Author: Alden Bell
Series: Reapers #1
Published: 2 September 2011 by Toe
Length: 304 pages
Warnings: attempted rape, violence
Source: won 2011 from Nocturnal Book Reviews
Summary : For twenty-five years, civilization has survived in meager enclaves, guarded against a plague of the dead. Temple wanders this blighted landscape, keeping to herself and keeping her demons inside her heart. She can't remember a time before the zombies, but she does remember an old man who took her in and the younger brother she cared for until the tragedy that set her on a personal journey toward redemption. Moving back and forth between the insulated remnants of society and the brutal frontier beyond, Temple must decide where ultimately to make a home and find the salvation she seeks.
Review: Temple is simply trying to survive in this world where zombies, slugs, whatever you want to call them, roam. She wanders from place to place, meeting people then moving on. We find her coming in to a small community. After one of the men there tries to rape her, Temple kills him and runs from his brother, Moses. Further on in her travels, she picks up Maury, a man she must take care of, and plans to help him get back to his family. They carry on travelling, running, from a man who wants revenge.
I like the fact that the zombies weren’t the focus of The Reapers are the Angels. Instead, they’re the world builders, providing a reason for Temple to keep moving and the occasional big action sequence.
Here, the horror comes from the characters. Abraham, who thinks he’s entitled to have the new young girl have sex with him. The mutants. Even Temple, in the way that she detaches herself so easily.
I like the range of characters. There’s people who remember times before the undead started rising and there’s people who don’t know anything else. Everyone deals with the undead in different ways.
I couldn’t really connect with Temple, despite being given access to her thoughts and method of thinking.
The events in this book seem quite disjointed. Once we met a character, for the most, we don’t see them again. This is perfectly in keeping with Temple’s lifestyle, but as a reader, I didn’t really enjoy it.
It’s all written in third person, closely following Temple and her decisions. There’s simple punctuation, and a distinct lack of speech marks. This and Temple’s strong accent do well in showing her upbringing and lack of education. I did miss the speech marks. A lot.
The relationship between Moses and Temple is the most interesting one in the novel. There’s the whole wanting to kill each other, but when their meetings become more and more frequent, they start to understand each other, understand their difference, and similarities.
Overall: Strength 3 tea to a character driven post-apocalyptic novel.