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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Scythe by MK Mancos

Scythe by MK Mancos
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full (186 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 Books
Reviewed by Water Lily

A hot chick. A golden blade. Dead bodies. It’s enough to make a cop crazy.

Keely Montgomery doesn’t spend much time thinking about death. She’s too busy working toward a Ph.D. in social work—her ticket out of a low-rent apartment in a New Jersey urban center. Until an angelic courier delivers a scroll from the Office of Death and Dismemberment that could take her career down a new path—as one of Heaven’s Holy Assassins.

Her? Become a Scythe? No thanks, not interested. But she underestimates how persistent Heaven can be.

Detective Josiah Adler has seen a lot of weird things during his time on the force. A hot blonde wielding a golden blade, standing over a string of dead bodies? That’s a new one. So is the fact that her grisly deeds leave no blood or marks on the bodies.

The woman’s effect on his libido is another new development. One that leaves him no choice but to nail her before she kills again. And before his heart no longer stands a chance…

I love the premise of this book—God sends an angel to recruit Keely Montgomery to in his “Death and Dismemberment Department” as a Scythe.

Keely is smart, sensitive and caring, but perfectly able to hold her own behind a bar on the seedy side of town. She’s perfect Scythe material except she’s alive. But God is willing to make an exception. Author MK Mancos does a great job of pitting Keely’s desire to help others against the Scythe job description of harvesting souls. The conflict is believable and Keely’s feelings well justified.

Scythe Sampson is assigned as Keely’s supervisor. He looks like death and has the wardrobe to match. He’s impatient, gruff, married to protocol, and neither angelic nor human. I liked him a lot.

Josiah Adler is handsome, hot and a principled by-the-book kind of cop. He watches Keely’s first harvest and, naturally, misinterprets everything. He thinks she’s killing the drunk. And she is, kind of. After all, once the man’s soul is harvested, he’s dead. Then Josiah meets Keely face to face and the conflict begins. Can this sweet, caring woman he’s falling for be a cold hearted killer? He knows she’s not telling him everything, but can he live with her secrets? And what is with the death robe she wears?

Scythe is a twist on the classic story of good versus evil. In this case, it’s good business versus bad business. God, of course, runs the good business. His employees, the Scythes, give good death. The bad business employs Reapers who are more concerned with profit and loss than the fate of the souls harvested. I was tickled by the concept of Heaven as a business with departments.

Scythe is a good book that needed a stronger ending to make it truly great. Instead of giving this book a slam bang finish, MK Mancos set the reader up for book two. I wish she’d done both. Still, Scythe is worth reading and the concept is well worth following to a second book. I’ll be watching for her next installment.