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Croak by Gina Damico

Lex Bartleby is the definition of rebel without a cause. Her increasingly erratic and extreme behavior, everything from talking back to shoplifting to beating up classmates, has been known to land her in a world of trouble, and her parents are finally fed up. So they send her to upstate New York to live with her Uncle Mort for a summer of good old-fashioned farm work—or so they think. What they don’t know, and what Lex is quick to find out, is that Uncle Mort is actually a Grim Reaper and he’s about to teach Lex all he knows. Despite her conflicted feelings, Lex assimilates into her summer home of Croak surprisingly well and learns to Kill like a pro. But just as Lex feels like she’s finally found a place where she belongs, a series of startling and unexplainable deaths rocks the Grim community and threatens Lex’s newfound peace. Somebody is killing people before it’s their time to go, but it seems this murderer has an agenda—the targeted victims are all scum and lowlifes. Lex is once again torn; she knows these deaths are unnatural and wrong, but she can’t fight her sense of justice. Either way, Lex has to pick a side, because she might be more integral to this evil plot than she knows.

Croak is one heck of a thrilling, hilarious, and all around entertaining paranormal debut. Books that take on various interpretations of Grim Reapers have always been interesting to me, so Croak already won me over in that department, but what really made this book shine was protagonist Lex’s no nonsense voice and sarcastic sense of humor. Lex will have readers laughing aloud with every progressively bizarre turn of events in the first half of the novel. After that, the mystery of the unexplained deaths takes precedence, providing for a more action-packed and suspenseful plot. The end result is a whole lot of fun and a completely enjoyable reading experience. There are really only a couple of details worth remarking upon that detracted from this novel’s brilliance. Firstly, Lex’s bond with her immediate family, especially her twin sister Cordy, was described but never felt truly enforced, which lessened the magnitude of certain tragic events in the story. Secondly, the ending was a little too abrupt for my taste; it felt like things cut off just as they were getting started. However, this last complaint may actually be a blessing in disguise, because it seems to suggest that Croak will get a sequel, which is something I certainly don’t want to miss.

Croak is sure to be enjoyed by fans of Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake, Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride, and My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent.

Rating: 4.25

Review copy from NetGalley

2 munch(es) :

fakesteph said...

This sounds great! I can't wait to read this one, now.

Katie said...

I can't wait to read this one. I was already excited about it but as soon as you said it was for fans of Hold Me Closer, Necromancer I moved it to the top of my TBR. Great review.

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