Early to Death, Early to Rise by Kim Harrison
Madison Avery #2
Seventeen, dead, and in charge of heaven's dark angels—all itching to kill someone.
Madison Avery's dreams of ever fitting in at her new school died when she did. Especially since she was able to maintain the illusion of a body, deal with a pesky guardian angel, and oh yeah, bring the reaper who killed her to his untimely end. Not exactly in-crowd material. It's amazing that her crush, Josh, doesn't think she's totally nuts.
Now Madison has learned that she's the dark timekeeper, in charge of angels who follow the murky guidelines of fate. Never one to abide by the rules, she decides it's time for a major change to the system. With the help of some unlikely allies, Madison forms a rogue group of reapers who definitely don't adhere to the rules of the heavens.
But as she grapples with the terrifying new skills that come with being a timekeeper, Madison realizes she may not be prepared for what lies ahead—unless she gets some seriously divine intervention.
After defeating the Previous Timekeeper who was out to destroy her soul, Madison is now in charge of the Dark Reapers, who carry out heaven's "hit" orders. She is still dead, and has to deal with trying to change the system, as well as an overzealous Light Keeper who will do everything he can to see her fail. Yet despite all this, Josh, her human friend, seems to want to be something more than friends, much to her delight. With her Dark Reaper bodyguard Nakita, and the Light Reaper defector Barnabas at her side, they set out to change one boy's fate. But fate it seems, doesn't want to be changed, and it won't be as easy as she thought after all. Madison may just have bitten off more than she can chew.
Madison, Nakita, Josh, and Barnabas make for one heck of a motley crew. I mean you have a dead girl, a dark reaper, a light reaper and a plain old human, so sparks are bound to fly at some point. You would think things would get a little overwhelming with so many main characters, yet it never does. Kim Harrison is fantastic at giving each character a distinct voice, with none of them ever seeming to just be a cookie cutter pattern, no matter how small the role. So when something happens, you can guarantee that the character's reaction will be very realistic and true to the character. I especially like the way she is able to show realistic growth in the characters without ever feeling forced.
Fate and choice play an even larger role in this book than the last one. It's kinda funny that Madison doesn't believe in fate, yet she is in charge of the reapers that kill in the name of fate. She's trying to change a system that has been in place for ages. While she may get frustrated and just want to give up, I don't think she has it in her to quit. Even when she finally finds her body, I just don't think she will be able to walk away. She is in it for the long hall, and with her determination, I just don't see how things wouldn't start to change; no matter how slowly.
I'm really enjoying reading the Madison Avery Series, and I'm so happy to see the same writing style I fell in love with in previous books, continuing on with this series. Early to Death, Early to Rise was a very enjoyable read, even more so than the first installment. Now that I know what is going on, I was able to sit back and enjoy the ride. I have a feeling I will enjoy the next book even more as I've become attached to these characters and their journey, and cannot wait to see how things pan out for them. All in all if you are a Kim Harrison fan, you should enjoy this book, and I highly recommend checking it out.
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Early to Death, Early to Rise (Madison Avery, Book 2)