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Mandafofanda Reads Lots

The world isn't just the way it is. It is how we understand it, no?

And in understanding something, we bring something to it, no?
Doesn't that make life a story?

- Yann Martel, Life of Pi

The Reapers Are the Angels - Alden Bell Having read this for the second time now, I think that if I were to have a favourite-book-ever-that-I-love-deep-down-to-its-core, it's this one.


[b:The Reapers Are the Angels|8051458|The Reapers Are the Angels (Reapers, #1)|Alden Bell|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1317066698s/8051458.jpg|12707063] is a book that you need to be in a certain frame of mind to read and enjoy. Though there are are a number of fight scenes, it's not an action book. Though some of the things that people say or do will amuse, it's not a humourous book. Except for the small uncovering of Temple's past that haunts her, it's not a mystery. There's no romance, except in the descriptions of desolate landscapes, lit-up schools of fish, and an appreciation for the power of the Niagara Falls.

Temple is a character that faces death as deserved and inevitable, though this wars with her indomitable compulsion to survive. She's rough and illiterate, though also intelligent and questioning. The novel is slow, it's contemplative, it's hopeless, it's grim. It follows Temple's journey across the American landscape as she travels for the sake of travelling and survival more than to reach any sort of destination. In fact, she quickly becomes uncomfortable in any sort of static environment, whether it be in a place or with a person.

I'm actually quite surprised at how much I liked this book. There's something about the character and her journey that compelled me to want to keep learning more of her story, though I was constantly afraid of a tragic end that seems inevitable for a character that is unable or unwilling to find any kind of happiness or salvation.

As for my thoughts on Moses: I actually really liked his character. To me, he was Temple's soulmate, of a sort. Not in a way as they would've ever gotten together and been a family, or even in a way as they would've ever been travel companions - both were people that were ever truly comfortable on their own, though they ended up lumped together with someone that they felt compelled to protect (Maury for Temple, and Millie for Moses). But they understood each other, and I feel that both appreciated the fact that the other provided them with a purpose - to keep moving, to keep going and to keep surviving. I think that this is the only reason Moses pursued Temple to begin with. Their connection isn't romantic or lustful, but based on a deeper understanding and comfort in knowing that the other is there - making the ending truly tragic.

This is definitely a book that will stick in my head for a while.