Temple has known nothing else. This is the world she was born into. Her journey takes her to far-flung places, to people struggling to maintain some semblance of civilization – and to those who have created a new world order for themselves.
When she comes across the helpless Maury, she attempts to set one thing right, if she can just get him back to his family then maybe it will bring forgiveness for some of the terrible things she's done in her past. Because Temple has had to fight to survive, along the road she's made enemies – and one vengeful man is determined that, in a world gone mad, killing her is the only thing that makes sense . . .
The ‘Reapers are the Angels’ is a book which I had wanted to read for a while and was constantly being teased by my kindles recommendations but I just didn't have the time. When I finally did buy the book I was not disappointed. The book's main protagonist is a 15 year old girl called Temple, the story is mainly told through her inner voice and to begin with the accent put me off, I stuck with the book and I’m glad I did. Alden Bell does an excellent job of helping the reader see the world through Temple’s eyes and has created an exceptional and memorable character. Temple lives in a world full of ‘meatskins’ or ‘slugs’, it is a world which is all she knows, having been born 10 years after the world was ravaged by zombies. This gives it a very different perspective to my usual zombie novels, zombies aren’t evil or even that much of a threat to Temple, she says “them meatskins are just animals is all” and she deals with them quickly and with ease.
Temple is a tough young girl who, although not able to read or write, is cunning and has a natural ability to survive. While she has this tough outer, Temple is a very lovable character and she carries with her a constant feeling of guilt and isolation.
When I bought this book my initial thoughts were that it would be full of zombies trying to eat Temples brains and a young girls struggle to survive, I was pleasantly surprised. The books antagonists are not the zombie as expected but other humans who, in a world gone to hell will try to take advantage of a young girl, only to meet their end. One such person is Abraham, Abraham's demise results in a vendetta by his brother Moses who will stop at no length to see that Temple dies. This sees Temple having to uproot from the relative safety of a small community and travel across the dangerous landscape. On her journeys she comes across Maury, who she refers to as dummy because he cannot speak. Initially Temple is reluctant to help the gentle giant but her conscience gets the better of her and gives her journey purpose.
This story was a great change from the usual zombie novels I delve into, the characters were well developed, although it did confuse me as to why Moses was so hell-bent on the demise of the young girl, but still he made a great adversary, opposite in physical description but similar in personality and values, as cunning and equality if not more so dangerous. I think that Moses and Temple are different from the other people in the book and as Moses puts it “Some people, he says, they hide themselves away from the eyes of the world. They hunker down and shiver. They find four walls high enough to put between them and everything else. Those people, to them the world is a frightful place. See, you and me, we're different. When we are called on to move, we move. It don't matter the cause or the distance. Revenge or ministration, reason or folly - it's all the same to us.”
I really enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it; it contains all the things I look for in a book, action, adventure, violence, horror, great memorable characters and settings and also was unique compared to most post-apocalyptic novels.