Review: Dead Harvest (The Collector #1) by Chris F. Holm

Dead Harvest
By Chris F. Holm
300 Pages
Published by Angry Robot
Publication Date: February 28, 2012
Source: Library

From Goodreads:

Meet Sam Thornton. He collects souls.

Sam’s job is to collect the souls of the damned, and ensure they are dispatched to the appropriate destination. But when he’s sent to collect the soul of a young woman he believes to be innocent of the horrific crime that’s doomed her to Hell, he says something no Collector has ever said before.


First, let’s talk about this cover. How awesome is that thing? It’s made to look all retro 1940s noir, which plays into the story. They even made it look kind of old and scuffed up. Awesome.

I love books where the line between the good guys and the bad guys is blurred. Sam is a bad guy in the sense that his soul is damned and he works for hell collecting souls, but he’s also a pretty decent guy at heart. He’s concerned with doing the right thing and when he’s confronted with a situation where he’s assigned to take the soul of an innocent and pure person, he declines to follow through. He risks everything to do what he feels is right and save her life (and consequently, the world). Hence the good bad guy thing. Rooting for the “bad” guy is always fun.

The story reminded me a little of a noir-ish episode of Supernatural, minus the hot brothers. It also gave me a bit of a Terminator 2 vibe, but I don’t want to say why. It wouldn’t be much of a spoiler but I try to avoid even the small ones. And best of all? Not only is there no love triangle/quadrangle/pentangle (?) there’s no romance at all. Hey, look, I like a good romance as much as the next person. But sometimes I just want a book that’s not all angsty and lovey, you know? Dead Harvest is that kind of book.

The story takes place mostly in the present but shows flashes of Sam’s past and how he became a Collector. And no surprise based on the cover, it happened in the 1940s, which is an era that I love. Unfortunately we don’t get much of it, but what there is is cool. It’s really fast paced from cover to cover and I never felt like the action was lagging at all.

There were some nice little twists in the plot and the description of the lower level demons was really well done and pretty terrifying. I’ll definitely be picking up book two in the series.

4/5 Stars

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