The Golden Age of Death - Amber Benson *Genre* Urban Fantasy*Rating* 3.5-4*Review*The Golden Age of Death is apparently the fifth & final novel in Amber Benson's Calliope Reaper-Jones series. The story itself is a continuation from How to Be Death in that a key player from that book continues to make deadly moves and alliances to finally get rid of Callie as the head of Death, Inc. and replace her with his own puppet. There is also a new player that is introduced who wants to go even farther and bring about a reign of destruction down on humanity in his wake. There are so many players involved in the plans to destroy Callie that you really need to pay attention, or at least have read the previous installments to understand who they are and why they hate Callie so much.Calliope (Callie) Reaper-Jones is known as the Grim Reaper, President & CEO of Death, Inc and a person who is more interested in fashions and shopping, than understanding what it takes to be Death. She's a bit of a mess overall in that she rushes in when she should stand down and think before she acts. Callie has actually come a long way since becoming CEO and head Grim Reaper of Death, Inc after her father was murdered and betrayed by his own daughter thanks to people like Jarvis. Callie, in her own words, is mercurial, chaotic, reckless, headstrong, stubborn, and has a good heart who feels that she needs to protect everyone which is why she takes steps to ensure that Death, Inc. is in good hands in case something bad happens to her and why she suddenly disappears and doesn't tell anyone where she's going. She's in love with Daniel, the Steward of Hell and really doesn't care for the fact that she's immortal. The only real negative I can admit to is that we don't really get enough of a story from Callie's point of view in my humble opinion. We see her finally accepting Marcel's challenge to fight to the death and then realizing that someone is trying to kill her and everyone loyal to her and install someone from Callie's past. In the process, more about Callie's past and future unfolds to the point where alliances are made, betrayals run rampant including someone close to Callie, and Callie has no choice but to put plans together to protect her replacements from harm. If this was, in fact, the last book like everyone is saying, I would have preferred to read her thoughts as she was trying to unravel who was trying to kill her so badly, rather than some of the secondary characters that were introduced including the ghosts. The story intertwines characters like Noh, a clairvoyant who can see ghosts and is supposedly Callie's friend from boarding school; Jennice a Real Estate agent who has a surprising gift that comes in handy in a pinch as well as her own destiny; Kali the Hindu Goddess of Death and Destruction who has become Callie's friend, supporter, protector, and probably the character I loved the most in this book as well as the series; Runt, the female hellhound daughter of Cerberus is also amazing and I love her. Then there's Clio, Callie's younger sister who is in love with the Hindu God Indra, and a person who has amazing abilities all her own that she's kept a secret from everyone, including Callie. Callie also relies heavily on her Executive Assistant Jarvis De Poupsey who has the patience of a Saint. Marcel, the Ender of Death, comes through in a pinch as well and becomes Death's Champion, protector, and a character you have to admire for his fortitude in being Death's rival. In the end, I was happy that I took copious notes on all the characters that were written into the story, and what they were doing and who was doing what to whom, and who was betraying whom thinking he knew was was best for Callie. If you think I am kidding here, I'm not. There are POV's from Daniel, and the Man in Gray, and people who have been killed and end up as ghosts in the Man in Gray's machine, as well as Edgar Freezay, and Callie's sister Clio. It seems that Benson wanted to give each of her characters one final curtain call, including Callie's mother Caoimbe, before calling it a day and exiting stage left. The ending, while expected, was sad and also devastating. Not sure anyone, except Kali, saw this happening to Callie. Released February 26, 2013