Book Reviews

Don't Fear the (Not Really Grim) Reaper by Carole Cummings at Rocky Ridge Books

Genre Gay / Urban Fantasy / Students/Teachers/Professors / Immortals / Superpowers / Angels & Demons / New Adult / Romance / Humor/Comedy
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 29-January-2020

Book Blurb

When unassuming college student Emery Sutton wakes up in the morgue, it takes him a few minutes to remember he has magic (superpowers, damn it!) and free himself from the refrigerated drawer. And the body bag. (God.) It doesn’t take long, though, for him to remember the hot guy with the wings he ran into just before a city bus ran him over.

Junior Reaper John, meanwhile, has been summoned before his supervisor to explain how his first solo assignment went so wrong. John can’t. All he knows is that he ran into Emery quite by accident, that Emery saw John when no one should have been able to, and when they accidentally touched, a bus came out of nowhere and plowed Emery under. (John really does feel bad about that.)

Hot angels, annoying demons, hijinks, absurdity, drunk siblings, a dash of silly romance, an inordinate attachment to wings, and a highly disorganized bid for world domination—Don’t Fear the (Not Really Grim) Reaper follows Emery and John down the rabbit hole where they find that moms are scarier than demons from hell, a goat is not a puppy no matter what Emery's sister says, and awkward romance can happen anywhere.

First edition published by Dreamspinner Press, January 2019.

Book Review

“Waking up dead” may be an interesting way of wording what might happen after death, but it doesn’t make sense nor is it something that happens to anyone. Well, not as far as we know. Except this is the situation that unassuming student Emery faces right after meeting the most gorgeous man with wings he has ever seen. The situation gets more interesting from there, less probable by the page, and I was soon laughing myself through this ridiculously hilarious novella while trying to breathe. What a hysterical story! And also totally improbable – but that is by design, as the author mentions in her foreword:

“farce (noun): a light dramatic composition marked by broadly satirical comedy and improbable plot
Sooooo… y’know. Just so we’re clear.”

Satirical comedy this may be – imagine every cliché you have ever come across, a collection of bad B-movie scenes, and the most unlikely turn of events thrown into one story. But there is a really clever plot that emerges from the chaotically yet intricately constructed world and it made for the perfect reading experience. You’ve got to bring a sense of humor to the table though, as well as a tolerance for the most irreverent treatment of Heaven and Hell I have seen in a long time.

The characters are great fun as well. Emery is all wide-eyed and innocent, despite his superpowers, and he learns more about who he is than he has ever wanted to know. Then he has to deal with the result… which, believe me, anyone would find a challenge. John is a Junior Reaper just trying to do his job at first, but he really changes and grows into his own person once he meets Emery. John’s boss, the fearsome Administrator Dagmar made me laugh (not her intention, I am sure), and Emery’s family is about as perfect as could be – from the super scary, protective mom to the very emotional dad, to the annoyingly superior sister.

If you like a good satire focused on “good versus evil” with an unusual outcome, if laughing your head off is your thing, and if you’re looking for a read where love triumphs against all expectations, then you will probably like this novella as much as I do. I think I’ll go straight to rereading it – just for the fun of it!





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by the publisher for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novella, 86 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 28-January-2020
Price $3.49 ebook, $7.99 paperback
Buy Link