This week’s Top Five topic is:
Books Featuring [paranormal creature of your choice]
–This topic will revolve around one type of paranormal creature of your choice. So books featuring vampires, werewolves, shapeshifters, demons, fae, zombies, etc.
I had a hard time thinking of a paranormal creature that I have read at least five books featuring the same type of creature, that I liked and can feel comfortable putting on a top five list. I finally came up with the idea of ‘Death’. I’m not sure if he qualifies as a paranormal creature, but I’m going with it. I at least thought it would be something different. A couple of the books I may have fudge a little with the paranormal part of it, but they fit the concept so I’m sticking to my choices.
1. Mort by Terry Pratchet
Death shows up in almost all of the Discworld books, but this is the one that features him, or at least his profession the most.
Death comes to Mort with an offer he can’t refuse — especially since being, well, dead isn’t compulsory. As Death’s apprentice, he’ll have free board and lodging, use of the company horse, and he won’t need time off for family funerals. The position is everything Mort thought he’d ever wanted, until he discovers that this perfect job can be a killer on his love life.
Terry Pratchett’s personification of Death is still the best one I have come across. He always speaks in CAPITAL LETTERS, and has a very dry sense of humor. He shows up in the books at the oddest times too. In this book he decides that he needs to take a break from being death and so gets an apprentice and then becomes a short order cook. Mort, his apprentice, is an endearing character, who stumbles his way through the apprenticeship, doing the best he can.
2. Croak by Gina Damico
Fed up with her wild behavior, sixteen-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?
I read this one a few years ago, and still have not finished the trilogy. But I do remember it being funny, and an interesting take on the business of death.
3. Riders by Veronica Rossi
Nothing but death can keep eighteen-year-old Gideon Blake from achieving his goal of becoming a U.S. Army Ranger. As it turns out, it does.
While recovering from the accident that most definitely killed him, Gideon finds himself with strange new powers and a bizarre cuff he can’t remove. His death has brought to life his real destiny. He has become War, one of the legendary four horsemen of the apocalypse.
Over the coming weeks, he and the other horsemen—Conquest, Famine, and Death—are brought together by a beautiful but frustratingly secretive girl to help save humanity from an ancient evil on the emergence.
Now—bound, bloodied, and drugged—Gideon is interrogated by the authorities about his role in a battle that has become an international incident. If he stands any chance of saving his friends and the girl he’s fallen for—not to mention all of humankind—he needs to convince the skeptical government officials the world is in imminent danger.
But will anyone believe him?
Death is in this book, but he is not the main character. Still I really liked the Death character, although we don’t get to know him very well. I’m hoping for more horseman books featuring this group of characters but from the other rider’s perspectives.
4. Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel
This one isn’t exactly about Death as a paranormal creature, but it still kind of, sort of fits the concept, at least I think so. Plus it was a very unique twist on the whole Harbinger of Death concept, and definitely had a paranormal creature.
A simple but forgotten truth: Where harbingers of death appear, the morgues will soon be full.
Angie Dovage can tell there’s more to Reece Fernandez than just the tall, brooding athlete who has her classmates swooning, but she can’t imagine his presence signals a tragedy that will devastate her small town. When something supernatural tries to attack her, Angie is thrown into a battle between good and evil she never saw coming. Right in the center of it is Reece—and he’s not human.
What’s more, she knows something most don’t. That the secrets her town holds could kill them all. But that’s only half as dangerous as falling in love with a harbinger of death.
5. Scythe by Neal Shusterman
Yeah, so this one really has no supernatural creatures in it what so ever, but the main premise fits my Death personified theme, so I am going with it.
Thou shalt kill.
A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.
Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.
Even a year after reading this book, I’m still thinking about it. It was just so different from anything else I read last year. I’m having a hard time being patient waiting for the next one.
So that is my top five for this week. Don’t forget to stop by Goodreads to see everyone else’s ideas. I know I am looking forward to see what other people came up with.