Hey, hey, hey folks! how about this weather, huh? I know that’s a terribly English opener but…hey, how about this weather?! For those of you not in the know (or in England), the week before last it hailed every morning. And I’m not talking dainty, little crumbs—I’m talking decent sized lumps of ice. My little Wolf (Siberian Husky) was out in it thinking it was the best thing ever. He had his nose lifted to the sky and his eyes closed like it was bliss as these lumps of ice pelted him in the face and got lodged in his fur. Then, of course, he came back inside and treated us to an indoor hail storm as he shook them off. All over the kitchen. Honestly. He’s lucky I love him.
But this week, this week it’s like summer has officially arrived. And my favourite thing to do in summer is read outside (in the shade, obviously—do you know how pale I am?! I swear there’s vampiric DNA somewhere in my lineage). But because I’ve been working on my own stuff for ages I’m a bit out out of the loop with what new books are out in the series I read. Do you ever reread a series before reading the new book? I do. I was talking to someone else about this recently (I genuinely can’t remember who) and she said she did the same thing. There’s so many things you miss in a book the first time around because you’re so focused on finding out what happens (or I am). So I love it when I reread a series and I find a piece of foreshadowing that I didn’t originally recognise or identify the seeds of a mystery that is explored in later books.
So, to kick my summer off with a bang I’m revisiting Angela Roquet’s Reapers Inc. series. I’ve mentioned the delightful Angela Roquet before (she let me guest post on her blog! How nice was that?). Eyes right for a picture. I like to think that she’s keeping her head tilted down because—do you remember when Geoffrey Rush showed Keira Knightly his cursed skeleton face in the first Pirates of the Caribbean—she has a spooky skeleton face. She doesn’t. She’s really pretty—I’ve seen a photo on her website. I still like to imagine that’s the reason though…
I thought, since I’d mentioned the series a few times, I’d give you a few good (semi-superficial) reasons why you should start her series. (Read on for the actual reasons.)
1. The first book is free. To me, that’s like a money back guarantee without actually having to pay anything upfront. Or a trial. It’s like saying “I’m so sure you’ll like this book I don’t want to charge you for the first one because I know after you read it you’ll become a lifetime customer.” (Side note: Yes, I charge for my first book because right now it’s my only book. Also, I’m insecure! I need the money for therapy.)
2. There are now six books available in the series. Ghost Market (book six) is fresh from the ebook presses! I tend to be quite picky about committing to a series and one of my deciding factors is how many book are available. I don’t want to be totally blown away by the first book and have to wait a year for the next. Or ten—Mr Martin that dig was aimed at you. (Side note: Yes, I currently only have one book out—by December there’ll be three so you can totally start reading…just read reeeeeeeally slowly!)
3. The covers are awesome! I know you’re not meant to judge a book by it’s cover but sometime that’s the best way to get a vibe for the tone of the book. It’ll grab you or it won’t. And look how cool they are lined up together. Pretty good reason, right? I thought so.
You can click on the covers above and they will take you to Amazon to download it. Have you done that? Have I sold you on the series? Awesome! You should probably go and read it quickly before the weather changes. Or maybe you're still not convinced this is the series for you? In that case, read on…
Okay, so now we’ve all embraced our shallowness let me tell you three real reasons why you should invest your time, money and emotions in this series.
1. Let’s state the obvious—it’s a great series. How do I know this? Because I’ve read it. (Like I would recommend you something I’d not read!) Also, over nine hundred amazon reviews on the first book (over fifty per cent of them five stars!) don’t lie. It’s a super original take on…I don’t want to say the afterlife because that’s kind of a specific term and the world Angela has created is much more varied than that. And it deals with a whole host of religions and not just in a token way. That alone I find fascinating. I’m not going to say anymore than that because so you can explore it yourself!
2. Lana Harvey is kickass. Apart from the fact she’s a grim reaper (forgive me for not using spoiler etiquette here but I kinda think the series title gives this away!) she’s just a really strong, determined woman who does what she wants as much as possible. I’ve got no gripe against the YA heroines and the female superheroes taking up our screens but she’s pretty dang close to a Thorina. (Don’t understand that? Shame on you! Click here for an explanation.)
3. The final point and probably, for me, the best part of this series is that the Lana Harvey in book five (Honesty moment: I’ve not read book six yet) isn’t the same as the Lana Harvey in book one. And I mean this in a good way. Yes, she still has the same snark and the same attitude but she’s not Stephanie Plum. Stephanie Plum in book twenty-something who is still a terrible bounty hunter, who is still making the same mistakes as in book one, who can’t decide between two guys. Who despite being blown up, threatened at gunpoint, kidnapped, yada yada yada hasn’t learned from those experiences. Lana is changed by what’s happened to her not so much she’s a totally different person but enough that you, as a reader of the series will be like “Ohhhhh, I get why she’s behaving that way…” and that’s what I want from my books. Not my TV series so much, but definitely from my literary adventures because I invest more of myself in them.
I’d have written a longer post extolling the virtues, but really I just want to go and start book six while the sun is still shining! Don’t forget to drop Angela a message to let her know how much you love her series or just review it for her…which I haven’t yet done but I’m totally going to. See if you can beat me to it. If it’s raining where you are, you probably will. If it’s sunny and you’re outside reading—I’ll race you to the final page! Fair warning, I’m a fast reader!
About the author: Angela Roquet is a great big weirdo. She collects Danger Girl comic books, owls, skulls, random craft supplies, and all things Joss Whedon. Angela lives in Missouri with her husband and son. She's a member of SFWA and HWA, as well as the Four Horsemen of the Bookocalypse, her epic book critique group, where she's known as Death. When not swearing at the keyboard, she enjoys painting, goofing off with her family and friends, and reading books that raise eyebrows.
Find Angela online for digital (and sometimes real world) adventures: