Author: Tara Fuller
Series: Kissed by Death
Genre: Paranormal YA romance
Rating: 5 stars
Tara Fuller’s Kissed by Death series is about reapers–it focuses on teen/young adult aged ones (I’m not sure if there are adult ones or not, I haven’t seen any, anyway)–who are charged with taking souls to their final destination. Or at least, their final destination for now. In this world, reapers are assigned to specific geographic regions, and each reaper usually is only responsible for souls bound for a specific destination (Heaven, Hell, or Inbetween, a kind of limbo), unless he or she is filling in for or assisting another reaper. They’re not supposed to get too involved in human life–their jobs don’t begin until those lives are pretty much over, after all. But of course, the reapers in this series didn’t get where they are because of their stellar rule-following abilities.
Blurred is the second book in the series, though I read it first. (And then I immediately had to read Inbetween, book one. I did not pass GO. I did not collect two hundred dollars. I didn’t even take a bathroom break. I actually already had it on my Kindle–though I’m not sure when I purchased it, it was a pleasant surprise that I discovered by accident when I was about halfway done with Blurred–so all I had to do was switch files. My Goodreads review of Inbetween is here.) I was able to quickly pick on up the “rules” of the world even though I hadn’t read the first one yet, but if this one sounds interesting to you I’d suggest starting with book one if you’re able. They’re both fantastic reads, and if you’ve already read Inbetween then what you’ll see of Finn and Emma (the H/h of the first book) in Inbetween will be that much more meaningful.
Trying hard not to spoil anything here, but…*something* happens to Cash, Emma’s best friend, toward the end of Inbetween. If you haven’t read the first book, Tara Fuller shows you the pertinent scene in this book’s opener, so no worries. It’s pretty easy to follow. As a result, he’s having a rough time. He’s alive, but not quite. And he’s seeing things. Awful, hideous things that no one else is aware of. He’s also got some issues with Emma’s new relationship with Finn–he doesn’t quite trust the guy (knowing what Finn is/was, and especially once he finds out about something Finn had used him for in the last book) and he’s always kind of thought that Emma and he might eventually end up together.
Anaya, a thousand-year-old reaper for Heaven, is implicated in Cash’s current condition, though not exactly by choice. In book one she seemed somewhat fascinated by him, but now her feelings are compounded by the guilt she feels for the part she played in making him what he currently is. She’s also supposed to keep an eye on him for her boss, Balthazar, because he’s got big plans for Cash–just not quite yet. The other side is interested in him as well, though, and they’re doing their best to recruit him away from Anaya’s side whenever the she has other commitments to take care of.
I LOVED this book. I loved Cash. I loved Anaya. Even though I was meeting them for the first time, I loved Finn and Emma too. (And Easton; don’t even get me started on Easton. PLEASE tell me his book is coming out, and soon!) I loved the world that Fuller built here…although I think I’d rather read about it safely from a distance, thank you. I’d rather not personally experience *any* of it myself. For all the drama and danger that Emma and Finn had to deal with in Inbetween–and they did have a lot of drama and danger to deal with–everything felt like it was twice as much in this one. Cash has to deal with his physical and mental state; his changing relationship with Emma, who also no longer lives next door; his new-found knowledge of the existence of reapers and other, scarier entities…and that’s all on top of the normal, high-school senior things, like school and his often-antagonistic relationship with his dad. Anaya, on the other hand, has been doing her job for a thousand years, all along believing that she was eventually going to be rewarded for her efforts. She finds out in this book, though, that her boss might have been a little less-than forthcoming in that department, and she suddenly doesn’t know what to do or who to believe. Drama and danger ensue all around.
In a nutshell: 5 shining stars, even if you haven’t read the first in the series–though I can pretty much guarantee you’ll want to afterwards. I can’t wait to see what this series has in store for us next.
(I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)