Kingston Raine and the Grim Reaper is a book by author Jackson Lear. It was published in 2014. The story revolves around Kingston, a thief, who manages to escape the afterlife. This book is the first in the Kingston Raine series.
The Grim Reaper is having problems. Not only he’s overworked while trying to manage the Death incorporated, but there are people who are trying to put him out of his position, and install a new regime.
Kingston Raine is a fictional character who ends up in the afterlife. Due to the unusual circumstances, everyone wants to take advantage of this opportunity, but Kingston manages to escape.
How will Death get his control back, and the adventures of Kingston form the bulk of the plot.
First, Death being in charge of a sprawling company and being overworked is hilarious. The fact that Satan gets involved is just icing on the cake, especially since it is implied that he has helped Death in some tight situations before.
Don Keaton is the author of the books in which Kingston stars. He wanted to finish the books at three, but apparently the agent managed to increase that to five, and then seven. But he promised himself that she won’t get another book out of him. He thought of running away. I was reminded of Manga authors in the 60’s, while the editors hounded them. When they managed to escape, the editors looked in the trash for the shredded pencils, as a proof that a Manga author is hiding in the hotel.
Anyway, getting back to the review. Unlike most media, the author takes his sweet time in introducing the main character. we get some really nice setup with Death and the situation in Limbo, after which the author of the Kingston Raine’s story is brought to the afterlife by mistake, then returned to life, and is brought back again, while some seriously dangerous unions are making a powerplay with Death.
During one such powerplay, they search for Kingston, as a proof against Death. But Kingston just stole Death’s scythe, along with his copy of Shakespeare, and ended up in another fictional world. Where he is joined by Little John, (He of the Robin Hood fame,) and I must say, I really enjoyed reading their interaction. Little John has a funny way of seeing the world, which is nicely contrasted by Kingston.
After visiting the Don Quixote, they add another member Catalina into their party, with whom John is besotted with. Then after few more adventures, they go to China, to meet Alladin. Which is not surprising if you know that story’s history. Originally it takes place in China. In my opinion, it is a nice genius bonus from the author.
In chapter XIII, when Satan goes to visit Limbo, he has this list with him:
“The claymore to scare the Germans, the broadsword to scare the French, the katana to scare anyone afraid of the Japanese, the rapier in case I am challenged to a duel, the battle axe to scare the Scandinavians, the machete to scare the South Americans, the scimitar to scare anyone who’s scared of the scimitar, the daggers in case I’m in close quarters, the throwing axes in case there is a crowd, the bolas in case someone is trying to run away … I’m missing something … maybe the nunchucks? No, I have the Japanese angle covered already.”
Maybe he should have an Indian or Chinese sword as well? assuming they do end up in this Limbo.
Let’s talk about the villain. First, I like that the main villain is a female. And she has to be the worst kind of villain. That being rules and regulations, and lawyer related shenanigans. Having said that, the author created a wonderful villain. I hate her, she’s devious (But not too much,) and as a villain, does a perfect job of bringing heat for herself.
To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to make of the plot when I picked up this book. But I never like to read the same old, same old, all the time. so, I give new authors a chance. Sometimes, it pays off, other times it does not.
In this case? I think it paid off 100%. I can freely recommend this book to anyone. It is certain to bring out a laugh or two from them, or they can gush about the friendships and adventures, or the romance. This book has something for everyone.
So, my final conclusion is, heavily recommended.