Review: Death’s Daughter by Amber Benson
First Line: “My name is Calliope Reaper-Jones, and I think I’m losing my mind.”
Calliope Reaper- Jones is a sad young woman living in New York, working as an assistant for a company called House and Yard. Lately, things have been a little off for her. She starts seeing things that shouldn’t be there, and some random stranger comes to kiss her feet. She’s left totally and utterly confused and blows it off, until she eats a charm breaking cupcake and all her life long memories emerge. She finds out not only did she put a Forgetting Charm on herself 3 years ago, but that she is the Grim Reaper’s (aka Death’s) daughter.
Calliope’s upset and wants to know why she remembers her supernatural life. Her father’s assistant, Jarvis, explains that her dad has been kidnapped and that her mother requests her presence immediately. She follows Jarvis back to her old home where her mom and their family lawyer explain that if she doesn’t replace her father’s position, then the whole family’s immortality is at stake. This story is about Calliope’s struggle with taking her father’s position and how she acquires his powers, but there are others who seek this power and want to get rid of Calliope. Calliope and her enemies find out that their goals are not as easy to obtain as they thought it would be.
I felt that this was a unique idea in the urban fantasy realm. I thought the details in this were intriguing because we had a female girl who was immortal, who’s father had the ability to kill almost anyone, and she was to inherit those powers. I thought that was interesting and wanted to see this adventure play out. The first 2 ½ chapters were the best part of the book, but it lost me when she remembers who she really is, and it all went down hill from there.
I can’t help but feel that Calliope received some sort of horny, obtuse, immature, and helpless charm on herself when she regained all her memories. What happened to the humorous and smart woman that I read in the first few chapters?
Almost every single guy she meets, she’s some how attracted to them. If he’s about her age or looks young she thinks about how hot he is. It starts off with her blind date in the beginning of the book. Which makes sense and is reasonable. She hasn’t dated in a long time and her friend sets her up. She hears his voice and thinks he might be hot, but takes one look at him and thinks other wise. Then her attraction heads towards other men, like her workmate, a God, a detective, and a couple of her enemies.
“It seemed that I was kind of attracted to the cute, granola-eating, hemp-wearing PETA spy.” (p.40)
“He’s gonna ravage me right here on my father’s Oriental rug…and I am so gonna let him!” (p.48)
“Not bad at all, I thought happily, imagining Daniel Jr. throwing himself across the desk and grabbing me in an erotic bear hug.” (p.75)
“He looked so yummy that you were tempted to eat him, regardless of all the calories you knew he contained” (p.173)
“Oh my God, I thought giddily, he’s totally gonna kiss me. Hmm, maybe this is about to get a lot more interesting than I would’ve ever imagined.” (p.263)
Every quote above is about a different guy. Not only does her libido go left and right, but so does her dialog. There are times when she’s talking and acting like she’s 10:
” ‘You got nothing on me, buddy!’ I stuck my tongue out at him, then turned and walked right over to the mound of squirming puppies.” (p.125)
And a valley girl:
“No, seriously. That was, like, totally weird and kind of rude…” (p.89)
Her tone and attitude is not consistent. She’s either crying and whining, or just being juvenile and angry. I could not find a way to relate to this character. Almost every secondary character has to help her in some way and I felt sorry for them. She would rather sit down and complain about what is happening to her until someone helps her or something catches her attention. I read till the end hoping there was a proper explanation to her personality and, of course, there is none. She is just that flawed.
It was a struggle to finish and I’m surprise I did so. Benson had created a world that I would have loved to have read about, but her execution was a failure. If you enjoy hard core urban fantasy this will not be your cup of tea. I will not be reading the rest of her books and I will not be recommending this one.
For: Hard core Amber Benson fans