Saturday, August 4, 2012

Review: Croak by Gina Damico

Croak (Croak #1)
By Gina Damico
Published: March 20, 2012
Publisher: Graphia
Paperback, 320 pages

Fed up with her wild behavior, sixteen-year-old Lex's parents ship her off to upstate New York to live with her Uncle Mort for the summer, hoping that a few months of dirty farm work will whip her back into shape. But Uncle Mort's true occupation is much dirtier than shoveling manure.

He's a Grim Reaper. And he's going to teach Lex the family business. She quickly assimilates into the peculiar world of Croak, a town populated by reapers who deliver souls from this life to the next. But Lex can't stop her desire for justice--or is it vengeance?--whenever she encounters a murder victim, craving to stop the attackers before they can strike again. Will she ditch Croak and go rogue with her reaper skills?--

 4.5 Stars


My obsession with grim reapers all began with Rachel Vincent's Soul Screamers series that features a snarky grim reaper by the name of Tod. He is portrayed as a guy who is willing to sacrifice anything for the ones he loves, even if it involves bending some serious rules. Ever since Tod has come into my world, I have obsessed over the humanity of a grim reaper because of their job of ending lives that gives them a disturbing view of death. Croak does a wonderful job in illustrating the conflicting morals that a grim reaper faces with believability and humor.

Lex, the protagonist, is the perfect narrator for book with such a morbid premise. Her sarcasm incorporated in the dialogue and descriptions helped create a tale that was engaging and thrilling. Although, I was annoyed with the Lex's arrogant nature, I admit, it helped move the story along when an event as typical as visiting a restaurant occurred. It is true that characters should be flawed, and we should embrace their virtues and flaws equally, but Lex's arrogance seemed a little unrealistic, especially when she is so devoted to her twin sister, Cordy.

What Croak does best, in my opinion, is showcase the romance between Lex and Driggs. It was one of those hot and cold relationships, but the gradual development of each others feelings is what truly made it stand out. Romance that is similar to Romeo and Juliet seem so artificial in comparison to ones that take their time to progress. It is due to the lack of explaining why these two people are perfect for each other. Lex and Driggs are not the most moving couple, but it is impossible to resist the bond these two have.

The ending of Croak is one that will make the reader squirm. The climax of Croak is so close to the end, so the aftermath of the climatic battle between Lex and the enemy is rushed. Because of the rush at the end, the cliffhanger ending was rather odd. Instead of feeling a desperate need for the sequel when I finished, Scorch, I was a little confused, like this is it? I was wishing for a conflict resolution, instead of a cliff-hanger that seems to mark the beginning of a long road ahead. It's the same feeling as when a person finishes a novella that helps expand the plot or world of a book or a series.

Overall, Croak is a satisfying read that the reader will have fun reading. Lex is a magnetic narrator that will appeal to readers with her strong heart and fresh perspective toward reaping souls. The plot was fairly straightforward and did not have any plot twists to keep the reader guessing. Nevertheless, Croak is a book I'll recommend to anyone who wants to bust a gut laughing at the antics of a grim reaper.

 Purchase this book: Amazon/ Barnes&Nobles/ The Book Depository

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