3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
Death is the end of all things and nothing can truly appreciate life without death. While they go hand in hand, the reaper is not death. He is simply the agent of death, but he is without empathy or compassion and takes pleasure in his purpose. Now, can anyone effectively rule a kingdom without empathy? Could the reaper rule as a god, without humanity or humility? Remmy Stourac explores this idea in Grim’s Prodigies, the first installment of The Reaper’s Inception series.
Three main powers rule the world of Ohm: God, who is the creator of all things; “Death”, who is the end of all things; and “The Unbound”, who is the agent of free will and corruption. Death, as God’s right hand, has seen the beginning and end of so many worlds that there is only one scenario left untested: Having a physical god rule the land from among the people. The angel of death—termed the “Grim Reaper”—wishes to embody this physical god and rule in his own right; however, he lacks the empathy and compassion of an effective leader. God’s solution is simple: have Grim live and die a mortal life so he can learn humility and rule with love, not fear. How many lives and deaths will it take for Grim to finally understand what it means to be human?
Remmy Stourac explores the mortal life of God’s right hand as he learns that there is more to life than death. Grim is forced into situations where he must fight for his life and the lives of others. Encounters with mythical creatures, new societies, and The Unbound aim to teach him the nuances of humanity. The development of Grim’s character is exceptionally well done as he transitions from the mentality of a god to the vulnerability of a mortal and the difficulties that come with such a drastic change.
Grim’s growth would not have been possible without the help of well-rounded characters that each hold a lesson for Grim. The “Soul Scorpions” taught of blind faith and how hard people will fight for their freedom. King Valen modelled how one can effectively rule a kingdom with love and respect, making wrath and fear unnecessary. Finally, Queen Kitava showed Grim how to love and see the beauty that is all around him. Together, these characters help Grim expand his worldview from the narrow mindedness of an all-powerful god-like being to that of a mortal human who sees the value in all life.
The story was captivating and there were only a few things I believe this book could improve on: the first being the general flow of the writing. There were points where events occurred so quickly or were not set up fluidly that it was hard to follow the author’s train of thought, causing me to have to jump back and forth to understand what was going on. The second is that the first half of the book focuses on 4 children who are foretold to be the ones that teach Grim empathy and love, but Grim does not interact with them personally for the rest of the book. However, I’m really hoping that these children are going to be the focus of future books in this series because their abilities are unique and hold a lot of potential! Finally, this book could benefit from another round of editing to fix some of the spelling and grammatical errors present.
Overall, Grim’s Prodigies is an interesting take on the idea of gods walking the world as mortals and deserves a spot on any science-fiction/fantasy lovers’ shelf. After considering the sometimes-choppy fluidity and numerous errors, I give this book a rating of 3 out of 4 stars. Considering its flaws, I believe this book has amazing potential with a few minor reworkings and another round of thorough editing, but I would definitely recommend it to sci-fi/fantasy readers! That being said, I would not recommend this book for younger readers due to the presence of violence and mention of adult themes.
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon