We are in the last month of the Soul Screamers Reading Challenge, people, which is why I will be - hopefully - putting up four SSRC posts within the next three weeks. That is if everything goes well and I actually manage to read all of the last three stories (one full-length novel, one novella, and one short story). I am pretty confident right now, but you never know what could happen.
A big shout out to the wonderful Rachel over at fiktshun who is hosting this incredible challenge.
Reaper is the second novella in the Soul Screamers series and was released on December 1st, 2010 by Harlequin Teen.
Tod Hudson was a typical teenager. He liked girls, sports, food, and tolerated his younger brother, Nash. In fact, he had his whole life in front of him--and due to his bean sidhe heritage, it was going to be a very long life indeed. And then the car accident occurred.
Suddenly, Tod's future wasn't so sure, and he had to make a choice. Life... Death... or something Between....
I think out of all the novellas, this one is my favorite. Though I thoroughly enjoyed both, My Soul to Lose and Never to Sleep, Reaper is just the one. It's not simply because it's about Tod, but the whole concept of sacrificing your own life, future, everything that makes you who you are, to save someone you love. It's a very tough choice to make and I'm sure not everybody would have done what Tod did.
While re-reading this novella for the SSRC, I found myself loving it even more than the first time around. Tod and Nash really had the typical love/hate relationship all siblings go through. I can still remember how my brother and I used to fight constantly, and I mean ALL THE TIME. Our parents got so frustrated with us, and then seemingly from one day to another it all changed, but this isn't about me.
One thing seems clear, Nash and Sabine really are dependent on each other during the time Reaper takes place. The way Nash tries to convince Tod to break Sabine out of the halfway house shows it perfectly. Nash appears willing to pretty much do anything to get her out of there, no matter what the consequences may be. Now, I'm not sure I would call it love, but for Nash it might have been. Though, even good-natured Harmony says what they have isn't healthy...
Then Nash sneaks out while being grounded and everything seems to be falling apart. Nash and Tod get into this huge argument where Tod completely "loses it". He says things he later regrets and wishes would have never crossed his lips.
Then BOOM... and it's time to meet Levi, Grim Reaper, there to test, and eventually recruit, Tod.
Most of Tod's interactions with Levi are just hilarious. He is lucky Levi is somewhat of a good sport and doesn't just fire him. Levi is actually a great character and I am hoping we will get to see more of him. There hasn't been a moment in this series where I haven't liked him.
"What'd you say?" I asked, fighting the urge to scruff his curls. He didn't like that. At all."
It makes me laugh every time I imagine Tod messing up Levi's curls.
Obviously, I can't talk about Reaper and leave out one of the key scenes - the moment Tod hears and sees Kaylee for the very first time. Even though it only lasts for a couple of short minutes, it is so intense. It is one of my favorite scenes in this novella for sure.
This little part alone opens up room for so many questions - which, of course, I am going to ask Rachel Vincent during the My Soul to Steal & Reaper Spoiler Chat later today - 6pm Eastern/3pm Pacific to be specific. Everybody can join - simply click on the picture and it will take you to Rachel Vincent's blog where you will find a link to the chat room thirty minutes before the spoiler chat starts.
As always, here are some of my favorite quotes:
Tod to Levi:
"So, would you say I'm closer to a zombie or a vampire? I gotta know - are my parts going to rot and fall off, or am I forever frozen in youthful perfection?"
“So you’re saying the afterlife is hard on the libido? FYI, that’s probably not a good bullet point for your recruiting brochure.”
Tod to Harmony:
“Uh, yeah, I do. The scythe was a little tricky at first, but—much like golf—turns out it’s all in the swing.”
Harmony about Nash and Sabine's relationship:
“It isn’t healthy, how wrapped up they are in each other. Relationships like that burn bright, but when they burn out, they leave everyone blistered.”
This last one always makes my heart ache...
Harmony to Tod:
"I don't think you even understand what you gave up for him. I don't think you will, until we're both long gone."
If this doesn't make your heart feel heavy, then I don't know...
Yes, I do realize I might have gone a little bit overboard with the quotes, especially considering it is only a novella, but what can I say? I love it!
What about you? Did you love it as much as I did? Do you have a favorite part?
I would love to hear from you!
Also, don't forget to join the My Soul to Steal & Reaper Spoiler Chat with Rachel Vincent!!!
Wednesday, May 23rd - 6PM Eastern/3PM Pacific