Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Book Review: Reapers (The Reapers Trilogy Book One)

Reapers (The Reapers Trilogy Book One) by Bryan Davis

Recommended For: Ages 13 to Adult

Rating: PG-13 (for violence and dead naked people)

Reapers, the first book in The Reapers Trilogy, is a dystopian tale with a supernatural twist. Taking place in a futuristic, urban setting, this first book in a planned trilogy will appeal to readers of The Hunger Games and similar fast-paced stories for young adults.

Along with a blend of real life and imagination, it delivers action, danger, and suspense through the adventures of three teenagers, Phoenix, Singapore, and Shanghai, Reapers who collect the souls of the dying of already dead and transport them to the Gateway where they will travel to their final destination...or so they are told.

I've always loved Bryan Davis's books. They're exciting, they're intense, they're complicated, and they're really weird. So when the first book in his Reapers trilogy was free for a couple days, I jumped at the chance to get it. Surprisingly, I was less than impressed with this book. It did not live up to the writing standard I had come to expect from Bryan Davis's books.

Writing: 3/5
I never thought I would get bored reading a Bryan Davis book. However, many times while reading this book, I wanted to put it down and had to force myself to keep reading. part of the reason I was incredibly bored was the very low stakes for the protagonist Phoenix. Nothing was at stake if anything went wrong, which brings me to the other thing that contributed to my boredom: hardly anything went wrong for the characters. It was ridiculous! They wound up just wandering around the concentration camp with a couple ghosts making useless plans that got destroyed in the climax.

Setting: 4/5
The world is actually pretty well-built. The settings were pretty vibrant, the descriptions were more than adequate. I could envision the world perfectly. (I left this review in the middle of this section and came back to it days later after being sick, so I honestly don't remember the exact reason I took away a point, though I know the reason was a good one.)

Plot: 2/5
Um...what plot? I...don't remember there being much of one. I feel really bad giving it such a low rating, but it honestly just didn't have much of a plot, and what was there was not made clear.

Character Development: 3/5
The main characters had no clear goals, and I'm not sure if Phoenix had any at all. They were flat, especially Phoenix, because absolutely nothing happened to stretch his character. He honestly didn't grow at all, he just changed his loyalties (and gosh it took one long boring book to do it!) The antagonist was pretty well done, though, and Mex. Honestly, Mex was more developed as  a side character than Phoenix was as a main character.

I probably wouldn't read the next book in the series if the opportunity arose, nor would I recommend this book. It just wasn't well-written, though maybe some other people would still enjoy it. I have always loved (most of) Bryan Davis's books, and I had expected to like this one as well, but it just wasn't good.

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