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A Reader of Fictions: Review + Giveaway: Rogue

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Monday, August 12, 2013

Review + Giveaway: Rogue

Croak, Book 3

Author: Gina Damico
Pages: 384
Publisher: Graphia
Publication Date: September 10, 2013
Read: August 3, 2013
Source: ARC from publisher

Description from Goodreads:
Lex is a teenage Grim Reaper with the power to Damn souls, and it’s getting out of control. She’s a fugitive, on the run from the maniacal new mayor of Croak and the townspeople who want to see her pay the price for her misdeeds. Uncle Mort rounds up the Junior Grims to flee Croak once again, but this time they’re joined by Grotton, the most powerful Grim of all time. Their new mission is clear: Fix his mistakes, or the Afterlife will cease to exist, along with all the souls in it. 

The gang heads for Necropolis, the labyrinth-like capital city of the Grimsphere. There, they discover that the Grimsphere needs a reboot. To do that, the portals to the Afterlife must be destroyed…but even that may not be enough to fix the damage. Things go from bad to worse, and when at last the fate of the Afterlife and all the souls of the Damned hang in the balance, it falls to Lex and her friends to make one final, impossible choice.

Prior Books in Series:
1: Croak
2: Scorch

First Sentence: "Grotton wondered, for a brief moment, if there were a special circle of hell reserved for someone like him, or if Dante would have to cobble together an entirely new one."

This review will be spoiler-free for the series.

Dear blog readers, today I shall exhort you to begin reading Gina Damico's Croak series, assuming you haven't already. If you stop by here often, then you probably know that I'm pretty stingy with my 5 star ratings, giving them out only in cases where a book has made me an emotional mess, sucked me in so much I forget the real world, AND been, from my limited perspective, unimpeachable in quality. Most series go out with more of a whimper than a bang, but, in this case, the finale is the strongest book in the series, which is why I am going to fangirl as hard as I can, and encourage all of you with good senses of humor to read this as soon as possible.

From Croak onward, Gina Damico has excelled at humor and narrative voice. She writes a mixture of black comedy and straight up silliness that I find positively enchanting. The sort of people who enjoy television shows like Dead Like Me and Pushing Daisies simply MUST read this series. Her style has a really unique flair. She chooses really weird terms or phrasing at times, but somehow they're completely perfect for the moment. A good example is her creativity in coming up with swear words. Ordinarily, I find invented swear words in novels irritating, rather than amusing or clever, but Damico's are perfection and likely to enter my actual vocabulary. Here are some examples: "shitballs," "everdeathing," and "douchecrate." While probably not to everyone's tastes, if those make you giggle, it's a sign that Damico's writing is meant for you.

However, there's more than just humor in this series. Though Croak is, so far as my memory can recall, largely a darkly comic fluffy book, with a bit of intensity right at the end, both Scorch and Rogue have far more serious moments. In Scorch, they weren't quite as well balanced and that ended up being my least favorite in the series. By Rogue, Damico's got it down, handling serious moments with proper seriousness, making me want to cry, and then lightening the mood on the next page so that I'm grinning like an idiot. It's a bit of an emotional roller coaster, with much of the comedy being of the sort to help keep them moving in the face of overwhelming odds.

The characters all sparkle with wit, vivacity and uniqueness. I love each and every one of them, basically, though Mort is my special favorite and going on my book boyfriend list. Gina Damico writes banter between characters like no one else. All of the grim reapers in their little group make fun of one another constantly, but there is real love underneath that, so completely evident through it all. Even better, Damico doesn't neglect the supporting cast at all. In fact, by book three, there almost isn't a supporting cast because they're all so important to the plot and accomplishing what must be done. There's an ending for all of the characters you've come to love, whether happy or sad, and it's not just about Lex and Driggs, who I do ship something fierce by the way.

Since I'm not going to delve into any spoilers for the series, I'll keep this high level and relatively brief (for me anyway). The last thing I need to say is that Damico has guts. She steps outside of traditional YA lines and takes big risks. The stakes are high and she kills a lot of characters, with rather a Whedonesque flair. She gets the utmost respect from me for that. The series also abounds with twists, some of which I called and some which totally blindsided me, all combining to make a wholly engrossing and emotional reading experience.

Gina Damico's Croak series is officially ranked among my favorite books ever, and rereads in the future will be essential. As of this writing, Damico has another book deal for a book called Hellhole about a devil, and I'm already wondering who I have to do what to in order to be able to read that ASAP. So, friends, if you have a similar taste in humor, then you want this in your life. Trust me. If you don't trust me, why are you here?

Rating: 5/5

Favorite Quote: "'My undercarriage is a national treasure.'"

Because I love this series so damn much, I'm giving away all of the books or however many you need to complete your collection. Winner's choice as to which books in the series you want, so that you can complete your collection or get it started!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Blogger Heather said...

I saw that you were reading this on GR the other day, and I was super jealous! I'm so glad to hear that this book was just as strong as the others in the series, and I can't wait to read it.

August 12, 2013 at 8:08 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Croak was FANTASTIC and I really have no idea why I haven't picked up Scorch yet. This? Totally makes me want to make it a priority read though. So glad it had an awesome ending.

August 12, 2013 at 11:36 AM  
Blogger Lili said...

Ugh just yes. <3 Yes. Mine goes up later this month!

August 12, 2013 at 11:38 AM  
Blogger Kristin (Book Sniffers Anonymous) said...

I love these books. Can't wait until Rogue comes out. I agree, everyone should read these if they are a fan of YA, reapers and a ton of humor.
Kristin @ Book Sniffers Anonymous

August 12, 2013 at 11:51 AM  
Blogger Jenni said...

GAH! Not reading this, but seeing your and Lily's tweets while you were reading this one has me knowing that I need to start this series SOON! Too bad August and Sept are so ridiculous. Maybe I can find some room...

August 12, 2013 at 12:00 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

I loved the first book and I have the second which I haven't gotten to yet. I really need to though. I am so happy to see that you loved the last book!! It makes me even more excited to read the rest of this series! Fabulous review!

August 12, 2013 at 12:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

YESSSSSS GIMME. This series is so much fun, and I agree with you on it being "Whedon-esque." It's the same mix of humor and absolute ruthlessness towards the characters.

Is it just me, or would this series make such a great TV show?

Also, hee hee, douchecrate.

August 12, 2013 at 2:00 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Actually, it's even STRONGER than the rest of the series, which WOW.

August 12, 2013 at 2:07 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

So excited!

August 12, 2013 at 3:23 PM  
Blogger Christina said...


August 12, 2013 at 4:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Yep, I've noticed that you are VERY stingy with 5 star ratings. I got an ARC of the first one in the series, but never actually read it. Looks like I'm missing out. Big time. I love when authors take risks - I need to get reading!

August 12, 2013 at 4:50 PM  
Blogger Kayla Beck said...

I haven't started this series yet (and I own the first two!), but I will because you were so disgustingly right about A Long, Long Sleep.

August 12, 2013 at 6:21 PM  
Blogger Christina Reads YA said...

Eeeee. I saw you and someone else, I think, tweeting yesterday about the awesomeness that is this series, and I am already feeling it from your review. 5 stars? 5 stars from you? (!!!) I am definitely not a fan of made-up swearing words, but those combinations... My favorite is douchecrate. I hope this means that the humor and the wit between the characters comes off as a product of their history, and not just because they're witty characters, which it seems like are really prevalent in YA. But I trust you and your comparison to Pushing Daisies? That show was the best! The only thing I'd see that you've included that scares me a little is the killing off of characters. I love the risks, but but but what if I start to ship people and they die :O?

August 12, 2013 at 11:34 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Woo! I figured a month early was totally legit!

August 13, 2013 at 8:13 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

It's the humor that's key, I think. Either you'll find it funny or you won't, and if you don't then it would be the worst. However, I think it is the BEST.

August 13, 2013 at 8:15 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

YOU DO, JENNI. If you are my friend, you will do it right MEOW.

August 13, 2013 at 8:24 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

You should definitely catch up, Amy! You will not regret it!

August 13, 2013 at 8:29 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

THIS WOULD BE THE BEST SHOW EVER. I mean, it's so cinematic! And the banter. *sighs*

August 13, 2013 at 8:32 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

That I am. I'm trying to loosen up a little, but I'm not sure if I can. Anyway, this one totally deserved all of those stars!

August 13, 2013 at 8:36 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

YES. Kayla, you will lovers them.

August 13, 2013 at 8:39 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

That someone else would be Lili! I know, right. Gah, this was perfection. Such a good series ending. The lols! The feels! Ummm, well, I think they are just sort of witty, but I'm not sure if I quite understand what you mean by that tbh. Bahaha, I love when characters die. It's epic.

August 13, 2013 at 8:54 AM  
Blogger Kayla Beck said...

I have a feeling that I would. :-)

August 13, 2013 at 11:48 AM  
Blogger Kat Kennedy said...

Give it me.

August 14, 2013 at 12:42 AM  
Blogger Ashley said...

Totally moving this up my list ASAP

August 14, 2013 at 12:47 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Nope, it's mine. And I don't share.

August 14, 2013 at 9:12 AM  
Blogger Christina said...


August 14, 2013 at 9:12 AM  
Blogger Holly Bryan said...

Pushing Daisies....waaahhhhh!!! Why did they take that off the air? WHY?!?! (sniff, sniff) Freaking LOVED that show. Sigh.

I have NOT YET STARTED this series, but I so want to!!! It's quite possible that it was you who got me interested / introduced me to the series last year when book 2 came out, actually...but I still haven't had a chance to get my hands on any of the books to get started. Based on what you've said about them here, I KNOW I would love these books. Thanks for the chance to win!

August 14, 2013 at 10:25 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

My theory? Pushing Daisies was too smart for general audiences.

You most definitely should! I suspect it will amuse you greatly!

August 14, 2013 at 11:00 AM  
Blogger Tricia C. said...

I read Croak and enjoyed it, but I never read Scorch, even though it's sitting in my classroom library. Your review really makes me want to go back and read it so that I can read Rogue.

August 14, 2013 at 10:51 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Then my work here is done!

August 15, 2013 at 9:24 AM  
Blogger Dana said...

I added this to my TBR list when you reviewed the first one. I need to get on with reading one!

August 16, 2013 at 5:35 PM  
Blogger The Insouciant Sophisticate said...

Thanks for the chance to read this-I read the first two books and wasn't sure about the ending for Scorch so I haven't continued with the series yet. Since you say it's the best, I will definitely make it a priority to read before the end of the year.

August 18, 2013 at 9:53 AM  

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