How to Be Death by Amber Benson
All Calliope Reaper-Jones ever wanted out of life was a fabulous job in New York City and a really hot boyfriend. But now, she’s the brand-new President of Death, Inc. With the Board of Death breathing down her neck and her dad’s copy of How to be Death (A Fully Annotated Guide) unopened, Callie’s really feeling the tension. And when the guide book is stolen at a fancy formal dinner, Callie has to figure out how to be the boss–before the powers held within the book get out and destroy humanity forever…
If you’re a fan of the Calliope Reaper-Jones series, throw your preconceived notions of what this book would be like right out the window. The first three books were this big fantastical journey to Callie stepping into her destined role as the President and CEO of Death Inc. Those books were Callie’s struggle between what she wants and what everyone else wants of her. Due to the unfortunate circumstances of Serpent’s Storm (book 3), Callie lost her father and she was forced to make a decision on whether or not she wanted to step in and take the reigns of power. The time has come and the time is now! She makes her decision to follow in Daddy’s footsteps and now our dear Callie is the Grim Reaper. So…..what now?
I had NO CLUE what to expect when I started reading How to Be Death. I only read Serpent’s Storm a few weeks ago and all of the loose ends were fresh in my mind. I didn’t know which direction we were going to go in to solve everything. As it turns out….we went…..ummmm….THATTAWAY! *points in two different directions*
How to Be Death has a COMPLETELY different feel to it than the first three Callie books. The first three were about the journey to get there and How to Be Death is about what happens once she’s there. Step 1 – Learn the job. However, right off the bat, we have someone inserting little wrenchy wreches into all of the gears.
A few of the loose ends from the previous books do get tied up in How to Be Death. However, that is certainly not the focus of the book. The focus of the book is the Death Dinner / Masquerade Ball (Callie’s first big event as the CEO of Death Inc.) and the classic whodunit that it becomes. If you love old school murder mysteries (or the game Clue), you will LOVE How to Be Death. Although there are some horrific events in this book, the different direction we see Callie go in is a fun one. A true suspenseful mystery, How to Be Death is also riddled with some seriously comical moments. Then again, I don’t think it would be a Calliope Reaper-Jones novel if it wasn’t.
How to Be Death saw the return of many of my favorite characters – Kali, Jarvis de Poupsey, and Runt among them. We also get introduced to a new character, Edgar Freezay, that I genuinely hope to see become a regular character. He’s funny, intelligent and quite possibly a little nuts. He makes every scene he is in just a teeny bit better.
There were some moments that also made me almost squirt soda out my nose, including a reference to a sexual act that I about died reading only because I don’t think I have ever seen the term typed out before.
The best thing about this book? The Chuck Norris style roundhouse kick to the pelvic area that you get hit with at the very end. No, I’m serious. You will NEVER see this coming!! To top it off, the book is left WIDE OPEN. Luckily, Amber confirmed in my interview with her (click here to read) that she has already started writing book #5 so I will be keeping watch for that release date!
Overall, this is a fantastic book and a wonderful addition to the Calliope Reaper-Jones series. 5 stars!!
Don’t forget! Amber is going on a book tour for How to Be Death!! Click here to view the schedule. I will actually be at the NYC signing!!