Book Review: Don’t Fear The Reaper by Michelle Muto

12717535Title: Don’t Fear The Reaper

Author: Michelle Muto

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Age Group: Young Adult

Rating: 5 stars

Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Grief-stricken by the murder of her twin, Keely Morrison is convinced suicide is her ticket to eternal peace and a chance to reunite with her sister. When Keely succeeds in taking her own life, she discovers death isn’t at all what she expected. Instead, she’s trapped in a netherworld on Earth and her only hope for reconnecting with her sister and navigating the afterlife is a bounty-hunting reaper and a sardonic, possibly unscrupulous, demon. But when the demon offers Keely her greatest temptation—revenge on her sister’s murderer—she must uncover his motives and determine who she can trust. Because, as Keely soon learns, both reaper and demon are keeping secrets and she fears the worst is true—that her every decision will change how, and with whom, she spends eternity.

Don’t Fear The Reaper was a nice, thought-inspiring surprise. I went in thinking the plot was great, but not expecting all that much – just another paranormal romance novel. Well, I was wrong. This book offers a lot more, both in terms of plot as in characterization. At times, I felt like my heart was going to be ripped right of my chest, that’s how much it hurt to read certain scenes. Obviously a lot of passion and thought went into this book, and it shows. I read the entire book in one night, unable to put it down.

Keely Morrison has decided to take her own life. Her twin sister was murdered in horrible circumstances, and Keely wants nothing more than to be reunited with her. Unfortunately, things end up differently. A moment too late Keely realizes she still wants to live. She fights her own death with all her strength, but to no avail. Death hasn’t brought her to the peaceful reuniting with her sister she hoped for. Instead, she’s trapped in the Netherworld, where she’ll have to make a vital choice. Unable to cross over, she only has two options. Either she joins the demons in hell, or she becomes a Reaper. With the murderer of her sister still out there, Keely is bend on taking revenge first, and ask questions later. Something that may not always work in her advantage.

The world of beyong the grave as sketched by author Michelle Muto is dark, threatening, at times terrifying, but definitely unique and intriguing. Unwillingly Keely finds herself in the middle of an age-old war between Reapers and demons, with at stake her very own soul. It’s a tragic situation, since in one way she condemned herself to said fate, but on the other hand, she never expected the afterlife to be like this. With a demon and a Reaper on her side, she’s never completely alone either to contemplate what all of this means. Some of the most heart-breaking scenes were when she was found by her parents. It was simply tragic, nearly made me cry. Poor parents. And then when she had to come to terms with that she was truly dead, it broke my heart all over again.

But the book isn’t all drama and despair. There’s also light and humor, and even a notion of love. Keely is an interesting character, and I loved how the author handled her personality. Suicide is a delicate matter to discuss, even in fiction, but author Michelle Muto managed to talk about it without showing any disrespect for Keely or what she’d done, while showing her parents’ immense grief at the same time. Banning was an interesting character as well. As a Reaper, I expected him to be more emotionless, but I’m glad he showed emotions when needed, and felt truly sorry for Keely and what happened to her sister. The demon, Daniel, was by far my favorite character though. He provided the much-needed comic relief, while never going completely over the top.

The heart of this book is Keely’s relationship with her sister, their love for each other, and how said love transcends even death. It’s captivating and moving, heart-warming and saddening at the same time. On that foundation of sibling love, Michelle Muto builds an intriguing, original afterlife with various paranormal elements straight from the author’s imagination. Don’t Fear The Reaper is one of the most breathtaking, original YA paranormal novels I’ve read in a long while. I recommend it to all fans of the genre. This book will not dissapoint.

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