Under Her Cursed Scythe
Author: J.M. Wong
Publication Date: 22 April 2019 (relaunch date)
Genre: YA – Fantasy
A harmless small town girl by day and a merciless killer at night.
Alivia stops at nothing to reap souls. But, unlike other murderers, her soul remains intact.
When she unexpectedly encounters the Blessers- a group of “agents” who are neither Witches nor Witch hunters but bear features of both, she begins to doubt her decisions of killing, and eventually leads her to discovering the dark secrets behind her witchy family and that cursed ring she holds…
Alivia must find a way to redeem her sins and prevent herself from becoming the monster she fears the most!
The book starts out a bit confusing because we are thrown into a scene where a boy who was murdered is trying to recount the last memories surrounding his life to a mysterious being in a purgatory-like environment. The boy’s memories are incredibly foggy, but one thing that he vividly remembers is being killed by a girl 8 days prior to Halloween.
Alyvia is a fourteen-year old grim reaper. Every night, she must reap souls on behalf of her tyrannical mother in order to restore her brother’s soul. While most reapers are doomed to lose the soul the way that Alyvia’s brother has, hers has remained intact. But unfortunately for Alyvia, no matter how many souls she reaps, she can never win her mother’s affections. Her mother only cares for her soulless brother, and Alyvia is just the family worker horse.
When Alyvia has a run in with the Blessers, we learn that reapers are generally witches or warlocks that are possessed by demons…but, Alyvia isn’t possessed by any demon. Her soul is still intact, and she doesn’t have any adverse reactions to silver, which she would if she was possessed. Nevertheless, the Blessers are intent on exterminating her for her role as a reaper. She manages to escape, but she starts to wonder if the killing is really necessary.
Overall, this story is a great read packed with adventure, love, pain, hatred, and of course, magic. I really loved Alyvia’s character because she realizes that she doesn’t have to blindly follow the demands of her mother. Her mother is full of secrets and betrayal, which unfortunately, Alyvia must learn. Alyvia discovers what true friendship is with Joshua (watching their relationship develop was really incredible). Oh, and trust me, the ending makes it all worth it.
Thank you to the author for an eARC of this book. This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.