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Cat's Claw (A Calliope Reaper-Jones Novel) Mass Market Paperback – February 23, 2010

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Product Details

  • Series: A Calliope Reaper-Jones Novel (Book 2)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Ace; 1ST edition (February 23, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441018432
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441018437
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 0.9 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (153 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #890,061 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Benson follows up Death's Daughter with a complicated, slow-moving tale. Being the half-human daughter of the Grim Reaper has advantages—such as immortality—but Calliope Reaper-Jones would rather just get on with her ordinary life in New York City. Then Callie learns that her lost love may still be alive; a dangerous cat-shaped spirit guide seeks human form; and Cerberus, the three-headed guardian of Hell, demands Callie locate and turn over a mysterious architect who's gone missing. Callie bounces from twist to twist as she explores Benson's richly imagined world, where multiple mythologies blend, and the afterlife is run as a corporation. The chick lit voice gets its share of laughs, but the frenzied pace fails to hide the lack of heart or the sense that this time around, the stakes never really amount to much. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

AMBER BENSON co-created, co-wrote, and directed the animated supernatural web-series Ghosts of Albion with Christopher Golden, followed by a series of novels including Witchery and Accursed, and the novella Astray. Benson and Golden also co-authored the novella The Seven Whistlers. As an actress, she has appeared in dozens of roles in feature films, TV movies, and television series, including the fan favorite role of Tara Maclay on three seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Benson wrote, produced, and directed the feature films Chance and Lovers, Liars, and Lunatics.

More About the Author

Amber Benson co-wrote and directed the animated web-series Ghosts of Albion with Christopher Golden for the BBC. The duo then novelized the series in two books for Random House. Her first solo novel, Death's Daughter, was published by Penguin in 2009, with a children's book for Simon and Schuster called The New Newbridge Academy to follow in the fall of 2010. As an actress, Benson spent three seasons as Tara Maclay on the cult show Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She has also written, produced, and directed three feature films, including her latest, Drones, which she co-directed with Adam Busch and will be released later this year.

Customer Reviews

Very funny and engaging!
Alicia Walker
Familiar and new characters to enjoy, the world Amber Benson has created is steeped with mythology and good humor.
I read it in one sitting and found it to be better than the first book.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Theresa on February 23, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
For most people, road trips don't ordinarily end up in Hell. But, Calliope Reaper-Jones is no ordinary girl. A few months have passed since the daughter of the Grim Reaper was dragged kicking and screaming back into the supernatural world. A world Callie is desperate to avoid. Rescuing her father and the Board of Directors of Death Inc. from kidnappers came at a price, and the Guardian of the North Gate of Hell, Cerberus, is chomping at his tree bits to collect. The soul of an Egyptian architect has disappeared and Callie is given 24 hours to find him or she will be forced to return the Hellhound, Runt, to Hell. To up the ante, old "Snarly Head" is looking for a replacement as gatekeeper and he's set his yellow eye squarely on one Manhattan beauty. If she ever hopes to return to her normal life, and escape the wrath of her younger sister, Clio, failure to pay this debt is not an option.

{"I've got the whole thing figured out," I said reassuringly, the words just flowing out of my mouth without my brain paying the least bit of attention to them.} -Calliope Reaper-Jones

This three part series is referred to, by the author, as a hero's journey. Callie, with help from her friends and the Devil's protégé, saved the day in part one, DEATH'S DAUGHTER, but she was still a long way from being a full-fledged heroine. Calliope makes mistakes. (It wouldn't be much of a "journey" if the protagonist always knew exactly what to do in every given situation right off the bat!) She's gullible, impetuous, self-deprecating and hilariously snarky. She's real. And I'm compelled to root for her every sweaty misstep of the way. Next stop in this trilogy.. Purgatory.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By SciFiChick VINE VOICE on February 25, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Calliope Reaper-Jones is just trying to live a normal life in New York City, but that's not so easy when you're Death's daughter. When the guardian, hellhound Cerberus calls in on a favor, Calli must hunt down a missing soul and return him to the gates of hell. But her quest isn't as simple as it seems. Meanwhile, Calli discovers that a former flame, thought dead, is actually alive. But she'll have to do some bartering to save his soul.

Benson has created a fun, unique, and witty world that plays upon many afterlife mythologies. Calli is a strong, independent character with a big heart. From her outlook on life - to her outlook on fashion, I enjoy every minute of her adventures.

This sequel weaves a complex story of revenge, curses, and conspiracy. Even more fast-paced and gripping than the first, Cat's Claw is an exciting romp through the underworld, purgatory, Las Vegas, and even a glimpse of ancient Egypt. Smart and charming, with plenty of humor, Calliope Reaper-Jones is a fantastic addition to the urban fantasy genre.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By H. Grove (errantdreams) TOP 500 REVIEWER on March 22, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Cat's Claw more than met my hopes & expectations in the creativity and fun departments. While I have gotten a little sick of fashion-obsessed heroines, Amber gives the trope new life by curtailing her heroine's finances so she has to buy things on sale (gasp!) and giving her an unlucky knack for getting her new fashion finds ruined in the hostile environs of the underworld.

The idea of Death as a corporation is hilarious, as are many of the details in this book. This is some of the most original and wacky paranormal writing I've encountered in a long time--with nary a vampire or werewolf in sight! Some of the dialogue is hilarious, and the characters have plenty of personality.

Now for the parts I didn't like as much, with a caveat: To me, some of my negatives read like an author who has incredible amounts of talent, but hasn't entirely honed her craft. That said, they could also be read as elements of deliberately-chosen style that simply didn't work for me. I'll explain what bothered me, and you can decide for yourself whether it would matter to you or not.

Everybody screeches & hisses their words. Actions are melodramatic and wild. Prose is purple. In some ways it worked as a kind of overall slapstick, hilarious style. However, there are some moments in this book that are not meant to be slapstick--they're dark, or adult, and the slapstick tone really undercuts that. If those clashing moments weren't present, or the slapstick-ness was toned down a tad, it could make a really interesting deliberately melodramatic romp of a style. As it is, I had some difficulty with it.

There are also some really huge and blatant info-dumps in here. They half-work, thanks to the conversational, first-person style Amber indulges in. And that's quite a feat!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Julie H. Bloch on March 26, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a well written, well proofread novel, with an interesting plot. But I have to wonder, am I unusually devoid of concern with fashion? There are many references to what I can only assume are designer labels... I get that the protagonist is fashion conscious, I do. But why is this so important to a character with such a background? What difference does it make who designed something if it suits your needs? And a previous review's reference to less "valley speak" makes me wonder just *how* much of it was in the previous novel; the use of it may reflect contemporary young people's attitudes and be a source of humor, but I found it to be sometimes a bit more thoughtless than seemed appropriate. And I really wish that the author had consulted a contemporary Egyptologist for a greater insight on the ancient gods, and before perpetuating the Hatshepsut-as-pretender/usuper myth.

All that aside, the story itself did catch my fancy and I found myself really caring about the characters. There are interesting plot twists and engaging characterizations of mythical personages. I recommend this novel to young women who are really fashion conscious, comfortable with "valley speak", and searching for an interesting, irreverant story with unexpected turns.
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