The Reaper Chronicles: Making of a Witch (Salem Memoirs)


“How much would you risk for one man?” Freyja looks like a twenty-eight-year-old redhead, but she’s actually a busy death reaper, one of many in New York City. One of her soul collection assignments was a young physician named Daxon. Drawn to the attractive and altruistic doctor, Freyja uses her rare second-chance serum to bring him back to the living, then falls in love with him. When she fails to keep her supernatural identity from her human boyfriend, Death issues the executive order to end their lives, but whisks the lovers to Purgatory instead. There they wait, until Death offers Freyja a new job: stop three witches from stealing enough souls to summon an immortal who will impose gender subjugation on the world.

The first third of the book is slow-paced and feels like a low-key forbidden romance. Thereafter, it shifts to a thriller adventure when Freyja awakens in Salem for the first time to begin her new mission. Daxon isn’t allowed to accompany Freyja back to the real world, so she gets new help from an assistant named Anthony. However, Anthony knows so much more than Freyja that she seems to be assisting him. Freyja seems ill-prepared and flippant about the dire situation, and her actions are haphazard and unreliable. Anthony and Freyja huff repeatedly through a very unidimensional storyline where the witch adversaries are simple caricatures and many events seem nonsensical. It is also odd when Freyja summarizes known information mid-book, as if restarting the story. The tale could also benefit from further editing of typos and sequence errors. Nevertheless, “The Reaper Chronicles” is an interestin re-imaging of our myths concerning death, afterlife, and the gender divide.

Joan Lai