Sara’s Review of Reaper’s Novice by Cecilia Robert
I’d like to thank both AToMR Tours and the author, Cecilia Robert, for letting me participate in this tour! For a full list of all the blogs participating in the tour, and for a chance to enter the three giveaways associated with the event, please visit HERE!
Date Published: January 10, 2013
Series: Soul Collector
**Reaper’s Novice was previously published as a short story installment. It will be released in January 2013 as full length novel.**
17- year- old Ana Maria Tei’s life has always been perfect: loving parents, good grades, and a future so bright it outshone the sun. But now words like “separation” and “divorce” are sending her world plummeting to hell. Determined to keep her family intact, Ana plans a family-bonding trip from Vienna to Tuscany. Except fate has other plans. Ana’s parents and siblings are killed in a car accident on their way to pick Ana up from school.
Enter Grim, aka Ernest. He promises to relinquish the four souls if Ana agrees to trade her soul for theirs and serve a lifetime as his novice. In order for Ana to graduate from her Reaper’s Novice station to a Soul Collector graduate, Grim puts her to test. To her horror, she finds out becoming a Reaper’s Novice didn’t happen by chance. It was preordained, and she is forced to make a choice: save her family’s souls or come to terms with who she really is and complete the task set for her.
This was a great start to what promises to be an interesting series.
I loved Ana. She’s a strong character, with very real insecurities, and a truly loving heart. There isn’t anything she wouldn’t do for her family, and I find that trait admirable. One of the things that makes Ana so likeable is the fact that she feels real and is easy to relate too. Her frustration over not being told everything, her confusion and heartache over her relationship with Rolf, her grief over the loss of her family, etc. all struck a chord of understanding with me and helped me connect with her throughout the book. I’m really looking forward to watching her grow as the series continues. Zig is a ton of fun, though rather frustrating at times. He’s got so much energy, it’s rather infectious. I couldn’t help but smile every time he showed up in the story, which was a lot by the way. But, like Ana, I also wanted to strangle him at times because of his habit of showing up at some of the most inconvenient of moments. Rolf was one of those characters that I really enjoyed at first, but ended up disliking by the end of the story. I hope that my feelings for him change in the next book, but I’m not holding my breath. I wish I could go into detail about why my feelings towards him changed, but that would require giving away a story spoiler, and as you know, this feline doesn’t like to do spoilers. As for the other characters, I liked them and felt they all did a great job of helping to support the story.
Plot wise I have to say that Robert does a great job pulling the reader into the story. I wanted to keep reading in order to find out what happened next. Each chapter built upon the next, and the events all tied together well. I also loved the fact that it was set in Vienna! The only complaint I have is that three-quarters of the book is focused entirely on Ana’s life with her family, friends, and Rolf. The real training doesn’t start until close of the end of the book, which was a bit of a let down. Up until then, you are only given brief glimpses of what Ana is expected to do as a novice. Now, I get why Robert set things up the way she did, but I can’t help but feel it would have been nice to have seen more training and less interaction with friends/family. Also, for all that Ana is supposed to be Grim’s novice, he wasn’t really a driving character within the story. This leads back to the whole me wanting to have seen more soul collecting/training and less family/friends interaction. The bulk of the initial training is handled by Zig, and later by one of Ana’s teachers. Despite this though, I still liked where to book ended up. And I also enjoyed a few of the interesting twists that Robert included throughout the story. Two that come to mind right now are Reiner’s secret, and a deal between Grim and Rolf’s father. If you want to know more about those, might I suggest you read the book for yourself, because you won’t get any more details from this feline.
Overall, the book was a fun read. I found it engaging and well-written. I can’t wait to read more. =^.^=
About the Author:
Cecilia Robert lives in Vienna with her two children, has an incurable obsession with books, anything romantic, TV and medieval architecture. When not working in her full-time job, catching up with her two children, writing or reading, she can be found, knitting or crocheting, taking photos of old buildings.