My Sister's Reaper
By: Dorothy Dreyer
Published By: Month9Books
Publication Date: June 18, 2013
Page Count: 275
Buy it at Amazon
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher
Audience: Young Adult - Paranormal
I enjoyed reading My Sister’s Reaper. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, as the blurb promised pseudo-zombie action and that isn’t really my kind of thing. Nevertheless, Dorothy Dreyer is all kinds of awesome so I decided to give it a go and I’m really glad I did.
Dorothy carved out a brand new mythology for her story, where faeries and witches have a line of descendants called Vila. Zadie is a Vila, and it means she has some influence over events and matter; this is something she uses rarely as she doesn’t really understand it. But she does start thinking about how she could try and use her power to help her sister, Mara, who is in a fairly persistent coma in hospital following an accident. It doesn’t hurt at all that Gavin, the hottest boy she knows, thinks witchcraft is cool and encourages her to dabble with it. With the help of her eyebrow waggling friend Naomi, and a reluctant tagalong date, the four of them set up a ritual to help save Mara. Except when Mara wakes up, she barely seems there at all, and Zadie is left wondering just how much of her sister came back, and whether something else came back with her.
Events take a seriously spooky turn from this point onwards and I really savoured that spook factor. I haven’t read many books which were as successfully spooky without being horrifying too, so that line was walked very nimbly and younger readers should be able to cope without nightmares. Mara is an unknown quantity, and I found it hard to say whether I thought she should be saved or dealt with for quite a while. She has moments where she seems her old self again, and it is those moments that convince Zadie to give it a go. Zadie isn’t alone though as she finds herself receiving help from the crazy old witch lady in town, Lilura. I really liked that character, as Zadie isn’t what you would call a good student, and she tests Lilura’s patience frequently. Zadie also has to swallow lessons from Chase, Lilura’s sulky grandson who just seems to make everything harder for her.
I really enjoyed the creepy developments around Mara, and that was by far the best part of My Sister’s Reaper for me. The ending set up a sequel following an ultimately quite short struggle with Mara’s reaper. I felt that it perhaps did end a little too quickly for me, and I had to reread a few passages to make sure I’d not missed anything. For a debut book this shows an awful lot of promise; the ideas were strong and executed well, and I would recommend you make a spot for this on your growing ‘to read’ piles.
About the Author
Sixteen-year-old Zadie’s first mistake was telling the boy she liked she could bring her dead sister back to life. Her second mistake was actually doing it.
When Zadie accidentally messes with the Reaper’s Rite that should have claimed her sister Mara, things go horribly wrong. Mara isn’t the same anymore—Zadie isn’t even sure she’s completely human, and to top it off, a Reaper is determined to collect Mara’s soul no matter what. Now Zadie must figure out how to defeat her sister’s Reaper, or let Mara die … this time for good.