Book Review: Kim Harrison’s Something Deadly This Way Comes

Posted August 28, 2011 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews, Young Adult readers

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Kim Harrison’s Something Deadly This Way Comes

Something Deadly This Way Comes


Kim Harrison

urban fantasy that was published by HarperCollins on May 24, 2011 and has 245 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Dates from Hell, Pale Demon, Unbound, The Good, the Bad, and the Undead, Every Which Way But Dead, A Fistful of Charms, For a Few Demons More, The Outlaw Demon Wails, White Witch, Black Curse, Black Magic Sanction, A Perfect Blood, "Pet Shop Boys", "Trouble on Reserve", Into the Woods, Holidays are Hell, Ever After, The Drafter, "Waylaid", The Operator, The Turn: The Hollows Begins with Death

Third in the Madison Avery urban fantasy young adult series about Madison herself as the Dark Timekeeper aching to change the status quo — save the person whose soul is in danger instead of simply killing them.

My Take

OK, I was not impressed; mostly a lot of sturm und drang. The basic plot is interesting, but this particular installment in the series is very skippable. Oh, I can’t really say that as it does advance the basic plot, and you’ll want to know this for when #4 comes out…I do hope Harrison improves her writing though…

At one point, Madison is in the police station waiting for hours for rescue when she decides to go hunting for her real body (she’s been told it’s in stasis somewhere). She almost manages to slip into it when Barnabas shows up to rescue her, and she gets all pissy and holds up the rescue, whining about almost retrieving her body. Well…she knows where it is, she can go back and get it!! Instead she whines on and on…oh lord, save me!

Then she whines on…and on, about “oh dear, whatever will I do” about taking back her body and becoming alive again. Well, duh, she already knows that previous Timekeepers were alive. She also yammers on and on about how the angels told her she had a choice. I don’t know if this is page filler or no one was paying attention, but it’s all this idiotic whining that has reduced this to a “2” for me.

My big question? How ever does Madison have the time to spend on saving one person? What happens to all the others who are on the brink?

The Story

Being dead, Madison has no need for food or sleep, although she still attends high school, has a boyfriend, an after-school job, and, oh yeah, she reaps the souls of those who are at risk.

Not happy with killing someone without giving them the opportunity to change their direction, Madison is keen to effect a change for the individual as well as the Reapers and Something Deadly This Way Comes revolves around convincing Tammy, the current target for the Dark Reapers, that she has worth.

The Characters

Seventeen-year-old Madison Avery became the Dark Timekeeper when Kairos, the former Timekeeper, tried to kill her and was killed instead. Technically dead, Madison was given an amulet that provides her with an aura that keeps the black wings from feasting on her soul. Now she’s in charge of all the Dark Reapers who collect those souls that Madison sees as being in danger of being lost.

This is the best explanation I’ve come across for the difference between Light and Dark Reapers…although it doesn’t do much for explaining the names…

I finally understand the role of Timekeeper. The position must be filled by a human as s/he understands Time while the angels don’t grasp “what was now, what was then, and what was to be”.

The Dark Reapers scythe immediately to save a soul; life is not important, the soul is.

The Light Reapers (the bad guys!??; then why name them the Light??) save the lives of those targeted by the Dark Reapers at the expense of the person’s soul.

She does have help along the way from Josh, Nakita, Barnabas, and Grace. An odd mix of living, human boyfriend; Dark Reaper and falling-from Light Reaper both converted to Madison’s idea, and her personal angel.

Ron is the Light Timekeeper and eager to do anything he can to discredit Madison. Poor Ron has no idea how Madison is subverting his assistant.

The Cover and Title

Well, it is a pretty white-blonde girl on the cover with her pointed chin, cherry lips, and kohl-rimmed eyes. I do like the faint tracery of angel wings at the bottom. As for the title, Something Deadly This Way Comes, um, er, ummm, well, it’s a stretch…