Author: Alden Bell
Pages: 225 (Paperback)
Publisher: Holt Paperbacks
Release Date: August 3, 2010
Zombies have infested a fallen America. A young girl named Temple is on the run. Haunted by her past and pursued by a killer, Temple is surrounded by death and danger, hoping to be set free.
For twenty-five years, civilization has survived in meager enclaves, guarded against a plague of the dead. Temple wanders this blighted landscape, keeping to herself and keeping her demons inside her heart. She can't remember a time before the zombies, but she does remember an old man who took her in and the younger brother she cared for until the tragedy that set her on a personal journey toward redemption. Moving back and forth between the insulated remnants of society and the brutal frontier beyond, Temple must decide where ultimately to make a home and find the salvation she seeks.
It took me a few chapters to settle into The Reapers are the Angels because of the writing style. There are no quotation marks for dialogue, which made it sometimes confusing to know when someone started speaking. However, Temple, our main character, has a very distinctive, Southern voice, so she was relatively easy to pick out but not as clear on her meaning. I found it very hard to relate to her and to care about what happened to her. I was more intrigued by the world than I was in her, but it was enough to keep me reading.
I'm not sure how things got to where they are, but the world (at least the US from what we witness) is overrun with zombies aka meatskins aka slugs. Temple has been living on a small island for a few years, but at the beginning of the novel she realizes it's time to go. She ends up at a relatively safe place, a community of people held up in office buildings, but she makes enemies with the wrong man and is forced to leave. From that point on she's on the run, since that man, Moses Todd, is out to get her. During her journey she meets up with some very interesting characters and even picks up a traveling companion. Moses is never far behind though.
Even though Temple is on the run, I never felt a sense of urgency. The narrative was very detached and it seemed as though Temple didn't even care that a man who wants her dead is following her across the country. It was almost like the events were happening separate from her rather than to her, another reason why I just didn't care where she ends up.
There are some very disturbing scenes throughout the book and there is a lot of gore. Temple is good with a knife and takes down many meatskins, and a few...I'm not even sure what they are, mutant humans, I suppose. We're not spared any of the carnage. I kept reading in hopes of learning more about how the zombies got there, but we're basically told it's been that way all of Temple's life, and that's that. Overall, this book just was not for me.