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I'm Madison Avery, in charge of heaven's hit squad . . . and fighting it all the way.
When Madison died the night of her prom, she knew her life would never be the same. Now she has a powerful amulet, a team of rogue angels by her side, and the ability to flash forward into the future to see the shape of destiny. And of course, now she's finally with Josh - a perfect boyfriend who doesn't even mind that she's dead.
But being dead has its disadvantages, too. Madison feels caught between the light and the dark, and between her real life and her timekeeper status. When Madison has the opportunity to get her body back - to be "alive" again - she faces her most difficult decision yet. If she claims it, she could return to being a normal girl - and have a chance at a real relationship with Josh. But would having the one thing she wants most in the world also mean giving up everything she's worked so hard for?
The third instalment of Kim Harrison's Madison Avery series - the story of a not-really-quite-dead teenager with a task assigned by fate, that would have most grown adults cowering in terror. Assigned to duty as head of Heaven's hitsquad - tasked with saving souls at the expense of lives, by 'reaping' them before the soul starts to die, becomes tainted or corrupt - she is trying to change a millennia-old system in the span of a human lifetime... a task both overwhelming, and possible... if she could just get the Seraphs - Heaven's controllers of Fate - to give her a fighting chance.
As with the previous two stories, we find Madison a body-less soul, wearing the amulet of the Dark Timekeeper, which gives her the illusion of a solid body (for the sake of her mortal boyfriend - who knows all about her predicament - and father - utterly oblivious) and also cloaks her soul from the predatory Blackwings - the scavengers and eaters of souls not otherwise protected, either by a mortal shell, or a guardian angel. Back in story one, Madison's body was hidden by the previous Dark Timekeeper... in the second story Madison learned it was hidden '...between the now and the next...', and in this title, her main goal is to find that body at all costs, and then decide whether she will stay a living Timekeeper, or return to her mortal life. The Seraphs told her it was her choice... free will against the inertia of Fate...
The characters, even the most fleeting ones, are very well defined, with a depth that gives them credibility enough to play their parts, and then depart from the plot as 'people', not 'cardboard cutouts' that have been casually disposed of or blown away. Even though the target market is Teen to Young Adult, I actually find myself really enjoying this series. Yes, for me it is akin to some 'light reading' but that's good... who wants to wade through heavy tomes all the time... who doesn't like a 'light summer salad' in between the 'steak and three roast vege' every once in a while?
Overall, another worthy addition to the growing plot... which is developing some very interesting twists of it's own. This series is a bit like the sci-fi series "Babylon 5" for me... each instalment carries it's own story and plot elements, but in amongst that there are little bits of an overarching plot that slowly reveals itself to be something that is shaping up to be pretty spectacular in it's own right. Bring on Book 4!
Random listing from 'Books'...
The first book of the His Darkest Materials Trilogy.
When Lyra's friend Roger disappears, she and her daemon, Pantalaimon, set out to find him. They travel to the ice kingdoms of the North, where armored bears rule and witch-queens fly through frozen skies. Lyra possesses a device that will aid their quest - if she can decipher its mysterious messages. But it knows terrifying secrets about their journey, and the dangers that await them in worlds far beyond their own.
Adapted into the feature film - "The Golden Compass"
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"Consider the postage stamp: its usefulness consists in the ability to stick to one thing till it gets there."
Josh Billings (1818 - 1885)