Cat’s Claw (Amber Benson)

Cat’s Claw is the second novel in the Calliope Reaper-Jones Series by Amber Benson. [Here’s my review of Death’s Daughter, the first novel.]

Calliope Reaper-Jones has begun to accept that her father is, in fact, Death and that it might be a good idea to learn to handle her magic, when Cerberus, hell’s guard dog, calls in a favor she owes him: Callie has to retrieve the soul of one Senenmut, Egyptian architect. To do that, Callie has to get his death record. Accompanied by Jarvis the faun, she heads to the Hall of Records where she not only meets the spirit of the guy she briefly melted auras with and hasn’t been able to stop thinking about since and Bast, her father’s feline spirit guide. Quickly, Callie realizes that things might be a tad more complicated than just collecting a soul.

I liked Death’s Daughter so little, I can’t explain why I read Cat’s Claw. So when I say that I liked Cat’s Claw better than the first book in the series, don’t take that to mean that I liked it a whole lot.


[SPOILERS for the first book]

Honestly, I have no idea why I continued to read the series, since Benson is not a great writer and Callie is the most annoying character ever. This is still true for Cat’s Claw. I suspect that I only finished the book because it became the designated bathroom book and reading a page or two every day was a bearable amount.

Though, admittedly, Callie achieves a bit of character development that makes her more bearable. Trouble is, this only made possible by completely ignoring everything that happened in the first book, except for Runt, Cerberus’ daughter that came to live with Callie’s family, and Daniel, Callie’s love interest. There is no emotional fall-out whatsoever from the fact that her sister tried to annihilate the entire family. In fact, they hardly mention her. There are also no effects on Callie’s father, as far as the reader can tell since he is barely mentioned either.

But that the book doesn’t deal with the events of the first book is not the biggest issue here, since it barely deals with the events of this book, either. There are plot holes galore and very little makes sense. But there is plenty of time for Callie to describe what she’s wearing and how her various outfits get ruined.

So, no – I can’t say that I like Callie any better now, nor can I say that Benson’s writing has improved much. But inexplicably, I’m still reading the series – I actually already started with the third book.

Summarizing: It seems these books are perfect bathroom literature, but nothing else.

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