Thursday, 21 August 2014

Book Review: Death's Daughter by Amber Benson


For the last few years I'd been in a state of bliss--living under a self-imposed Forgetting Charm, because I so did not want to go into the family business. What I wanted was a glamorous career in New York City and the opportunity for a normal life--buying designer shoes on sale, dating guys from craigslist, Web surfing for organic dim sum for my boss. And then my father's Executive Assistant, a faun named Jarvis, showed up to tell me that my dad has been kidnapped.

Good-bye Forgetting Charm. Hell, (unwanted) responsibility. Not only am I expected to step into the CEO slot on the company Board, but I have to "prove my worth" by competing against the Devil's protégé--who so hot in more ways than one. The contest involves finding three (why is it always three?) objects of power. In Hell.

One of them is this adorable puppy--who happens to be a hellhound. The others are turning out to be not much fun. All this so I can take (unwanted) charge of Death, Inc.

My name is Calliope Reaper-Jones, and I'm...Death's Daughter.

My Review: 
 Calliope is the daughter of Death and comes back home from self-imposed exile to take over the family business when her father and sister are kidnapped.

Well Hell is doomed with Calliope in charge of things, that is for sure. She is a whiny, complaining, self obsessed, childish, irritating girl. She is also the steriotype heroine of this genre-fashion obsessed, boy crazy, status seeking, and annoying. Not much going for her really. She is meant to be about 24 but acts as if she is 10. Her 'endearing' list of character flaws is so long that I can't find anything to like about her! Add in mentally unstable and hysterical and you'll get a good picture of Calliope. I think this has to be the worst main character I have ever read in this genre. Yes really.

Now picture the scene. Your dad has been kidnapped! Oh no! Life as you know it is changing forever and you have the serious job of running the family business and you can't cope with the pressure! So what do you do next? Arrange a date with the kitchen boy of course. Then, oh horrors, you find out your sister is missing as well! So you endlessly think about sex with the guy in your mum's library, and then with the investigating cop dealing with your case. Oh come on!!! This was just a terrible plot development. The girl is not only sex obsessed, but she seems to hate people that are fat and I hate any kind of prejudice in my so called heroine. Oh Death must be so proud of his darling daughter. Not.

I didn't like the writing style much either. The author is trying too hard to be funny all the time and it just keeps falling flat, and the dialogue is pretty poor. For example as her blind date is arriving she remembers a dragon hanging around the lift area and runs to save him shouting 'get away foul beastie!'...uh huh. Enough said. Surely the author can think of a bit of appropriate dialogue that doesn't sound like King Arthur is saying it. The over use of the ! button grated on my nerves as well which makes it sound as if it was written by someone very young who has not yet developed the skill for telling an engaging story.

I've read that the author says that Callie grows and develops as the book and series goes along and that's fine. But if your main character is a whiny, rude, unpleasant cow then the readers won't always want to continue on the journey with her. And I was one of them. I was a bit shocked to see sequels to the book which makes me wonder if the books were published because the author was a (very good) actress on Buffy, or because of her writing skill. I know which answer I believe. Harsh review, yes but it really was one of the worst books I've read in this genre.
star rating photo: 1 star orange-1star.jpg


  1. OMG! Hahahaha. Your review made me laugh. I always cringe whenever characters try to be funny but fail miserably. Because OMG, if you don't have the talent to construct humorous dialogues then don't push it. Find another way to make them appealing to the readers. Chances are the eyerolling dialogues will ruin the reader's overall reading experience.

    I hope your next read will be better than this one.

  2. Yeah the 'get away foul beastie' bit really drove me nuts! I totally agree with what you said. It's like writers who are determined to write sex scenes and they have no idea how to do it, leaving the reader cringing! I hate that worse than failed humour!