Reaper by Jonathan Pongratz

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Pages: 96

Series: Reaper, Book 1

Genres: Horror, Novella, Young Adult

Publication date: April 19, 2019


Gregory and his little sister Imogen love spending Halloween with their parents. But this year is special: if he can prove to his parents he can take care of Imogen by himself, he’ll finally have the allowance he’s dreamed of. But that was before the basement door opened on its own. Before the strange door appeared in the basement and the monster too Imogen away from him.

The boogeyman doesn’t exist. That’s what your parents tell you, what they’re supposed to tell you. But now I know better. If you’re reading this now, it may already be too late. I don’t know how far this thing goes, or if there’s even a way out of all this. I don’t expect you to take my word for it, but maybe, just maybe if you pay attention, you won’t make the same mistake that I did. Maybe you can get out before they come for you too.


As I’d hoped, this horror novella was a fantastic way to start out my horror reads for the year. As a novella, this story needs to grip the reader’s attention right away – which it did – and keep it – which it does. The premise itself is interesting and it’s clear that, even given the shitty situation he finds himself in, Gregory is an amazing big brother who’s willing to do anything for his sister. Even when she’s getting on his nerves (like all good little sisters are wont to do). Reapers sound like terrifying monsters, I’m amazed that 13 year old Gregory is able to stand up to them.

The boogeyman is a horrifying concept as child, but can you imagine if they were real?



*Spoilers ahead*

Gregory did more against the Reaper at thirteen years old than I think I’d be able to at twenty-five. I’d probably be more like Trent: pretend you’re confident and put together and freak out when the Reaper appears. For Gregory to be able to jump at and attack the Reaper and then have the wherewithal to run from it after that didn’t work is impressive.

While Trent and Gregory’s plan did not work out well for them, at least they tried something. Both of them were fantastic older brothers by being willing to do whatever it took to avenge their younger siblings. Heck, they risked their lives to try and find justice. If that’s not being a fantastic sibling, what is?

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