Willow’s Review of Graveyard Shift by Angela Roquet

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Graveyard Shift Front Cover with IRA stickerRating: paw4

Publisher: Infinity Publishing

Date Published: September 25, 2009

Series: Lana Harvey, Reapers Inc #1

Goodreads Description:

The Inferno has Evolved… Lana Harvey is a reaper, and a lousy one at that. She resides in Limbo City, the modern capital of the collective afterlives, where she likes to stick it to the man (the legendary Grim Reaper himself) by harvesting the bare minimum of souls required of her. She’d much rather be hanging out with Gabriel, her favorite archangel, at Purgatory Lounge. But when a shocking promotion falls in her lap, Lana learns something that could unravel the very fabric of Eternity. If the job isn’t completed, there could be some real hell to pay.

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Review:

As my first foray reading Roquet’s novels, I must admit that this was a delightfully amusing read. Fans of Darynda Jones will want to check this series out.

Lana’s not your average Reaper. She’s sarcastic, prone to breaking the rules, and a bit of a slacker. Yet at the same time she’s loyal to her friends, willing to fight for what she believes in, and can kick some serious butt when necessary. She’s someone I’d love to hang out with if given the chance. Gabriel, Maalik, and Josie were wonderful secondary characters. Actually, all of the characters were great in this book. There wasn’t a single one whom I disliked. Actually, strike that, Wasyat had a tendency to make my fur crawl. One would think that a so called Egyptian Goddess would act with more sophistication, but nope, she was the most obnoxious character I’ve read in a long time. Bast would weep from shame over her behavior. Still, the rest of the characters more than made up for her and her annoyance. I even found myself enjoying the two hellhounds, Coreen and Saul. Dare I say that they were rather cute, for canines.

This was a fast read. It hooked me right from the start and once I got started, I didn’t want to put it down. There was lots of action, some great one liners, and the plot took a couple of turns that I wasn’t expecting. At the same time I was happy that while there was an element of romance, it wasn’t the primary focus of the book. Instead, the mystery took center stage. I’d hesitate to call this a paranormal romance, but more of a straight paranormal fantasy novel with many different religious ideas included. By this last bit I mean that the deities mentioned come from most of the world’s religious, old and new, and the author does a fantastic job of describing the various different heavens and hells that many believe exist upon death. I felt this part of the book was very nicely done.

Yes, some would call this book cheesy, but it’s a fun cheesy. It’s just the sort of read that is sure to pick a reader who is in a reading rut up and put a smile on her/his face. Many times I found myself laughing out loud while reading. I think my favorite scene was when Lana, Josie, and Kevin all gang up on Grim in order to ensure that they get a bonus for the work he is expecting them to do. I also got a kick out of the fact that Lana and Gabriel are fans of Western movies and John Wayne. Heehee.

Oh, and did I mention that this book has hellcats in it? Yup, the dark cousins of the feline family get to have a moment of fun in this story. Okay, sure, they are portrayed as evil minions working for one of the antagonists, but we can’t all be perfect all the time. ~shrugs~

If you are looking for a fun read that will make you laugh, then I highly recommend you pick this up and give it a try. If you do, feel free to share your thoughts with me in the comments below. In the meantime, I’m going to go curl up with the second book in the series, Pocket Full of Posies. =^.^=

Excerpt:

“Go help Coreen and Kevin! I’ll take care of them.” Josie fired another arrow through the nearest demon’s eye. Pus exploded from the gaping wound. The beast wailed and clawed at its face before Josie darted it through the skull. A cloud of murky smoke rose in its place. The second demon was quicker. It rolled away from her and scrambled behind a semi. Josie pounced onto the hood of a car and hurried after it.
The sound of traffic crunched in my ears. Angry horns blared as cars and trucks slowed around the charred bridge and missing chunk of railing. Humans may fear death, but they never pass up an opportunity to gawk at it.
I leaned over the wrecked ledge and caught a glimpse of the bus before it disappeared entirely. Kevin and Coreen’s robes laid abandoned on the crumbling bridge. I yanked mine over my head and tossed it next to theirs. It was no good to me in the water. I grasped my scythe in both hands and jumped.
The momentum of the fall pulled me under the icy water, and I found the bus, still bubbling as the remaining air inside tried to escape. I latched onto an open window and pulled myself around to the door.
Inside, Coreen and Kevin cut away the passengers’ seatbelts. Coreen jerked around and then relaxed when she saw it was only me. Kevin’s mop of curls floated around his face, rendered weightless in the dark water. He struggled with a dagger, trying to free the last man. I slipped the blade of my scythe under the buckle and tore it loose from the seat. He gave me a relieved smile, but only a brief one. Air bubbles leaked from the corners of his mouth and he pinched his lips shut again. He grabbed two of the men under their arms and heaved them out the door.
There were only five. One of the band mates must have been driving. Coreen grabbed the next two and left the drummer for me. He was unconscious. The others had a chance of making it out alive, and I hoped they did. We had enough problems. We didn’t need four additional souls to tend to.
Mickey, our catch, was slowly drowning in my arms. This wasn’t how he was meant to go, but I wasn’t about to go to the trouble of saving him just so he could die an hour later. That’s as far as destiny would take him. I was just saving him the extra trauma.
His soul glowed as I pulled it free from his body, and his eyes flashed open in surprise. I pulled him close and wrapped an arm around his waist to keep him from turning back and seeing his body. The shock is too much for some souls. I pulled him out the door and swam towards the ascending bubbles, fleeing for the surface.

About the Author:

AngelaRoquet1BUrban fantasy author Angela Roquet is a great big weirdo. She collects Danger Girl comic books, owls, skulls, and random craft supplies. Her obsessions include the Wizard of Oz, over-sweetened coffee, and all things Joss Whedon. She’s a fan of renewable energy, marriage equality, and religious tolerance. As long as whatever you’re doing isn’t hurting anyone, she’s a fan of you, too.

Angela lives in Sedalia, Missouri with her husband and son. When she’s not swearing at the keyboard, she enjoys painting, goofing off with her family and friends, and reading books that raise eyebrows. GRAVEYARD SHIFT, the first novel in Angela’s Lana Harvey, Reapers Inc. series, is now available for FREE on Kindle, Nook, & Smashwords.

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***Giveaway***

Angela is offering up a $25 Amazon Gift Card and a signed set of paperbacks (open to US shipping)! To enter, simply click on the Rafflecopter link below:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/ba112ffc834/

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Posted on November 6, 2014, in Book Reviews. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Thank you for the great review! I’m so glad you enjoyed my first novel. Good luck to everyone in the giveaway! : )