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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Madison Avery and the Dim Reaper
'My name is Madison Avery. And I'm here to tell you that there's more out there than you can see, hear, or touch'.

Madison is dead. After she leaves her school prom with a mysterious guy she ends up in a car crash. She manages to survive this event but is unfortunate in that she's struck down by said guy's magic sword -- now Madison is walking around seemingly...
Published on 5 July 2009 by Persephone

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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Once read, twice? not so sure.
I almost had to push myself to finish this novel, although it was not a terribe read its not the usual type of book i would read, so i thought it would be nice to devel into something different.

In retro-spect even though i am 17 i feel that this book is aimed at a slightly younger age group and may be part of the reason why i found it hard to get through...
Published on 27 July 2009 by Avenged Vampyre


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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Madison Avery and the Dim Reaper, 5 July 2009
'My name is Madison Avery. And I'm here to tell you that there's more out there than you can see, hear, or touch'.

Madison is dead. After she leaves her school prom with a mysterious guy she ends up in a car crash. She manages to survive this event but is unfortunate in that she's struck down by said guy's magic sword -- now Madison is walking around seemingly alive; but not alive. Confused? All this is chronicled in the Prom Nights From Hell anthology, where Kim Harrison wrote the short story of Madison's prom. You don't need to have read this short story to understand Once Dead, Twice Shy but it certainly would help matters. This book picks up a month or so later during the summer holidays where Madison is being taught metaphysical skills by her long suffering mentor Barnabas. People can still see Madison and she goes on with her life as normal, all the while actually being dead. Heh. It sounds much weirder than it is!

As well as being dead (only not) Madison is a 17 year old hormonal teenager with a bad attitude and purple hair. Harrison excels at characterisation and I was not disappointed here. I really liked Madison's voice and thought her interactions with Barnabas (her light reaper guide) were quite funny. Barnabas is a mysterious character. He's somewhat grumpy and serious, not to mention a little tactless with people's feelings -- which amused me.

This book is very much a short introduction into Madison's world of dark wings, time keepers and reapers. It was nice to read a book that isn't chock full of vampires; it gave the Madisonverse a fresher feel. There are some interesting themes going on here as well -- the nature of fate and free will. It's a positive thing that Harrison was able to broach these issues in a book for teenagers.

This series is for young adults and it's written quite differently to Harrison's Rachel Morgan series which is aimed at adults. Aside from the parents and the paranormal characters, all the characters are teenagers or look like them (Barnabas). I don't read young adult novels EVER so I have no idea what they're like -- I'm 22 and I enjoyed this book, I didn't really think it was too young for me. The love/relationship stuff is quite young feeling but that's not what I read fantasy books for -- I'm all about the story and the characters, so that was neither here nor there. Also, a lot of Madison's issues are relatable: that basic idea of fitting in and loneliness etc. I thought one of the best things about 'Once Dead, Twice Shy' was the high school setting converging on the paranormal angelic stuff. It resulted in an interesting mix of themes. The book was pretty short, and mainly focused on setting up the various aspects of the series. It only got to the really good stuff in the final chapter, but with Harrison she builds marvelous story over many books so I didn't mind this at all. The final chapter gives a very clear indication of where this series is headed... and it looks to be quite a ride!

All in all, highly recommended for teenagers and adults. I'll definitely be reading the next book!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too, 10 Aug 2009
By 
TeensReadToo "Eat. Drink. Read. Be Merrier." (All Over the US & Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Madison's dead. Well, sort of.

See, there was this dark reaper who scythed her, for reasons she still hasn't figured out, and technically she should be long gone. But when he came back to destroy her soul as well as her body, she was able to steal an amulet from him that's allowed her to keep walking around and breathing (even though she doesn't really need to), and appearing alive to anyone who doesn't know any better.

Unfortunately, the owner of that amulet wants it back - badly. And the light reaper assigned to help Madison adjust to her new pseudo-life may not be able to protect her from him.

As Madison struggles to hold onto her life and to save those she cares about who end up targeted as well, she discovers there's a whole lot about this life and death thing she doesn't know, and uncovering those secrets may be the only way she can hope to survive.

ONCE DEAD, TWICE SHY is a fast-paced and engaging read from start to finish. Madison makes an enjoyable narrator, stubborn and sarcastic but with a lot of heart, and enough smarts to get her through some very sticky situations. Harrison has created a fascinating and unique world of reapers and other afterlife figures, though at times readers may find all the information a little hard to follow.

With plenty of suspense and humor and a little romance, this book will appeal to paranormal fans of all ages.

Reviewed by: Lynn Crow
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Once read, twice? not so sure., 27 July 2009
I almost had to push myself to finish this novel, although it was not a terribe read its not the usual type of book i would read, so i thought it would be nice to devel into something different.

In retro-spect even though i am 17 i feel that this book is aimed at a slightly younger age group and may be part of the reason why i found it hard to get through.

Saying this i found the most enjoyable part of the book to be the last 3-5 chapters so its not all bad =]
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars well written - but light-weight, 19 Dec 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Once Dead, Twice Shy (Madison Avery, Book 1) (Paperback)
Kim Harrison fans who are looking for an alternative Rachel or Ivy may be slightly disappointed.
This is "light-weight", without the rich tapestry of a richly characterized interweaving story. The plot development is there in these three books, but it is much simpler.
I would recommend Madison as "festive fare", especially for the younger generation. Given sufficient suspension in their belief of our material world, the readers will find the books a "good read"!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Once Dead, Twice Shy: Review, 20 May 2012
By 
This is the first book in Kim Harrison's YA trilogy. I'm a fan of Kim's The Hollows series, so when I won this on her giveaway I thought I'd give it a go.

I really liked this book right from the start. I loved the snappy prologue, and then diving straight into the first chapter. The prologue gave me a real feel for Madison Avery. Once started I just could not put this book down.

I really like Madison as a character. She knows who she is and I like that. I like the fact that she's happy being who she is, even if that means she's not the most popular girl in school. I also loved the fact that Madison is good with a camera. The way Kim Harrison describes some of the photo's she takes is brilliant. It made me wish I could take photos like that - capture moments like that.

I also really liked the supporting cast in this book. They are all stunning. Grace made me laugh and smile. Barnabas was just awesome and kinda mysterious. And Josh was . . . well, interesting and cute and totally brilliant.

I really liked the ideas behind this book, and I'm looking forward to seeing how they play out in the rest of the trilogy. This book almost got five stars from me, but it was a little short - I wanted to know more; I wanted the story to start a little earlier than it did, but I think there's a short story which is set before this book so maybe it's explained in there? I also would have liked to see it end a little later, but that's just me being greedy ;) I actually thought the ending was quite good (even if I would have liked there to be more to it).

This is definitely a book to give a try, I don't think there's anything quite like it.

Won my copy on Kim Harrison's Manic Monday. Review originally posted TheFlutterbyRoom.com
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4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Quick Read, 11 Feb 2011
I read this very quickly - partly because it wasn't a big book, but also because I enjoyed it.
Its the first book of the series, and is a good introduction.
Currently its not as good as the Rachel Morgan books - it is written for a younger audience, but there is time for it to grow. I will be buying the next one.
I read the Kindle version - and I had no problem with the layout or anything.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great read, can't waith for more, 10 Sep 2010
By 
S. Colognesi (Italy) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Once Dead, Twice Shy (Madison Avery, Book 1) (Paperback)
I am a huge fan of the Hollows series, and I could't wait to get my hands on another series by Kim Harrison. It is true that it is written for a YA public, but nevertheless I think it will appeal to adults as well. It is morbid, funny, sexy, fast paced, compelling, inventive, and at the end you will find yourself wanting for more.
I have only one thing to ask Ms. Harrison and it's: "please, keep on writing great stuff like this!!!"
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous book!, 23 Sep 2009
I loved the story. It was a hard cover and I loved getting a new book. The story was amazing. truly! If any one wants to read a more detailed version of the beginning you can get Prom night from Hell! I recommend it! :Prom Nights From Hell: Five Paranormal Stories
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Once Dead, Twice Shy (Madison Avery, Book 1)
Once Dead, Twice Shy (Madison Avery, Book 1) by Kim Harrison (Paperback - 28 April 2010)
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