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.(From GoodReads)
In One Word ~ Stunning
I have been trying to start this review for an hour. I have typed and erased my opening at least ten times now. I just don't think I can explain what this book did to me. I don't know what I expected from Don't Fear the Reaper. I do know that I was really excited when author Michelle Muto sent me the book. I had read another of her books, The Book of Lost Souls, and adored it. So I went into reading this one with no trepidation, an awesome feeling.
I knew I was in for an emotional journey within the first few lines of Don't Fear the Reaper. The main character, Keely, emotionally devastated after the murder of her twin, commits suicide while in the midst of desperate grief. After months of torture, praying for a sign that her sister is safe on the other side, a sign that never comes, Keely just wants peace. She wants to be reunited with Jordan. At first, Keely doesn't realize her attempt was successful. And she's relieved. But then she is greeted not by Jordan, but by Banning and Daniel, a Reaper and a Demon. Keely learns that to decide her fate, she must pass a "test" with guidance from Banning and Daniel, all while searching for her sister.
I found Don't Fear the Reaper to be one of the most unique books I have ever read. To be honest, I haven't read much involving suicide and certainly nothing from the perspective of a "successful" suicide. I have to give the author kudos on the first chapter. It is dark and overwhelming. I re-read it a few minutes ago, just to be sure that my feelings were accurate. It literally took my breath away again. I know I said it is dark and overwhelming, but it is also, and I know this may sound weird, peaceful and delicate. She handled it with respect, without judgment towards Keely.
That respect towards Keely is what makes Don't Fear the Reaper so unique. Although Keely regrets the inevitable pain her parents will endure, and hates that she has done this to them, I never felt anger or judgment towards her. Muto gave such a detailed background and relayed Keely's anguish so well, that you understand why she felt she had no other choice. I just wanted to hold her hand and take the painful journey with her.
But Keely does have someone to take the journey with her, Banning and Daniel. As a Reaper and Demon, they should be used to this routine. But something about Keely makes them throw everything they should do out the window and put their eternal fates on the line to help her. As much as I loved Keely, I think I loved Banning and Daniel equally. They also have tragic pasts that drew and attached me to them.
Don't Fear the Reaper is a story about the love of two sisters. Love that would cause each one to make radical, ultimate sacrifices if it meant the slightest chance at peace for the other. It is about taking chances. In the case of Banning and Daniel, it's taking a chance on someone who may not seem likely to succeed, but who is worthy of the risk. It is about letting go.
I feel truly honored that Michelle Muto asked me to read Don't Fear the Reaper. This book was a privilege to read. And I look forward to reading it again in the future. This book will haunt me for a long, long time.
"The mystery that was Banning reminded me of an old book tucked into the farthest crevices of a
library shelf; dusty and forgotten, his painful memories cast in ink and meant for no one else to see,
but committed to fragile paper nonetheless."
"I'd lost sight of heaven, God, and everything good, but not Jordan. Some things transcended both life
and death. Some things never died."
Published September 23rd 2011 by Dreamscapes, Ink
Find Don't Fear the Reaper at:
Find author Michelle Muto at her website.
*I received a copy of Don't Fear the Reaper from the author, in exchange for an honest review.*