fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsfantasy book reviews Amber Benson Calliope Reaper-Jones Death's DaughterDeath’s Daughter by Amber Benson

She thought the devil wore Prada… until she met the real one!

Before I begin this review, a confession: I’m a sucker for any novel containing cute hellhounds.

Calliope Reaper-Jones is living the life of a typical New York office flunky, dealing with a diva boss, less-hunky-than-advertised blind dates, and a lust for designer clothes she can’t afford. That is, until her father, who happens to be the Grim Reaper himself, is kidnapped and Calliope is swept back into a dangerous supernatural world she’s spent her entire adult life trying to escape.

What follows is one part mystery, one part fairy tale. Callie must figure out who has absconded with her father, and why, before worse things happen. At the same time, the board of directors in charge of Death, Inc. have given Callie three nearly-impossible tasks to complete in order to come into the power that is her birthright. Callie has a complicated world of deities, demons, and bureaucrats to navigate, and not much time to learn the ropes. What makes me think of fairy tales, I think, is the way that Callie’s success or failure in her tasks so often hinges on how she treats people along her journey.

I may be giving you, dear reader, the idea that this is a Very Serious Book. That would be a mistaken impression. While Death’s Daughter contains themes that would be right at home in a very dark urban fantasy, Amber Benson keeps the tone light and chick-litty. Death’s Daughter has its touching moments, but it also has a conversational writing style with plenty of humor, slang, and fashion commentary. For the most part, this works. An exception is Benson’s use of “gonna” in narration. I’m just enough of an English nerd that it throws me out of the story every time she does it. (I don’t mind it in the dialogue.)

Recommended if you’re looking for a light, fun urban fantasy with a breezy style, a scene-stealing supporting cast, and great shoes.

Calliope Reaper-Jones — (2009-2013) Publisher: Calliope Reaper-Jones so just wanted a normal life: buying designer shoes on sale, dating guys from Craig’s List, web-surfing for organic dim-sum for her boss… But when her father — who happens to be Death himself — is kidnapped, and the Devil’s Protege embarks on a hostile takeover of the family business, Death, Inc., Callie returns home to assume the CEO mantle — only to discover she must complete three nearly impossible tasks in the realm of the afterlife first.

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  • Kelly Lasiter

    KELLY LASITER, with us since July 2008, is a mild-mannered academic administrative assistant by day, but at night she rules over a private empire of tottering bookshelves. Kelly is most fond of fantasy set in a historical setting (a la Jo Graham) or in a setting that echoes a real historical period (a la George RR Martin and Jacqueline Carey). She also enjoys urban fantasy and its close cousin, paranormal romance, though she believes these subgenres’ recent burst in popularity has resulted in an excess of dreck. She is a sucker for pretty prose (she majored in English, after all) and mythological themes.

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