Call Me Grim by Elizabeth Holloway

4 Stars

“If signing up as the fourth horsewoman of the apocalypse buys me time, then hand me a scythe and call me Grim.”

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Month9Books, 2014

After reading the blurb for this book I was immediately intrigued, and I’m glad to say I wasn’t disappointed upon full investigation.

If you’re a giant urban fantasy fan like me but are looking for a change of pace from the oh so frequent vampires, werewolves, angels, and fairies this could very well be your book. As the title, cover, and blurb of this book suggest, the supernatural force we’re dealing with here is none other than Death himself (or, at least one of his lackeys – the resident Grim Reaper of a small Pennsylvania town, who’s all set to hang up his scythe).

The thing I really enjoyed about this book was its sincerity. That may sound strange when we’re dealing with a premise as far flung as a retiring Grim Reaper training his apprentice, but the characters had depth and the subplots, if not relatable to every single reader, invoked a strong sense of empathy.

On that same note, I found Libbi’s initial reaction to Aaron’s appearance in her life and the subsequent events to be both amusing and realistic. Unlike many Urban Fantasy novels where a main character newly introduced to some kind of supernatural creature or phenomenon seems to just roll with it, or even find it cool, Libbi’s mistrust of Aaron and her fear of her predicament seem to be a natural, human reaction.

The only thing that contradicts this – something that was of course necessary and inevitable in a young adult novel – is the insta-love that springs up between Libbi and Aaron. It might take half the book, but in the book’s timeline it only takes Libbi about three days to change from loathing to loving. Ms. Holloway could have countered this by extending the book’s timeline.

All in all I found this to be an enjoyable read, one that I finished within a day – I’d like to congratulate Ms. Holloway on her debut; I’m looking forward to the next installment.

Review copy provided in exchange for honest review.

Review by Ash Bye

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