Birthright by Jessica Ruddick



Author: Jessica Ruddick

Published on: 20 March 2017

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Supernatural

Pages: 249

Format: E-book

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How do you live with yourself when you decide who dies?

Ava Parks would have killed for an iPod for her sixteenth birthday. Anything would have been better than coming into her birthright of being a seeker for the Grim Reaper, an arrangement made by her fallen angel ancestor in exchange for his re-admittance to heaven. And she isn’t just any seeker—she finds souls that have the potential for becoming angels and sentences them to death. A year and two souls into her role as a seeker with her conscience overflowing with guilt, Ava comes up with a plan to thwart the system. When it goes awry, she is forced to submit the name of a classmate, Cole Fowler, an ornery, rough around the edges guy who always seems to come to her rescue, whether she likes it or not. Her feelings for Cole prompt her to intervene, and she saves him from death, upsetting the Grim Reaper’s agenda.

While Ava schemes to find a way to save Cole, she learns he has some secrets of his own. She lets him believe he is protecting her, and not the other way around, until a final showdown with the Grim Reaper forces Ava to make choices Cole may never forgive.

This novel feels to be more of a contemporary novel with supernatural elements infused into it to make the plot more interesting. When we put aside the grim reapers, seekers, and angels, the novel focuses heavily on Ava’s life, how she deals with her problems and her relationship with Cole. I love to read about the different auras that different people have and how the colours in a person’s aura depict their personality and traits. It is a pretty useful skill to have, being able to see auras, but it can also be annoying at times.

I love the chemistry between Ava and Cole. Even though Cole is a down-to-earth person, there is actually a fun and cheeky side to him that only appears when Ava is around him. Ava is an introvert but when she is with Cole, he brings out the stubborn side in her. It was really entertaining and fun to read about both of their daily interactions. Sometimes, I get frustrated over how stubborn and stuck up Ava is behaving while during other instances, I am amused at Cole’s playful and cheeky behaviour.


Xavier is an ass! I hate him so much that I hope I can strangle him with my bare hands. He pretended to be a ‘nice and caring’ uncle when Ava was a kid and revealed his true colours when she was of age to be a seeker. He even tortured Ava when she didn’t give him a name initially. When he found out that torturing her was useless, he started torturing her mother just to get a name out of Ava. What was so important about submitting a name that he had to resort to torture? Glory? Fame? To save his own ass? I was actually really happy when Ava submitted a condemned soul and that resulted in Xavier having to receive punishment from the grim reapers. Ha! Serves him right! (I’m such a sadist… >_>)

There are unanswered questions that have been bothering me after reading the novel. Why would Xavier torture Ava to get the name of a person with a white aura? Why was he in such a hurry to submit a name? Could it be that he gained powers from submitting a name every time? What was the reason for killing a person which have the potential of being an angel? Why not just let the person die from old age? They will still be able to become an angel wouldn’t they? So many questions and yet, no answers to them. I feel like I am left hanging at the end of the novel. 😦

Finally, I would like to thank NetGalley and the author, Jessica, for accepting my request to review an advance copy of this novel. 🙂

Written by: Joanne

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