Title: Elijah Dart: Angel of Death
Author: Jonathan L. Ferrara
Illustrator: Aaron Ferrara
Date Added: November 2, 2015
Date Started: June 19, 2017
Date DNF: June 28, 2017
Reading Duration: 9 days
Percentage Read: 58%
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal/Supernatural, LGBTQ, Mid-Grade
Before his fourteenth birthday, ordinary Elijah Dart would have never gone snooping around in a graveyard, joined an old ghost for tea, or battled Hellhounds with a scythe. If only he hadn’t followed the Reapers through the graveyard on All Hallows Eve, he would have never been in training to take his father’s place as the next Angel of Death.
This novel is by the author of The Ghost of Buxton Manor, and it contains the same sweet charm. It’s an earlier work, and there are some editing issues in terms of grammar, punctuation, and a few sentence structure foibles.
The story is cute. Elijah is kind of a precious, cinnamon bun, so there’s an adorable incongruence with him being the new Grim Reaper/Angel of Death, which is the role he’ll eventually take over from his father in a sort of morbid passing down of the family business. The Darts have their own personal cemetery (not suspicious AT ALL), and a groundskeeper/butler who reminds me of Dampé from Ocarina of Time. Elijah stumbles upon a reaper reunion (which I’m pretty sure I could make into a triple entendre if I thought about it hard enough) in said graveyard prior to finding this out on his birthday, which also happens to be Halloween. Things escalate or rather descend from there.
I will usually finish a book if I’ve read more than half of it, but I decided I’d set this one aside today even though I was slightly over that threshold. I adore Mr. Ferrera’s whimsical writing style, but it was a little too heavy handed in the religious aspect for me. I prefer my angels of death to reap more and proselytize less. I was also a little put off by the “magic is evil” motif. I’d recommend it to the mid-grade crowd with the hope they’d have the curiosity to question the magic issue and whomever they asked had the wherewithal to quell such notions. We are living in the post Harry Potter age now, so I’m far less concerned.
I normally don’t rate DNF books, because I don’t want to give a bad rating to something that just may not be my cup of tea. If I have major issues with the work and/or didn’t finish it because I didn’t like it for a legitimate reason, I will give it the appropriate rating (see my review of City of Bones). Since I think this is a good mid-grade novel that I’d recommend to the appropriate demographic, I feel comfortable giving it a rating.