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Series: The Fahllen #1
Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Every hell has its devil. And Carson is about to become intimately acquainted with hers.
Seventeen-year-old wallflower Carson Porter has always dreamed of being something special, but what she gets isn’t exactly what she signed up for.
Yeah, a girl’s supposed to change as she gets older, but this is ridiculous! Shiny skin, greener eyes and a run-in with the flesh-eating dead are just a few of the changes Carson has to adjust to, not to mention the arrival of the very hot and very dangerous Derek Hrolf. If all that wasn’t enough to turn her once hum-drum life into something unrecognizable, a twin sister that haunts her from the shadows and a wheeling, dealing collector of souls will definitely do the trick. The question is: what will her life become? And what will she become?
I actually started this book twice. The first time around, I didn’t get through the first chapter. But I’m gonna accredit that to the shitty mood I was in. Sometimes, it’s just not optimal–or even preferred–conditions to read a headache like a Nook. (E-readers can be headaches, indeed!) The second time around, oddly enough, I actually couldn’t stop reading.
When I first got a glimpse of The Reaping‘s characters, they seemed destined for one-dimensionality. Carson, the narrator, wanted to be part of the “in” crowd so much that she risked utter humiliation just to get it. Leah, her girly-girl nerd best friend, was a mindless chatterbox who stood in as someone for Carson to relate to. Carson’s father was the typical teenage recipient of frustration because he made her do things she didn’t want to do and had strict rules for things she didn’t understand. And Derek… Derek was the mind-numbingly dangerous, dark, sexy guy who came into her life out of nowhere.
What I didn’t expect was for me to fall in love with every single one of them, and their depth of personality. Derek was difficult because he maintained his elusive breviloquence for the most part, but Leah and Carson and even Carson’s father all fell in step with my heartbeat after I sank into the story.
I don’t really know what to say other than that, though. The writing wasn’t the best, but it was definitely solid, which actually worked better for the narrative than any other approach would’ve because Carson’s voice was equal parts girl trying to find herself and equal parts girl flung into disastrous supernatural situation with life-turning-up-side-down consequences. The plot kept a firm hold of itself, too. I did find it difficult to follow along sometimes, though. But I’m a gullible reader. I take what’s going on at face value. If one of the characters is being lied to, trust and believe I’m being lied to as well. So when Carson came out of a situation even more confused than when she entered it, I kind of just had to go along with it.
But the thing is, I LOVED GOING ALONG WITH IT. Carson’s curse rang as one of the more “original” ideas I’ve come across–not just in YA but in fiction anywhere–and it played a huge part in my delight over the story. While I read, I was reminded of my feelings while I read The Sleepwalkers and Ashes and Ice, which is to say totally creeped out BUT AWESOME.
Overall, The Reaping was NOT what I was expecting but only in the best ways possible. I can only hope the sequel, The Reckoning, will hold up against all this awesome. Fingers crossed!