Expect a thriller, and you'll be disappointed....
...But it's still a good one.
Personally I found Death's narration something of a much more sober version of Bartimaeus
. It has that announcer feel (IE: "A LITTLE NOTE....") but much less snark that defined the djinn, because hey it's Death.
While the story itself isn't inherently exciting as Liesel snags yet another book from somewhere on Himmel Street and learns the 'Way-of-the-world' and it's people as created by one man
, the backdrop of the war(Particularly Stalingrad) and the omniscient but personal way Death narrates is. I actually pitied Death when "it" called out the stereotype that it 'enjoys' war when it actually finds the whole act tiresome like an "unreasonable boss". The concept of souls and the whole job of being the Grim Reaper make it humanizing
, which is a nice touch.
I'll flat out admit, as mentioned above the story of Liesel is marked by people dying all around her and at points I had to stop because I'm used to more exciting books such as the aforementioned Bartimaeus trilogy or the Ender Series
. The story seems a bit dry at times because the plots are somewhat episodic and designed to more realism, so it dulls the sense of excitement one might look for in fiction(hence the warning in the title).
It's not without tension though. That air of fear in Liesel's foster family as they wonder if the Nazis are going to sic the Gestapo on them, the subtle pressures of the prolonged war, and the danger that anyone can die
mean that Death can literally be a step away. When it starts to "rain
", the narrative shifts from Liesel to closer to Death itself as it has to get closer and closer to her. The pace of the reading rapidly increases and you wonder if Death is getting so busy around Liesel that before the war is out it'll be her time.
Bottom Line: It's nice food for thought with the unique perspective and I think the book was worth it. Check it out and see if it's your thing.