I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Croak by Gina Damico
Series: Croak #1
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on March 20, 2012
Genres: Funny-ha-ha, Mystery, Urban Fantasy
Fed up with her wild behavior, sixteen-year-old Lex's parents ship her off to upstate New York to live with her Uncle Mort for the summer, hoping that a few months of dirty farm work will whip her back into shape.
But Uncle Mort's true occupation is much dirtier than shoveling manure. He's a Grim Reaper. And he's going to teach Lex the family business.
She quickly assimilates into the peculiar world of Croak, a town populated by reapers who deliver souls from this life to the next. But Lex can't stop her desire for justice - or is it vengeance? - whenever she encounters a murder victim, craving to stop the attackers before they can strike again.
Will she ditch Croak and go rogue with her reaper skills?
When sixteen year-old Lex starts to become a problem child, her parents decide to send her away for the Summer in hopes that her behavior will be changed while spending time with her Uncle Mort on his farm.
“I know it’s a rather odd decision, but we think that a few months of fresh air could do you some good. You can get in touch with nature, lend a hand on Uncle Mort’s farm, maybe even learn something! You could milk a cow!”
Cordy let out a snort. “She’d probably punch the cow.”
So Lex is sent to Croak, which turns out to be a bit more than just your typical small town (and her Uncle Mort doesn’t live on a farm). Croak is actually a portal between this world and the next and all its inhabitants, otherwise known as Grims (including Lex now) are in charge of helping souls after death get to that other world. Lex ends up enjoying her new responsibilities far more than she had anticipated, and her Uncle Mort and new partner Driggs are both shocked at how strong her abilities are.
I loved the intricacies of their world: Killers, Cullers, Crashers, deathflash, the ether, the Ether Traffic Controllers (the Etceteras), Gamma Removal and Immigration Managers (Grims) the jellyfish, the Terms of Execution…. it was all very fun and extremely well done. I loved the originality of the whole world Gina Damico built. To me, Lex was a snarkier version of George from the Showtime show ‘Dead Like Me’ and I was all on board for that. ‘Dead Like Me’ is one of my favorite shows ever.
With an incredibly fun storyline and a great build-up (and not even a cliff-hanger OR a love triangle! Yay!) I’m really looking forward to how this series continues to progress.