This week’s new release looks like fun: a story about a teenage girl who discovers her family’s true calling when her parents sent her away for the summer: her Uncle Mort is a Grim Reaper, and he’s going to teach her the family business. Here’s the description from Goodreads:
Sixteen-year-old Lex Bartleby has sucker-punched her last classmate. Fed up with her punkish, wild behavior, her 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 that of shoveling manure.
He’s a Grim Reaper. And he’s going to teach her the family business.
Lex quickly assimilates into the peculiar world of Croak, a town populated entirely by reapers who deliver souls from this life to the next. Along with her infuriating yet intriguing partner Driggs and a rockstar crew of fellow Grim apprentices, Lex is soon zapping her Targets like a natural born Killer.
Yet her innate ability morphs into an unchecked desire for justice—or is it vengeance?—whenever she’s forced to Kill a murder victim, craving to stop the attackers before they can strike again. So when people start to die—that is, people who aren’t supposed to be dying, people who have committed grievous crimes against the innocent—Lex’s curiosity is piqued. Her obsession grows as the bodies pile up, and a troubling question begins to swirl through her mind: if she succeeds in tracking down the murderer, will she stop the carnage—or will she ditch Croak and join in?
And it’s getting good reviews:
“The central mystery is genuinely puzzling, and Lex’s narrative voice is funny and fresh. . . . Fantasy fans who like their tales gritty and filled with irreverent humor will be eager for the follow-up.”–Kirkus Reviews
“The morbid subject matter is kept in check by entertaining characters, clever twists, and a sly, self-aware sense of humor.”–Publishers Weekly
“Go ahead and die laughing, knowing that the safe transport of your mortal soul will be the summer job of a sweetheart teen with godlike power and discipline problems. A lot of books make me wish I could live within their pages, but I wouldn’t mind dying in this one.” —Adam Rex, author of Fat Vampire “Creepy and hilarious.”—VOYA, 4Q, 5P
“Damico nicely balances the grim subject matter with a heavy dose of humor, and the third-person narration provides some deadpan perspective on Lex’s absurd situation that gives the story an appealing tall-tale feel. . . . An intricate and imaginative construction of the afterlife that is as amusing as it is unique.”–Bulletin
Gina has a really fun blog here, and I’m betting the humor she shows in her posts comes through in her book. Croak comes out tomorrow, March 20th. Can’t wait!