(Death Escorts, #1)
by Cambria Hebert
Published: February 15, 2014
Format Reviewed: eARC from Author
Formats Available: eBook, Paperback coming soon
Love or Death? A simple question really. The choice seems obvious. But. What if you never knew love, what if your life was spent just trying to survive? What if you knew your fate before you were fully grown?
And then you died.
And you were given another chance. A better chance.
This new life depended upon one thing: your job. And so you agreed. You thought it would be simple. You thought it would be cut and dry.
It never is.
And now you are left holding the fate of someone else in the palm of your hand and you have to make the ultimate choice.
Love or Death?
“Proposition - An offer of a private bargain. A plan suggested for acceptance; a proposal.”
“Opportunity would be abundant and you could create a whole new identity for yourself.”
I was tempted sure, but still something kept me from accepting right away. “What’s the catch?”
There was always a catch.
“In return for your life, your new and improved life, you would come and work for me.”
“You will be an Escort.”
On the streets another name for Escort was a prostitute. “I don’t think I would look good in a dress and heels.”
“You joke. You’re funny.” Mr. Burns said, smiling. “Not that kind of Escort. This is more exclusive. More important.”
“So what exactly will I be Escorting?” I asked more confused than before.
Mr. Burns looked at me, his little beady eyes gleamed with excitement and he smiled, causing his cheekbones to jut outward.
“Death. You will be a Death Escort.”
The book begins with a young man scouting the streets to find someone to pickpocket just so he can get a cup of coffee and maybe even a piece of pie. The victim he chooses turns out to be a young woman who happens to be clocking out for the night from the very diner he intends to purchase these items with. The next few moments change his and her life forever. After taking her tips and walking away, he then sees a bus sliding on the ice, barreling towards her. With no hesitation, he pushes her out of the way saving her life. Unfortunately for him, he dies almost instantly. But instead of ending up in Hell where he expected to go, he is in an office and about to be given an opportunity he can't refuse. A mysterious man offers him money, comfort, and a second chance at life - the only catch - he has to take one. And not just some stranger's life; he has to kill Piper, the young woman he just died for. So with cash in his pockets, a paid credit card, a new body (he can't use his old, she will recognize him) and a new name - Dex, he starts his new life as a Death Escort for the big G.R - aka the Grim Reaper.
Ms. Hebert, author of the Heven and Hell series, has created a very interesting new premise within the "reaper" genre. Recalled instantly grabs your attention with instant action and and an emotional response that makes you instantly attached to the characters. Then we get the ultimatum: Hell or murder? At this point I instantly disliked Dex. I understand that he had a hard life, but what makes him think that his life is worth more than someone else's life? Not to mention that the "prize" is material things. But then again a chance to stave off eternity in Hell - even for a short while - would be tempting. And he doesn't really know Piper, so it isn't like he is killing someone he loves... Piper is a genuinely good person. Not only is she a waitress, but she is a med student and wants to live a life of service to others; which is a slight problem for Dex, who happens to have a conscious every time he tries to kill her. But if he doesn't want to be Recalled and sent to the oblivion, he has to finish what he signed up for.
There were times when the story slowed and I struggled to push on, but then it got good and then really good. Ms. Hebert's writing doesn't disappoint. She is a master at storytelling and weaving pictures for her readers. Written with alternating first person viewpoints, we get to see into both Dex's head and Piper's. I would have loved to see inside Hobb's head (Dex's butler) and what he thought of Dex. There were not only multiple villains, but levels of who was worse - and for me they would change depending on the situation. Ms. Hebert is very skilled bringing together some very scary things with both humor and compassion. She also evokes strong emotions and at times I wanted to throttle certain characters myself.
The ending was not what I expected at all! Well done Cambria! I was sobbing through the last chapter and they were both sad and happy tears. I love the message that Recalled sends: Forgiveness is Key. I still have questions though. There are some big things that are not explained enough or sometimes not at all. I won't get into them because that would cause some huge spoilers, but I know I won't be the only one left scratching my head. Hopefully, all of those things will be elaborated upon in the next installment. I am very curious to see what she will think of next. One thing I can ask now: Is Salted Caramel Creamer a real thing and if it is where can I buy it?!
Cambria Hebert is the author of the young adult paranormal Heven and Hell series and the upcoming Death Escorts series. She loves a caramel latte, hates math and is afraid of chickens (yes, chickens). She went to college for a bachelor’s degree, couldn’t pick a major and ended up with a degree in cosmetology. So rest assured her characters will always have good hair. She currently lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and children (both human and furry) where she is plotting her next book. You can find out more about Cambria and her work by visiting http://www.cambriahebert.com
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You can get your very own copy right now for only 99 cents! This price won't last long so hurry up before this offer is Recalled J