You thought there was only one Death? Aww, that’s sweet…
Just like all little girls, I hoped I was special and that one day my powers would be revealed. My parents would be bewildered, my friends would equally worship and envy me, and my bullies would run away in terror! Nothing happened when I turned 10. I didn’t grow wings at 12, still wasn’t able to make things move with my mind at 14, and at 16 I was already too old to believe in such nonsense. Well, what do you think happened the day I turned 18? I got the confirmation that I was only human. In the mail! Oh, and also an invitation to apply to the Grim Reaper Academy. Because, apparently, humans can be Grim Reapers, too.
Fast forward to day one, semester one, year one. There’s a test! No one told me I’d have to take a test to enter! But there are only 22 Grim Reapers in the world, the competition is tough, so I guess it makes sense? If I pass, then I will be sorted according to what kind of Death I’ll make if I survive the rigours of the Academy. Merciful Death? Neutral Death? Oh, please God, don’t let me be sorted into the Violent Death Cabal! All the A-holes are there! And I don’t think I can compete with Holier-Than-Thou Sariel (cause he’s an archangel, you see), Jerkface-No-1 Pazuzu AKA Paz (cause all demons are major morons), Mr Bow-To-Me GC Apis (ugh, false gods are the worst), and Francis (no idea what his deal is, he doesn’t talk much).
But this is my chance, dammit! This is what I’ve been waiting for all my life! Okay, so I’m not a princess, or a mermaid, or Sailor Moon. But I can be a Grim Reaper one day. I’ll take it!
This is the first book in a 4 part series.
It contains reverse harem, bully romance, and occasional disturbing themes.
Mila Lazarov had a rough childhood. Her family left Bulgaria for the USA when she was a baby and they’ve struggled as a unit for as long as Mila can remember. A physically abusive father, an enabling mother, and a young girl with an attitude problem make for an exceptionally strained home life.
Mila always wished there was more to her life, that she had some sort of magical ability or a gift that would help her escape the clutches of a father who blamed her for all his woes. Unfortunately for her, there was no such thing as supernatural powers or birth gifts in the world. Or so she thought.
Her 18th birthday comes and a red envelope with her name on it arrives. It’s from the Grim Reaper Academy inviting her to study at their school. Initially believing it to be some cruel joke being played on her, she laughed and showed it to her parents. Her father’s reaction – tearing up and disposing of the letter – makes her question its actual authenticity. After it reappears, looking like it has been magically pieced back together she decides that she’s going to leave her life behind and run away to find the Academy.
Arriving at the campus she learns she is the only human there, while also being told that archangels, demons, vampires, shifters, mages, and false gods are very real. Only now, she has a target on her back for simply being an outsider in their world.
This review encompasses all 4 books in the series and not just the first one.
The first book was pretty decent, the second got a little tedious, the third was a slog, but this one? Well, this one I absolutely hated. Thankfully it’s written in such a way that it’s a quick read because I basically resorted to skim-reading the entire thing.
Wylde introduced a new player into this book, a cousin who would ultimately save the day and not the MC. It was a total cop-out. The story could have gone in any direction after the end of book 3 but instead, we end up with the whiniest, meanest, woe-is-me MC.
The MC has spent 4 whole books being essentially the dumbest girl I’ve ever read of. She was unwilling to truly learn about the Grim Reaper Academy and the world she had been thrust into. There’s a thing in the real world called ‘Survival Instinct’ – when faced with problems we don’t understand we attempt to make sense of them, we try to assimilate into different cultures, we try to learn about our new reality – why wasn’t Mila written in such a basic, adaptive way? It was frustrating.
By the end of this book, she had learned very little about anything and yet moved on to become one of 22 Grim Reapers in charge of releasing souls for the next 200 years. You wouldn’t promote a lazy, incompetent worker into a position of influence if they didn’t understand the basics of their duties and environment, so why would the MC garner such a position when she did very little to earn it?
I almost DNF’d this book, I only hung in there because I’m a series completionist but I won’t be reading anything from Cara Wylde again.
I am releasing this review simply because I am aware that there are other people who don’t mind a quick mindless literary fix, and that there are readers who enjoy bully-romances. Everyone’s preferences differ, I personally like a story to have depth and character growth – This book does not offer that but I’m not going to not post a link to it simply because I don’t like it.
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