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BOOK REVIEW: Croak by Gina Damico

| 6 January 2015 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: Croak by Gina Damico

Houghton Miffin Harcourt
March 2012
Paperback, £5.88
Reviewed by Aly Locatelli



Lex dropped her hands. Unfortunately, Driggs followed suit, affording her the perfect opportunity to kick him in the crotch.
Which she did.
“That… was… unnecessary,” he groaned from the ground.
Lex blew a tuft of hair out of her face.
“I disagree.”

Meet Lex. At sixteen years of age, she is possibly the scariest teenager ever to terrorise the earth. She’s pretty badass with just the right amount of crazy to spice things up a little; she takes no crap from anyone and takes matters into her own hands when people fail to give her justice.

“You bit him?” Lex’s father said.
“He called me a wannabe vampire,” she said. “What was I supposed to do?”

Her parents have had enough. Lex is sent packing and off to live with her Uncle Mort for the summer, on a farm in the middle of nowhere as far as Lex is concerned.

But Uncle Mort’s true occupation is grimmer than Lex had anticipated… and soon, it will be her occupation, too.

“Lex,” he said, “Croak is a portal – one that sits between our world and the next.”
A strange noise escaped Lex’s lips, something between a stupefied gasp and a dubious snicker. “What?”
“That’s why you’re here. I’m going to teach you how to do what I do.”
“And what is that?”
He leaned in close. She could feel his breath on her face.
“I Kill people.”

Uncle Mort is a Grim Reaper. He, along with the other members of Croak, population 80, guide the souls of the newly dead towards the Afterlife and he’s going to teach Lex the tricks of the trade.

Lex, however, cannot stop the burning rage whenever she sees a murderer and has to leave them alone. Her powers are stronger than most and can cause a whole lot of damage if used inappropriately. Will she control them, or go rogue?

Croak is a good example of dark humour. Jokes are used at inappropriate times, but the atmosphere is always light, even when dealing with subjects as awful as death. Instead of turning into something wholly depressing, Croak is brought to life with jokes, puns and innuendos. Even the characters, dealing with such a morbid line of work, are hilarious: Uncle Mort and Lex, especially.

Gina Damico creates a wonderfully peculiar town with wonderfully peculiar elements such as the Afterlife (a vault where all the souls go to live happily ever after, and where Teddy Roosevelt and Edgar Allen Poe are constantly arguing), Amnesia woven from spider silk and the legendary Yoricks — drinks that relax you better than any alcoholic beverage.

All in all, Croak was one of my favourite reads of 2014, and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys dark humour and kick-ass main characters.


Category: Book Reviews, Other Reviews

About the Author ()

21. A reader, a writer, a reviewer and a full-time sloth lover. I am addicted to coffee and my laptop, and love reading especially when it's rainy outside.

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