It's been awhile since I posted a book review, but then again, I haven't been reading like I usually do. But after finishing this book, I just had to let everyone know how fabulous it was!
For those of you that don't know, Amber Benson is a talented actress/writer/filmmaker. She is probably best known for her portrayal of Tara Maclay on Buffy The Vampire Slayer, but has written and made some great Indie films as well. She also co-wrote the Ghosts of Albion series with Christopher Golden. As far as I know, Death's Daughter is her first solo novel.
I found this book in the paranormal romance category at the store, but I feel it crosses alot of genres. It could be considered fantasy or chick lit as well. It's written in first person, which makes it more fun in my opinion.
For the last few years, Calliope Reaper-Jones has been living under a self-imposed Forgetting Charm, because she didn't want any part of the family business. What she did want was a glamorous career in New York City and the opportunity for a normal, mortal life. But then her father's Assistant, a faun named Jarvis, shows up and cancels out the Forgetting Charm to let Calliope know that her father and sister have been kidnapped.
Now Calliope is expected to find her father, and fill in for him in his absence at Death Inc. - as The Grim Reaper. But in order to save her family's name and become the temporary personification of Death, she has to fulfill three tasks set forth by the Company Board to acquire three objects of power. And the quest to save her family, the business, and her life - turns out to be an adventure to remember!
Let me just say that this book hit the ground running and didn't stop for one second! Calliope's normal life gets turned completely upside down when she finds out her father and sister have been kidnapped, and she's none to pleased about it!
Jarvis is a great contrast to her flighty, self-involved inner monologues. The two spar alot, but you can tell that they genuiniely care about each other despite the verbal warcraft.
There were so many great things in this book! Death as a corporate entity itself was funny, and the fact that other Gods and Goddesses served on the Company Board was cool. Wodin, Persephone, and Kali (the Hindu Goddess of Destruction) make appearances. Kali in particualr is essential to the story, being sarcastic and snotty to Calliope while helping her out at the same time.
One of the "objects of power" Calliope must acquire is one of Cerberus's pups. As you can guess, she must go to Hell in order to get the pup. In fact, Calliope spends quite a bit of time in various sections of Hell, another way this book was interesting and funny. She meets the Devil himself, as well as his protege, Daniel. Daniel wants to be the Grim Reaper, so the tension between the two of them is tight. Calliope seesaws between wanting to kiss him senseless to wanting to punch him in the gut. Actually, she ends up doing both (among other things).
There was never a dull moment in this book. So many great characters to make the story come alive for me - I had a hard time putting it down. Gods, Goddesses, Hellhounds, Demons - all either trying to help or hinder Calliope in her quests. She crosses planes of existence, travels through memories, gets sucked through wormholes, and explores the many sections of Hell in this book. All while being exceptionally funny and sarcastic. I laughed out loud more than once at the quips in the dialogue or the inner monologues.
All in all, one of the absolute best books I've read in awhile. Anyone who loves fantasy, humor, wit, and the paranormal should pick it up. You won't be sorry!