Author: Gina Damico
Series: Croak #2
Publication Date: September 25, 2012
Reading Level: Young Adult
Pages: 332 (Paperback)
Sixteen-year-old Lex Bartleby is a teenage grim reaper with the bizarre ability to damn souls. That makes her pretty scary, even to fellow Grims. But after inadvertently transferring her ability to Zara, a murderous outlaw, Lex is a pariah in Croak, the little town she calls home.
To escape the townspeople’s wrath, she and her friends embark on a wild road trip to DeMyse. Though this sparkling desert oasis is full of luxuries and amusements, it feels like a prison to Lex. Her best chance at escape would be to stop Zara once and for all—but how can she do that from DeMyse, where the Grims seem mysteriously oblivious to Zara’s killing spree?
This book is an amazing sequel. It expanded on all ideas from the prequel, had further character development, continued hilarity, and plot twists galore. I couldn't put it down! But because I loved it so much, I'm going to keep this review straight and to the point.
My favorite aspect of this novel was the character development. Watching Lex and Driggs's relationship blossom was great and full of hilarity. Uncle Mort managed to become both hilarious and more serious all at once. Norwood and Heloise rot more and more each day. Sofi and Zara are still not to be trusted and the newest additions to Croak, Pip and Bang, are awesome. Hello, hyperactive gay character and pretty Indian girl that speaks sign language, what's not to love?! And several other new characters that we meet will have a huge impact on the tale as well. Both the character development and relationship development far surpassed my expectations. While many recent sequels have disappointed me in this regards, Damico has satisfied me immensely.
The plot twists, though, were what kept me going. Damico made sure they were plentiful and they always caught me off guard. Some made me want to step back and cry while others made me want to scream in shock. Either way, I somehow managed to get even more attached to the lovely inhabitants of Croak and I'm silently begging Damico to release the next book in the trilogy already.
The ending left me breathless. So many secrets were revealed and plot twists were spun out. I swear that my mouth must have fallen open in shock at one point. And something happens to greatly impact a hugely important relationship in the book. For better or for worse, I can't say, which is why I need the next book now!
If you're on the hunt for a series that's equal parts gripping and hilarious, the Croak series is for you. Full of teenage antics, Yoricks galore, and a cast of characters that will never be forgotten, this is quickly becoming one of my favorite young adult grim reaper series of all time.
I highly recommend this series to any young adult reader, especially those looking for a good book that they can get a decent chunk of laughs out of, despite some of the rather serious plot twists. It's becoming harder and harder to rival Damico's humor in my eyes. This series is just steadily getting better and better.
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