The heart of the tale lies in the complex mother-daughter relationship between Trixie and Death, which proves amusingly relatable amid the fantastical settings. Trixie's unhealed abandonment issues from Death's aloofness and seeming nonchalance bring a human touch to all the crossings of realms, although the exploration of Death's persona here feels somewhat limited, perhaps to be explored more deeply in future stories. "Like, would it kill my mom to make it to my frickin’ birthday dinner?” Trixie asks, her words echoing the struggle for connection. Better late than never, Death bestows upon Trixie a mysterious miniature scythe—as a birthday gift!—and warns her to carry it with her at all times.
What follows is an action-packed comic trip through hellscapes where Trixie must survive on the other side of the vortex, one that tests the power of friendship to will courage in the face of adversity. Although the story could benefit from a more robust exploration of family and friendship dynamics, Paisley prioritizes world-building and adventure written in lively prose and imaginative storytelling, always with elements of surprise and humanity that readers of inventive urban fantasy metaphysics will find alluring.
Takeaway: Death's daughter goes through Hell to save a friend in this amusing debut.
Comparable Titles: Seanan Mcguire’s October Daye series, M. H. Boroson's The Girl with Ghost Eyes.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A
"The mixture of surreal comedy, mythology, and memorable characters makes for a winning combination that will surely have fans eagerly awaiting a sequel...GET IT" Kirkus Reviews