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Once Dead, Twice Shy (Madison Avery, Book 1)

Once Dead, Twice Shy - Kim Harrison Courtesy of Smash Attack Reads!I’m a major fan of Kim Harrison’s The Hollows series. In fact, I think she is one of the top Urban Fantasy writers out there. I was very much looking forward to her new YA series about a dead girl whose afterlife turns utterly complicated. I think I might be a tad spoiled due to my love for KH’s other books, that I was left a bit unsatisfied with the first book in this series. You really jumped right into Madison’s afterlife without really finding out a ton about the world she now lives in. And once you learn more, it doesn’t really seem very interesting at the moment, in my opinion. I hope the plot and the world gets flushed out more later on. I read that there is a short story in the Prom Nights from Hell anthology that gives the background on Madison, so it might make sense to read it first. I don’t feel very attached to Madison, at this point. I do like her, but I don’t feel like she's a very significant person in her own series...yet. She is spunky though, and doesn’t sit around, waiting for afterlife to just take care of itself. She is a fighter (albeit a very scared one!), curious and a problem solver. Oh, and she has purple tips on her, which is uber cute. I also loved the “when I hit ctrl + alt + del" line.” That is definitely something a young person would say today. I must say I do love Grace. She is definitely the equal to Jenks’ character in The Hollows. While not as snarky as Jenks, Grace provides some comic relief and I grew to really like her. Again though, no real connection to anyone else. I think Nakita and Barnabus’ relationship is going to prove to be entertaining though.Conclusion: I gave the book 3 stars, which means I liked it, but it wasn't a book that had me sitting on the edge of my seat in anticipation, or daydreaming about it. I will continue the series because of my love for KH. I just hope things pick up, make more sense, become more substantial, etc. I do like the themes of fate / free will, light / dark, fallen angels, etc. I’m still a bit confused as to who is good and who is evil, but that is some of the fun of the book.