Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Death Catchers review

Description: On her fourteenth Halloween, Lizzy Mortimer sees her first death-specter.

Confused at first, Lizzy soon learns from her grandmother Bizzy that as Death Catchers, they must prevent fate from taking its course when an unjust death is planned-a mission that has been passed down from their ancestor, Morgan le Fay. Only, Lizzy doesn't expect one of her first cases to land her in the middle of a feud older than time between Morgan le Fay and her sister Vivienne le Mort. Vivienne hopes to hasten the end of the world by preventing Lizzy from saving King Arthur's last descendant-humanity's greatest hope for survival. It's up to Lizzy, as Morgan's earthly advocate, to outwit fate before it's too late.

With its unique spin on Arthurian legend, this fresh, smartly written story will stand out in the paranormal genre.

My thoughts: I was attracted to this book initially just because of it’s name. Death Catchers is an intriguing title. And the description made it sound even better. Unfortunately it wasn’t as good as I’d hoped it would be.
The plot had a very obvious direction, which is fine in general if there are other aspects of the story that makes it stand out. I thought the fact that it included Arthurian history would have made it stand out, because besides Greek mythology and road trips, I’m a sucker for anything related to King Arthur (Merlin, Excalibur, etc.). But connecting king Arthur to the main character wasn’t enough.
I didn’t realize until I started reading Death Catchers that it would have such young characters. I’ve found that except for books like A Series of Unfortunate Events, the Percy Jackson series, and the recently reviewed Icefall, I don’t get in to middle grade books (or YA books with characters under 17) too often.
Although Death Catchers wasn’t as good as I’d have liked it to be, it wasn’t all bad. The beginning of a romance (or at least a cool friendship) between the main character and a guy in her class was cute. It was nice to not have a character fall in love with someone in 8 seconds or less. Especially because their relationship turns out to be deeper than they initially think. And on top of the romance, some of Lizzy’s grandma’s words of wisdom were hilarious.

I liked parts of the book as much as I disliked other parts of it. And by the end of the book, the progression of the characters was enough that I’d be willing to give the next book a try (I think there’s going to be a next one). Especially because it’s revealed that although Lizzy is special because she’s a death catcher, there’s also something even more unique about her. I also think that once the characters are older, the story will appeal to me more.

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