Title: Once Dead, Twice Shy (Book 1)
Author: Kim Harrison
Publication Date: May 26, 2009
My name is Madison Avery, and I'm here to tell you that there's more out there than you can see, hear, or touch. Because I'm there. Seeing it. Touching it. Living it.
Madison's prom was killer--literally. For some reason she's been targeted by a dark reaper--yeah, that kind of reaper--intent on getting rid of her, body and soul. But before the reaper could finish the job, Madison was able to snag his strange, glowing amulet and get away.
Now she's stuck on Earth--dead but not gone. Somehow the amulet gives her the illusion of a body, allowing her to toe the line between life and death. She still doesn't know why the dark reaper is after her, but she's not about to just sit around and let fate take its course.
With a little ingenuity, some light-bending, and the help of a light reaper (one of the good guys! Maybe...), her cute crush, and oh yeah, her guardian angel, Madison's ready to take control of her own destiny once and for all, before it takes control of her.
Well, if she believed in that stuff.
First off...did you see the cover? It's so cool! I love all of the purple in it.
Anyway, back to the review. This book became one of my favorites but it did have its share of problems. I admired Harrison's writing from start to finish. It was consistently exciting and unexpected throughout the whole book. And although her writing was continually original, I was confused after forty pages. I didn't realize that the short story Harrison wrote-Madison Avery and the Dim Reaper-was connected. It was the short story in Prom Nights from Hell and Harrison poorly executed the recap of it. But once I had that cleared up, I devoured the book page by page.
Basically, the whole book revolved around Madison and her dilemma. She needed to get her body back. Madison's character was very lifelike even though she was supposedly a ghost of some sort. I was able to relate to her feelings towards the events that happened to her. I felt sorry for her at times because I felt like she couldn't trust almost anybody. She was drowning in so many lies and so many evils. She did nothing wrong and yet she was being punished.
There were many unexpected things that happened, but they all fit into the plot perfectly. The plot was original and captivating. The characters were what made the plot unique and insightful. They went through what normal teens would...even if their situation isn't exactly normal. I was able to catch a glimpse of how it felt not to be so normal through Madison's eyes. She was mature for her age; I was expecting someone less deep and less perceptive. Harrison did a great job with Madison.
The Bottom Line: I liked it. It's one of my favorites but Harrison didn't do a great job recapping the story. Read Madison Avery and the Dim Reaper first. It's sets the stage for Once Dead, Twice Shy. I loved the characters and I loved the plot. Once Dead, Twice Shy is definitely worth remembering. I can't wait for the next book. A. :-)
My reaction/enjoyment: 9/10
Total Score: 94/100 (A)