Thursday, June 11, 2015

Better Off Dead by H.P. Mallory (Lily Harper #1)

4 stars

I was sure I was interested in this series based on the description.  Lily Harper dies in an accident, but isn’t supposed to die.  Her guardian angel, Bill, who is an alcoholic, was MIA at the time.  As recompense she is offered a job as a retriever of misplaced souls.  Even starting the beginning of the book I wasn’t sure I was going to continue (I am not a book martyr who continues reading books when I have no interest!).  Lily described herself as short, overweight, and unattractive.  She also is prone to quoting self-help gurus.  All this did not add up to someone I wanted to read about.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not perfect, but I like to read about heroines who are physically attractive.  Unlike our heroine, I do not read books for self-discovery or enlightenment.  I read books for escapism.  However, this issue gets fixed and in a way that Lily maintains those things about herself that are endearing.  Even her quotes became something I looked forward to as they weren’t all just self-help quotes, but more inspirational quotes from a lot of historical figures as well. 

So Lily gets offered a pretty cushy job (or so she thinks) as a soul retriever.  We meet the absentee guardian angel very quickly as he is assigned to be her guide on her first mission.  This mission turns out to be in The Underground City (think hell) and she soon learns it is more of a suicide mission than a rescue mission.  She ends up finding more help in the broody Tallis Black who has a host of his own secrets.  And the rest of the story follows Lily and crew on her venture into The Underground City. 

I actually enjoyed this enough to start reading the second book right away and to buy the third book as well.  Bill, who I thought would be annoying, actually grows on you and Tallis who is initially and intermittently extremely rude starts to show some depth of character. 

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