Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Croak by Gina Damico (3/5 stars).

Title: Croak (Croak #1)
Author: Gina Damico
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Date Published: 20 March 2012
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Paperback: 311 pages
Rating: 3/5 stars

"Sixteen-year-old Lex Bartleby has sucker-punched her last classmate. Fed up with her punkish, wild behavior, her parents ship her off to upstate New York to live with her Uncle Mort for the summer, hoping that a few months of dirty farm work will whip her back into shape. But Uncle Mort’s true occupation is much dirtier than that of shoveling manure. 

He’s a Grim Reaper. And he’s going to teach her the family business. 

Lex quickly assimilates into the peculiar world of Croak, a town populated entirely by reapers who deliver souls from this life to the next. Along with her infuriating yet intriguing partner Driggs and a rockstar crew of fellow Grim apprentices, Lex is soon zapping her Targets like a natural born Killer. 

Yet her innate ability morphs into an unchecked desire for justice—or is it vengeance?—whenever she’s forced to Kill a murder victim, craving to stop the attackers before they can strike again. So when people start to die—that is, people who aren’t supposed to be dying, people who have committed grievous crimes against the innocent—Lex’s curiosity is piqued. Her obsession grows as the bodies pile up, and a troubling question begins to swirl through her mind: if she succeeds in tracking down the murderer, will she stop the carnage—or will she ditch Croak and join in?"

I have to be honest, I didn't like the cover - the model posed with her hands in the pockets of her hoodie making it obvious that the scythe was digitally added, it's not even how Lex's scythe looks like, I don't know what her expression is supposed to convey and she looks like a boy, but I guess it's a matter of taste. That aside, I did like the blurb and a friend sent me an e-book copy so I read Croak.

What I liked the most in CROAK is the fanciful imagery of the quaint little town and its inhabitants that is like candy to the imagination! Like the town pub called Corpp's, I can just imagine the gigantic ether mural on the ceiling and the different splotches of art on the walls! The teens in town don't need an ID because why get beer when you can get a Yorick, a drink that could make you feel elated without the hangover the next day because of a few drops of Elixir, cloud matter from the Afterlife that melts into liquid when you take it back to the living world. 

That said, details of the mythology are also very well done from the jellyfish that seems to be everywhere, to the ether, and how souls are reaped, Damico explains in a manner that the reader easily understands. 

However, while I know that the concept that in the Afterlife there is no hell or eternal punishment is needed for Lex as well as the mystery antagonist to feel so strongly against letting the criminal go free when they could do something about it, that premise just doesn't sit well with me. 

Moving on, Lex is rebellious, angsty, and full of anger, even if she grew up in a family full of love, she just sucker punched another classmate which led her parents to decide that she should spend some time in her uncle Mort's farm, they hilariously tell her over family dinner while she's tied up in jumping ropes! Lex doesn't change much when she gets to Croak, she still has a temper and acts before thinking except that she's only punched someone once, and I just can't get myself to like her character.

Overall, CROAK's dark humor and unique reaper world made for a good read, something I would recommend for those looking for a different kind of Supernatural story.


  1. Wow! This sounds amazing! I have to agree with you about the cover- I'm never a fan of plain old photographs of people,but then again, I must shamefully admit I'm particular about covers! ;)
    The story sounds brilliant btw- it's nice to find a supernatural story that doesn't focus on vampires and werewolves! :D


    1. Thank you! And yea me too! It's a pet peeve of mine when the cover is far from what's described in the book. Followed back :)

  2. Hey, I just wanted to say that I came across your blog and loved it, so I just had to follow. :)

    1. Thank you for dropping by Chey! I followed back, I loved my visit to your blog too! :)

  3. This sounds great... I added it to my TBR list. I'm a new follower and just wanted to drop by and say hi :) I LOVE your blog btw :)

    Feel free to check out my blog & follow too!!

    -Riya :) (The Teen Book Guru)

    1. Following back! Thank you TTBG! <3

  4. Looks like a really good book! I added it to my to-read list.

    1. Thanks Caroline! It's a good light read :)

  5. Hi! I adore you're blog, and wanted to let you know that I nominated you for the Versatile Bloggers Award! Please check out the post I did about this at http://everythingaboutella.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/versatile-blogger-award.html
    PS. I would love it if you could follow my blog and love it like I love yours! Thanks xxx

    1. Of course! Followed back! :) And thanks for the award! I really appreciate it. <3