Book Review

Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things #1 – Martina McAtee

“Thus strangely are our souls constructed, and by such slight ligaments are we bound to prosperity or ruin – Mary Shelley, Frankenstein.”



Three Reapers.

Two Worlds.

One Prophecy.

Seventeen-year-old Ember Denning has made an art of isolating herself. She prefers the dead. She spends her days skipping school in old cemeteries and her nights hiding from her alcoholic father at the funeral home where she works. When her own father dies, Ember learns her whole life is a lie.

Mace is a monster, a soulless assassin tasked with a single purpose: follow Ember. He only has two rules. Do not interact with her. Do not to kill her. Simply watch and report. But Mace has never been good at following orders and Ember is a temptation he simply can’t resist.

Whisked away to a small Florida town, Ember must learn to embrace a family she’s never known, a supernatural world she never knew existed and power so vast it just might kill her. All that stands between Ember and destruction is that beautiful dangerous boy from the cemetery. Can she learn to trust him before its too late?


My Review

I’m always looking for a great read and when I stumbled upon Martina McAtee’s Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things, her debut YA novel back in 2015. Just the title alone got me to download the sample pages. And I was hooked from there. I pretty much binged read it, I had to know.

This YA novel has some serious bite to it, I loved it. Martina just leaves you wanting more after each book. This is a book series, called the Dead Things series. This series can lead to binge reading. Just saying. 😊

Well, I was hooked from the very beginning. I mean, I do love me some paranormal, and supernatural stories, with some splashes of romance. Hello, this book has it all; werewolves, reapers, wizards, witches, faeries, demons, demigods. I could go on, I love this stuff.

This book pretty much just flings you into a world of monsters, betrayals, conspiracies and complicated relationships. All happening in a supernatural town in Florida.

So then, the book opens with 17-year-old Ember (November) Denning one of the main characters (yep there are more than one POVs) in this book, applying makeup to a corpse, Ms. Landry. I know right! Well when you make it your life’s mission to isolate yourself from the living, what else can happen but you work in a funeral home and spend most of your time in the cemetery. Not a bad place to spend some of your time actually. I mean serious peace and quiet time (hehe).

“You know, Ms. Landry, you have the best skin I’ve ever seen on a corpse,” Ember Denning told the body lying before her. “I would know; I’m a professional.” She dusted powder across the older woman’s cheeks, Ember’s whisper conspiratorial as she added, “But if you see your sister up there, don’t tell her I said so, since I may have said the same thing last month.”

Anyway, Ember suddenly loses her 1 remaining parent and at 17, she finally goes to the cemetery to pay her respects to her father (they had problems, she was trying to deal with).

So here she is contemplating what to do with herself and not end up in Foster Care and next thing you know she’s suddenly experiencing some weird vibes as in what the hell is happening to my body and why is some drop-dead gorgeous guy staring at me in the cemetery, stalker much. Ha! I leave it here for you to find out.

Ember thinks she’s now all alone in the world, but not so, she quickly learns that she does have other family members of the supernatural variety that is. Gosh! I would like to have family members of the supernatural variety.

Yes! She learns that she is one of those supernatural beings and at first rejects it. But she also now knows that she has a family to fight and protect and must learn to use her newfound powers. Although at first dangerous, she must get a hold of her magic to be of any use to anyone. Because in a supernatural town where it’s not the government that controls what happens to you in the form of punishment, but a group of supernatural beings, there are dangers lurking everywhere.

You’re going to meet a lot of characters in this book that you’ll fall in love with immediately, I sure did. Like Kai and Rhys, OMG, they’re so adorbs, I love them. There’s kickass Kristen, that girl is a badass, their pack leader Isa.

This book is followed by Dark Dreams and Dead Things. The third book in the series is Deranged Angels and Cannibal Hearts and the fourth is Sinister Souls & Dead Things. Don’t you just love the titles, it’s just me isn’t it😊 ah well, what can I say.

Visit Martina McAtee’s website for more on her Dead Things series and more.

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