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Graveyard Shift (Lana Harvey, Reapers Inc. Book 1) Kindle Edition
|Length: 322 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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- Book 1 of 7 in Lana Harvey, Reapers Inc.
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--MaryJanice Davidson, New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author
"Roquet breathes new life into death with the debut of her Reapers Inc. urban fantasy series. The blending of cultures and traditions is handled respectfully, with more than a touch of humor mixed in with hints of romance of mystery. The setting is rich and varied with a little something for fans of several different genres."
--Publishers Weekly (BookLife)
"Darkly comic and wildly imaginative. Angela Roquet gives us an afterlife we've never seen before."
--Kimberly Frost, Bestselling Author of The Southern Witch Series
"Graveyard Shift is an impressive feat of imagination built on a broad knowledge of world religion. It's also great fun! No small accomplishment."
--Christine Wicker, Bestselling Author of Not in Kansas Anymore: The Curious Tale of How Magic is Transforming America
About the Author
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 she's not swearing at the keyboard, she enjoys boating with her family at Lake of the Ozarks and reading books that raise eyebrows.
GRAVEYARD SHIFT, the first novel in Angela's Lana Harvey, Reapers Inc. series, and BLOOD VICE, book one in the Blood Vice series, are now available for FREE on Kindle. You can find Angela online at angelaroquet.com
- File size : 4096 KB
- Publication date : January 2, 2014
- Print length : 322 pages
- Publisher : Violent Siren Press (January 2, 2014)
- Word Wise : Enabled
- ASIN : B009M0ARH0
- Language: : English
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #7,240 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Sadly, this is one situation where a book, no matter how much I wanted to like it, just didn't "gel" with me. It gets points for creativity, but at many turns, it can be downright uncomfortable to get through.
Lana Harvey is an 8th generation "reaper"--not THE Grim Reaper (he's the boss), but one of many reapers tasked with collecting souls and transporting them to one of many versions of the afterlife that best suits the soul. Eternity, as it turns out, is a place where all faiths, from Christianity, to Islamic, to Chinese, to Greek, to Egyptian, all co-exist after death. A treaty has kept them peaceful and cooperative. Lana makes it no secret that she hates her job and collects the bare minimum amount of souls to stay employed, while occasionally bending the rules to give souls a better afterlife. But her normal "clock in/clock out" existence is soon rattled when Grim suddenly gives her a promotion--tasking her with finding a very special soul in particular. And when she's soon attacked by demons and dealing with gods, angels, demons, and spirits plotting and scheming behind the scenes, Lana will come to discover that she's no ordinary reaper....and that the fate of Eternity is in her hands.
This novel, I feel, is one of the best examples of a "mixed bag". For every good thing it does, there's something equally weird or cringe-worthy to go against it. Really, the best part of the book is Lana herself. She can be a bit frosty to people and will look for any excuse to get out of doing work, but she's never outright nasty to anyone and DOES care for her small circle of friends (including an angel and (later) demon boyfriend, two hellhounds, a no-nonsense fellow reaper, and her young apprentice that was unceremoniously dumped on her). And once she gets unwillingly swept up in all the political intrigue, it's easy to feel just as frustrated as she does.
As for Eternity, it's a well-thought out setting that's really interesting in how it works, with different religions having their own section of the afterlife and mingling with each other. Having prior knowledge of some of these myths and sections of faith helps, but it isn't required--they're all explained clear enough to follow along. However, with a large chunk of the book being devoted to world building, it comes at the sacrifice of having the real plot take a long time to get going. The few "action scenes" are executed well, but you'll have to sit through a ton of scenes of the characters dating, going on shopping sprees, and planning their vacation trip to Hell (literally, not figuratively).
And admittedly, this mixing of beliefs and attempts at dark comedy can make certain scenes uncomfortable, like archangel Gabriel getting a demon girlfriend, or Jesus coming to a party where Egyptian gods and the Devil himself is also in attendance, or the Holy Spirit actually being called "Holly Spirit" and chewing out a confused soul with lines like, "I'll talk to my brother [God] however I damn want." Though it also leads to some admittedly funny moments, like Lana dealing with the recently deceased and their endless questions, and dialogue like, "I can't die yet! I got a casserole in the oven!" I'm all for equality and religious freedom....just....be prepared to have a REALLY open mind going into this.
While there was enough to keep me going until the end, I've found this book (and series) just isn't for me. It's definitely for certain tastes. If you like weird and quirky settings, dark comedy, and don't mind seeing virtually every religion turned on its head, then by all means, give it a go.
Well, it isn't too scary, in fact I haven't been scared at all. It is well-written, the world created by the author is imaginative and varied, and there is lots of room to expand on it in later books. I enjoyed the story, and it seems original to me.
I am definitely not the target audience, being an old lady. I like that the main character is so much older than me! :-)
The first paragraph was a little awkward, but after that I really enjoyed the actual story telling. A few minor typos and missing words that did not detract anything for me personally.
That said, I was not at all impressed with the plot. Now, I love the idea of the power of belief actually CREATING a spiritual realm and I enjoyed the reapers and the idea of "spirit energy". However, beyond that this story read very much like a decently written fan-fiction.
I don't like when people turn deities into modern caricatures. Not because the gods themselves deserve any respect but because it FEELS silly. The greek goddesses are almost ALWAYS turned into fashionistas, and not even Aphrodite, which would make the most sense. Their already established lore and personalities and abilities are always thrown out and replaced by bobbleheaded figurines with familiar names and faces.
That is EXACTLY what happens to every established character in fan fiction stories.
That's basically what this book feels like to me, a self insert fanfiction. And I'm not into fanfiction. Otherwise, it's cute but just not to my tastes.
Top reviews from other countries
The plot, the little that there is, is thin and the ending abrupt. In fact I would say it doesn't end - because it's just a series of things happening either to or involving Lana. Presumably this will carry on into book 2, but I doubt I'll ever bother to find out.
There's a lot of talk of hunky angels (which actually come across as more effeminate than I think they are intended to) and shopping. None of the characters are fleshed out and some are plain odd. Josie, for example, is schizophrenic in her attitude to her friend and colleague (Lana). She is constantly biting her head off and it's never quite clear why - so she just comes across as weird.
The main premise of reapers / angels and demons is a promising one and bits of the book are well written. And I think the author must have had to do a lot of research on the numerous gods and goddesses referenced. I must admit, though, that I was completely lost as to why an Angel would be living in Hell and dedicated to Allah (but that is probably my ignorance showing).
It is all just a bit disjointed, wandering aimlessly along and then falling off a cliff edge when you least expect it.
What begins as a slightly benign simulation of reality in a creative setting quickly ascends to be a thoroughly enjoyable exploration of religion, duty and virtue.
I picked this up as a light read and was pleasantly enthralled by the the depth of Roquet's work. I was quickly engaged by her allusions to both modern and traditional religion. I found that I warmed to the characters despite my initial concerns of them being too stereotypically portrayed and the threat that despite a great setting the narrative would become cloying.
Roquet is clearly very intelligent. She has done her research and she has presented a fantastical world full of lessons. I found myself reminded of things I had long forgotten, engaged by ideas I had never found and delighted by her presentation.
Any author who can douse an enjoyable story with as much philosophy deserves significant praise. While at times it may seem trite, what's compelling about this story is how delicately, considerately, and at times beautifully, this story is weaved.
There's more than a little to evidence worthy of comparing this book to the works of Pratchett or Gaimon. And that's very high praise!
I giggled through so much of it, that my husband said he must read the book too.Grim-Reaper
Take all the mythologies man has ever devised to explain the reason why the world operates as it does and forget what you learnt.
All the gods from all the religions are still alive - at least as long as someone still believes in them, and the more people that believe, the more power and land/territory they have in the afterworld. and along with their heavens come their hells.
So power comes with believers and they fought, and the Grim Reaper had to settle the war and allocate territories and privileges and set up committees and Ruling Councils and and... and get more Reapers as he was too busy running his new Empire to get out there to bring in the new souls.
Lana is one of these Reapers who live for many hundreds of years and are non-aligned and therefore can have friendships with any religion's and hell's inhabitants. In fact in order to undertake her job she has to take classes and be certified by the Academy and be apprenticed to a senior Reaper for 100 years. This is a complete world mythology devised as an Afterworld with many wonderful literary quotes starting each chapter including Benjamin Franklin's famous:
Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.
Now read here from some interesting facts from the book:
Flora the Roman Goddess, owns a flower shop;
Aphrodite has a clothes shop where the mannequins pout and help you chose the shoes;
Lucifer has a daughter named Cindy;
Devils can retire;
Holly Spirit - yes correct spelling - is Jesus' sister - they forgot to correct the spelling in the bible.
Blasphemous - you bet and all the more funny for that - so don't read if you are religious - of any persuasion!