Thank you to the author and Goodreads group David Estes Fans and YA Book Lovers Unite! for providing a copy of this ebook for review. The views in this review are mine and are in no way affected by receiving a copy of the book.
Published by Soul Mate Publishing on 2014-05-28
Length: 247 pages
Reviewing eARC Rating:
Christian, a nineteen-year-old reaper-human hybrid enslaved to the Other World to harvest souls, earns his freedom by making a bargain with the Goddess of Death. As part of the bargain, he’s been cursed with the kiss of death.
The only way Christian can break his curse is for an angel to kiss him. Willingly. He finds Brooke, an nineteen-year-old descendant of a Naphil whose destiny is to hunt rogue reapers. But she’s hiding, suffocating in a semi-agoraphobic cocoon since witnessing a reaper steal her brother’s soul.
Christian has found the angel who can break his curse, and the seduction begins. To break her phobia’s hold, Brooke embraces her angelic role and makes it her mission to kill rogue reapers, trying to avenge her brother’s murder. Christian can break his curse by kissing Brooke dead ... but will she figure out his game and kill him first?
Kiss Me Dead by Dale Ibitz follows two stories that merge into one towards the end of the book about Brooke and Christian. In 1938, Christian Graves is in love with a human, something that is forbidden for his kind. You see he is a reaper for Giltine, meaning he ushers souls to judgment. He wants to break this curse and be free to live as a human, but Giltine has other plans. In the present, Brooke thinks she has gone crazy because she sees reapers. She watched them kill her older brother. Now she confines herself to home, rarely leaving. Until one day she meets a reaper and he warns her that someone is planning to kill her. Can she trust him?
Okay I’ll be completely honest, I didn’t care for the main characters too much. Brooke is supposedly 19 years old, still living at home and still grieving over the death of her brother a few years earlier. She’s agoraphobic (afraid to leave her house) and she sees reapers. By all accounts, she believes that she is crazy. I felt no connection with this character. Brooke was immature in my opinion and ventured out of her house to see her friend at Panera Bread. If you are agoraphobic and truly scared of the world around you, why would you meet your best friend at a busy restaurant? 😐
Christian is immortal as he is half-reaper, half-human. He was doomed to a life of servitude to Giltine by his father when he made a deal with her to live a human life. The majority of his story occurs in 1938, but he also is in the present with Brooke as well. In 1938 he falls in love with a human and wishes to make a deal with Giltine. However, he hopes to outsmart her and not giveaway his future child. I found Christian a bit arrogant and selfish. He sees his job as a reaper as detestable and thinks that he is stealing souls. In actuality he helps them, but he only sees the bad, especially when the soul is young. He is also obsessed with the fact that he is a slave. He wants to be free and spends the majority of the book trying to be so.
The story alternates POV between Brooke in the present and Christian in 1938 and as I stated earlier with two story lines that merge into one about 70% into the book. The storyline of 1938 follows Christian as he falls in love with a human and then attempts to make a deal with Giltine. I really liked this storyline. Christian is likable and relatable. It isn’t until towards the end of this part of the plot that his character becomes bitter and hard to like or trust. In the present, Brooke is haunted by reapers no one else can see. Then she is warned by an almost-reaper that someone is going to kill her. As she begins to learn what she is, she accepts it and decides to help Christian break his curse.
Personally I thought Brooke’s character was not very well written. If truly agoraphobic, I believe that Brooke would not have been so trusting of the almost-reaper or have accepted her fate so easily. I felt that it was unbelievable.
Overall this story kept my attention. I enjoy books with alternating points of view because it gives the reader a glimpse of what each character is thinking. However this story the alternating POVs are at different points of time as well, making it a bit hard to follow as the stories do not relate or run parallel to one another. Also, call me a prude if you like, the author’s use of profanity felt off. Many times the author would just write “f-bomb” instead of the actual word when other times the word would be written out. In my opinion, either use it or don’t. I felt that the slang depreciated the novel. Also descriptions like this:
Eyes widening, she hovered over the endless depths of air that crept up her spine. Clutching at his sleeve with both hands, her nails dug through the cloth. Her bladder clenched then loosened, a sharp taste of metal stinging her dry tongue.
Um…..I have no words for that. The descriptions were either over the top or not enough. The saving grace of this story was when the story lines converged. The plot felt a bit rushed at that point but the action and suspense and eventual ending to this book made it a decent read. If you enjoy demon mythology and paranormal romance, you may enjoy this one as well.