Don't Fear the Reaper

1 star1 star1 star1 star0.75 star
After her suicide, Keely Morrison learns that death isn’t at all what she expected. Her only hope for navigating the afterlife is a bounty-hunting reaper and a sardonic demon. When the demon offers Keely her greatest temptation she must uncover his motives and determine who she can trust, because both reaper and demon are keeping secrets and her every decision will change how she spends eternity More

Available formats: epub, mobi, lrf

First 20% Sample: epub mobi (Kindle) lrf read online
Published: Sep. 24, 2011
Words: 74,570
Language: English
ISBN: 9781465804778
About Michelle Muto

Michelle has always loved storytelling. Her favorite stories where of monsters and things that lurked in the dark. Telling stories often frightened her classmates and got her into a lot of trouble with her teachers. They had no sense of humor.

As an adult, Michelle traded her love of writing for the corporate life where she was an IT professional. Today, she's doing what she loves best - writing and storytelling.

Michelle grew up in Chicago, but currently lives in NE Georgia with her husband and their two dogs. She loves scary books, funny movies, sports cars, chocolate, dogs, and changes of season.

Also by This Author

Reviews

Review by: Dale Ibitz on Aug. 21, 2013 : star star star star
This was a very well crafted, written, and executed story. I really, really, really liked it! Has got to be one of my faves this year so far.

You have characters that are real, three-dimensional, and distinctive. The book opens with Keely's death. Her response to her own death is so believable, you actually think it's real. Like maybe the author followed Keely into the afterlife and wrote down her reactions.

Loved the bounty-hunter reaper, his name is Banning. He has that mysterious touch, silent and strong and you're not quite sure what motivates him. I found myself having an internal debate on whether he wanted to help Keely or trap her somehow.

And the sardonic, possibly unscrupulous demon? Daniel? His voice is so strong and yeah, he's a *likeable* demon. Whether or not he's unscrupulous is up to the reader to find out. But hint: he's a *demon* kiddos.

I loved the tension and interaction between the characters. I thought the pacing was excellent. Keely's motivation throughout was clear, and she pretty much stuck to her guns. I'm a little disappointed that we didn't learn of Daniel's past...why he is what he is and what his motivations were. And was the ending a tad predictable? Perhaps a little. These 2 reasons are why this didn't earn a full 5 stars, but there one or 2 things that did catch me by surprise, and all the little trails wound around the story and tied together in the end.

A very enjoyable ride.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Maghon Thomas on May 05, 2013 : star star star star star
I just absolutely love reapers I had a thought and expectation for this story, and though I was kinda right, it was so not the way I expected lol I will also say that thought there are quite some humors moments, this is not the more upbeat type story. It’s deep, it’s heard, it’s beautiful and it’s sad, because death is never easy to talk about, much less to actually live it out through a character and this author has done a phenomenal job here! And suicide is never really talked about, it’s normally kinda shuffled under the rug, but it’s quite a fun ride in this instance!

Keely is really struggling. Her twin sister is brutally murdered, she blames herself, her parents are so busy struggling with their grief that they miss her’s. so she decided to commit suicide, which would allow her to reconnect with her sister. Except there’s a serious flaw in her thoughts, she’ll be greeted by one reaper and one demon and they’re gunna fight for her until the day of her funeral when her fate is decided. This is probably the most hilarious meeting ever. It’s so dark and slightly morbid and then these two appear. I was stuck between the sheer panick Keely felt that she made a mistake and tried to correct her suicide attempt to fits of giggles when Banning, said reaper, and Daniel, said demon, as they introduce her to her new afterlife!

Keely is smart, and sarcastic, and yet sometimes her lingering depression sometimes makes her decisions not so smart. She realizes how much death affects not only her but the people around her. Her thought process alone would have kept me reading her book. And then Banning is just so cool. He reminds Keely of her dad and she begins to understand and care for him as he tries to help her. And Daniel is the typical HAWT piece of a demon lol and yes he’s a demon but once in a blue moon you realize he maybe has some good parts. I fanatically loved the relationship the three of them had. There’s only one thing- and I’m about to totally contradict myself- but I am actually glad how the relationships turned out because it’s perfect, but I was still hoping Keely would plant a big ole kiss on Daniel! Lol but I guess I can’t always have everything!

There’s is a few different plot schemes going on, which is what had me flying through this book. The first is Keely is desperate to find a way to see her sister, the second is this little “deal” that is supposed to happen as to Keely’s fate, and the third is Keely really wants revenge on the murderer of her sister. The author definitely had my full attention here. Her writing is captivating, and who knew death would be so fun to read about. I will also say that I’m secretly hoping the author will give me more of Keely and crew! One day! So, you should read it because you should want to know how the afterlife is I LOVED it, though I also hope my outcome is more like Mr. M’s- at the end, this is the ONLY part where I cried, which was surprising, but beautifully done- and not like Keely’s! Ms. Michelle when you read this, I was you to know that you’re inclusion of Jake and that “dance” question is the most brilliant thing I’ve ever read!! Everyone else, I will not say another word because I will not spoil this beautiful story for you! 5 CREEPTASTIC REAPER PAWS from me!
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Sheila Deeth on March 05, 2013 : star star star star
Keely’s twin sister’s dead. Her parents are grieving. And reformed bad-girl Keely has had enough of being left to sorrow alone. Her moods have driven everyone away. Now she drives herself on one last journey, but finds the end somewhat different to all she’d expected. Isn’t hell a given if you kill yourself?
Deeply intriguing, filled with haunting and haunted characters and no easy answers, Michelle Muto’s Don’t Fear the Reaper introduces a very different grim reaper from legend, his curiously sympathetic sidekick, and a purgatory that’s like nothing you’ve ever imagined. A tale that blends touches of sympathy for the devil with hauntingly descriptive passages, deeply moving mysteries, and heart-searching decisions, this book lets you see death through a dead girl’s eyes and long for life.
In the end, the devil’s sure he’ll win, but his minions might have minds of their own, the almost-damned might still be seeking redemption, and the almost-saved might stay to save someone else. Whatever you believe about life after death, this is a novel of fascinating imagination, thought-provoking ethical questions, great humor and compelling characters, one that will stay with you long after the final pages are turned. Think Touched by an Angel but much darker.

Disclosure: I won an ecopy of this novel. Lucky me!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Danielle Young on Feb. 28, 2013 : star star star star star
After committing suicide with the hopes of reuniting with her dead twin sister Keely discovers that being dead isn't so easy. And neither is finding her sister. As she struggles with the loss of her own life Keely is forced to stay on Earth with no one but a reaper and a demon for company. Eternal happiness for more than Keely is on the line when she discovers that in order to move on from her Earthbound hell she has to face an ugly truth that will have her facing her fears and fighting for more than just her afterlife.

As soon as I started Don't Fear the Reaper I knew it was going to be awesome. The first chapter left me completely breathless, on the edge of my seat and biting my nails because from the minute Keely graced the page I felt connected to her. Her pain and anguish were so real that I felt it through Michelle Muto's words.

And I fell even more in love with Keely throughout the book. I was happy to find a kind girl with a large heart under all the pain and sorrow and I was also happy to see that she wasn't the kind of girl to run away. No matter how afraid she was if her friends needed her she was there. Even for those she wasn't sure she could quite trust. And in the end despite knowing what was going to happen, I was happy to see Keely step up to the plate.

Luckily for Keely, in her Earthbound purgatory she has friends. Well, the closest thing she can get to friends. Banning, a reaper--the reaper who took her soul--who is like a protective older brother and Daniel the demon with a conscious. And I loved them. They reminded me of brothers and they often bickered like brothers. Daniel provided that needed bit of sarcasm and humor throughout the story helping to remind me that even in death their can be a bright side. Banning is one of those characters that I just can't help but feel for. The losses and struggles that he endures make you route for a happy ending. Both of these side characters are strong and fierce warriors and are completely loyal. The trick is just finding out who they are loyal to. (Psst, I know, but I won't tell you). I know that if I were ever in purgatory I wouldn't mind having them at my side. Seriously I don't think there would ever be a dull moment!

I truly enjoyed the story that Michelle Muto weaved in Don't Fear the Reaper. She gave me just enough details and information to allow my imagination to run wild. And I was completely fascinated by her idea of the demon. I appreciated her different take on both the demon and the reaper and I thought it really brought fresh air to the whole realm of reapers. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking to be swept up in a story that will leave you breathless and wanting more. Bring on the next adventure in the Netherworld Series!!!

*won copy from author and Bookworm Babblings
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: M.Sara Forleo on Oct. 16, 2012 : star star star star
Oh my God! I'm so out of myself! I started this book crying like a baby for a good 15 minutes at least. And ended it crying again.
This book's beautiful! So emotionally moving. And sad. And touching.
I loved all the characters! Keely, obviously! I was so emotionally involved and it was like I was feeling what/how she felt. And it broke my heart seeing her and Miles "saying goodbye". Banning: loved him from the start! Daniel: although I didn't like him at first, I got to totally love him after a very little while! Jordan: so sweet, though a little naive.
Pete gave me the creeps, and also all the other demons.
I wouldn't have minded some little romance, though. That's my reason for not giving it a full 5 stars but only 4.
I'm hoping for a sequel (and I guess I'll get it, seing that this book is marked as Book 1 of the Netherworld series). And I want more of Daniel! Yeah, I think I got a little crush on him, I know! But I can't help it. Strong, sweet, caring (and blushing!) demons are my Achilles' heel!
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: sarah brillinger on Aug. 09, 2012 : star star star star
I won this e-book in an online contest from http://thingworlds.blogspot.ca/which was awesome. I was intrigued by the description so that led me to enter the contest as I find the concept of the after-life to be an interesting topic. I'm unsure that I believe in concepts like heaven/hell/demons/reapers but I find other people's interpretations to be very interesting because really, who knows what happens when we die!? This was a different interpretation and it kept me intrigued through the whole story despite the predictability at the way it turns out. This is an easy and fast read (maybe it's young adult?), so it's a little different than the books I usually ready but a welcome change of pace.
Keely, the main characters, voice in the story is really naive and you can see the twists and turns coming a mile away but you still feel for her and her sister. The family dynamics in this book are heart-breaking with the sister being murdered then Keely committing suicide and watching the parents mourn their daughters. Sad stuff.
Overall, it's an interesting take on the after-life and lots of gripping emotion. If you're looking for a fast and emotional read, this book has got it.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Yiota on Jan. 29, 2012 : star star star star star
After reading The Book Of Lost Souls, Michelle Muto became one of my favorite authors. Her books are funny and original, so i couldn't really say no to Don't Fear The Reaper.

Don't Fear The Reaper is a lot darker than Book of Lost Souls but it keeps a light feeling when you read. We follow Keely's after death time, while she tries to find her sister and avoid going to hell accompanied by a reaper and a demon. I think the strongest aspect of the book are the characters. Don't get me wrong, the story is amazing. It has surprises, action, sad moments, funny moments..it's captivating and for me was impossible to not read all at once. In less than a day was done. But the characters....oh my...

All three main characters are complex. And by that i don't mean difficult to understand. I mean they have full back-stories, depth and for every action they take and every opinion they have there is a reason. You see that their back-story, good or bad, is what made them take the decisions they do.
Keely is a little strange. At first i couldn't really connect with her, because on how different POV of my life i have. But due time, when things explained i could understand her. And the fact, that she learns and grow as a person means a lot. It's a progress that makes sense. She is also a really strong girl, which kick ass when she wants and that makes her more awesome. She might took her life, but she is learning and standing up at her feet again..even if it's afterlife.
Then we have our reaper and demon. Both of them are awesome! They are the most weird duo ever! Banning (the reaper) is a real badass! And who said a reaper is a bad guy? He is protective, clever, reasonable sympathetic but when its needed can be harsh too. It's impossible to not like him.
And lastly it's Daniel. A demon with heart and honor? I don't say he doesn't do tricky or bad things. It's his nature, but he is also a good guy who doesn't afraid to sacrifice things for what he thinks it's right.He truly is the guy who will do bad for good. + I do have a soft spot for the name "Daniel".

What else can i say? I know i just fell in love with one more book by Michelle Muto and i can't wait to read the rest of the series. I recommend the series to everyone who like YA.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Larissa on Dec. 05, 2011 : star star star star star
From the moment I picked up this book I was instantly drawn into the story. Don’t Fear the Reaper opens with the protagonist, Keely, taking her own life, and reflecting on the things that lead to that moment. The pain she felt throughout the book felt very real to me even though in most of the book she is “living” through very different situations than one generally faces.

Michelle Muto’s writing is absolutely beautiful, and all the characters have depth and are well developed. I really don’t have anything negative to say about this book. It brought me close to tears on more than one occasion, and I can count with the fingers on one hand the books that have made me cry. I could also relate to this book on a more personal level because I am a twin myself, and felt I understood Keely’s connection with her sister very well.

One thing that set this book apart for me and made me love it was that it was in no way a cookie-cutter YA novel. It was original and raw, and the author did not put anything in that took your attention away from the plot to add interest when it didn’t need it. Once you read YA for a while, you really start to appreciate it when an author relies purely on their own originality and ideas and doesn’t go to any “plot formulas” to lead their story on.

In short, this is a beautifully written, emotion-evoking book, and I highly recommend it.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Larissa on Dec. 05, 2011 : star star star star star
4.5 STARS: A really great read, I highly recommend!

From the moment I picked up this book I was instantly drawn into the story. Don’t Fear the Reaper opens with the protagonist, Keely, taking her own life, and reflecting on the things that lead to that moment. The pain she felt throughout the book felt very real to me even though in most of the book she is “living” through very different situations than one generally faces.

Michelle Muto’s writing is absolutely beautiful, and all the characters have depth and are well developed. I really don’t have anything negative to say about this book. It brought me close to tears on more than one occasion, and I can count with the fingers on one hand the books that have made me cry. I could also relate to this book on a more personal level because I am a twin myself, and felt I understood Keely’s connection with her sister very well.

One thing that set this book apart for me and made me love it was that it was in no way a cookie-cutter YA novel. It was original and raw, and the author did not put anything in that took your attention away from the plot to add interest when it didn’t need it. Once you read YA for a while, you really start to appreciate it when an author relies purely on their own originality and ideas and doesn’t go to any “plot formulas” to lead their story on.

In short, this is a beautifully written, emotion-evoking book, and I highly recommend it.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Christine M. Butler on Dec. 05, 2011 : star star star star star
Dark and exquisitely beautiful!

My first impression upon opening this book was: Best first chapter in a novel - Ever! Michelle Muto hooked me from word one and kept me gripped until the end. This is a beautifully written dark tale of life, death, and everything that comes after. It was absolutely mesmerizing.

This is hands down, one of the best books of 2011! From the opening chapter that all authors should learn from, to the bittersweet ending, Don't Fear the Reaper will keep your heart on edge as you continue to turn the pages.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: aobibliophile on Nov. 17, 2011 : star star star star star
Because I could not stop for Death, He kindly stopped for me.
The Carriage held but just ourselves And Immortality - Emily Dickinson


Keely Morisson lost more than half of herself when her twin Jordan was murdered. wallowing in grief and hoping to be reunited with her sister, Keely commits suicide. the afterlife, however, was not what she expected. with a reaper and a demon for company, she finds out what being dead really is and that the battle for souls including her own is being wagered.
author Michelle Muto's book is a haunting journey and exploration of what lies beyond the grave. it is dark and sometimes frightening to contemplate but more often than not, it is filled with nostalgia and a deep-seated longing for forgiveness, justice and peace for and from both the living and those who have passed on.
Keely is caught in a purgatory of her own doing. her suicide condemns her to witness and be part of a world of demons, angels, reapers and wandering souls. she is unable to cross over and her soul's final destination hangs on a balance.
the author's premise that love does not stop with one's final breath does not surprise me. the idea that it becomes stronger and more tenacious even in death is something i agree with. the possibility of departed loved ones continuing to watch over and love those they left behind somehow brings me relief and some closure. i find it very comforting too .
i find the book's details quite plausible. Keely's story is also a reminder for me to live for the moment and to be thankful for everything and everyone.
i have to admit as well that this was a very emotional read for me. my late parents, relatives and friends were constantly on my mind as i read about Keely and her wanderings in the afterlife. my hope is that their transition from this world to the next was smooth and joyful and very unlike Keely's own.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Report this book