Thursday, 4 July 2013

The Big Reap

by Chris F. Holm
The Third Book in the Collector Series
Angry Robot - 2013
283 pages - 9.99 $
Why this book

There are some authors you know you'll follow no matter what and Chris F. Holm is one of them. When I saw on Twitter that his latest book what available on Netgalley long before its publication I became a member and I received an Advanced Reading Copy (ARC) that I can review now! I even bought a Kobo to read the book whenever and wherever I want - even if I always said that I'll never buy one of them (guess it tooks me that incentive to change my mind!). So first of all, my thanks to Angy Robot for providing me with The Big Reap - but don't worry fellow readers, I'll give an unbiased review!


Sam Thornton has had many run-ins with his celestial masters, but he’s always been sure of his own actions.

However, when he’s tasked with dispatching the mythical Brethren – a group of former Collectors who have cast off their ties to Hell – is he still working on the side of right?

What I think of it

I loved it! The best of the three books. Holm better controls his characters, his universes and his collector, Sam. 

Speaking of Sam. We feel that he distances himself from his human side: he finds it more and more easy to "wear" a living human, whereas in the first books he sought only corpses (I recall that Sam is a damned soul who can't live by himself, but must have a body). We follow his questioning because he doesn't want to lose his humanity, but we also follow his discoveries about the ease with which he possesses the living. There is an internal struggle between the facilities that brings him a living body (credit cards that work, relatives who do not believe you're dead and scream when they saw you ...) and his intransigence of the beginning when he only sought bodies not to traumatize people and not to risk getting them killed (which is easily done in his occupation). So we learn a little more about what he thinks and feels, about who he is actually!

As for the other characters, it was a pleasure to meet back some of the protagonists of the previous books - I won't give their name in order not to screw the pleasure of discovering who returns - even if they're easily guess (because ultimately there is few people we really want to see again, right?) We also learn a lot about Lilith and her story, which I really enjoyed because it allows a better understanding of her actions and reactions.

Let's talk about the humor, because one thing is for sure, this book is stuffed of it - as in the previous two books, which makes these über cool books to read. There is a certain ferocity and cynicism in the dialogues that make them as funny as addictive - dialogues that are often followed by action and hordes of hemoglobin! The fact that Sam possesses human gives way to spread very funny quips for those who like black humor (which I love).

Finally, the story itself and the action, because this book is full of action. I enjoyed the flashbacks of the first collection of Sam and his introduction by Lilith as a collector because it allows us to see the progress made by Sam who is doing better and better. The flashbacks are found in some places in the text and are so well written that the fact that they cut the story do not interfere at all, on the contrary, because they provide a better knowledge of Sam and Lilith. Some might believe that the act of collecting souls might be a bit deja-vu (in the previous two books) and that it is difficult to make it an interesting concept but Holm yet manages to make a breathless story and not at all boring, because each collecting is different. And action ... Action! By reading this book, I thought several times that it would make a great action movie, a kind of blockbuster that would move!

Finally, the weak point of the book (it has to have one right?) Sam is the only collector in charge of collecting the souls of the Brethrens and then I thought, "but why just him. It's not like Hell has shortage of labor, it does not make sense. Ha ha, I have found a flaw in the story? "And well no, the explanation will be given and all will become clear because, dear reader, Chris F. Holm will not let you down, nor leave anything on the sidelines, you'll have the answers to your questions and more. So, no weak spot? Ha! Yes: the book is too short!

Well, I guess my review is totally subjective after all, cause I really like that book! 

In a nutshell

A real page-turner to devour without moderation! I highly recommend this book if you like urban-fantasy, black humor and action. This is undoubtedly the best in the series and it will probably not be the last (at least I hope). A must read! I give it a 5/5.

My thought on closing the book : Yes! There will be another one! (right?) Oh gosh, that would be something!

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