Princess Ophelia Dacre is murdered, but instead of going to heaven, she gets the chance to live on as a grim reaper. At first, she welcomes a chance to understand who killed her and to look after her loved ones, but she quickly learns that death isn't fair.
This is a really small book with a lot packed in. I loved the idea of reapers and angels being among us and formerly being human, and the way that the reapers only exist to sever the soul from the body before death to prevent feeling the pain. It is actually quite reassuring, to be honest.
Ophelia, or Leila, as she is known throughout most of the book, is a nice strong character, probably helped by the fact that she is a Princess and therefore ought to have a commanding prescence. She is easily understandable, though I highly disapprove of her rule-breaking ways. She does entirely what she wants, and she is learning, but still has rather a long way to go. After her, the only character who truly stood out at all was Wynter, whose bad-boy rebelliousness and genuine caring attitude leaved you a little confused but warmed all the same.
The book is very pacy with non-stop action and interest, but manages a nice slowish romance too. A few unexpected things happen and I loved that it never once flinched away from the brutality of death even though technically a YA.
As the book was fairly small, I fully expected the ending to be rather abrupt and for the book to feel rather like a first half of a novel instead of a full package, and indeed the book left on a forboding note. I usually prefer first books to act as one whole story and not as simply the first part. Some people may like it though. As of yet, I don't see anything huge on the horizon as no clear baddies were set and no clear storyline is really developing. So far it has been a story about the personal growth of the main character and one of her new friends.
Could it have worked better as one book rather than a series? Possibly, though I haven't yet read the other books. Nevertheless it was a good, quick read.
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Thank you to YA Bound and Ruth Silver for the copy of this book.