The opening chapter of Don’t Fear the Reaper
by Michelle Muto is a very powerful way to begin a story: with the death of the lead character by suicide. This chapter alone had me hook, line, and sinker. I wish it had maintained that level throughout the story.
Keely Morrison commits suicide to find peace after the death of her twin sister. What she finds on the other side is far from peaceful. Stuck in purgatory until a test decides her fate she is left with two guides: a demon and a reaper. The demon is there to make sure she fails her test, possibly. The reaper has bet his soul that she will pass and move on to heaven. Can she trust either of them?
The suicide in the story is never glamorized. The damage Keely has done to her family and friends is conveyed very well and Keely both sees and feels the pain that she has caused. She is also forced to come to terms with the fact that she did successfully commit suicide.
My biggest complaint with Don’t Fear the Reaper
is the minimal character development. I felt that the author got too far out in the weeds of developing what purgatory was like that she missed some chances to really flesh out the characters. I hope these characters are developed further if this is to be a series.
My last comment is directed towards the ending: it was obvious. So much so that when it finally happened, I felt whacked upside the head with it.
Overall, Don’t Fear the Reaper
is decent read. I look forward to reading more from Michelle Muto and watching her grow as an author.