14 May, 2016

REVIEW: SCHOOL OF DEATHS by Christopher Mannino

Title: School of Deaths
Author: Christopher Mannino
Series:The Scythe Wielder's Secret #1
Genres:YA, Fantasy, Paranormal
Publisher: Muse it Up Publishing
Source: ARC
Pages: 270

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Thrust into a world of men, can a timid girl find bravery as the first female Death?

Thirteen-year-old Suzie Sarnio always believed the Grim Reaper was a fairy tale image of a skeleton with a scythe. Now, forced to enter the College of Deaths, she finds herself training to bring souls from the Living World to the Hereafter. The task is demanding enough, but as the only female in the all-male College, she quickly becomes a target. Attacked by both classmates and strangers, Suzie is alone in a world where even her teachers want her to fail.

Scythes hungry for souls, Deaths who subjugate a race of mysterious magicians, and echoes of an ancient war with Dragons.

As her year progresses, Suzie suspects her presence isn't an accident. She uncovers a plot to overthrow the World of Deaths. Now she must also discover the reason she's been brought there: the first female Death in a million years.

I received a copy of this book from the publishers in exchange for an honest review! Also, magic, fantasy and school of deaths? What is that? Never heard of such a story before, exciting!

THE WORLD: So at first it seems all normal, our every day world. But then boom our main character gets kidnapped by a death and taken to the world of deaths. Here she has to complete a year of training in order to take the test that might let her go home. If not she is stuck in this world forever. Creepy. Now the World of Death is mainly a land where College stands and some forests surrounding it. Oh and there are also mountains where Dragons live but we don't see them in this book sadly. At least not yet. 

CHARACTERS: The thing about the World of Deaths is that Suzie, our main character, is the only female. Yeah, a perfect world of men. Reminded me a lot of this movement going on about men rights lately. Weird and creepy. Tho also rather stereotypical because all men are showed as bullies basically. Almost all, but yeah you get the idea. Anyways, Suzie...well she is a female and she is only 13 which was a shock to me. I expected this book to be about older teenagers. The thing is her age really showed in the book, she was naive and supposedly strong but that felt fake considering she was kidnapped from her home and put into this world of bullies. I am not a big fan of her to be honest. Not saying she is a bad character, it just for me did not feel real. Next to Suzie we have a few friends: Billy, Frank and Jason. I really do not get the thing with names, they do not fit in this book at all. Suzie and Billy are somebody you either like or don't. Why? Simply because  it felt too middle school and too much concern about kissing. For me personally, as a 20 something it felt all very childlike and therefore, I think the problem of this book was that it is targeted a little bit wrong. Jason as a matter of fact was my lest favorite. And also I had a huge problem following who is who for like 50 pages. Not sure why.

I think when it comes to characters it really feels like a first book in the series. Up till the action started I was a little bit bored. It might be just me not being a fan of middle grade books but it might be also a lack in character development. I am not sure. But if you are looking for some easy-no-internal-drama-save-the-world type of characters these are the ones you should go to. They at least do not make you angry and that is always a plus.

LOVE: This for me felt the weakest part of the book. Basically Suzie likes Frank but then Billy kisses her and suddenly she likes Billy. I somehow either missed or there was no relationship development in the first place. It just happened, like boom in thee middle of the chapter.

PLUS: I really liked the concept of Elementals. I wish we got to explore more of them. And also magic, magic is always amazing to read about.

MINUS: We did not get to read about Dragons!!! But other than that my main minus would be that even it is advertised as YA books it really was a middle grade with some swearing words. Also, what was that about? All the swears felt so out of place and so forced. I mean you can use swear words sure but these felt too forced. I think this could be handled better.

OVERALL: It was an okay read. Really picked up in the last pages so that I think gave an extra star to this book for me. But again, it is not a YA book.


What did you think of SCHOOL OF DEATHS?