Title: Don't Fear The (Not Really Grim) Reaper
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Alexandria Corza
Publication Date: January 11, 2019
Length: 62 pages
Reviewed by Sammy
When unassuming college student Emery Sutton wakes up in the morgue, it takes him a few minutes to remember he has magic (superpowers, damn it!) and free himself from the refrigerated drawer. And the body bag. (God.) It doesn’t take long, though, for him to remember the hot guy with wings he ran into just before a city bus ran into him.
Junior Reaper John must explain to his supervisor how his first solo assignment went so wrong. All he knows is that he happened upon Emery quite by accident, that Emery saw John when he shouldn’t have been able to, and when they accidentally touched, a bus came out of nowhere and plowed Emery under. (John really does feel bad about that.)
Hot angels, annoying demons, hijinks, absurdity, drunk siblings, a dash of silly romance, an inordinate attachment to wings, and a highly disorganized bid for world domination—Don’t Fear the (Not Really Grim) Reaper follows Emery and John down the rabbit hole where they find that moms are scarier than demons from hell, a goat is not a puppy no matter what Emery’s sister says, and awkward romance can happen anywhere
So you’re minding your own business when you see this gorgeous guy who happens to be sporting a set of wings and then he touches you and the next thing you know you’re trying to get out of a body bag at the morgue. But hey, ever since you realized you had some magic, er, superpowers strange things have happened so you take it in stride and go back to making money for your next semester in college doing your magic shtick on a street corner and the guy appears again and this time the touch is even more profound and you end up in the crazy bag lady’s dumpster home and well…welcome to Emery Sutton’s life. Now if only the crazy lady and her friends would stop yelling about being his minions and the angel would somehow be safe to touch.
Carole Cummings offers up a hilariously funny gem of a novella with the release of her latest, Don’t Fear the (Not Really Grim) Reaper. First off, the only complaint I have is that this was just too short. I want many more stories about Emery and Sam pronto! What made this work was the way in which Emery moved through life both slightly in awe of his abilities and equally blasé about them. The side cast of characters were zany and absolutely spot on for the roles they fulfilled. This was a meet/cute story where the attraction was real and there was just enough craziness to ensure that the story stayed on track as a romantic comedy, and avoided a more cliched route that could have led to an insta-love trope or worse.
Simply put, this novella was fun, sweet, and moved with breakneck speed. It had delightful moments when a besotted Emery realized that Sam wasn’t just going to stick around in order to “transition” him to heaven, that were coupled with really humorous down to earth reactions; like when his dad was more worried about the lawn and his flower beds than the fact that there was a great group of people determined to make his son their evil overlord. Everything was just right about this little book—the pacing, the humor, and how incredibly cute Sam and Emery were together. I loved this little gem and think you just might as well.
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