The Reapers are the Angels by Alden Bell
A Recommended Book of the Month
The Reapers are the Angels is the highly impressive debut novel of high-school English teacher Alden Bell. It is a haunting and beautifully written vision of fractured humanity that may soon be regarded as a classic within its genre.
Older than her years and completely alone, Temple is trying to live one day at a time in a post-apocalyptic world, where the undead roam endlessly, and the remnants of mankind seem, at times, to retain little humanity themselves.
This is the world she was born into. Temple has known nothing else. Her journey takes her to far-flung places, to people struggling to maintain some semblance of civilization - and to those who have created a new world order.
When she comes across the helpless Maury, she attempts to set one thing right. If she can just get him back to his family in Texas then maybe it will bring redemption for some of the terrible things she's done in her past. Because Temple has had to fight to survive, has done things that she's not proud of and, along the road, she's made enemies.
And one vengeful man is determined that, in a world gone mad, killing her is the one thing that makes sense...
It is difficult knowing what to expect from The Reapers are the Angels. The book’s title is vague, the back cover features an extract rather than the customary blurb. For many, reading the first few pages will be a step into the unknown. It is, however, a step that will result in the reader falling instantly under the spell of a very talented author as he weaves a harrowing, yet moving story.
Alden Bell’s characters are vivid and detailed with both major and minor players benefiting from a pleasant and deserved amount of attention. The narrative, as powerful and eloquent as has been seen in this genre for some time, is stark and commanding with never a word wasted. The reader will find themselves completely immersed within the post-apocalyptic world of the author’s creation which is, despite being plagued by the undead, still vibrant and alive with nature and beauty.
"The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;
The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.
As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of the world."
The Reapers are the Angles: Chapter 11
One of the book’s many strengths is that one never knows, at any time, what to expect.
Alden Bell’s The Reapers are the Angels breathes new life back into the post-apocalyptic zombie novel. An oddly beautiful tale (considering the subject matter), featuring an hypnotic narrative and near perfect ending. Very highly recommended.
If you have read and enjoyed The Reapers are the Angles, these titles have similarities and are also recommended: Swan Song by Robert McCammon, The Stand by Stephen King, The Road by Cormac McCarthy and I am Legend by Robert Matheson.
The Reapers are the Angels by Alden Bell
Hardcover: 302 pages
Publisher: Tor (3 Sep 2010)
Alden Bell lives in New York with his wife, an Edgar-award-winning novelist. For the past nine years he has taught high school English at an Upper East Side prep school. Since 2002, he has also taught literature and cultural studies courses as an adjunct professor at the New School. He graduated from Berkeley with a degree in English and a minor in creative writing. In 2000, he received his Master’s and Ph.D. in English at New York University, specializing in twentieth-century American and British literature.
This The Reapers are the Angels book review was written by Floresiensis
Have you read The Reapers are the Angels?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
The Reapers are the Angels reader reviews
Ethan from America
It is a beautiful book that tells all the insides and outsides of life and it is in a zombie apocalypse which makes the book even better.
Zoe from England
I found this novel thoroughly enjoyable. At first, I was sceptical about the reading, as the narrative is so unique, but after a while, I found myself truly immersed in this beautiful novel. The storyline was truly breathtaking, and it did make me truly consider what would happen to the world if anything like this ever happened. The characters were believable, and Temple seemed so much older than she actually is (which is, of course, how it's supposed to be) - it made one realise that an event like this would truly age people. One criticism I have is the interesting punctuation and grammar. At some points, the sentences were a little disjointed, but it made for a more personal touch to the trauma that the speaker is suffering from. I found the lack of speech marks in my copy (I don't know whether this is universal or not) a little confusing at times, particularly when there were multiple people talking. Other than those small criticisms, I found this novel thoroughly enjoyable and recommend it for anyone who enjoys reading post-apocalyptic fantasy.(Lovely review Zoe. The lack of speech marks threw me at first and I mentioned it to the author. He said it was commonly found in Southern Gothic books. Cormac McCarthy's The Road is written without speech marks - now there's a book I would recommend! Thanks, Lee @ Fantasy Book Review.)
9.1/10 from 3 reviews
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
A father and his young son walk alone through burned America, heading slowly for the coast. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. They have nothi...
Hidden away in the Record Department of the sprawling Ministry of Truth, Winston Smith skilfully rewrites the past to suit the needs of the Party. Yet he inwardly rebels ag...
The year is 2033. The world has been reduced to rubble. Humanity is nearly extinct. The half-destroyed cities have become uninhabitable through radiation. Beyond their boun...
Oryx and Crake
Snowman may be the last man on earth, the only survivor of an unnamed apocalypse. Once he was Jimmy, a member of a scientific elite; now he lives in bitter isolation and lo...
Facing down an unprecedented malevolent enemy, the government responds with a nuclear attack. America as it was is gone forever, and now every citizen – from the Pres...
The Last Man Standing
Italy is on the brink of collapse. Borders are closed, banks withhold money, the postal service stalls. Armed gangs of drug-fuelled youths roam the countryside. Leonardo wa...
The Drowned World
Fluctuations in solar radiation have melted the ice caps, sending the planet into a new Triassic Age of unendurable heat. London is a swamp; lush tropical vegetation grows ...
Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse
John Joseph Adams
Famine, death, war, pestilence. These are said to be the harbingers of the biblical apocalypse-Armageddon. The End of the World. Whether by nuclear warfare, a biological di...
The Crystal World
Through a ‘leaking’ of time, the West African jungle starts to crystallize. Trees metamorphose into enormous jewels. Crocodiles encased in second glittering ski...
Emily St John Mandel
What was lost in the collapse: almost everything, almost everyone, but there is still such beauty. One snowy night in Toronto famous actor Arthur Leander dies on stage whil...
An illness spreads through an unnamed city. It has only one symptom: blindness. It comes without fanfare, pain, or warning. One moment a man waits in his car at the traffic...
Legends of the Red Sun
Mark Charan Newton
An ice age strikes a chain of islands, and thousands come to seek sanctuary at the gates of Villjamur. It’s a city of ancient spires and bridges, a place where banshe...
The Return Man
The outbreak tore the USA in two. The east remains a safe haven. The west has become a ravaged wilderness. They call it the Evacuated States. It is here that Henry Marco ma...
A modern Britain. An age-old cruelty. Britain's magically skilled aristocracy compels all commoners to serve them for ten years - and now it's the Hadleys' turn...
First came the days of the plague. Then came the dreams. Dark dreams that warned of the coming of the dark man. The apostate of death, his worn-down boot heels tramping the...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages:
Best of 2016
What are Strungballs? Ten-year-old Sydney is about to find out... but first he must have a cube of his flesh removed. Sydney will transgress everything he was taught to believ...
Books of the Month
A selection of books - old and new alike - that were a joy to read.
Edinburgh, 1874. On the coldest night the world has ever seen, Little Jack is born with a frozen heart and immediately undergoes a life-saving operation. But Dr Madeleine is no conventional medic and surgically implants a cuckoo-clock into his chest. Little Jack grows up different to other children: every day begins with a daily wind-up. At scho...
The republic faces annihilation, despite the vigilance of Galharrow's Blackwings. When a raven tattoo rips itself from his arm to deliver a desperate message, Galharrow...
A Tale of Time City
Diana Wynne Jones
When Vivian is evacuated from London in 1939, she expects to be staying in the countryside. Instead, she is whisked away to Time City – a place that exists outside ti...
The Guns of Empire
As the roar of the guns subsides and the smoke of battle clears, the country of Vordan is offered a fragile peace... After their shattering defeats at the hands of brillian...
At the Convent of Sweet Mercy young girls are raised to be killers. In a few the old bloods show, gifting talents rarely seen since the tribes beached their ships on Abeth....
Events are coming to a climax in the Banished Lands, as the war reaches new heights. King Nathair has taken control of the fortress at Drassil and three of the Seven Treasu...
For Kivrin Engle, preparing an on-site study of one of the deadliest eras in humanity's history was as simple as receiving inoculations against the diseases of the four...