readers. I will be moderating this title this month. Below is your reading schedule.

Chapters 1-5: Sep 1-5 (Thursday)
Chapters 6-10: Sep 6-10 (Tuesday)
Chapters 11-16: Sep 11-15 (Sunday)

This basically amounts to a chapter a day. Please feel free to discuss the book as you read but mark any spoilers if they are being posted before the end point for that set of chapters.

Hope you all enjoy the book.

message 4: by Jim (new) - rated it 1 star

Jim | 219 comments Mod
How many people we got doing this read? I'm doing the audio version and have almost finished the first 5 chapters.

message 5: by Tammy K. (last edited Sep 04, 2013 12:47PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Tammy K. (rambles_of_a_reader) I have read the first couple chapters. 3rd person narration is my least favorite form of books.
I think that the authors feel it's a clever thing to do. Yet I find 3rd person to be "primitive" writing. It reads like my second grade granddaughters attempts at writing.
(See Spot. Spot is a dog. See Spot run. Spot loves to run. Spot sees you. Spot is happy. You are happy to see Spot run.)
It’s a style that "tells" rather than "describes".
The first two pages are Purple pose, repetitive, and lack luster.
Although the character speaks in a naïve manor, its not that much different then the narrator’s.
I think it would kill me to read further. So in short, due to the style of writing which has gotten in the way of any story, I will be skipping out on this BOTM.

Netanella | 2107 comments I am in for this book group read. I quite enjoyed the book the first time around, and plan to enjoy it the second time as well.

Tammy - I enjoy "purple prose", as you call it - it reminds me of the long-winded narrative passages of H.P. Lovecraft - I used to read such passages aloud to my fellow college students, when we were trapped on a long bus ride together, much to their chagrin.

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

Jim | 219 comments Mod
I personnally haven't had an issue with the 3rd person narrative. I have had other issues with the writing though. My first question will tie to that.

1) Is the writing style impacting your ability to enjoy the book?

2) By the end of chapter 5, Temple has "taken in" Dummy. What do you think of Temple's actions taking responsibility for him? How do you feel about way she aids him?

3) What do you think of Temple?

message 8: by Jim (new) - rated it 1 star

Jim | 219 comments Mod
I don't really care for the writing style. The writer has Temple's dialogue as being really ignorant sounding. They follow this will overly elegant narration which is very conflicting. Normal prose would be a better fit because the contrast would not be as bad. I am also listening to the audio book and the reader does a good job of reading Temple's dialogue with the southern accent but is rather bland otherwise.

I don't really care for Temple. She is portrayed as uneducated but has a strong situational awareness and common sense. However, I don't have a lot of empathy for her. Also, the first part of the book is pretty dull and uneventfull. Nothing is happening.

message 9: by Tammy K. (last edited Sep 05, 2013 09:17PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Tammy K. (rambles_of_a_reader) I borrowed the paperback from my local library.
I wish that it could be read to me, yet I'm not sure it would improve things.
You have noted some of the same issues that I found.
Purple "prose" (sorry for the typo Netanella) has a place in some genres.
In my opinion purple prose belongs in poetry, essays, and similar literary works.
Inside horror, action, suspense it clogs up the natural flow of a suspense scene.
A while back I stumbled across another zombies title that also had the same style. In that book, the small band of survivors were running for their lives with zombies behind them, and the author inserted a full page ramble on the setting sun.
I was like WTF! Zombies are after you and your reflecting on the color of the sky?... Why don't you just stop and enjoy the view? I'd get more enjoyment from reading about how you are being torn to shreds and eaten alive, than your moonstruck nonsense.
Through out that book, the author inserted disjointed description of the settings and inner thoughts of the main character.
It spoiled the action scenes, a broke the plots progression.
I believe that when an author is used to writing in one genre it can be difficult to let go of the 'style' of that genre when they venture into the new genre. Maybe this is a case of not understanding the genre?
Each genre / sub-genre has it's own requirements for making it successful in that genre/ subgenre.
I do not know exactly what this author was aiming for with this particular book or its genre, but its missed the mark for action, suspense, horror or even remotely exciting so far.
I find that the character of Temple is "impaired" and her calling the zombies (meatskins) "dummy" just doesn't sit right with me.
As for the writing style, my mind screams out at me begging me to stop tormenting it.
I have seen other readers (and popular websites) calling this book the next, I am Legend.
No way does this measure up!

Netanella | 2107 comments Is it the young adult sub-genre of zombie literature? That can tend to stray toward the overly literary prose-y type that you seem to enjoy disliking! Lots of introspection, lots of angst, lots of self-discovery through uber-emo.

I must say, Tammy, you made me crack up enough to snort wine through my nose when I read your comments on the setting sun ramblings of a zombie author. I can image what you (or Jim) thought of Temple's navel-gazing experience when she communes with the moon while having her tootsies tickled by little electric-bodied fishies. Yup, she's waiting for the proverbial "meatskin" to wash up and bite her.

So, I must confess I'm behind in the reading, but I'll catch up tonight once I clear the sinuses - I'm on vacation this week - yee haw!

message 11: by Jim (new) - rated it 1 star

Jim | 219 comments Mod
Is anyone else annoyed at the lack of logic in the book? Specifically, Temple is 15 and was born into the zombie apocalypse which has been going on at least 20 years. However, all the electricity still works. They have random buildings that have working elevators. They also have gas stations that still have gas in them. They refer to finding pumps that are still on. this ignores that fact that gasoline goes bad after about a year. That is a little annoying.

Netanella | 2107 comments It looks like it's the 3 of us! Hopefully others who voted on this book will join in the conversation.

1. The writing style is not really impacting my reading enjoyment of the book. However, Jim, I do agree with you in that Temple's dialogue is all over the place. I get that she's not had any formal education, having been born after the zompoc started, getting her start in an orphanage of some sort. But then she switches quite quickly to table manners and etiquette once she hits the Southern manor house of Belle Isle. That was quite jarring for me.

2. Temple's adoption of Dummy shows her compassionate side. She tried to leave him on the side of the road but couldn't - hell, she even went back and helped him bury his dead granny! Temple tries to portray a callous side, but inside she's still looking out for those less fortunate than her. If Dummy were not, well, a dummy, I doubt, however, that Temple would have turned back for him.

3. So far, I like Temple. She hasn't pulled a stupid yet, in my opinion.

Netanella | 2107 comments Jim wrote: "Is anyone else annoyed at the lack of logic in the book? Specifically, Temple is 15 and was born into the zombie apocalypse which has been going on at least 20 years. However, all the electricity..."

You make a great point here, Jim. It is obvious, but it doesn't annoy me that much. If this weren't a book that's squarely in the realm of speculative fiction, I wouldn't be bothered so much. Any more so than I could expect a crow to start speaking, or a flaming sword to lead the way Temple's way, or something equally not based in the solid rules of reality as we understand them. As speculative fiction, I am okay with giving the author some leeway to make his or her point in driving the story home.

message 14: by Tammy K. (last edited Sep 08, 2013 11:19AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Tammy K. (rambles_of_a_reader) Netanella wrote: "Is it the young adult sub-genre of zombie literature? That can tend to stray toward the overly literary prose-y type that you seem to enjoy disliking! Lots of introspection, lots of angst, lots o..."

I would say that the near-rape scene (pages 35-38) disqualifies it as young adult (ages 10-17).
As I said before, I borrowed my copy from my local library. It was shelved in the General (adult) Fiction, not the young adult area.
As a parent/grandparent I feel that rape and near rape content is not appropriate for young (under the age of 18) and/or sensitive readers. IMO

Netanella | 2107 comments I hear your opinion, but do disagree about its disqualification of that category due to a near-rape scene. I categorize books as young adult if they are written for or marketed to a teenaged audience, and have a teenaged protagonist with lots of introspection. Themes of murder, violence, and rape sometimes occur. Doesn't mean you might want to let your 12-year-old read it. I certainly wouldn't want mine to read this book (she's only 6), but I'm more disturbed by the killing in this book for a younger reader than the near-rape.

message 16: by Tammy K. (last edited Sep 08, 2013 05:18PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Tammy K. (rambles_of_a_reader) Agreed on the graphic violence being too much!
I stand by my call and am thankful that my local library does not consider this to be young adult.

I completed this book.
I will write a thorough review of it tonight or tomorrow.
It's a terrible book for many reasons.
I am debating with myself to give it 1 or 2 stats.
I would not recommend it.
In fact, I wish that I could unread it!

Who all voted for this book as the book of the Month?
Why are they not participating in the group read?
Maybe Jim was correct in making the polls so that they reveal who voted for each book?
If a member votes for a title and does not participate in that books read, maybe nix their voting for the following month? (In short if you vote for a book and it wins you are committing to that book of the Month read)
That way only books which have active participants willing to join a group read will get read by the group.
Instead of books such as this which only managed to get three group members to read, when other books might have been more successful as a group activity.
After all the point of a book of the Month is to stir up group activity!

Netanella | 2107 comments Hear, hear, Tammy! I agree that those who voted on this book should participate in the group read.

Of the 3 of us, I think I'm the only one that really liked this book - oh well, to each her own!

I look forward to more commentary and Jim's questions.

Tammy K. (rambles_of_a_reader) I'm looking forward to hearing about what made this a "Good" read for you.
As for my reading experience being different than yours, it is to be expected. Each reader has their own ideas on what makes up a "Good" read.
I required solid (fleshed out) characters, a plot that is clear, purposeful and entertaining, plot resolution that fits (not one that just ends or slowly Peters out),
And in this case in particular a story that is written smoothly... the slang, inconsistencies in behavior of the characters, logic flaws, and well ..general syntax of this book made it a "Chore" to read. I was fighting myself the whole way through to complete this book.

Tammy K. (rambles_of_a_reader) I got my review posted, but will keep adding comments as the questions come up. :)

message 20: by Jim (new) - rated it 1 star

Jim | 219 comments Mod
Here are some questions for the week since you should be at least 2/3 done.

1) Is there any character so far that you would have liked to have seen more in the book? The book focuses primarily on Moses and Temple. Who would you want to know more about?

2) Who do you think the Reapers are as listed in the title? do you think they feature in the book?

message 21: by Tammy K. (last edited Sep 11, 2013 04:45PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Tammy K. (rambles_of_a_reader) 1) Is there any character so far that you would have liked to have seen more in the book? The book focuses primarily on Moses and Temple. Who would you want to know more about?

Without re-writing the entire direction of this book, I think we are given three characters, the first two you have mentioned and the third would not have helped the story to develop.
So No.
This story is one of a grown mans obsession to murder a youth, and a youth who is portrayed in one breath as ignorant and in the next reading and understanding blue-prints. Who is also being preyed upon by the deranged men around her.

Nope, there is no salvaging this book or its characters (just my views of course!)

2) Who do you think the Reapers are as listed in the title? do you think they feature in the book?

I kinda suspected what the title was referring too, but that is not revealed until the final pages of chapter 11. (view spoiler)

message 22: by Netanella (last edited Sep 11, 2013 07:56PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Netanella | 2107 comments 1) Is there any character so far that you would have liked to have seen more in the book? The book focuses primarily on Moses and Temple. Who would you want to know more about?

Moses, obviously, is the most interesting character in the book aside from Temple, and he's the protagonist of the second book that Bell wrote in this series, Exit Kingdom. So I do believe I will have to wait until I read that book to find out more about him.

2) Who do you think the Reapers are as listed in the title? do you think they feature in the book?

Tammy, thanks for finding the Biblical passage from which the title of this book derives, a phrase from Matthew's The Parable of the Weeds. (I had to look it up - my knowledge of Biblical verses are slim to none, at least in any sort of ability to quote chapter and verse.)

A strong case can be made that this book is not really a zombie book (and if you read it as such, I do believe you're bound to be disappointed). Rather, the book is about Temple, a young girl living in a post-apocalyptic world, intelligent but uneducated, struggling to come to terms with the horrible things she's done in her life. Temple's physical journey mirrors her inner journey to come to terms with this internal conflict. The people and the monsters she encounters along the way serve to ping-pong her along this path. Moses' obsession with Temple is an extreme example of this.

I would make the case that both Temple and Moses can be viewed as the eponymous reapers in this book, each serving in that "duty", if you will, by their own methods. Temple's status of reaper can even be symbolically claimed by her use of the gurkha knife. And Moses is not a bad man, per se. Yes, he is dangerous, but he is driven by an obligation to avenge his brother's death, whether he wants to or not. "Vengeance is mine," sayeth the Lord.

Jim, you asked earlier if the writing style of this book impacted its enjoyment? I can heartily say that no, it did not. The book is written in the present tense, which is very uncommon. Have you read Craig DiLouie's Infection, also written in the same style, but not with the same literary aspirations? The impact can be almost jarring in its immediacy and intimacy - I know I felt that way when I read DiLouie's book.

So, I feel like I want to say, "what a dud!" I really liked this book and wish I could make the two of you like it too, in the same way my daughter wants to force her favorite TV show on her little kid brother. But it's not going to work. No one in their right mind truly enjoys reruns of "The Nanny", do they? :)

Tammy K. (rambles_of_a_reader) Side comment and this you can delete Jim if you think its too far off topic..
Since the book title is scripture, I am gonna sneak this in..

"Vengeance is mine," sayeth the Lord means that God's children are not to seek out Vengeance but rather leave it to God to seek/deal it out.

Romans 12:19 19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

Moses was not a good man, nor was he following the Word of God.

message 24: by Tammy K. (last edited Sep 11, 2013 08:28PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Tammy K. (rambles_of_a_reader) You are correct, there is no changing my mind on my reading experience at this point.

I really did not like the morality (or lack there of) that the author portrayed as acceptable in this book.

Like a 25 year old man having sex with a 15 year old girl. BECAUSE she decided not to wait anymore?! and that is all "ok"?!
Mose wanting to Murder Temple because she killed his brother while he was attempting to rape her?

Moses presented as "justified in trying to kill" Temple even though he admits that his brother was doing wrong?

The ending of the book sealed the deal.
(view spoiler)

This is the first and the last book that I will read by this Author!
It is clear that we do not think the same way. We do not have the same morals.
I think the book's title when taken in context to the lack of morals in the book, says a lot about the author.

Netanella | 2107 comments Hey, where'd the rest of your sentence go?

Tammy, it's not supposed to be okay. That's part of the conflict in the book, the struggle of the characters. It's part of why Temple thinks she's evil.

As for Moses, in no way do I imply he is a child of God. Rather, Moses believes he is vindicated in his pursuit of vengeance because he can play God - vengeance is his, and he is obligated to pursue it. When the tables are turned at the end of the book with the mutant girl, Moses learns how quickly this play spins out of control.

Tammy K. (rambles_of_a_reader) Netanella,
For some reason all day today the last part of my posts have been cut off.
I do not know if I am going too long or if its a glitch in my PC or what.
It was happening on my tablet but now I am on my desktop and its still happening.
I tried to update it and fix it. Sorry

While it may be that you can interpret the intent of the author/message of those scenes as meaning another thing.
I base my reading experiences/reviews from the chapter 1 of a book to the end of last page of the book.
There was nothing between those pages that gave me the indication that those acts had any other message then what they were written as.

Keeping in mind that this is just my opinion, that I claim to be nothing but a reader.

Netanella | 2107 comments Sorry about the sentence-gremlins! That's got to be frustrating.

And I'm trying to force "The Nanny" on you - sorry. We need a new book, I think. Maybe one that stays away from religious overtones. This one was definitely not Jordan's Brains or Mountain Man. Who voted on this, anyway?

message 28: by Tammy K. (last edited Sep 11, 2013 09:12PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Tammy K. (rambles_of_a_reader) I have no idea who voted on this one.
I am all for fast forwarding this BOTM.
Normally I try to steer away from participating in buddy or group reads which have strong stands in either Religious or Political to them as they can divide a group faster than a bolt of lightning.
When it comes to biblical quotes, I've generally go a half of dozen floating in my head at any given time due to my upbringing.
I've had to learn to avoid using them while online unless it's on topic.
I moderated for years on a small website. I learned a lot but most importantly I learned that political and religious comments must be kept to a bare minimum if a group is to survive (online).

I stuck with this BOTM so that there would be three voices rather than two.

I want our group to be successful. I (like many others, yourself included) am doing my part to keep the conversations going.

Authors come and go but group members participate.

A BOTM and buddy read is a passing thing but group relationship is what we want to build and keep.

Netanella | 2107 comments :) Smiles to that! I agree wholeheartedly!

message 30: by Jim (new) - rated it 1 star

Jim | 219 comments Mod
I didn't know this till I posted my review last night but this is actually the first book in a trilogy. I did not care for this book and feel it is 7.5 hours of my life I will never get back. At least I listened to it while driving so I didn't have anything else to do during that time.

To me the book was dull and pointless. It was a quest tale with no quest. As Netanella mentioned, it is best absorbed if not viewed as a zombie book. However, this is a zombie group and was nominated for zombie readers. I think that was a bit misleading. For the record, I didn't vote for this book but decided to do it when I saw my library had it and it was going to be one of the top three.

Hopefully the next book this month will be better received.

Tammy K. (rambles_of_a_reader) Jim,
Are we done with this one, or do you have any final questions.
Maybe we can get other who have read the book but did not post a comment so far, to share their thoughts?

message 32: by Jim (new) - rated it 1 star

Jim | 219 comments Mod
Anyone who wants to post is open to post anything. Was there anyone who read this previously and enjoyed it?

Will any of those that participated being continuing on to the second book in the series?

Netanella | 2107 comments I'd probably be outvoted, but I will read the second one in the series. Eventually.

I just started A Game of Thrones and that series will take me a while to finish.

Plus there's always the second group read book for September, Zombie, Inc., starting soon.

Tammy K. (rambles_of_a_reader) I won't be continuing this series.

I too am participating in the second BOTM.
I do hope zombies Inc is good. Not only did I vote for it, I nominated it... if it's a dud I'm going to run and hide. :D

I'm currently participating in the buddy read.

When that's done I'll be looking for someone reading buddies to finish up some serials that have been waiting on my to read list.

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