Illustrated by Flaviano, colored by Rico Renzi
Jessica Harrow is a Reaper, responsible for helping the recently dead realize their death and then take them to the afterlife. On one of her many routine missions, Jessica suddenly crosses into the world of the living and interacts with people who are alive! This leads Jessica and her two friends, Marcel and Eddie, to start investigating what could be different and why she has this power that only one other reaper has ever had: the big guy himself, Death.
The first few pages of this story drew me in with the lyrics from "Don't Fear the Reaper" by Blue Öyster Cult because I thought it was cheeky to use in a book that was clearly going to be about death. But the appeal of this story isn't just in its use of pop culture. Jessica is beautifully drawn and a bit of an ingénue despite her job being fairly dark, but her supporting cast of friends truly make this story. Marcel and Eddie, Jessica's two reaper friends, add a lot of color commentary, and Eddie in particular is hard not to love. He's fashioned himself after an 80's hair-metal musician, and he shares a lot of characteristics with David Bowie. This is a pretty fast-paced book that may have some predictable moments to it, but all can be forgiven because readers will still want to be on this journey with Jess and her friends. This would be a fun read for someone looking for something slightly dark, but full of mystery and 80s music.
The art for this series is absolutely amazing. Flaviano and Renzi's skills really compliment one another. Each panel has an incredibly amount of detail, and the coloring from Renzi brings all of those wonderful illustrations to life. The covers have been amazing, and some of that art will undoubtedly be part of the paperback collection.
The book is a little dark and has a lot of cultural references. There is some smoking and alcohol consumption as well. This would be better for older readers.
Sara's Rating: 10/10
Suitability Level: Grades 9-12
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Publication Date: January 25, 2023
ISBN: 9781684158829 (Paperback)
Tags: Rating: 10/10, Suitability: High School, Comicbooks, Action Adventure, Paranormal, Folklore, BOOM! Studios
I've been reading manga and comicbooks for years. Now, I write reviews and other helpful things for School Librarians, teachers, parents, and students.
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