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The Reapers Are the Angels | [Alden Bell]

The Reapers Are the Angels

For 25 years, civilization has survived in meager enclaves, guarded against a plague of the dead. Temple wanders this blighted landscape, keeping to herself and keeping her demons inside her heart. She can’t remember a time before the zombies, but she does remember an old man who took her in and the younger brother she cared for until the tragedy that set her off on her personal journey toward redemption.
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Publisher's Summary

For 25 years, civilization has survived in meager enclaves, guarded against a plague of the dead. Temple wanders this blighted landscape, keeping to herself and keeping her demons inside her heart. She can’t remember a time before the zombies, but she does remember an old man who took her in and the younger brother she cared for until the tragedy that set her off on her personal journey toward redemption. Moving back and forth between the insulted remnants of society and the brutal frontier beyond, Temple must decide where ultimately to make a home and find the salvation she seeks.

©2010 Alden Bell (P)2010 Blackstone Audio

What the Critics Say

“Bell (a pseudonym for Joshua Gaylord, author of Hummingbirds) has created an exquisitely bleak tale and an unforgettable heroine whose eye for beauty and aching need for redemption somehow bring wonder into a world full of violence and decay.” (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (134 )
5 star
 (45)
4 star
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3 star
 (24)
2 star
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1 star
 (3)
Overall
4.0 (102 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.1 (102 )
5 star
 (50)
4 star
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3 star
 (10)
2 star
 (7)
1 star
 (5)
Performance
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  •  
    APRIL SHADY SPRING, WV, United States 09-25-14
    APRIL SHADY SPRING, WV, United States 09-25-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    "Hemingway McCarthy zombie classic"
    Would you listen to The Reapers Are the Angels again? Why?

    Absolutely. This book felt like poetry. It warmed my soul and chilled my spine.


    What did you like best about this story?

    description and dialog


    What three words best describe Tai Sammons’s voice?

    Bit too southern. Excellent narration with the exception of the main character. If the poisonwood bible made you feel at home you will be ok. If you are from up north it might hurt a little.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I could not put this book down. I had to see if Temple would be ok.


    Any additional comments?

    Did you enjoy Hemingway? Do you think Cormac McCarthy is the bomb? Are you a sucker for descriptions that make you forget your surroundings? Do you like the end of the world books with the occasional zombie thrown in to spice things up? Yes? Then this book is for you.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Clarissa R. Thorne 04-24-14 Member Since 2014

    Geeky, photography-loving stitcher. Hobbits, zombies, space cowboys, agents, avengers, & clones are welcome in my post-apocalyptic dystopia.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    "So Shall It Be in the End of This World"
    What did you love best about The Reapers Are the Angels?

    Bell’s narrative is wonderfully lyrical. He describes the ravaged landscape with a hypnotic merging of beauty and horror. It is a rare thing to want to find the description of a world teeming with living corpses so achingly beautiful, but Bell accomplishes this in spades.

    There is a degree of social balance in Bell’s post-zombie-apocalypse not frequently found such stories. Our main characters frequently find people willing to offer selfless assistance. This realism serves to heighten the tension and in no way lessens the horrors we encounter.

    And I absolutely LOVE the main character. What a heroine (villain?) Temple reminds me of Hailee Steinfield’s Mattie Ross from True Grit…after Mattie would have progressed so far down a road of loss and revenge that the prospect of personal salvation is no longer visible. Part mindless warrior, part innocent teenager, part mother and protector, Temple is one of those rare characters who defy easy attempts to categorize them. She is a character who isn't sympathetic simply because she is a girl. The author doesn’t spare this “little girl” out of any assumption that her gender makes her either more or less capable…or vulnerable.

    After my second experience with this book, I’m convinced it will remain very high in my list of favorites. This book elevates itself out of a simple “zombie” or “apocalypse” genre consideration. It has echoes of McCarthy’s The Road, King’s Dark Tower Series and True Grit.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Reapers Are the Angels?

    The scenes with the "Inheritors of the Earth" are as terrifying as anything to be found in horror genres anywhere. Truly (and wonderfully) difficult to read about.


    What does Tai Sammons bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Ms. Sammons made me “see” Temple. She brought out all of the nuances in her character…strengths, weaknesses, doubts, certainties. She nailed Temple’s uneducated, backwoods, long-ago-time accent. Wonderful narration!


    If you could take any character from The Reapers Are the Angels out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    I have a lot of questions for Moses Todd and need to know so much more about him. We'd have to make sure he wasn't carrying any weapons though.


    Any additional comments?

    "Doggone it, she says. Why do livin' and dyin' always have to be just half an inch apart." A common zombie-apocalypse theme, the definition of living and dying among the survivors in Temple’s world has overlapped to the point of obscurity.

    This theme runs over every element of the story. The world is both glorious and damned and the defining line between the two no longer provides any tangible separation. In the same way, Temple struggles with knowing whether she is a good or evil person. How can a person remain good when mere survival requires such inexact savagery? She is in a constant search for a life not filled solely with survival, death and killing, but, believes she is fundamentally incapable in participating in such a life if she found it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nicole 02-15-14
    Nicole 02-15-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Each book needs a rating -I give this an R"

    I wish they had reviews about books like they do for movies, then I wouldn't waste my time and money on crap . No a teen book ! Sexual content and violence and gore- hence the rated R rating! Yuck !

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BackupGeek brentwood, ca United States 01-12-14
    BackupGeek brentwood, ca United States 01-12-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    35
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    "Refreshing Zombie Story"

    This Zombie story really is different from all the others I have read. The book has a feeling of optimism throughout as you see the country rebuilding.

    Yes the book has an bad guy throughout but it felt really different. It wasn't some crazy person trying to take over the world for no reason with a bunch of dumb followers. This bad guy had a goal and I could sympathize with him.

    I really enjoyed all of the characters. The performance was outstanding. Could not have been a better voice for the characters.

    Wish the book was longer. I would love to read a follow-up book about the same "world".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aaron 05-16-13
    Aaron 05-16-13 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    186
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    "Post Apocalyptic (with a zombie here and there)"

    Matthew 13:

    "His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”

    He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and THE REAPERS ARE THE ANGELS..

    “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear."

    Not sure what this title has to do with the rest of the book. ?

    Other than an occasional nod to Christianity, this book is in no other way representative of Christ or Christians. Honor killing/revenge seem to be the underlying emphasis, while the primary thrust of the story seems to be only to survive in a messed up world without losing one's moral compass; The problem I have with that idea, is that the two main characters who illustrate this notion, have their own individual idea about morality. The dichotomy of Individual morals and Christian morals seems irreconcilable. If the author hadn't insisted on creating a connection to Christianity, and then departing from it, it might have carried more weight.

    Performance was Tai Sammons solid and entertaining.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    michael king LINCOLN, NE, United States 07-10-12
    michael king LINCOLN, NE, United States 07-10-12 Member Since 2014

    prefers the darker side of fiction

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    "alden bell pulls it off!"
    Any additional comments?

    Reapers is well written and unique, thrilling and provocative. the characters are engaging and absolutely human. proof there is still some bite left in zombie fiction.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Criss United States 06-25-12
    Criss United States 06-25-12 Member Since 2012
    ratings
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    "Summer Reads"
    Would you listen to The Reapers Are the Angels again? Why?

    I think a second reading of this book is a must. I did follow the whole plot the first time around, but by the end I was wondering if I missed some clues for the ending.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I like the premisses of the story, from the point of view of one that have only know the world with zombies and not real history of what was before.


    Which character – as performed by Tai Sammons – was your favorite?

    Temple was my favorite character.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    There no crying in Zombie books. Some parts were sad but not crying.


    Any additional comments?

    Someone, anyone, should have explained how the world got infested with zombies. I want to know what to look for before the world get eaten by all the zombies. Though the survival techniques were very good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 03-29-12

    A Dog lover & Amature Trainer

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    36
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    7
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    "The REAPERS are..........AWESOME!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Reapers Are the Angels to be better than the print version?

    Yes, Tai Sammons was perfect casting


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    All of them


    Which character – as performed by Tai Sammons – was your favorite?

    Too hard to choose only one


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    What are you gona do........eyeball me to death!


    Any additional comments?

    Yeah it's a zombie novel but the voice and writing style transcends the typical zombie novel. And yes the lead character is 15 but there is nothing YA about this book. The prose is, well.....beautiful. It feels weird saying that about a YA zombie novel, yet it fits. You get gore & poetry all at no extra charge, I can't recommend it enough!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    P. Heard 04-23-11
    P. Heard 04-23-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    61
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    "Excellent Post-Apocalyptic Story"

    Meet Temple, the butt-kickinest 15 year old girl you'll ever see. If Cormac McCarthy, Max Brooks, Charles Portis, and John Steinbeck were gene spliced into one author, this is the book they would write. Definitely not your average zombie apocalypse story, this is the very deep and stirring journey of a girl who became a woman at a very young age. Born 10 years into a dystopian America, Temple sees a world filled with both devastation and beauty. I am usually a bit skeptical about shorter books, this was only about 7.5 hours long. However, there was a lot of depth and feeling poured in, making it very satisfying.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Meghan 08-09-10
    Meghan 08-09-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
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    14
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    "horrible"

    This is the worst audiobook I've listened to since joining audible. If you are looking for a zombie tale, don't get this book. If you are looking for a suspensefull thrill, don't get this book. If you are looking for a harrowing story that examines the human condition, don't get this book. If you are looking for stong characters and a cohesive story, don't get this book. I hate to be so harsh, but this is the first time I have reacted so strongly to having wasted a credit.


    The story line is so thin that it should be condensed into a short story. The world of the story is not fleshed out at all, almost no details about how the world has changed since the zombie uprising. The fact that the story takes place after the apocolypse seems to be an afterthought. The characters are incredibly flat and boring, there is no internal conflict whatsoever. The pacing is slow and monotonous. And the dialogue was stodgy, and clumsy.


    Not only is this book poorly written, but the narration is horrible, almost laughable at times. I kept thinking, 'Am I supposed to be taking this seriously?' The narator read with no feeling whatsoever, and her dialect work was atrocious, if not insulting. I don't expect narrators to be dialect experts, but, at the very least i expect them not to make one demensional characatures of the characters they are supposed to be protraying. And what's worse, every character sounded the same, she made no effort at all to distinguish them. She did an incredible diservice to a novel that was already in trouble.


    I was expecting an exciting zombie story, with an unusual heroine. Instead I got not only a wasted credit, but a wasted 7 hours and 25 minutes. If I could give this less than one star I would.

    9 of 20 people found this review helpful

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