The Reapers Are the Angels

The Reapers Are the Angels - Alden Bell It's been a week or so since I finished this, and I still find myself unable to work out the complicated mess of feelings caused by reading it. I therefore apologise for the disjointed structure of this review but for now it's the best I can do.

The prose is beautiful, haunting, odd. There are no speech marks, which takes some getting used to but actually allows the story to flow even more smoothly.

The characters are constant contrictions - harsh and gentle, kind and cruel, aged and innocent. Temple is utterly heartbreaking as the solitary 15 year old seeking redemption for her sins.

There is no happy ending - there is no ending, there is no story, even - it's a journey through the worn psyche of man, and the near-dead pieces of a broken world.

The best moments are where the author takes time to show us the beauty and the wonder that remain even in this apocalyptic nightmare. It manages to be uplifting, devastating and amazing all at once.

One thing that always bugs me about zombie novels is the rate of decomposition. I clearly don't know enough about it, but in books like this where the even happened approximately 20 or so years before, and there are still thousands of zombies around - does the meat actually sustain them at all? Because if not, surely with all the movement etc it would accelerate the process until the skeleton would simply fall apart and cease to be a threat - maybe it would take ten years but 20? Hmm, this was the only thing that jarred me out of the book.