Okay, so I know what some of you might be thinking. "Bryan Davis wrote a book about ghosts? What?!" First of all, it's never what you expect. Reapers is very different from Davis's other works (as those familiar with Dragons In Our Midst Or DIOM will know). It's hard to find a way to exactly describe Reapers. For those into the said "Christian Fantasy" genre, this book will definitely carry symbolic spiritual undertones, but it's not a book that is the stereotyped "Christian" fantasy. Readers of all sorts will find this story interesting.
I gave this book five stars because (in some ways) I've actually enjoyed this far more than any of Davis's previous books. It's much darker, grittier, and heavier than his lighter reads like DIOM. Yes, it's dark, but not gory, crude, or vulgar. Due to the amount of death and intensity of certain moments, I wouldn't recommend this for younger audiences. I would say fifteen is the average age of most of Davis's readers, but there are always much younger and older audiences, so Reader, please use your judgement, especially if you're buying this book for a young kid.
Okay, so now the plot: Without giving away any spoilers, the main story revolves around Phoenix, a teenage Reaper (someone who collects souls at the moment of death) and his Reaper friends Shanghai and Singapore. In this dystopian urban setting, a mysterious council type of government forces people with a special birthmark to enlist as soul reapers. It is a cruel government that doesn't just record deaths, they enforce them. Meaning harsh punishment, work camps, and even death for people caught smuggling medicine or rebelling against the system. Phoenix is a likable character who struggles with his duties, knowing that the government he works for is cruel, but seeing no way to resist and survive. His only option seems to be to finish as a reaper and make it back alive to his loved ones. Then, enter Singapore. She brings up questions about the Gateway (the mysterious place souls are said to be deposited) and involves Shanghai (an old comrade of Phoenix's) and Phoenix himself into an intriguing battle that forces Phoenix to place everything on the line.
As far as pros and cons go, I can't really think of anything I disliked about Reapers. I honestly loved and thoroughly enjoyed this story with it's climatic cliff-hanger ending. Unlike Davis's previous works where the writing can feel very prosy (especially with the dialogue) Reapers was much lighter on the prose. Don't get me wrong. Mr. Davis is a fantastic author, but I think that with Reapers, the fact that he used less prose and made the dialogue a little more down-to-earth really suited the style of this story and the world it takes place in. If there could be one con, I guess it could be the first person viewpoint. I personally liked Davis's first person viewpoint in Reapers (and I usually enjoy third person more) but I know there are some readers that don't particularly care for first person viewpoints.
If this were made into a movie, it would be a medium-heavy pg-13. I loved that about Reapers because the intensity and the dystopian world felt so real. It wasn't glazed over with rose-tinted views the way some authors are prone to write, and it wasn't so depressing and gory the way those on the opposite end of the spectrum are. I say read this book. Even if you've never read any of Davis's other works, read this one. It's absolutely worth every penny!
Link to review - http://www.amazon.com/review/R1WI1NAW21AXD4/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm
Order Reapers directly from me at this link - http://www.daviscrossing.com/ReapersOrder.html