Chat Between Chapters: Death in books

January 17, 2016 Chat Between Chapters, Featured Posts 19


 Quite a few books deal with death of characters and some books have death as the main plot line. Let’s chat about some of these.

Julie Review Avatar Julie:

So literally, I’ve read a few books that featured the Grim Reaper, which is quite fun, and some books that have an Angel of Death character. I think these are awesome, and examples of course are the Charley Davidson series (which I love), the YA series by the same author, Darklight, and a humor paranormal A Dirty Job. But there are also books that have death or dying characters as the main conflict. The Fault in Our Stars, for example. What are some others that have death as a major player?



There have been a lot of celebrity deaths this week. I think Julie picked a very timely topic.

Even the books I’ve read so far this month (3 for 3) have had at least one death. I think the death of a character in a book can be poignant (not to spoil it, but Dobby’s death left me an emotional wreck) or funny (funny circumstances, death is never funny in and of itself) or many other emotions. It’s the job of the author to draw in the reader to empathize or even sympathize with the death of a character.

As for Death as a character, there are two I can think of. The Discworld books by Terry Pratchett where Death is a main character. One who even subs for Santa at one point. Then, there is Death in the Sandman graphic novels by Neil Gaiman. Ok, true, I didn’t make it through all of these books. But still, I know that Death is a girl!

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19 Responses to “Chat Between Chapters: Death in books”

  1. Daniela Ark

    Sarah Fine has many books about the afterlife and many of her characters are well… dead 🙂 I liked Marked very much which is about the Ferries, people in charge to carry souls to the afterlife. One of my very few 5 stars reviews! I also recently finish Sanctum which is about the place in the after life where suicidal people go. Very dark and gothic. I liked it! Review coming soon.

  2. Brita Long

    The Hunger Games trilogy comes to mind. While death is not a literal character, killing or being killed is the basic premise of the first novel, plus still pretty major in the subsequent novels.

    What I found interesting about the deaths of characters in the trilogy is how I didn’t have a reaction to some deaths, but I cried at others. Senseless violence happens left and right, but I didn’t end up completely numb to it.
    Brita Long recently posted…My First Whole30: Week 3 Recap

    • Julie

      Very true – death is an important plot line of the HG series – and I like how you added that some deaths were more powerful and emotional than others. Over the course of trilogies or series we do get attached to some characters and it can be diffiult to read about their deaths.

  3. Bookworm Brandee

    Death can play a pertinent part in stories…I just finished a book and am currently reading a book where death had a major impact on the MC, even though we weren’t witness to the death. When I actually witness the death, it can pack quite an emotional punch. But I also happen to love stories where there are grim reapers and such…Tod in the Soul Screamers series is a fav of mine. 😀
    Bookworm Brandee recently posted…New Release Reviews ~ Find Me, Remember Me, Keep Me ~ Michelle Mankin

  4. Melanie Simmons @mlsimmons

    I’m trying hard to think of a book where there was a book where Death was a character. Charley Davidson as the Grim Reaper is only one that I can think of. I’ve read several books where the death of a character is very powerful. But not many books about death specifically. Great topic. I would be interested in more books with an angel of death or something of the sort.
    Melanie Simmons @mlsimmons recently posted…Fangs for the Memories Audiobook by Molly Harper (REVIEW)

  5. Ramona

    Before I Die by Jenny Downham is a book about death. It’s a powerful story and I loved reading it, but I’m not sure if I’ll ever do it again. Sometimes, these story drain the life out of you… Another wonder idea for a post – really well done!
    Ramona recently posted…Farewell, David Bowie And Alan Rickman

    • Julie

      Oh yes, books that drain you like that are definitely not re-reads. I haven’t heard of it, but it sounds very powerful.

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