Series: Hidden, #1
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Word Rating: Interesting
About the book:
When everyone thinks your sister committed suicide, it’s hard to prove she was murdered. Kim is unable to accept Charley’s sudden death. Crippled by an unnatural amnesia, her questions are met with wall after wall. As she doubts her sanity, she realises her investigation is putting those around her in danger. The only person who seems to know anything is Matthew, an elusive stranger who would rather vanish than talk. Despite his friendly smile, Kim isn’t sure she can trust him. But if she wants to protect her family from further danger, Kim must work with Matthew to discover how Charley died – before it’s too late.
To say that Reaper’s Rhythm starts with a bang is a bit of an understatement – the very first scene in this book is one that grips the reader’s attention, forcing you to have so many questions about what happened and what will happen next. The opening follows Kim as she gets home a little while after her older sister, Charley, to find that she committed suicide. As she frantically runs down the stairs to call for help, a mysterious boy appears and makes her pass out. When she wakes up, she has no recollection of finding her sister or the boy who was there.
As it is a paranormal, the reader expects there is some sort of magic at play, but Kim doesn’t know any better. For a large part of the book Kim is simply adjusting to the lose of her sister rather than learning of anything mystical or magical – in fact, I’d say that the first half of the book reads more like a contemporary with that looming threat of something paranormal taking a backseat to the psychological affect of death on Kim. The way Kim’s story follows so much of her adjusting to the loss of her sister and trying to cope really helped build Kim as a character, showing a young girl who can’t cope with and accept her sister’s suicide at face value. Of course, she was right about something magical at play but it’s still an interesting view of people in denial.
Although the psychological journey of Kim in the first half of the book is very interested and made me enjoy her point of view a lot more, it was a very slow paced development. As a reader who knows something funky is going on in the background, I just wanted to find out more. Since Kim’s character development takes priority, not much of the paranormal things are allowed through and it was a long time before there seemed to be anything plot moving. It seemed as though I had to wait almost 20% between each new development while Kim continued to whine to people how her sister surely could not have killed herself. But, as I said before, Kim’s development throughout this was worthwhile, despite having taken priority over the plot development.
The dynamic between Kim and the other characters is very much that she can’t get past her sister’s death and everyone else is getting annoyed with her. The great thing about Kim is that she is very true to herself throughout his – despite how often she’s getting no as an answer and hitting more obstacles, she still searches for answers. She doesn’t care who thinks she’s crazy so long as she can find some sort of information from someone else. At the same time, there is a naïve side to Kim – she is very trusting of others and doesn’t always see their ulterior motives. Clare Davidson did a wonderful job seeing into the mind of a 16-year-old girl facing a great lose.
While Kim definitely takes the leading role in Reaper’s Rhythm, the secondary characters definitely add something to the story as a whole. From Matthew, a character that makes us wonder what exactly is going on, to Kevin, a new friend who surely must have a hidden agenda, to Tia, a disgruntled ex-friend of Charley’s, to Gage, a guy who just seems too nice for anyone’s good - Reaper’s Rhythm has a pretty well rounded out cast of characters. All of these characters had something they were hiding and it was interesting to explore how Kim interacted with them and found out what was going on little by little.
Overall I really enjoyed Reaper’s Rhythm – I felt the characters were very well developed and the idea behind the magical element was a great new twist on an old concept. I also liked how this book took place in modern England, something I’ve never read before. It was interesting to learn more about the educational system in England, as I had no prior knowledge, and to sort through all the British slang. Reaper’s Rhythm is a book I’d definitely recommend to someone who enjoys a character’s journey and growth just as much as an interesting paranormal twist.
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