Reaper by Jon Grahame

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Reaper by Jon Grahame

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Category: Fantasy
Rating: 3/5
Reviewer: Loralei Haylock
Reviewed by Loralei Haylock
Summary: A book that promises and delivers dark, brutal action, but is let down by two dimensional characters that are difficult to invest in emotionally. Borrow, don't buy.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 512 Date: April 2012
Publisher: Myrmidon
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1905802524

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Ex-cop Jim Reaper gave up on living after his fourteen-year-old daughter was raped and committed suicide. To make matters worse, her attacker is let out of jail after serving only three years. Reaper comes up with a plan to end him, and to end his own miserable life in one move. Only the world has other plans with him.

Arrested instead of gunned down, Reaper languishes in a police cell as the world quickly succumbs to a 'Super-SARS' virus that sweeps westward from China. When the last remaining officer lets him out to fend for himself, Reaper finds the world completely changed.

When he sees men similar to his daughter's attacker abusing another vulnerable young woman, Reaper finds his calling - he's there to provide justice and retribution in a lawless world, protecting the innocents others would take advantage of.

The quote on the book describes Reaper as 'dark, brutal and action packed', which is pretty much exactly what it is. It's like a thrill seekers tour through all the dark and horrible places people can get to, either by choice or unhappy twist of fate.

The ideas were interesting, the weaponry used by the characters was obviously well researched, and came across very realistic, and the action was fairly relentless. I didn't not enjoy reading it, however, there was something missing that, for me, means I won't be reaching for the next in the series.

I don't know, maybe I'm being a bit too cynical for my own good, and should just have enjoyed the book for the action adventure that it was - but I just found it all a little twee, including the fact that the main character is called 'Reaper'.

The characters were an issue for me as well - if they weren't two dimensional and on the periphery of the story, little more than padding for the society they were building or cannon fodder for the inevitable battles, then they were either underused or boring. A lot of them got killed off towards the end, and I was hard pressed to feel even a slight emotional reaction. I think the problem was, there were just too many people, and just as you started getting attached to one, they were forgotten for a hundred pages while ten others were briefly introduced. The deaths which should have packed emotional punch - because Grahame didn't just kill the 'cannon fodder' characters - simply didn't.

So all in all, a little hit and miss - great action, some interesting ideas, but let down by characters that fell flat.

My thanks for the publishers for sending a copy.

Stephen King's The Stand is a masterpiece of super-virus post-apocalyptic fiction. If your prefer your apocalypses a little more zombie flavoured, try Feed by Mira Grant.

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Buy Reaper by Jon Grahame at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Reaper by Jon Grahame at


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