Book 2.0 of Madison Avery
Publishing date: Jan 2, 2010
Grade 9 Up—In this sequel to Once Dead, Twice Shy (HarperCollins, 2009), purple-haired Goth Madison is adjusting to life at her new high school—and to the fact that she is recently dead. She is the newest dark timekeeper put in charge of reapers of death. Her ideals clash with tradition—she believes in choice over fate: people with the potential to do evil might still be able to change in time to save their souls. Madison and her two reapers, (mostly) light Barnabas and dark Nakita, set out to alter the fate of a teen with a computer virus set to wreak havoc on the local hospital and cause several deaths. Madison's adversarial light timekeeper, Ron, and his apprentice are positioned to prevent them from succeeding. Amulets with hidden forces and an occasional visit from a limerick-spouting guardian angel add to the complex hierarchy of fate and supernatural power. Sharp-dressed Nakita, who can "scythe" (kill) mortals is still concerned with fitting in at school and is an engaging sidekick to Madison, yet other characters are portrayed sketchily at best. This fast-paced tale delivers some uniquely amusing moments but does not stand alone. Fans of Lauren Kate's Fallen (Delacorte, 2009) and those who enjoyed the first book may be drawn into Harrison's world of heaven and earth, but new readers will be left confused by undeveloped characters and overly complex rules and guidelines.—_Tara Kehoe, Plainsboro Public Library, NJ_ (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Fans of Once Dead, Twice Shy (2009) won’t be disappointed by this more-of-the-same sequel, which follows Madison—the newly minted dark timekeeper of the afterworld—as she tries to stave off unnecessary reaper scythings. The plot this time revolves around a dangerous computer virus, but the story’s primary concerns are the rocky relationships between the rogue’s gallery of supernatural characters (and a few human ones, too). Harrison’s afterworld rules remain rather exhausting, but her theme of fate versus choice is more finely tuned here than in the first book. If this is your kind of thing, you already have it on order. Grades 8-11. --Daniel Kraus