Thirteen-year-old Suzie Sarnio always believed the Grim Reaper was a fairy tale image of a skeleton with a scythe. Now, forced to enter the College of Deaths, she finds herself training to bring souls from the Living World to the Hereafter. The task is demanding enough, but as the only female in the all-male College, she quickly becomes a target. Attacked by both classmates and strangers, Suzie is alone in a world where even her teachers want her to fail. Scythes hungry for souls, Deaths who enslave a race of mysterious magicians, and echoes of an ancient war with Dragons. Caught in the middle of a plot to overthrow the World of Deaths, Suzie must uncover the reason she's been brought there: the first female Death in a million years.
©2015 Christopher T. Mannino (P)2016 Christopher T. Mannino
I liked the surprising worldbuilding for this story. The Grim Reapers aren't actually dead, just abducted kids. That's weird.
I would like to know what the other groups in this universe want, and what the "living" scythes really do when they reap someone.
I thought the performance was pretty good. There were a couple occasions where I missed a change from dialog to narration or vice versa.
I think the mysteries are intriguing, and I liked the strong female protagonist.
I got a little tired of the torments and callousness of the school staff and activities, which seemed unnecessary during most the story, but were a little more understandable when the school's background was explained at the end.
I really liked this book and wasn't sure when I began... I was worried it would be another kind of Harry Potter/Hunger Games knock-off...but it's got great characters and some really interesting world building. Susie is whisked away from her high-school existence to the School of Deaths - the first female to be chosen in memory. The voicing is excellent - the narrator does a great job creating a credible female lead without resorting to cliche and the other voices are clear and really well performed. It's a theatrical reading that has a lot of energy and brings out the magic and mystery of the world. Imagine Harry Potter meets Dead Like Me and you're on the right track. I was impressed, cared about the characters and look forward to book two.
I haven't read the print version but I really enjoyed the audio version. I thought the narration as well as the story were wonderful.
I liked when Susie and Billy went to where the Mentals lived.
No I haven't.
Life as a Death
I thought this was an interesting story. I liked the idea about people going to school to become reapers and how life isn't really grim and dark on the other side. There are some things that still need to be explained but this book was tied up nicely. I'm interested to listen to the next book in the series.
This was such a unique and enjoyable take on the Grim Reaper. I ended up thoroughly enjoying it!!
13 yer old Suzie is rapidly losing weight and her parents are worried. Despite her reassuring them that there is nothing wrong with her, and she is eating, she is like a skeleton. Test after test comes back with the result that she is healthy, so why is he like this? Well that's answered one evening when a man dressed up like a reaper with a real scythe come knocking at her door. Nest thing she knows, Suzie is transported to a place she doesn't know. She is told that she has the choice of either staying at the school of deaths and becoming a grim reaper, or going straight back home and dying. Not much of a choice but the only thing is that if she stays a year in the school and passes her exams, she has another choice of continuing on to become a Grim or going back home after the year. Suzie decides to stay the year and then head home, but then she is informed that she is the first female death in a million years, and the last female one, turned bad! It's very much a male dominated world!
Suzie was awesome!!! She is dying in the real world and when given the choice, she chooses to stay the year and pass the test and then return home. Despite most of the school, and indeed, some of the teachers bullying and belittling her, Suzie keeps her head high and carries on. She is brave, kind, loyal to her friends and smart. With her small band of friends, Suzie thrives and tries to become the best grim she can be.
The plot of this was fast paced and engaging. I loved the world the author has created, with the Elementals, Grims, Living Scythe, Dragons and the lore behind everything. It was fascinating and entertaining. The author really brings it to life with the vivid details and rich detail! The author also deals with the bullying issues really well. Her friends rally behind her and help her through it.
Anyway, in all this is a fresh and unique take on an age old idea, that will grab you from the start and not let go. From it's captivating characters, to its gripping plot, School of Deaths is a must read. I, for one, can not wait for the next one!!
*I received a copy of this for review. This in no way affected my thoughts.*
This book was interesting. Suzie was a little annoying at times when she wouldn't listen to what people told her, but on the whole she was easy to root for.
This book gave a different viewpoint on how reapers are recruited. That helped to make the book more unique in the story it told.
He helped to keep the story going by the voices he provided to the characters.
His reading was not awful and easy to listen to.
Once I got into the story, it was hard to stop listening. I tried to figure out the mystery along with story.
This audiobook was provided by the author/narrator/publisher free of charge in exchange for an unbiased review.
She was wasting away to skin and bones no matter what she ate. I love that the book started this way, and was instantly interested. The story started right away without a lot of set up. I like when a book can do this, but still manage to get enough world building in along the way. This book was able to accomplish that. As others have said, it brings Harry Potter to mind but is certainly it's very own story. The main character is only thirteen, however I kept forgeting that. I think it would have been better if she was a little older, but that's a very minor issue. With all the action, and the amazing world, this book was so awesome! The narrator of the audiobook was perfect as well. I really enjoyed this book and hope to get my hands on the next one soon!
** I was provided this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.
The narration is excellent. I loved the variety of characters. Considering the leading character is a female he does a remarkable job and it was always clear which character was speaking... it's supposed to be a fantastical world filled with Deaths from all over the globe and the narrator did a great job really giving that flavor to the story.
It was an original story that really fits into the girl-power dystopian genre very nicely. It has magical elements that feel kind of like you're following Hermione Granger sometimes (the crusade for the Mentals), with a completely fresh world and a clean romance with a nuanced and engaging love interest. I was expecting it to be a kind of re-hash of Dead Like Me - but it's nothing at all in that vein.
Great variety and wonderful characterizations. The different voices for the teachers are fantastic and he does a great job voicing Suzie without it ever being that grating problem of a male narrator handling a female.
No - but I certainly was always looking forward to my next listen.
Looking forward to book 2!
This is an interesting story. I liked the idea behind it. If you are looking for something fresh, new and a little different, then this book is for you. I highly recommend it.
The narrator does a fairly good job of making the different characters sound and feel different.
“This audiobook was given by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom.”
I really enjoyed this book, and I found the whole world with Deaths and the school they belong to really intriguing. I didn't find it too creepy either, which I thought might be the case with reaping dead souls and bringing them to the "hereafter", whatever that really is (we never find out). I liked the main characters, especially Suzie and Frank. I loved their determination and was rooting for Suzie from page one, as well as her time in the world of Deaths, where she is the only female. The idea of a school for people in between the worlds of the living and dead was really interesting, and the story was captivating with a unique mystery to unfold. All the details about the Deaths and their world really brought the story to life, such as their classes, using a scythe blade and reaping souls, the elementals, and their peculiar food that can take on any taste.
However, one of the main thing I wasn't too keen on was the similarities to Harry Potter. Ok, so this was good because I love Harry Potter, but when they played the Boscarry (spelling? I listened to the audio) game, the only thing I could think of was Quidditch. Also the bullying was dwelled on a bit too much, but I know that it's written for a younger audience so that's probably just me.
So I would recommend this book to fantasy and adventure lovers, and I look forward to reading the next book, especially to learn about who these dragons really are.
Suzie Sarnio is a regular 13 year old girl, with regular 13 year old girl problems. Lately, she has developed a new one though. She has begun dropping weight at an alarming rate, no matter how much she eats. Her parents are convinced she either has an eating disorder or a disease, so she see's doctors for both. Unknown to them all, The cause of the weight loss isnt anorexia, it's her body preparing for a new life. That life starts when a man in a black cloak carrying a huge scythe comes to he house one day, grabs her, and disappears with her, only to appear a second later with her in a field next to a pond. It seems Suzie has been chosen to be a new Death! She will start at the school for Deaths, and cant go home unitl she passes her test in one years time. If she fails, she must remain a Death until she fades of old age or is killed on duty as a Death. Oh, and one more thing. She is the first female Death in a million years, the last one being a crazy traitor that colluded with the Dragon's to fight the Deaths.
As you can imagine, it would be really easy to slide into a Harry Potter type knockoff pretty easily. Instead, Christopher Mannino goes very much his own way, creating a likeable cast of characters, with some truly nasty looks at how a closed society can treat outsiders. Suzie goes through the usual hazing rituals and more, taking it all in stride, even though she is lonely and afraid at times, and desperately want to go back to her family. If she doesnt pass her test, she will never see her family again. On top of that, she has come across a conspiracy that can effect the entire world of the Deaths, possibly hurting or killing those friends she has come to love. WIll Suzie and her friends be able to overcome such huge odds? Well, you'll have to listen to find out, although it is definitely worth your time.
I was really impressed with Joel Froomkin's narration. He did an outstanding job, especially considering the disparity in voices, ages and accents he had to handle. He really helped bring this story to life.
Any fan of Harry Potter or similar books should really enjoy this book, as will fans of fantasy in general.
I was given a copy of this book at no charge by the author in exchange for an honest review through Audiobook Boom.
"I totally devoured this book."
Yes. Really good narration that pulled me into the story. A really great audiobook.
The thirteen-year-old female protagonist captured won me over from the start. She was determined and yet vulnerable, in a normal and likeable way. I trusted she'd make the right decisions in the many twists and turns she faced throughout the story.
Suzie lands in a new world--a world without other woman. She must cope and deal with the taunts and challenges of the others because she is special. And the story just grows from the.
Enjoyment. A really great story.
This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBlast dot com.
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