Book: Early to Death, Early to Rise (Kim Harrison)
Stand-Alone or Series: Series, Madison Avery #2)
Genre: Young Adult
Preview at Harper Teen
Description: Seventeen, dead, and in charge of heaven's dark angels—all itching to kill someone.
Madison Avery's dreams of ever fitting in at her new school died when she did. Especially since she was able to maintain the illusion of a body, deal with a pesky guardian angel, and oh yeah, bring the reaper who killed her to his untimely end. Not exactly in-crowd material. It's amazing that her crush, Josh, doesn't think she's totally nuts.
Now Madison has learned that she's the dark timekeeper, in charge of angels who follow the murky guidelines of fate. Never one to abide by the rules, she decides it's time for a major change to the system. With the help of some unlikely allies, Madison forms a rogue group of reapers who definitely don't adhere to the rules of the heavens.
But as she grapples with the terrifying new skills that come with being a timekeeper, Madison realizes she may not be prepared for what lies ahead—unless she gets some seriously divine intervention.
Sadly, this is the only Kim Harrison series I have read, so I have nothing to compare it to, but Harrison is spot on with the Madison Avery books. I love the concept behind these books - the argument between which is right choice or fate? The characters are also fabulous and entirely unforgettable. Madison - the protagonist is the Dark Time Keeper, who just happens to be dead. She is in control of the dark reapers and Barnabas, who has gone rouge. Her entourage is simply hilarious, I love when Nakita and Barnabas banter, the two of them supply plenty of comic relief.
Speaking of comic relief, Madison is a complete and utter hoot. She is desperately trying change heavens rules while trying to fit in as a normal teenager. She makes so many mistakes, which makes her charming. I have always had a thing for unlikely heroes/heroines, and Madison is a far cry from what you expect a heroine to be.
Honestly, I don't think there is a character in this book that I don't like - expect people like Ron, who I am suppose to despise. All of my favorites from the first book are back; Madison, Barnabas, Nakita, Josh and even Grace.
There are also some new introductions through in this book, some characters who I think we will be seeing again and some we won't. Paul, the rising light keeper makes quite a splash in this book and in Madison's life. I don't want to give too much away, but I will say that I have taken quite a fancy to him. He is no Barnabas, who is simply my favorite, but I still like him.
The plot was a lot smoother than in Once Dead, Twice Shy, which was nice. It was a short book and the plot grips you early on and doesn't let up until the last page. I appreciated that, like the first book, it did not end in a cliffhanger. There are plenty of places for the story to continue, but this book closed all of the craziness that it opened within its plot.
Although I loved this book, I do have one gripe. Why isn't Josh in more of it? He is Madison's main love interest and he is only in the first chapter or so. I was so excited at the end of Once Dead, Twice Shy when the four of them were presented as sort of a package of rebel superheroes, and then he is basically missing from this book. I am now more confused then ever about which guy I am leaning towards for Madison. At the beginning, I was slightly pro-Josh, but then he was MIA and now I am leaning towards Barnabas. Is that even possible? A Dark Time Keeper and a rouge fallen angel? Why not, I say. They had some great scenes in this book and I love when he flies her around. However, I could also go with Paul, the rising Light Time Keeper. Wouldn't that be something? The Dark Time Keeper and the Light Time Keeper? I guess we will just have to wait and see where Harrison takes it.
I am eagerly and rather impatiently, anticipating the next book. I cannot wait to see what happens with Madison and everyone next. I enjoyed this book immensely; it was an exciting quick read with plenty screen time for my favorites, Nakita and Barnabas.