A bit of a confession, I’m a Buffy the Vampire Slayer fangirl. What does this have to do with anything? Well, the other night when I was organizing some of my e-books I came across a novel by Amber Benson. I thought to myself, why is that name so familiar? Well, a Google search revealed to me that yes, Amber Benson, the very actress who played Tara on Buffy has written novels. My excitement led me directly to the bookstore for a copy of the first book in her Calliope Reaper-Jones series.
Calliope Reaper-Jones has been content to live a normal life for the last three years. She lives in her New York City apartment, working too much and playing too little. One day at work, out of nowhere her father’s executive assistant tricks her and that memory-forgetting charm she put on herself – the one that let her forget the insanity that is her family – is broken. So much for that normal life… I mean how can anyone be normal when they are Death’s daughter, right?
When Callie realizes that Jarvis was the one to ruin everything for her, she’s ready to tell him just how she feels about that, but when she finds out several executive members of the Death, Inc. board have been kidnapped, including her father and her older sister she realizes she has to go home to help out.
Taking over the position of Death was not something Callie had ever intended to do – in fact she’d done everything she could to avoid it, but after being guilt-tripped by her mother, Callie agrees to take the reigns, assuming she can complete three tasks she’s given.
Facing family members who believe the worst of her, monsters the likes of which she’s never heard of or seen before, and the world she’s only wanted to avoid, Callie has to accept unwanted responsibilities, fight the bad guys, and find everyone who has been kidnapped.
Death’s Daughter was interesting enough, but it’s filled with positives and negatives. Basically, I liked it, but I didn’t love it. Why?
Firstly, the writing – it just wasn’t consistent. At times the book was very easy to read, it was well written, even witty. The rest of the time though, I found myself struggling, wanting to put the book down and pick something else up. Things would go from this fast paced ‘don’t look away, we’re moving!’ to ‘pardon me, reader, but I appear to have found myself some molasses.’
Secondly, the main character – I can’t decide whether I want to like her or hate her. Calliope had her moments, but all too often I found myself shaking my head at her whininess and immaturity.
Regardless of the above two points, the story itself was pretty catchy. I mean, death’s daughter, who becomes death after going so far as to block her memory to avoid exactly that, c’mon! I know I was intrigued.
Death’s Daughter boasts some really good characters, outside of Calliope. I absolutely loved Jarvis and Callie’s younger sister Clio. Kali, too, was one of my favorite characters, even if she did egg Callie on at times. There is also Daniel, whom I really liked once I figured out what was going on towards the end of the book, though I must admit to not being happy about his disappearance. I’m determined that he’ll be back though – he has to be.
Bottom line, Death’s Daughter is an interesting story with some equally interesting characters, and also some negatives. While I won’t be waxing poetic about this one, I will continue the series to see what happens next – hopefully I’ll being seeing some growth in Calliope and maybe better writing…
The Calliope Reaper-Jones series:
1. Death’s Daughter
2. Cat’s Claw
3. Serpent’s Storm
I had NO IDEA Amber Benson had written any books – as soon as I saw that name on the book I thought “is it *that* Amber Benson?!” So I totally added it to my TBR list just based on it being related to BTVS in some way 😉
That’s basically what I did, too. I hope you enjoy it! She also co-wrote a few other books which I’m curious to check out.