February 15, 2012

In Death, as in Life • The Fetch

The Fetch book cover
The Fetch by Laura Whitcomb 
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: February 2, 2009
Source/Format: Bought || Hardcover

Calder is a Fetch, a death escort, the first of his kind to step from Heaven back to Earth.The first to fall in love with a mortal girl. But when he climbs backwards out of that Death Scene, into the chaos of the Russian Revolution, he tears a wound in the ghost realm, where the spirits begin a revolution of their own.

I picked this book up because the summary completely intrigued me - and I'm pleased to report that the concept was well-executed. THE FETCH is a story that I was completely engrossed with as I read it, as it put a fresh spin on the tale of the Romanovs. My interest in Russian History, specifically in the Romanov family, is something that I don't talk about often; but because I am particularly fascinated with this period and this family, this story definitely appealed to me.

The Character

Calder is a character that I found incredibly realistic, despite the fact that he's actually what constitutes the paranormal element of this novel. He's got the best of intentions for the most part, but it is his one major moment of weakness in the face of passion and temptation that manages to provoke him into making a decision that has serious consequences.

I could really feel for him though as he wrestled with discovering his past and learned to deal with the inner conflict that plagues him. Watching him fight his insecurity and the way he questions his own abilities and worth as a Fetch was something that I found interesting and particularly relatable in a human context.

The Story

Laura Whitcomb illustrates the concept of a Fetch, a death escort, pretty well, including more details about just what the Fetch escorts his charges through, as well as how it happens. This definitely comprised a large part of my fascination with the novel, as it was what caught my attention about the book in the first place.

The story wasn't action-packed, but it did have some great suspense and action sequences. Plus, the journey that the characters take is incredibly cool, as they visit a bunch of different places, so that was a lot of fun to read about. Despite the slow pace for some of the book, there was definitely a lot going on in the story, and I never found it boring.

My favorite part of the novel, as I've previously mentioned, is the way Laura Whitcomb manages to integrate the Romanovs and parts of their story in history into the tale. I loved the way this was woven in, and I thought it was quite clever.

Personally, I say you should...

... read this novel if you're a fan of paranormal YA. It's lighter than a lot of paranormal novels I've read, but it's still done really well. Plus, the addition of the historical aspect makes it even more interesting. It's a well-crafted, well-planned novel and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

This review was posted as part of Rewind & Review.

Rewind & Review is a great monthly feature started by Ginger of GReads! and Lisa of Lisa is Busy Nerding. Each month, participants will set aside some "older" titles to read and review on their blogs. This feature is the perfect opportunity to get around to reading that title you've been eyeing for years or that book that's been in your TBR for what feels like forever. For more information, you can visit this post.


  1. Since I've just only begun getting into paranormal I'd say this would be a good one for me! I tend to really like the "lighter" paranormals for now while I ease my way into the genre. Thanks for the heads up! And great review, dahling! <3

  2. I love the idea behind this book! Great find - I'm going to add it to my list.

  3. Russia is such a great place to set a book. Like the wild, wild West but way more mysterious and creepy. Great review. Couldn't wait to read after all your GR comments.

  4. 1. HOLLA for Rewind and Review!
    3. Sometimes paranormal light is the best kind.

  5. oh a Death escort! That sounds so cool. I love books about stuff like that and grim reapers etc. And I actually like that it's a lighter read it's a nice change of pace. Great review Alexa!!

    Xpresso Reads

  6. Becky @ Stories & SweetiesFebruary 16, 2012 at 3:37 AM

    I've been meaning to try more from the author---I absolutely loved A Certain Slant of Light and can't wait for book 2, but I'll have to seek out this one to keep my occupied til' then! :D

  7. I haven't heard of this before, but it sounds really awesome! Thanks for sharing your honest opinion with us; I'll definitely have to keep this in mind. :)


  8. I hate to say it, but I didn't care for The Fetch at all. I felt like the narrative was super disjointed and just dragged ooooon. However! I read it right after Graceling, which I was obsessed with, so The Fetch might not have gotten a totally fair shot since my mind was still with Katsa. I'm so glad you enjoyed it!!

  9. Thank you! It totally made my day to hear you say that. This is definitely a "light" paranormal read, at least in my opinion :)

  10. Yes! It's such an interesting setting, although I'm so partial to it because I liked the history of the Romanov family :)

  11. I'm lucky that Ashley put it up on her books to sell previously and that it has such a compelling cover :)

  12. This is one of the best ideas ever! It's totally motivating me to read my older titles. And yay for loving the Romanovs!

  13. Yes, do try this one! It's a pretty good read. At first I wasn't sure if I'd like it or not, but I did end up enjoying it :)

  14. Thanks! I hope you do get to read it. It's a pretty cool book :)

  15. Ooh, that's a tough situation for this book to be in! It definitely cannot compete with Graceling and I probably would have felt the same way.

  16. Great review! I hadn't heard of this book but I think it sounds really good and one that I may just have to pick up myself!
    I also love the idea behind the Rewind and Review! That's so awesome!
    Thanks for sharing this!

    Stopping by as part of the Love-A-Thon :-)

  17. I thought the concept was pretty interesting. And it was actually quite well-done!

  18. I hope you do get to join up for Rewind and Review. It's one of my favorite things EVER.


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