Die another day: THE GOLDEN AGE OF DEATH by Amber Benson

Posted 25 February, 2013 | Mary @ TheBookSwarm | | 20 Comments

THE GOLDEN AGE OF DEATH (Calliope Reaper-Jones #5) by Amber Benson
Urban Fantasy
324 pages, paperback
Available February 26, 2013
Publisher: Ace
Review copy provided by publisher

My name is Calliope Reaper-Jones (Callie to my friends). I’m Death’s Daughter and — as of very recently — the (reluctant) head of my father’s company, Death, Inc.

I was gradually learning how to be a businesswoman. Had the power suits and shoes down, though the day to day was slow going. Then I was blindsided by Enemies Unknown and sent off to I-don’t-know-where. Not a good thing.

Now, not only myst my friends and family be frantic but without a CEO, Death, Inc. can’t function. With the newly deceased left free to roam the Earth, it’s the zombie apocalypse come true.

I’ve got to get back — for my sake and the sake of, of, all humanity…

I’ve got to be honest with you, the first half of this book is a hot mess. There’s way too much going on and between the flipping between points of view at the toss of a coin, random flashbacks and unfocused yet multiple directions this story was taking, I seriously considered DNFing it.

But I’m glad I didn’t. One of the main reasons I didn’t is because the first four books in this series are witty and compelling, following the story of Callie Reaper-Jones as she makes poor choices in her love life and tries to navigate the world of Death. With this fifth book (which I believe is the final book in this series), all plot arcs merge and snarl before finally smoothing out into a cohesive story that rather neatly ties it all up in a bow (not the happiest-ever-after bow but a bow nonetheless).

The Man in Gray is out to merge worlds and, in doing so, destroy not only Callie but all of humanity and Callie has to figure out a way to stop him before she disappears forever. There are other evil beings who also want a piece of Callie (because it can’t be as simple as just one guy wanting to end the world, right?) and they’re after all her loved ones as well. 

Personally, I would have liked the story to stay focused on Callie. She’s a fun character — goofy and awkward and totally not prepared for the responsibility thrust upon her when her father died. She does the best she can with what she’s got but so many people have tried to sabotage along the way that she still doesn’t have confidence in her abilities. But the story is fractured into multiple shards told by characters I liked but didn’t really care all that much about, especially when all I really wanted to know was what was going on with Callie.

*shrugs* Like I said, I really did enjoy the second half of the book, once the pieces started to fit together and all the talk-talk-talk became serious action and forward motion. If this truly the end of the series as I suspect, it did well tying everything together and I look forward seeing what Amber Benson produces next.

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20 Responses to “Die another day: THE GOLDEN AGE OF DEATH by Amber Benson”

  1. I think this is one of the very few UF series I haven’t yet tried. It sounds interesing, though, although I’m sorry you struggled with the first half. There are plenty of reapers around, but Death’s daughter? Sounds interesting.

  2. Oh I’m an ending girl, so I don’t think I’ll mind it. Glad to know that it does work out in the end. Will totally keep that in mind. I’ve been liking the reaper aspect that has been going on in books, so I will have to check out this entire series!

  3. I think the hopping from character to character is one of the main reasons I struggle with Urban Fantasy sometimes. I love the genre as a whole, but it’s more likely than a paranormal romance to character hop, and I always end up wanting to stay with one or two characters in particular so I get frustrated when I have to leave them. Still, I’m glad you stuck with this one and it turned out to be worth your while!!!

    • I totally get that. The ones that stick with one main character (like Jennifer Estep’s Spider series or Chloe Neill’s Chicagoland Vamps series) are my absolute favorite. I like to delve deep into a character and meet people through their eyes.

  4. Sam

    Callie sounds like a character I might like! Multiple points of view can go either way for me, but I nearly always have a preference for one character’s perspective and end up rushing the others’ to get back to theirs. Hmm. This series sounds like one worth checking out though, so I’ll do just that. 🙂 Great review!

  5. Oh well i’m glad it turned around for you! It’s why I try to get to at least 60% before DNFing–though I’ve dnfed some at 10% so haha. This series sounds like a fun and witty read, plus that owl is awesome! 😀

  6. My mom really loves this series! I will definitely warn her about the first half but make sure she knows that it gets better. 🙂 Great review, Mary!

  7. Glad this ending turned around for you. I haven’t read this series, but it sounds really cool! I feel like I’ve seen it all when it comes to reapers, but this actually seems like a unique take. And ohholycrap this is Buffy’s Amber Benson?! How did I not know she was an author?? *crawls out from under a rock, blinking stupidly*

    • YESYESYES!! This IS Buffy’s Amber Benson! When I got the first book, I kind of wrinkled my nose — you know how some of those celebs get their books published on name alone — but I wound up really enjoying it so yayay for Amber!!

  8. I’ve ears of this series but haven’t tried it out yet. Glad you liked te second half and didn’t DNF. And, it’s probably just me, but everytime I look at that girl on the cover I can’t help but think she looks like Tina Fey! Lol!

    Jesse @ Pretty In Fiction

  9. Sounds like it was worth it in the end but I don’t know if I want to work that hard to get to a good part in a book, particularly with an author I haven’t tried yet, so I guess I might try one of the early books first.

    🙂 Thanks for the fab review, Mary.

  10. I’ve been getting these for review but since I never read the first few books I have just set them aside. I did see some reviews and they tend to be kind of on the negative side, so I wasn’t sure if the series was worth picking up. But I LOVE the author (at least on TV) and I’d be willing to give them a shot just for that. But since you said you liked the first ones then maybe I will start collecting the earlier books in the series.