Monday, November 19, 2012

Audiobook review: Keturah and Lord Death, by Martine Leavitt

Have you ever had those moments where you hate, hate, hated a book, and then you get to the last chapter and it's suddenly awesome? That was my feeling about Keturah and Lord Death. A big part of this was when I read it on audio, the last chapter or so was unintelligible due to static. I was all prepared to write a terrible review, and then I went to the library and found a print copy of this book just so I could at least know how it ended. And that ending? Brilliant.

Anyway, let's start with my initial reaction: As I was listening to this, all I could think was "So the moral of this story is that if you're pretty, vain, and selfish, you can have whatever you want?" The vast majority of this book involves watching Keturah be a special snowflake while simultaneously trying to understand why all the characters are so enraptured by her. Death grants her a temporary reprieve because she's...brave...because she argues with him? Are you really expecting me to believe that Keturah is the only person who has ever argued with Death? I mean, for Christ sakes, if you're about to die why wouldn't you argue? It's not like you have anything to lose! But anyway, then she has to go home and save her town from the Plague and fall in love so that Death won't marry her. But then other people are dying, so every time someone needs to be saved, she goes back to Death and promises that if he saves just one more person, that she will marry him--unless of course she falls in love first. And the way she keeps putting off her death are ridiculous: she pulls a Scheherezade (telling part of a story every night so that he can't take her until he finds out how it ends). Because, apparently, Keturah is known for being such a good storyteller. Except that her story isn't exactly a story, but more of an underwhelming diary. And you can feel Death losing his patience, but he loves Keturah so much, because she's so brave and so pretty, that he just about gives her whatever she wants--and if you're anything like me, you're probably starting to smell an unhealthy relationship. You know this girl's a selfish bitch when all you want to do is give Death a hug and tell him he can do better.

So by the end of the story, it becomes fully obvious that Keturah's going to get everything she wants. Everyone is saved, she's going to win the pie competition and marry the handsome young lord, and even her friends get to fall in love. And Death is going to have to shirk back to his lair, having been completely taken advantage of by this random village girl. And then--bam! I don't want to spoil the ending, but let's just say that Keturah completely proved me wrong.

So do I recommend this book? Fuck, I have no idea. If you like something with a fairy tale feel and a small bit of introspection, then Keturah and Lord Death would probably be up your alley.


End of the Year Review Checklist:

Keturah and Lord Death (audio)
The Sound of Blue (New Adult)
Shadow and Bone
Blame It on Paris (New Adult) (DNF)
A Game of Thrones
The Spirit Thief

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