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Zombie Week! Guest Review with The Dark Ashs: The Reapers are the Angels by Alden Bell

Submitted by on October 28, 2011 – 6:00 am10 Comments

The Dark Ash’s = Smash from Smash Attack Reads and Ashley from The Bookish Brunette

Author: Alden Bell
Book: The Reapers are the Angels
Release: August 3, 2010
Series: Novel
Reviewers: Smash and Ashley
Source: Personal Libraries
Purchase: – Book Depository

Zombies have infested a fallen America. A young girl named Temple is on the run. Haunted by her past and pursued by a killer, Temple is surrounded by death and danger, hoping to be set free.

For twenty-five years, civilization has survived in meager enclaves, guarded against a plague of the dead. Temple wanders this blighted landscape, keeping to herself and keeping her demons inside her heart. She can’t remember a time before the zombies, but she does remember an old man who took her in and the younger brother she cared for until the tragedy that set her on a personal journey toward redemption. Moving back and forth between the insulated remnants of society and the brutal frontier beyond, Temple must decide where ultimately to make a home and find the salvation she seeks.

Hey everyone! Its Smash and Ash with another awesome Dark Ash’s review with a twist… This time we’re doing it for the Paperback Dolls! Hope you enjoy our take on The Reapers are the Angels!

Ashley: Temple… Temple, is her name- Dude, for like TWO paragraphs I thought they were talking about an ACTUAL Temple and I was WICKED confused

Smash: For real?

Ashley: YES!! I had to re-read the first few pages several times… I’m fairly certain that the ‘literary genius’ of this novel was totally lost on me. ;)

Smash: Heh. I’m not sure I would go that far. ;) However, I loved the name choice. Throughout the book, she reminded me of a sturdy temple, refusing to fall.

Ashley: Really? Dude, I was too freaking irritated throughout Reapers to concentrate much on the story… What ‘perspective’ was this told in? Have you ever read anything without the use of quotations??

Smash: No, and it was wicked annoying. You had to really focus to know when something was being spoken. I am not sure why the author chose to go that route. However, the story was definitely from Temple’s perspective, and an interesting perspective it was!

Ashley: That it was!! But, you know that ‘focusing’ isn’t so much my strong suit… ;)

Smash: And while it is mine, I seem to lose it around you. :D

Ashley: Hehe!! Alright, so I honestly think that this would have been an AWESOME book- if I could have gotten past the problem I had with the whole NON-quotations thing… Why not write the dialog like EVERY other book in the world???

Smash: It was definitely hard to get past. I tell you though; I was drawn into the story from the start though. Temple was fairly young and had been on her own for a very long time. Not a lot of contact with other humans, and she has survived. I really admired her strong wit and backwards smarts. She was a tough cookie.

Ashley: My thing is… the dead rose- What? Like 25 years prior to this story right? WHY is there so much food left? Why are there so many stores, museums, landmarks, malls… EVERYTHING, left untouched?

Smash: Great point, and it isn’t one I even thought about! She did seem to have it easy while traveling, stopping at abandoned stores for her favorite crackers, which should have been spoiled and a pile of cheesy mush by then.

Ashley: See? I may not be the sharpest tool in the shed… and all that. But, it’s the little things that bug me! Like the fact that she could barely string a coherent sentence together, then used words that I had to look up in the dictionary! Like: shoal. WTF? No one knows what ‘shoal’ is! And palaver, and cartograph… I DO know what these mean, but with her limited speaking ability- you’d think she wouldn’t have such a broad vocabulary!

Smash: That’s one of the things I loved most about her though! She was wise beyond her years. Simple minded but sharp. She was hella fierce but you caught glimpses of her compassion. She tended to reason her way through everything, and I was constantly amazed by her positive outlook: “But you gotta look at the world that is and try not to get bogged down by what it ain’t.” That chick went through serious Hell and continued on like it was another day at the office.

Ashley: Yeah, but when that’s your reality- then that’s what you do. Right?

Smash: ‘Tis true, and you’re right. It was the only reality she ever knew.

Ashley: Okay, so what’d you think of Moses? I liked him, dude. Does this make me wicked insane? This guy tracks her with an intense sadistic passion across what is now America with the intent to kill her under any circumstance… but I liked him!

Smash: I agree. Moses was an interesting character and he really propelled the story forward. You never knew when he was going to pop up and try to bring Temple to her knees.

Ashley: Obviously, I didn’t want him to kill her… I just felt that he was doing what he thought needed to be done, no matter how ridiculous the reason.

Smash: It was a little much, but he was a passionate man! :)

Ashley: Right? All the references to the Bible weren’t lost on me either… (the nuns would be so proud!) Almost every character had a biblical name, and even the title: ‘The Reapers are the Angels’ refers to a passage in the Bible if I’m not mistaking…

Smash: I had to look it up, but it sure is a Bible passage. I’m not a religious person, but I really enjoyed the religious undertones throughout this book. It was not a light, fluffy zombie book, in any way. Temple never lost her hope though: “Ain’t no hell deep enough to keep heaven out.”

Ashley: Yeah, usually religious type ‘messages’ irritate me… I think it must be all those years I spent at Catholic school… ;) But this one oddly didn’t. Perhaps I was too busy staring at the lack of quotation marks!

Smash: And we’re back! “I shall use quotes throughout the review from this point forward.” Ok, so quotes aside, what did you think of the description of the “slugs, meatskins, creepers” and whatever other cool term was used to call the zombies?

Ashley: The “meatskins, slugs… etc” were alright… To be totally honest, every time she said “meatskin” I thought of a penis. No joke dude. :D I mean what else would you think of???

Smash: I shall now be plagued by nightmares of walking penises with teeth! EEEEEEEEP.

Ashley: Well, I mean really… I cannot be held responsible for the imagery created in my head while reading….

Smash: And you love to share, which I love about you. :)

Ashley: Right?? I’m totally open like that! So what were those things on the mountain? Like mutant zombies?

Smash: Holy Shite! That entire part of the book was INSANE. I have no clue WTF Temple stumbled upon on the vast mountain range, but it reminds me of The Hills Have Eyes meets Redneck Zombies.

Ashley: Oooooh PERFECT description dude!!!! They were WICKED creepy! Okay, so what about the END- before this turns into a rendition of name the freakiest movie you’ve ever seen… What’d you think?

Smash: Speaking of movies, I think this book would make a stellar movie!

Ashley: I think it’d make a better movie than it did a book- just sayin! At least I’d know who was talking. ;)

Smash: You never know. It could be a movie with miming or deaf folk.

Ashley: Or subtitles!!! *gasp*

Smash: Ok. The ending took me by surprise. I am not sure I enjoyed how it ended. It was shocking, and I remember being angry, but then I felt a calmness about it. :/

Ashley: I’m still trying to work out if I liked it or not… I think I sort of expected it to end  that way- I’m not sure I liked WHO was responsible for doing it! So I do RATINGS and you don’t, but since were not posting this on our blogs… would you recommend this one or not?

Smash: Personally, I would recommend this to zombie fans. As you’ve stated in the past, there are so many different types of zombie books. This is one of the most unique, and I think people should read it just cause. :)

Ashley: I agree… I’d recommend that people read it, just to say you’ve experienced it. But, I didn’t LOVE it. But, you knew after you read it and I hadn’t that this wouldn’t be one I’d LOVE, didn’t you? I go more for “gore and blood” or “hilarious awesome” in my zombie books… rather than… uuuuuh? What is this? Emotional and thought provoking?

Smash: Definitely. And for me, I prefer BOTH. I thought this was a great mix of gore and horror along with some great character-driven storyline.

Ashley: You know, it was rather gory at times wasn’t it??

Smash: In my notes, I jotted down that I loved the “nice, gory descriptions.” Nice and gory. Only me. And hey, I just used QUOTES!

Ashley: I HONESTLY think that’s my biggest beef dude. I just can’t get past it… It took so much away from the book for me!

Smash: And with that, I think it’s safe to say that for those of you wanting to check this one out, be prepared for some serious irritation over the absence of quotes. But in the end, a really “insane” story unfolds and you are left scratching your head and wondering WTF you just experienced. My kinda book, indeed!

Ashley: Agreed! (except… I don’t like thinking WTF just happened? lol!) Still worth the read!

A “major” thank you to the Paperback Dolls for inviting The Dark Ash’s to participate in ZOMBIE WEEK!



Also Reviewed By: Walker of WorldsThe Book SmugglersMy Bookish Ways

Paperback Dolls is made up of women from different parts of the world, with different backgrounds, different tastes and beliefs that were brought together through a love of reading. We like to think of ourselves as a cyber version of "The View" that focuses on books, authors, and reading. We are proof positive that one common love can unite the most opposite of people and form lasting friendships that introduce other ways of life and perspectives to each other.
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  • Kristin/My Bookish Ways says:

    Thanks so much for the link-up, girls! I really enjoyed this one, not necessarily as a literary tour-de-force, but just really enjoyed the story. Took me a bit to get used to the lack of quotes, but did pretty quick. It definitely took a shift in thinking, though. And what a heart-breaker, huh?

    Great review!

    Reply to this comment »
  • says:

    Just the use of the word palaver alone has got me predisposed to like this book. And I would never run screaming from a “meatskin.” {The use of quotations in this instance means irony and signals the advent of a naughty pun.} They don’t scare me. The bigger the better.

    Reply to this comment »
  • says:

    You know I could totally see these in a chat room style vid. Hm… That would totally rock! As for the book… I think it is a maybe. I might have to check this one out. :D

    Reply to this comment »
  • [...] For twenty-five years, civilization has survived in meager enclaves, guarded against a plague of the dead. Temple wanders this blighted landscape, keeping to herself and keeping her demons inside her heart. She can’t remember a time before the zombies, but she does remember an old man who took her in and the younger brother she cared for until the tragedy that set her on a personal journey toward redemption. Moving back and forth between the insulated remnants of society and the brutal frontier beyond, Temple must decide where ultimately to make a home and find the salvation she seeks. Read all about it Here [...]

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  • [...] my book review notes “Ohnoes! Another non-quoter!” You see, when Ashley and I reviewed The Reapers are the Angels, she made it quite clear that she was not feeling the missing quotes. Hence my roaring laughter. I [...]

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  • [...] my head. I struggled with the language and writing, and after books like Blood Red Road and The Reapers are the Angels, I figure I’m pretty adaptable to weird ass language and writing styles. I read about 50 [...]

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  • [...] So head on over the the site to see yet another zany review from Ash & Smash! [...]

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  • [...] Attack Reads and I are rocking our Dark Ash’s review of The Reapers Are The Angels over at The Paperback Dolls today for Zombie Week 2011! The Reapers Are The Angels by Alden Bell Published: 9/2/2011 by [...]

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