Book Review: Grim by Anna Waggener

Anna Waggener
Scholastic Press, June 2012
ISBN 978-0-545-38480-3

I have read books depicting heaven and I have read books alluding to depictions of hell.  I had never read a book written about Limbo…….until now.

Grim presents Limbo as a kingdom.  The current ruler wishes to relinquish the throne; however, his six sons are completely absorbed in their own spat, ignoring the king and his desires.  Through no fault of his own, the youngest son risks exile from his father’s predecessor; but that is only a small problem, as his main concern is eluding the brother that means to erase his existence.

Meanwhile, back on Earth proper, a harried, over-worked and exhausted single-mom of three, makes a fateful stop for caffeine.  Alert, Erika mentally prepares to finish the drive home through the dark, damp night.  A head-on collision immediately changes her life as she knows it.

The story unfolds as our lady in Limbo valiantly attempts to reach her three children.  The youngest prince, Jeremiah, tries to serve as her guide from Limbo to the proper here-after; however, his true focus is on saving himself, thus Erika is able to persuade him to do something that has never been done.  She asks that he bring her children to her, in Limbo, without causing their demise.  Will the reunited family be able to return home?  Must a sacrifice be made?  What will become of Jeremiah?  There are plenty of unanswered questions to keep the reader turning page after page well past bedtime.

I loved the idea of something as unique and intriguing as Limbo, and I found the plot to be plausible and entertaining.  Despite the detailed and individual personification of each character, none knocked my socks off.  On the contrary, I wasn’t able to make myself like any of them.  Without the character admiration, I was not empathetic, and I really didn’t care what happened to whom.  I was curious enough to finish the book, and I’m glad that I did.

Reviewed by jv poore, November 2012.