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Death's Daughter by Amber Benson

Death's Daughter

by Amber Benson

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Death’s Daughter is a fun, silly, brainless urban fantasy read. This must be the definition of a "guilty pleasure," because I enjoyed reading it even as I recognized how bad it was and, hey, I didn’t stop.

I agree with the negative reviews for this book. The main character is truly awful - annoying, whiny, shallow and stupid. Still, if you are in the mood for a bit of mindless fluff with an urban fantasy slant, this fits the bill.

So, the story:

Calliope “Reaper”-Jones put a "forgetting charm” on herself so that she could abandon her supernatural family and live a normal life. To that end, she’s been living and working in New York City where her dream is to write for fashion magazines - but she’s stuck as an assistant at a home and garden publication.

Callie is almost unbearably shallow and silly - she’s obsessed with designer brands, dismisses a potential date because of his height, is critical of her boss because of her weight, etc. etc.

Also, what is even the point of the forgetting charm she cast on herself? Her family didn’t have her chained to the floor they seem normal (all things considered) and only asked her to come home for the holidays. So why?! The forgetting charm seems unnecessarily cruel, as Callie disowns her entire family by erasing them all for her mind - including a younger sister who used to confide in her.

Anyway, so the reason for the forgetting charm is that Calliope’s father is the Grim Reaper, Death himself, which means he and his family are immortal. Pretty cool, one would think, but not Callie - she whines about being immortal and refuses to have anything to do with her family because when she was a teenager she didn’t die in a car crash.

Seriously. You guys. Seriously.

This character is beyond stupid.


Okay. Anyway, Calliope is called back into the family business because someone has kidnapped her father and older sister, which means she has no choice but to take over as the new “Death” or the position will go to the Devil’s protege, in which case Callie's family will be stripped of their home, riches and immortality, meaning her father - wherever he is - will probably die. In light of this, Calliope grudgingly accepts that she must temporarily be Death - but at the slightest sign of inconvenience or challenge she instantly threatens to quit and run away. That’s some family loyalty, there.

In the first half of the book, it seemed like everything Calliope did pissed me off. For example, when a special detective for the supernatural community comes to investigate her father and sister’s kidnapping she pouts, is uncooperative and argumentative and stalls his investigation all because he had the gall to call her “ma’am.” I hate this kind of thing. It’s so stupid.

Also, for the first half of the book, the main character is unbelievably horny all the time - like every man she meets, she wants to molest. She can’t even ride in an elevator with a jackal-headed god without thinking about how hot his ass is (what?!)

Yeah, her family is in danger but most of her thoughts are about how much she’d like to jump on top of *insert name of any male character who enters the scene here* Unless they’re short, cause Calliope thinks short guys are gross. This is not the way to make a book sexy. It just reads as stupid when you think about all the other stuff going on she should be worrying about.

So, in summation, Calliope Reaper-Jones is BEYOND ANNOYING.

Does she get better?

Well . . . yeah, sort of. There is actually a point about half-ways through where she seems to grow up a little. She realizes how much of a jerk she was to certain characters, she stops letting her lust control her and she really tries to buckle down and get the job done. Tbh I still found her pretty annoying and I can’t say I ever really warmed to the character, but I could see the attempt at growth and that made the second half slightly more bearable.

But you want to know the main thing that saved this novel for me?

Freaking Jarvis.

Jarvis is Calliope’s father’s right hand man, his executive assistant (and now hers.) He’s a short (4’) faun with a “snooty” British accent, a snarky sense of humour and goat feet. I really, really loved him. He was my favourite character BY FAR. Calliope made me the maddest when she was mean to him, pushing him around and abusing her supernatural power over him. Screw all the personality-devoid “hot” guys she kept throwing herself at, Jarvis was the only one *I* would want to hook up with, were I in her shoes.

Also, Kali. The Hindu goddess of destruction is a character in this and she is a lot of fun. She saves Callie’s ass more than once and she was really cool.

All in all, I agree that this is not a great book, but I found it entertaining when I needed some mindless fluff. ( )
  catfantastic | Mar 6, 2016 |
Glad I came across this book. It was a fun read and I enjoyed it's lightheartedness. I will most certainly continue with the series. ( )
  beertraveler | Feb 5, 2016 |
Oh, I am saddened by this book. I adore Amber Benson and I thought this would be a fun and interesting book. No. The main character is shallow and floofy, the writing is terrible, and the plot predictable. A fail ( )
  extraflamey | Jan 18, 2016 |
Oh, I am saddened by this book. I adore Amber Benson and I thought this would be a fun and interesting book. No. The main character is shallow and floofy, the writing is terrible, and the plot predictable. A fail ( )
  extraflamey | Jan 18, 2016 |
Death's Daughter is about Calliope Reaper-Jones, a 24 year old girl working as an assistant living in New York City. She is a perfectly normal girl except for the fact that she's Death's daughter. specifically her father is the CEO of Death and when he, Callie's older sister, Thalia, and all of the members of the executive board get kidnapped, Callie must step up to the plate to not only save them but to also take over as Death.

Callie is joined by Jarvis, her father's faun executive assistant, Runt, one of Cerebus' pups, Clio, Callie's younger sister, and the mysterious Daniel, who is the self-proclaimed devil's protege. Callie will have to go through hell and back, completing the three tasks that must be done in order to wear the crown of Death, clear her good name, and save her family.

I thought this book would be better. I liked the character, Callie, in the short story that was in An Apple for the Creature. In that, she was smart and highly capable. In Death's Daughter, she was very immature, whiny, incredibly selfish, and dumb. All the time I was reading, I was thinking too myself: "why should I care about her?" I get that she was not a hero but she didn't invoke any empathy from me.

Why was she so sex starved? I get being attracted to men but it was literally every guy she wanted to molest. WTF? It grew very tiresome very fast. Callie had no redeeming qualities about her and, with exception of Jarvis, Kali, and Runt, all of the characters were annoying especially Daniel. What was his point?

Callie's character was self-aware which was supposed to be endearing but it became fustrating because she knew that she knew better. I think Benson might have been influenced by her Buffy days to create a character like Buffy season one: very pretty, not to academically smart but noble. But Buffy was 16 and Callie is 24. In my opinion, Callie lacked Buffy's heart.

Be that as it may, I still have hope for Callie, still judging from the short story, that she grows up and becomes more responsible. Hopefully, the whininess and the sex craze will stop in the other books. ( )
1 vote Y2Ash | Apr 16, 2014 |
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For the two special men in my life: Dad and Adam
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My name is Calliope Reaper-Jones, and I think I'm losing my mind.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Calliope Reaper-Jones so just wanted a normal life: buying designer shoes on sale, dating guys from Craig’s List, web-surfing for organic dim-sum for her boss. But when her father - who happens to be Death himself - is kidnapped, and the Devil’s Protege embarks on a hostile takeover of the family business, Death, Inc., Callie returns home to assume the CEO mantle - only to discover she must complete three nearly impossible tasks in the realm of the afterlife first.
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"For the last few years I'd been in a state of bliss--living under a self-imposed Forgetting Charm, because I so did not want to go into the family business. What I wanted was a glamorous career in New York City and the opportunity for a normal life--buying designer shoes on sale, dating guys from craigslist, Web surfing for organic dim sum for my boss. And then my father's Executive Assistant, a faun named Jarvis, showed up to tell me that my dad had been kidnapped. Good-bye, Forgetting Charm. Hello, (unwanted) responsibility."--P. [4] of cover.… (more)

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