#Review : School of Deaths by Christopher Mannino

School of Deaths Book Cover School of Deaths
The Scythe Wielder's Secret, #1
Christopher Mannino
Fantasy & Paranormal
Muse It Up Publishing
May 2nd, 2014

Thrust into a world of men, can a timid girl find bravery as the first female Death?

Thirteen-year-old Suzie Sarnio always believed the Grim Reaper was a fairy tale image of a skeleton with a scythe. Now, forced to enter the College of Deaths, she finds herself training to bring souls from the Living World to the Hereafter. The task is demanding enough, but as the only female in the all-male College, she quickly becomes a target. Attacked by both classmates and strangers, Suzie is alone in a world where even her teachers want her to fail.

Scythes hungry for souls, Deaths who subjugate a race of mysterious magicians, and echoes of an ancient war with Dragons.

As her year progresses, Suzie suspects her presence isn't an accident. She uncovers a plot to overthrow the World of Deaths. Now she must also discover the reason she's been brought there: the first female Death in a million years.

My Thoughts

I really really enjoyed this book! It was quite reminiscent of Harry Potter and i really enjoyed that. I must say though, this book was quite unique as well. I tried and failed reading Harry Potter, I’m not sure if it was the storyline or the writing though. I really loved the world building and fantasy aspects, but i lost interesting in it pretty fast. This book was the opposite. I felt this book actually had a storyline. Harry Potter only seemed to introduce and describe the world…but lacked in actually presenting a purpose for being there. School of Deaths did a better job in that department in my opinion.

Another thing this author does great is descriptive writing. The plot brings us into the world of deaths and the colleges of deaths. The author does a superb job at describing these locations in multisensory ways. There were some really good lines regarding visuals, tastes, temperatures and even smells. I really like when authors get this detailed about the character’s surroundings. The campus sounded really creavite and a bit unexpected.

The characters in this book were written excellent and were very relate-able. I really liked Susie. She started off as someone who was just kind of sad and confused. Through the course of the book, she really grew and became stronger. Her friends and enemies were written great too. In the beginning i didn’t realize how much the book focused on bullying. I haven’t ever been bullied myself (or atleast i’ve never cared enough to pay attention), so i couldn’t relate directly to that, but i can imagine it would be awkward and hard.

My favorite aspect of the story is the mystery parts. I liked learning more about the other female death from the past. I did sorta figure out the mystery early, but i have extra sharp deduction skills… It was still a great plot and i enjoyed it immensely.

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    Christopher Mannino

    Christopher Mannino’s life is best described as an unending creative outlet. He teaches high school theatre in Greenbelt, Maryland. In addition to his daily drama classes, he runs several after-school performance and production drama groups. He spends his summers writing and singing. Mannino holds a Master of Arts in Theatre Education from Catholic University, and has studied mythology and literature both in America and at Oxford University. His work with young people helped inspire him to write young adult fantasy, although it was his love of reading that truly brought his writing to life.

    Christopher’s debut novel School of Deaths (The Scythe Wielder’s Secret, Book 1) was published in May 2014 by MuseItUp Publishing. The second book in the trilogy, Sword of Deaths (The Scythe Wielder’s Secret, Book 2), was published in August 2015. The third book Daughter of Deaths is expected to be released in 2016. His series has received rave reviews and been compared to Harry Potter and The Hunger Games.

    Christopher’s wife Rachel Mannino is also an author. She writes romance books. To learn more, go to

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