The Reapers Are The Angels


The Reapers Are The Angels is the book that Flannery O’Conner would have written had she been born during a zombie apocalypse. I studied Flannery O’Conner at university and the way she phrases dialogue and describes things has a certain style; I wonder if Alden Bell, the author of this book, is a scholar or fan of hers.
The language of this book is devastatingly beautiful and pierces through the otherwise grim story. It’s that difference that keeps me comparing it with Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, which for me was so grim that it was a disturbing read – this coming from someone with a blog on dystopian and apocalyptic fiction!
Temple is an uneducated teen with the soul of an artist who never knew the world prior to zombies, or meatsacks as she calls them. She lives independent of adults and haunted by a dark moment in her past, she roams the ruined United States of America. Although she comes upon various people and settlements where she could put down roots, a dark restlessness drives forward on the road.
During a brief sojourn at a settlement, she has an encounter with a man that will determine her fate. On the run, she meets a mentally disabled man who raises an emotion in her which makes her decide to bring him along on her journey. They briefly find respite at a mansion protected from the outer horrors by an electrified fence housing an eccentric family who live and speak as if the zombie apocalypse never happened. She briefly experiences a short-lived companionship and understanding before she must flee the refined household.
Temple sets out on a mission on behalf of her disabled companion, for she is a fearless killer who is able to keep both of them safe from the meatsacks and other disturbing creatures, the one person she is not safe from is herself. Haunted by her past, she doesn’t feel sufficiently pure to accept the offers for help or a home that come her way along the journey.
Readers may have mixed feelings about how the story ends, but the one thing everyone will agree on is that this is a book that will linger in the hearts and minds of readers.

My Library at LibraryThing

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