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How to be Death (A Calliope Reaper-Jones Novel) Mass Market Paperback – February 28, 2012

4.4 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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.
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Product Details

  • Series: A Calliope Reaper-Jones Novel (Book 4)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Ace; Original edition (February 28, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1937007286
  • ISBN-13: 978-1937007287
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #655,258 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Calliope Reaper-Jones never imagined the one thing she avoided like a plague would end up fulfilling her life-long dreams of buying designer clothes -without the inevitable diet of ramen noodles to cover the cost- and dating hot guys. Who knew "Death" had so many perks?

Our once reluctant protagonist is dressed to the nines and eager to attend her first official outing as President and CEO of Death Inc. playing hostess for a Masquerade Party and Dinner at the Haunted Hearts Castle. First thing on the agenda: Prove she can handle the job. Second: Make her former boyfriend, Daniel, eat his heart out. She has a slutty rhinestone bikini that should do the trick! The tables are quickly turned however, when she discovers Daniel isn't at the party alone; a possessive paramour is on his arm. That proves to be the least of her worries when the annotated copy of "How To Be Death" is stolen and bodies start dropping like beads at Marti Gras. It's a race against time as Callie, Jarvis, Runt (Hooray!) and Freezay, a quirky retired detective, search for a vicious killer and thief before the stroke of midnight signals the end of Halloween and, possibly, the beginning of the end for all humanity.

This time around, the main focus is on the Aztec Pantheon which is particularly fitting for the story-line. Several intriguing new characters are introduced, most with secrets and/or hidden agendas. One of the dinner guests shares a brow raising revelation that is subtly hinted at in early chapters. I would love to comment further on that, and several other interesting character developments, but I don't want to spoil the fun for anyone. I'm thrilled that Callie's adorable side-kick, Runt, had a larger role in the story and also enjoyed the addition of former detective and old family friend, Freezay.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Not ashamed to admit that I enjoy the Calliope Reaper-Jones (aka Death) series, Amber Benson's take on the paranormal romance/supernatural/urban fantasy genre. The characters are imaginative, sarcastic and interesting and the stories have a creative playfulness that I really enjoy. Plus they're quick, fun reads.

This book read as more of a straight-up "whodunnit" than the last few, borrowing some of the more popular murder-mystery motifs (locked room mystery, retired policeman to solve the crime and plenty of femme fatales), while also adding to the Death-lore of the series.

Will now wait patiently to find out what happens next to Calliope and Death Inc.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Amber Benson was smart enough to use one of her most beloved characters in her latest novel. Runt, the talking hellhound, is the pooch that everyone will adore. Other characters such as Jarvis (I miss his faun body), Daniel, Kali and even Calliope take a major backseat to characters that are not well-rounded,not interesting and unnecessary. I missed the Calliope from the past who encountered danger from every corner and handled it with stealth determination. In this novel, Calliope acts like she has no idea what she's doing. If the story involves an elaborate dinner party, shouldn't the author detail the food more so than the party dress? It was a labor of love trying to finish this book. Benson will come back with a stronger premise for Calliope.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Calliope Reaper-Jones is the new President of Death, Inc., following the murder of her father. She is given her father's original copy of How to be Death (A Fully Annotated Guide), and is told to keep it safe and hidden since it holds incredible secrets. But Callie must survive the night as a mortal during a formal dinner party and ceremony that quickly gets uncomfortable. Callie's ex-boyfriend is there with another woman. Then, her book is stolen about the same time someone is murdered in Callie's bedroom.

How to be Death is the fourth novel in the Calliope Reaper-Jones series. And unlike the previous installments, this reads like a clever whodunit. As always, Callie gets herself in outrageous situations with mostly humorous outcomes. My favorite part of this clever, urban fantasy series is the zany wit and eccentric characters. And this fast-paced, suspenseful mystery is no exception. Full of twists and surprises, I thoroughly enjoyed Callie's latest escapade. Urban fantasy fans should not miss this light-hearted, exciting series.
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Format: Kindle Edition
WARNING - THIS REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I loved this book. In my opinion it was much better than the previous three, and a good part of that is because of the way Amber Benson handled the plot. Rather than the usual Calliope Reaper-Jones novel plot, this one was a "Who done it?" murder mystery. It was like watching a Holiday Special episode of your favorite TV show: The characters you love are all there, it's in the same universe, but the plot was so wildly different than what you're used to. It was fun.

The basic plot goes like this: Each year on Halloween the office of Death throws a big party for all the supernaturals to attend. Callie doesn't really want to go, but she really doesn't have a choice. She's hosting. Unfortunately, this is also the single time of the year that all the supernaturals lose their magic abilities (and therefore immortality) and are completely vulnerable. It's also the one night of the year that Death's Handbook can be handed over to Death (which aside from all the rules and information one could ever want on how to actually be Death, also contains instructions for starting the Apocalypse). Whoever holds the book at the stroke of midnight then owns the book for the next year, and has completely dominion over Death and all it's sub-offices.

Unfortunately, Callie's in for one hell of a night. She's vulnerable this one night, and like usual, there are a whole host of people vying to snag her job. What ensues is a grand murder-mystery as Callie and her supernatural friends fight to keep, and then get back, Death's Handbook as unknown parties start killing off supernaturals - and even try to kill Callie.

I love murder-mysteries and I will admit that I totally got caught up in this one.
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