Book Review: The Death Catchers

The Death Catchers by Jennifer Anne Kogler

Fourteen-year-old Elizabeth (Lizzy) Mortimer sees a disturbing article in the paper describing the death of her best friend. But thankfully, it hasn’t happened yet. Lizzy’s grandmother explains that she is next in a long line of Death Catchers, descended from Morgan le Fay. Lizzy and her grandmother receive death-specters when someone they care about is about to die of unnatural circumstances. Lizzy soon finds herself in the middle of an age-old feud between her ancestor and Morgan’s bitter and evil sister, Vivienne le Mort. Vivienne hopes to bring about the end of the world by making sure that King Arthur’s last descendant dies. And Lizzy is the only one who can stop her.

The story is told in a fun and unique way, as if Lizzy has written this as a school writing project. Lizzy is a loyal girl with a crush on a neighborhood boy who seems a little too good to be true. Lizzy’s grandmother is an eccentric, loveable character who’s overly active despite her frailties. And as she explains, Death Catchers (as Lizzy dubs themselves) can see deaths that can be preventable. But the twist is that they can’t alert the doomed friend without hastening their demise. Lizzy and her grandmother must come up with creative ways of stopping the deaths by learning all they can from the death-specter.

A completely different twist on the Arthurian legend, The Death Catchers, is a fantastic fantasy for readers of all ages. With plenty of mystery, danger, suspense, and magic – the story is fast-paced and completely engaging. There are several twists and some fairly predictable surprises along the way to a climactic ending that had me on the edge of my seat.

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