The Big Reap
The Collector 3
Angry Robot (July 30, 2012 US/Canada; August 1, 2013 UK)
Mass Market Paperback and eBook
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?
File Under: Urban Fantasy [ Soul Solution | Secret Origins | Flaming Torches | Double Dealing ]
Prior Books in The Collector Series:
The Wrong Goodbye
The Collector 2
Angry Robot (September 25, 2012 US/Canada; October 4, 2012 UK/RoW)
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 400 pages
(Review copy provide by the publisher)
Meet Sam Thornton, Collector of Souls.
Because of his efforts to avert the Apocalypse, Sam Thornton has been given a second chance – provided he can stick to the straight-and-narrow.
Which sounds all well and good, but when the soul Sam’s sent to collect goes missing, Sam finds himself off the straight-and-narrow pretty quick.
File Under: Urban Fantasy [ Missing | Soul Provider | Call Collect | Demon Child ]
The second novel in The Collector series has everything I loved about Dead Harvest (The Collector 1) plus some. There's exciting action, a twisty plot, superb world-building, and a terrific cast of characters (returning and new).
Sam gets in trouble (I see a theme) when he's supposed to pick up a soul and it disappears. The powers that be in Sam's world are none too happy when a soul goes missing. Sam has to figure out who took the soul and why. Plus he must get the soul back or he's not going to like what happens to him. He has encounters that emphasize this point for him and were quite wonderfully creepy.
In The Wrong Goodbye, Mr. Holm further fleshes out Sam's past and the world of Collectors. I love finding out more and more about Sam's world and its mythology. The pacing of the novel could not be better and again the mystery kept me guessing. The ending was exciting, unexpected and just right.
The Wrong Goodbye is the ultimate road trip buddy story if one buddy happens to collect souls, the other buddy is dead, all sorts of odd supernatural stuff is going on, and there's a mystery to solve. A liberal dash of noir, a pinch or two of horror, and some remarkable characters round out this incredibly fun and engaging read.
(It's not necessary to read Dead Harvest to understand The Wrong Goodbye, but you should. It's also a terrific read.)
The Collector 1
Angry Robot (February 28, 2012 US/Canada; March 1, 2012 UK/RoW)
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 384 pages
Meet Sam Thornton. He collects souls.
Sam’s job is to collect the souls of the damned, and ensure they are dispatched to the appropriate destination. But when he’s sent to collect the soul of a young woman he believes to be innocent of the horrific crime that’s doomed her to Hell, he says something no Collector has ever said before.
File Under: Urban Fantasy [ Souled Out | Damned If You Don't | Collector Mania | On The Run ]
My Thoughts (previously published here):
Dead Harvest is a noirish urban fantasy with a surprisingly different and likable main character - Sam Thornton. Sam is a Collector. He's part of the careful balance between Heaven and Hell. He gets his orders and off he goes to collect a damned soul and send it off to Hell. You might say he works for the bad guys, but it's not quite that simple. In Dead Harvest, Sam is assigned the job of collecting the soul of a young woman (Kate) who has brutally murdered her family. It should be an easy job. Find her, collect her soul, go on to next job. Unfortunately for Sam, things are not as they seem. He decides something is not right about this collection and decides to figure out what is going on.
Sam is an amazingly likable character despite what he does. Through a series of well placed flashbacks we learn how Sam became a Collector. He did not have an easy life. 'The road to hell is paved with good intentions' could probably be Sam's motto. Which is not to say that he did everything on the up and up when he was alive. Nonetheless, I was on his side. I wanted him to be right and to figure out what was really going on. I did not want him to have to collect Kate's soul.
In addition to Sam there is a well fleshed out supporting cast. Kate is terrific even though she's not sure what she did or didn't do. She may actually be guilty. In addition we meet some angels, demons, seemingly crazy people, and Sam's remarkably chilling co-worker, The Bishop, who is out to collect Kate's soul because Sam has not.
Dead Harvest does not feel like a debut. Chris F. Holm's writing is assured and the world building is outstanding. The story is fast-paced with several well-done action scenes. The mystery kept me guessing - did she or didn't she and if she didn't what is really going on? I completely enjoyed reading Dead Harvest with its unlikely anti-hero and world painted in shades of gray. The Collector series is on my must buy list.
File Under: Great writing | Excellent World Building | Intriguing Mystery | Terrific Characters
I give Dead Harvest 5 Qwills.
Read The Qwillery's interviews with Chris F. Holm here (March 1, 2012) and here (September 26, 2012).
What: One commenter will win Mass Market Paperback copies of Dead Harvest (The Collector 1) and The Wrong Goodbye (The Collector 2) from Angry Robot!
How: Answer The Qwillery's Question:
Is there a novel cover that you absolutely love and what is it?
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Who and When: The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Wednesday, December 26, 2012. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.
*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*