Shawn Turner wakes up in a coffin-like box, without a heartbeat, only to discover he recently died and has been selected to become a reaper. To train, he must attend the Wayward Academy, a school for those who escort souls to their final resting place. Things don’t go as planned, however, when the first soul Shawn is assigned to collect belongs to a girl who can somehow see him and the other reapers. Kramer’s debut novel is a fantastical adventure that is immersive, dark, and sometimes gory, but most importantly, it’s a story about a boy who must decide whether to blindly follow the strict rules of his new existence or follow his heart. With squirm-worthy claustrophobic moments, a highly memorable opening chapter, and a vivid cast of characters, The First Assignment is an engaging and entertaining romp through the afterlife.