‘The Reapers are the Angels’ is the story of Temple, fifteen years old, alone and moving from place to place across a post-apocalyptic America where the undead (or ‘slugs’ as Temple calls them) roam, Temple was born in the years following the return of the dead to parents she cannot remember, the world she lives in is the only world she knows, so she has learned to survive the best way she can by not getting close to anyone, her one attempt of normality ended badly and now she feels safer roaming, trying to find a place where she can settle.
As you know, zombie literature is popular and ‘The Reapers are the Angels’ will definitely become an classic within the genre. Alden Bell takes the subject of zombies and sways it away from the typical maundering zombies searching for brains, instead he shows the aftermath of a world which has changed, from people still living the same lives they lived before it happen to people using the undead as a form of existence, Temple sees all of this on her travels, she is a born survivor and its hard to believe that she is only fifteen years age at certain points in the book.
Temple as a character is well written, throughout the book she seems so detached from the world around her but you quickly realise, its not so much detachment as living in the world she has always known and as the story progresses you find out more and more about Temple (as much as she wants to tell you as narrator) and you know there is one way for Temple to go, you see glimpses of what Temple would have been like in a different world, which is sad to read because by the end of the book you will genuinely care for Temple
There has been comparisons between ‘The Angels are the Reapers’ and ‘The Road’ by Cormac McCarthy but I do not think there is, ‘The Angels are the Reapers’ is different in the fact that it is not so much how much carnage can be made but the way one person looks at the world.
Read it as soon possible.
Reviewed by Weave.