Audio Book Review: Croak

Title: Croak by Gina Damico
Publisher: Audible Studios
Format: Audible
Length: 8 hours 16 minutes
Narrator: Jessica Almasy
Genre: YA Sci/Fi

Synopsis: Fed up with her wild behavior, 16-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?

(59) Review: I really enjoyed this book.  The narrator Jessica Almasy is fabulous at reading, she really helps put you in the book and helps to keep your attention.  I loved the premise of this book, it reminded me a bit of the Showtime series Dead Like Me only the girl in that show had died, where in this series Lex is still alive, she just has a gift for taking life.

This is Gina Damico's debute novel, and it definitely breaks some molds.  The main character Lex is not the most likeable, she is a straight A wonderful girl who all of a sudden turned into the school bully.  She is biting kids, breaking bones and sending people to the hospital.  Fed up she is sent to spend the summer with her Uncle in the small town of Croak.

In Croak Lex discovers that she has the gift of being a grim reaper, in fact her Uncle, the mayor of Croak is one as well as are all the inhabitants of Croak.  I loved the way Damico describes the afterlife, and the fun quirky way she has established the politics of Croak and the the death business.

Lex starts to calm down and realize how much she likes Croak and she is finding that she actually fits in with this bunch of weirdos.  The story has a light tone that takes some of the morbidity away, but underlying is a mystery. There are mysterious deaths happening and no one can figure out what is going on. The story slowly builds toward a conclusion regarding these deaths and Damico does this masterfully until the final showdown when she kicks us in the gut. I'm not gonna give it away but WOW.

Of course there is the inevitable romance that it seems all YA books require.  Driggs lives with her Uncle and is Lex's Grim partner. He culls the souls that she releases.  He is mysterious and witty and doesn't stand for any of Lex's antics.  They are a good match.

This is a fabulous start to the series.  I can't wait to read book 2 Scorch.