Monday, July 29, 2013

Reaper's Rhythm: A fun dance for YA fans

Last week, I previewed a look at Clare Davidson's new young adult urban fantasy novel, Reaper's Rhythm. This week, I have a review for you. Enjoy!

Reaper's Rhythm tells the story of Kim, a teen whose sister Charley has apparently committed suicide. The only problem is, Charley had been happy, and Kim doesn't believe her sister killed herself. But other than the nagging sensation that something is wrong somehow, Kim can't prove anything, and no one believes her. Worse, Kim is suffering from a form of amnesia. Even though she discovered her sister's body, she can't remember anything from the time she arrived at home until she wakes up later in the hospital.

Trying to make sense of what happened, Kim begins talking to Charley's friends. She is hit on by the creepy Gage, hated on by mean girl Tia, pitied by Charley's close friend Amy, befriended by Kevin, an older teen who Charley had fought with the day she died...

But the real mystery is Matthew, a cute guy with a winning smile that no one else seems to notice lurking around except for Kim. The otherworldly Matthew warns Kim from trying to find out what happened. And of course, she ignores him. That's how she discovers there is magic at work...and with her stubborn need for closure in the death of Charley, Kim gets caught right in the middle of a magic mess...

Reaper's Rhythm is a lot of fun. The beginning drops us right into the middle of the action. Now I'll be honest: that felt a bit abrupt to me personally. But I quickly got my feet grounded in the story, it moved along nicely, and I didn't mind the quick start so much. For young adults, the target audience, I expect the quick start will be greatly appreciated.

In a typical YA novel, you want a hint of romance. Author Clare Davidson provides this deftly. Kim is drawn to Matthew, but Kevin is cute in his own way too. And then there's Gage, who is clearly a bad boy, but he has a certain charm that is hard to ignore. You wonder which, if any of them, Kim will end up with.

The magic in the story is also handled well. It never overpowers the main drama, which is how Kim solves the mystery of what happened to Charley and comes to terms with it. But the magic is a key to what happened, and Davidson weaves it into the story so that it makes perfect sense in the urban, English setting where the story takes place. My only criticism is that I wanted to know more about the magical, demonic and angelic creatures who are players in the story. We do get an explanation of sorts, and it works, but I'd like to more. Perhaps that's an area Davidson will explore in a sequel someday.

All in all, Reaper's Rhythm is a solid book that teenaged fans of Twilight (by Stephenie Meyer) and City of Bones (by Cassandra Clare) are sure to enjoy!

Now for a little excitement...
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Clare Davidson
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Next week, I'll share some thoughts about critique groups...and why maybe you don't need one as much as you might think. See you then!

Copyright (c) 2013 by M.A. Chiappetta. All rights reserved.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and review Reaper's Rhythm :)


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