Customer Reviews


97 Reviews
5 star:
 (41)
4 star:
 (30)
3 star:
 (14)
2 star:
 (5)
1 star:
 (7)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read
The Reapers are the Angels is the story of a fifteen year old girl wandering through an abused world, meeting friends, picking up strays and being chased by an enemy.

I think the word `zombie' is mentioned once and there seems to be a calmness and acceptance of these creatures (meatskins). Driving through the landscape with Temple I almost felt obliged to tip...
Published on 4 July 2011 by Kevin O'Brien

versus
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Really Disappointing and Unrealistic
Having just read The Passage by Justin Cronin, I was really looking forward to reading this book, given the huge amount of positive reviews it received. However, it was a major disappointment. In fact, so bad I've been inspired to write my first book review in ages...
Firstly, the positives. I thought the writing style, dialogue and characterisation were actually ok,...
Published 16 months ago by S. D. Joyce


‹ Previous | 1 210 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read, 4 July 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The Reapers are the Angels is the story of a fifteen year old girl wandering through an abused world, meeting friends, picking up strays and being chased by an enemy.

I think the word `zombie' is mentioned once and there seems to be a calmness and acceptance of these creatures (meatskins). Driving through the landscape with Temple I almost felt obliged to tip my hat and nod a greeting to the wandering dead, they seemed less of a threat than some of the unrelated kin she met.

There is no constant undead carnage however when the violence does erupt it is brutal and direct and not always absorbed by the meatskins. Temple's hostility is final and precise.

She is unable to read or write but is world-wise and intelligent. The dialogue from Temple is written with an accent, it's funny, honest and sometimes insulting. You forget she is only fifteen. Her mouth is almost as deadly as the Ghurkha knife she carries.

Underneath her tough exterior she is lonely, guilt ridden and friendly. I felt she needed her isolation for fear of `putting a killin' on someone either by her hand or another.

Then there is Moses Todd.

Alden Bell has written a very interesting and absorbing story.

I feel the story has scope for a prequel and a sequel.

Excellent read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A haunting tale of postapocalyptica, 7 Jun 2012
By 
John Milton (Glasgow, Scotland) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Reapers are the Angels (Paperback)
What is it with English teachers making the transition to writing tales of horror? It must have something to do with seeing the darker sides of humanity as exhibited daily by children in classrooms across the world. Swelling the ranks of the likes of Justin Cronin (author of The Passage) is American High School English teacher Alden Bell and his debut novel, The Reapers are the Angels, a horror tale set in a post-apocalyptic America, plagued by zombies and beset on all sides by the more chilling side of human nature.

I think it is clear that this novel is not primarily about the undead menace that lurks around every corner but more about the survivors and how they are coping with the situation, with the primary focal point being that of Temple, a fifteen year old girl born into the torn world that Bell has so ably created.

Stylistically, Bell writes very much like Cormac McCarthy and the imagery is similar to that found in The Road. The tone is dark and bleak; and Bell himself has described The Reapers are the Angels as being more Southern Gothic than a tale of a zombie apocalypse. The zombie plague provides the backdrop to the narrative but it's Temple's flight from her pursuer that drives the story on and for me, evoked memories of Frankenstein and the Doctor's pursuit of his creation.

As I'm sure you can guess from the title, there is much discussion of religion and God throughout the novel and Temple's moral compass is very much tested throughout the book. Temple sees the beauty in much of the world that remains and believes this is all a part of God's plan and her background of having never known a world without "meatskins" (zombies) gives her an interesting perspective and makes her quite a compelling protagonist; her attitudes towards society and other humans gives the novel further depth.

In short, The Reapers are the Angels is a real surprise. Bell manages to pack an awful lot into just under 300 pages and succeeds where so many horror stories fail and has created a compelling character-driven horror tale.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Really Disappointing and Unrealistic, 12 Mar 2013
By 
S. D. Joyce - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Reapers are the Angels (Paperback)
Having just read The Passage by Justin Cronin, I was really looking forward to reading this book, given the huge amount of positive reviews it received. However, it was a major disappointment. In fact, so bad I've been inspired to write my first book review in ages...
Firstly, the positives. I thought the writing style, dialogue and characterisation were actually ok, not great but ok. But what lets this book down massively (and a few other reviewers picked up on this) was that the world within which the story is set is both completely unrealistic and annoyingly inconsistent. So it is set 15 years (I think) after the great zombie apocalypse, but somehow there is still electricity, running water, working cars, plenty of fuel and helpful packets of Pringles lying around just wating to be eaten. How does that work then? I'm not some kind of nerd that looks for such inconsistencies in books (ok, maybe I am just a little bit), but this really made the book almost impossible to take seriously. However, what was even worse was the totally unthreating nature of the zombies (meatskins), as if they were just a bit of an afterthought by the author. The main character could wander around with almost impunity, completely unthreated by the slow, shambling zombies. If the zombie are this slow and stupid, how did they ever bring about the end of civilisation as we know it?
I don't suppose anyone will ever read this review, but if you do, do yourself a favour and give this book a wide berth and read The Passage instead.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


31 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A haunting and epic story, 11 Aug 2010
Zombies, much like vampires in recent years, have seen a resurgence in TV, film, novels and comics. Therefore finding something new and interesting can seem like an impossible task, but Alden Bell has accomplished it with style. The story takes place after a zombie apocalypse, and the closest story it resembles to me is The Walking Dead, a long running comic series from Image, which is currently being made into a TV series by Frank Darabont. Unlike The Walking Dead, the world has been like this for 25 years and the main character, Temple, is a teenager, so this is all she has ever known, which makes for an interesting and unique perspective. Enough time has also passed that humanity has clawed back small portions of the land, barricaded sections of cities and small communities, but Temple is a traveller. When she was younger she tried the sedentary life, with something resembling a normal life, but the inevitable happened and staying on the move seems safer. She's spent so long living with a shadow at her back that it has irreversibly changed her into an older, more brutal version of the girl she might have been if she had been born many years before the fall. The most poignant example of this divergence comes when she meets someone her own age who has grown up in a fenced community and the differences between them are shocking, touching and very telling.

The story follows Temple's journey across this rugged new version of America, where the wolves lurking at your eye corners are now shambling zombies or meatskins as Bell names them. Creatures driven by primal urges and instinct, to be dealt with if required but also pitied because of what they have become and who they used to be. In many ways the story is not about zombies at all, but humanity, how it adapts and copes with adversity and how, even in an utterly ruined world, the greatest threat to an individual comes from their fellow man.

The Reapers are the Angels has strong echoes of I Am Legend by Richard Matheson, in the haunting beauty of the story and the horrific turn of events that come out of the blue. Temple, like Neville, is driven by demons in her past which are gradually revealed as the story progresses. These terrifying and crippling memories are another spur that keep her on the move, forever in search of something intangible, a refuge from the madness and even from herself. They eat away at her and she believes she doesn't deserve a comfortable life and that she will never be forgiven by God for what she's done. When the story begins she is at peace, living a very simple and isolated life, but she cannot hide from the world forever, or from herself, and unfortunately the world catches up and she is forced to move on.

Temple does whatever she has to in order to survive; scavenging food, weapons, cars and gas to stay on the move, killing meatskins and finding safe places to sleep at night to avoid being bitten and turned. This is a hard life that would take its toll on anyone and on a young girl surviving by herself it has many effects that most people can't see and don't understand.

The main relationship in the story is a complex one between Temple and a man named Moses Todd, who is in fact her worst enemy. Both of them live by a code, a set of rules in a world without laws, and when Temple breaks one of Moses rules, he becomes her implacable nemesis. At the same time he is not driven by anger, because he understands why she committed this crime, as he sees it, but if he lets it slide, if he ignores it then he might as well not bother with any rules and live like a savage. There has to be a line somewhere and she accepts it and doesn't hate Moses either. So he swears to pursue her to the ends of the earth and kill her for what she has done and that decision makes sense to both of them. Moses is also the only person who understands Temple because he is a survivor like her, one who has spent more time on the road that sat still in one of the new communities. It is a fascinating and very unusual relationship, but one that somehow makes sense in a world gone mad. In different circumstances they could be friends or allies, but there's no going back and no pretending in this world. They accept the truth and the world as they find it now and get on with it.

For all the walking dead, the murder, destruction and desolation, there is beauty in this shattered world. Real joy and brief moments of peace for Temple come in finding something amazing amidst the horror, which to her, means that God is still there watching over everyone. He shows wonderful things to those who keep looking and keep believing, but it also means he is still judging everyone by their actions, which is the splinter in her mind that can never be removed.

Another fascinating element in the story is what has managed to survive the fall and the passage of twenty five years. Music, literature, technology, art, history, much of it is now obsolete or irrelevant to most people. Entertainment still exists in the communities and even on the road, but it too has morphed into something else. With no TV or radio broadcasts Temple makes her own music, half remembered tunes passed down orally or mangled versions of real songs that have changed over the years as if passed through a meat grinder.

The style of the text is simple, clean and unpretentious and the story moves along at a solid pace. There are some quiet moments of contemplation, lulls amidst the storm in a chaotic world, but I was always conscious of the shadow at Temple's back and had the feeling it couldn't last very long.

The Reapers are the Angels is a haunting, beautiful and engaging story full of moments of horror, where very few of these come at the hands of zombies. It is also a very powerful story about humanity and one that I can see myself reading again. Like I Am Legend I think it will become a classic of the genre and one against which others will be measured.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars sad and haunting, 12 Sep 2012
By 
This review is from: The Reapers are the Angels (Paperback)
I found this book really engaging from the start and read it in one day.I just had to see what happenend to the lovely temple and if she returned Maury to his home safely.So i was surprised at the ending and shocked too. This book once finished still leaves you thinking about it for many days afterwards, and yes it did make me cry in the end.Don't think the people who gave this a bad review were even reading the same book. would highly recommend it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A post-apocalyptic noir thriller with a memorable hero, 26 Aug 2012
By 
Ashok Banker "www.ashokbanker.com" (Mumbai, India) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Reapers are the Angels (Paperback)
I was skeptical about the rave reviews I read. The title didn't help. But boy, am I glad I began reading the book itself. Because this is a cut above all other YA fantasy out there. It's beautifully written with lyrical phrasing and poetic turns on almost every page. It's tough to the point of noir. Action-packed. Fast-paced. Not afraid to get bloody, dirty or brutal when the story demands. But most of all, Temple is a true hero to follow. One of the many rave reviews I read compared this book and its protagonist to Justin Cronin's The Passage. That's true, but The Reapers is a much leaner book, an epic post-apocalyptic chase thriller stripped down to the bone. And Temple dominates the whole books. I'd have bought every single book in the series if this were a series. But sadly, there seems to be no sequel in sight even several years after its publication and the author doesn't seem to be very prolific. Oh well. Even if Alden Bell's reputation were to rest solely on this one book (not counting the previous book he'd published which wasn't a YA fantasy) that rep would still be well-deserved. The Reapers Are the Angels is everything it's cracked up to be and then some. One of the best YA thrillers I've ever come across and a terrific novel in any genre.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Nonsensical could not finish, 20 Nov 2013
Seriously? 15 Years after an apocalypse and you can still find cars that start and fuel that works. Not to mention the abundant supply of cracker, crisps and Coca Cola, this book was absurd to say the least.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put this down..., 3 Aug 2012
This review is from: The Reapers are the Angels (Paperback)
Very well written. In a sea of apocalyptic stories, this one manages against all the odds to stand out and ring true. Well worth a read - I managed to plough through it in just one day, it was so riveting. Thank goodness for commuting - you can always relay on a train delay to finish a good book! Looking forward to reading more from this author in the future.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Short and bitter sweet, 12 Oct 2011
This review is from: The Reapers are the Angels (Paperback)
The characters alone are worth 5 stars, but some of the inconsistencies in this post apocalyptic zombie world could annoy avid readers of the genre. Nonetheless this is a really good read, yes it's short in length but it's punchy enough to leave you satisfied. All the characters are sharp; Temple's outstanding. Similar in style to The Road, I found it refreshing that it didn't depend on extensive character back-stories and needless exposition to fill its pages.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It could have been great, 21 Sep 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Reapers are the Angels (Paperback)
I have to say that starting off the book I wasn't enamoured, but going on I started to like Temple and the post apocalyptic world, I like that it's written from the POV of a barely literate teen born an orphan into a zombie infested world, I like that it concentrates more on human nature than it does on the Zombie threat, I liked the rednecks (although don't dwell on that particular piece of science too long) but...
it was just too short, the characters are well written but not rounded enough, they need fleshing out and the story was skimped on, the whole book could have been another 600 pages long and I would have devoured it, we could have learnt more about the rest of the world, we could have gone to Niagra, what happened to the planes? it just feels like the author ran out of ideas and gave up which is a damn shame.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 210 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Reapers are the Angels
The Reapers are the Angels by Alden Bell (Paperback - 2 Sep 2011)
5.44
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews