Friday, January 6, 2012

Review: The Death Catchers - Jennifer Anne Kogler

Where I got it: ARC from publisher for review
Rating: 3.5 stars  
Cover Rating: 5 stars (Fitting and different. I like it a lot.)
Genre: Young Adult 
Publication Date: August 16, 2011
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Page Count: 341 p.
Buy it: Book Depository / Amazon

Lizzy Mortimer's life is about to be turned upside down. She sees news about her best friends the future. Before she has time to panic though, her grandmother sweeps in to impart some wisdom. She informs Lizzy that they are descendants of Morgan le Faye and see death specters that help them stop people they love from going with death too soon. Weirder thing keep happening though and the stress of all that is placed into Lizzy's lap may be too much. There's an evil sorceress trying to kill the last descendant of Arthur Pendragon, and with his death she'll destroy the world. Lizzy has to do some speed courses in Death Catching, but hopefully she is enough for the task.

Brush up on your King Arthur legends before you delve into this one. I'm just kidding, they tell you all you need to know about the legend as you read, and it's quite fascinating how they spin it. This book is told as a letter to Lizzy's english teacher Mrs. Tweedy. It's a letter/essay for Lizzy's final project. This story is her life as it unfolds extraordinarily while Lizzy is supposed to be working on her real final assignment. At time this read a little younger than the YA I am typically used to, so younger readers may want to check this out too. Each chapter was titled with a different literary device that Lizzy discusses and goes on to use. It's an interesting touch, and may help readers learn about these in a more relaxed and interesting way. The characters were all quirky and fun. I loved Lizzy's mom, the librarian. Always trying to find the perfect book for people, even strangers. She carries around a pile of them and hands them out like candy. This was a fun read with a great ending. It left a lingering sense of a sequel, but one is not entirely necessary. If you are a fan of legends with a sprinkle of paranormal and a dash of adventure, make sure you pluck this one up.

First Line:
"Dear Mrs. Tweedy,
I know that a letter may not be what you had in mind when you said I could save myself from flunking your class by writing a defensive paper on the topic Why I Should Still Pass English Even Though I Did Not Turn in My Final Project."

Favorite Line:
"'When we finally do make Drake fall madly in love with you, you have to swear you won't turn into a whiny, lovesick girl and completely ditch me. I don't want to have to got to the trouble of finding a new best friend.'"

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