- Audio Download
- Listening Length: 6 hours and 3 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: HarperAudio
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 16 Jun. 2009
- Language: English
- ASIN: B002SQ6TK4
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
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Once Dead, Twice Shy: Madison Avery, Book 1 Audiobook – Unabridged
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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!
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
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 =]
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"!
About halfway through, the book picks up dramatically and by the end, I was thinking that I might even read the next one in the series. Aside from a slow start, the only real problem that I found was that I really didn't like the heroine much. She is one of those heroines who blames herself for everything that goes wrong and apologizes incessantly. She also rushes headlong into obviously dangerous situations even after being warned about them repeatedly, but she survives because she always either gets lucky or is saved by someone. Kind of annoying. That said, the action at the end of the book is well paced and the story gets interesting enough that you continue reading it.
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Its the first book of the series, and is a good introduction.Read more