Wednesday, December 20, 2017

ARC Review: The Wounded Heart (The Grim Life #2) by K.D. Worth

The Wounded Heart (The Grim Life, #2)
Dating is tough… especially when you’re dead.

Teenage reapers Max and Kody are ready for their afterlife to settle down. But their boss, the mysterious Slade, fears that spirits stuck in limbo have taken an interest in Kody. Which means the spirits’ evil counterparts—the wraiths—can’t be far behind.

Max would be livid if he found out Kody was still checking up on his family, but Kody’s mother and sister are struggling after his death. Though it breaks all the reaper rules and may put him in danger, Kody wants to help them. Unfortunately, the wraiths have found a doorway to the land of the living, bringing death and destruction with them. Max and Kody hope to stop them before anyone gets hurt, but they may not be strong enough.

Through devastating losses, an ominous prophecy, and a new destiny revealed, Max and Kody must find a way to trust and accept each other. Their enemies are powerful, but there’s a single force they cannot stand against—love.

Todd's rating:

I read book 1, "The Grim Life", about 2 1/2 years ago and loved it, so when this next story came out, I immediately knew that it would be a must-read for me.

I loved getting to check in with Max and Kody again, as their relationship and "reaper-ship" continued.

Kody was still as introspective and filled with anxiety as he was when he was human, actually more so, and Max was still a fun-loving smartass, but at times serious.

However, in the first story, I remembered feeling as if a lot more actually happened, both action and event-wise.

In this book, the boys spent an insane amount of time worrying, locked in their own heads, with many, many pages being devoted to what seemed like the same repeating worrisome themes.

Max was constantly jealous about the time that Kody spent alone with Slade, continually worried if Kody was trying to avoid him, always fearing that he wouldn't be strong enough to protect Kody when "the war" began.

And Kody was constantly visiting his family, no longer feeling (as) guilty for being gay, but incorrectly convinced that his sexuality had destroyed his family, and also guilty about the pain that his death had caused them. Yes, the emo-level, teen angst in this story was high. Way high.

So while I did still enjoy the story, there was a large number of pages dedicated to internal dialogue.

In regards to action, there was only one scene where they actually interacted with the bad spirits, which was very gripping, but after all of the time spent warning Kody that he was in danger, I truly wanted more fight scenes, or at least a few close calls, where Max got to use his cool, new reaper abilities to protect the boy he loved.

One of my favorite scenes from the book was the "retreat", courtesy of Max's reaper bestie, Meegan, where the guys, thank God almighty, finally got some alone time, instead of leaving doors open and sleeping in their separate rooms, like they were under someone's Mom's roof. I desperately wanted them cuddling in the same bed every night, even if that meant the door stayed ajar.

Meegan's final gift to Kody was also a very heart-felt gesture, which I adored, but didn't really see coming at all. Well done, Ms. Worth. ;- )

This book ended at a good place, but was definitely the setup for what I expect to be an action-packed third and final (?) installment, a quasi-calm before the impending storm, if you will.

So if you enjoyed "The Grim Life", I'd definitely recommend this one, with the caveat that this story was heavy on internal monologues and a bit light on action.

I'd rate this story at around 3.75 stars, rounding up, because I love both MC's to death (only a slight mortality pun intended, there.)

Note: This is *not* a standalone book, in my opinion.

My ARC copy of the book was provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair, unbiased review.

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