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Larry ‘djinn24’ Killian returns to do an advance review on the debut book from Chris Holm, Dead Harvest (The Collector) published by Angry Robot.
Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Sam tries to stop a war, and everyone from both sides try to kill him ~ The Founding Fields
Wow, what can you say, Sam is having a bad day, first off he is dead. If that is not enough to bum him out, he is also an agent of hell. Sam is what is known as a collector, a person who is sent from hell by Lillith to collect the souls of the evil and damned and send them to their new homes. This is a job that he has been doing well until he is sent to collect the soul of a teenage girl who has just murdered her family. An easy task, jump into a body, get to her, collect her soul, and be on his way. When he reaches into her soul, he is shocked to find it to be pure, that she was not the one responsible for the deaths. Sam is now in a race against time to find out what is going on, who is behind this, and stop a war that would cause all the rest combined to pale in comparison while trying to not get killed by all heaven and hell can toss at him. Boy is he in for one hell of a ride!
This is the second book about the supernatural that I have read in a row, which for me is kind of odd since it is not my genre, but I may have to make it! Both book I read where awesome. This book, Chris Holm’s debut novel Dead Harvest was really pleasing as the action never seem to let up; there was almost everything in this book; action, romance, mystery, it really was a total package and should be pleasing for almost everyone. I really found the action continued at a good pace but did not seem to drown out the rest of the story and let it and the characters develop nicely. There are flashback in the book as well where you get to see Saw before he becomes a collector and the round about way he joins their ranks.
Now there are some off points about the book as well. It is mentioned several times in the book that Sam prefers taking dead bodies as hosts as the live like to struggle against being possessed. I would have loved to have seen some issues caused by having a live host but everything seems to have went just as if he had a dead body when he does take a live host and that to me was an avenue that could have been taken for some pretty interesting plot twists. This is the only big thing that I can think of that bugged me a bit about reading the book. Now at the end I did discover that this is going to be a series, which I was really happy to hear, so maybe some of this will come into play later on.
Overall I have to say I was very pleased with Chris Holm and the job he did on a debut book. I am going to give this book a 8/10, deducting points for leaving some pretty obvious plot twists untouched. I would say that is you are a fan of Urban Fantasy, Occult, Super Natural, or just a solid adventure book then this would be a good book to pick up.
Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Angry Robot (February 28, 2012)