Deadly Awakening is book one of The Ashdale Reaper Series, an urban fantasy written by G. K. Lund. In this urban fantasy story, magic collides within a modern-day urban setting, when self-help author Ben Reed decides one day to take his own life. What he didn’t account for was that the Grim Reaper himself would be watching. Moments before Ben’s death, The Grim Reaper decides to enter Ben’s body just and this is where this strange, urban tale begins. By inhabiting Ben’s lifeless body, he took on his entire world including his friends and even the town detective who found him washed up on a riverbank. Strangely enough, right next to another lifeless, but murdered body, who’s also suspicious of this “new Ben” who she found with broken bones and no pulse moments before he miraculously started breathing.
What Mysteries and Unanswered Questions Await the Grim Reaper
As with any good story that starts with some mystery and unanswered questions, I was curious as to where G.K. Lund would take the reader. The Grim Reaper doesn’t remember himself or that he’s not human, let alone the fact that he’s inhabiting someone else’s body albeit a dead one. As he navigates his new “humanness” coupled with mundane aspects such as eating, physical sensations and needing sleep have proved to be a steep and strange learning curve.
The Reaper now challenged with his new “humanness” and also grapples with not knowing a single detail about Ben’s life. So he feigns amnesia from the accident to ward off questions from his friends who are busy fussing over him as they try to nudge him bit by bit in remembering his life. One person who The Reaper can’t fool is Detective Jones who saw Ben’s lifeless body just before The Reaper entered it. She’s also the same detective who’s working to solve the mystery of Demitri Okanov, the body found washed up next to Ben’s.
As Deadly Awakening our book review for Deadly Awakening unfolds, we learn more about the real Ben, who’s body the Reaper has entwined with, why he took his own life and the friends who share his world. The Reaper who started out as this otherworldly entity, begins to take on some “humanness” of his own. He learns about friendship, empathy and that he enjoys coffee. It was interesting to read these details of being human, especially from this perspective which also made it funny and strange. The author could have pushed this aspect further making the story a bit richer due to the irony of the Grim Reaper inhabiting a body of one who just committed suicide.
No Spoilers in This Book Review for Deadly Awakening, But…
Because this is a series, there won’t be any spoilers, but I did like how Deadly Awakening unraveled starting with intimating Death (The Reaper) with Life. The reader gets to “learn” at the same time and pace of the Reaper about Ben and his world. I enjoyed the tension that Detective Olivia Jones brought to the story as someone who not only doesn’t trust the Reaper but is trying to solve a murder mystery. The reader is pulled in and made curious about the murder of Demitri Okanov and how it ties in with finding Ben (The Reaper) ashore.
This is the second series from writer G.K. Lund who according to her website has been writing since she was a teenager. When she’s not writing urban fantasy, Lund’s day job is that of archaeologist. She notes on her site that she no longer works at dig sites, but in basement museums. At some point, she’d also like to incorporate archaeology into her story writing. For now, she loves the history of civilization and how we came to be.
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