Saturday, February 12, 2011

Review: First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones

Title: First Grave on the Right
Author: Darynda Jones
Series: Charley Davidson, Book 1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: February 1, 2011

Charley Davidson was born a reaper. The Grim Reaper, to be exact. She convinces the dead to go into the light. They’re drawn to her, and she to them. Because of this she often ends up investigating the deaths that happened under unusual circumstances – like murder. Which is good, since being a reaper doesn’t really pay the bills.

When three attorneys turn up dead, Charley helps out the PD with their case, through her Uncle Bob who’s a detective. While she’s searching for the culprit, and trying to help her other clients, Charley is also trying to figure out if her nightly visits from a phantom lover are more than they seem. This phantom has been following her all her life, and he just might not be dead. In fact, he could be something a whole lot more disturbing.

First Grave on the Right is sarcastic, humorous, quick and fun. There’s the two mystery threads – the attorneys murders, and the spectral visitor – that serve to move the story along, though Charley’s phantom is given much more credence and is much more interesting because of it.

Charley herself is extremely sarcastic. Extremely. She uses it to keep people and situations at arms length from her. I think this is a realistic defense considering what she is, but it also served to keep me at a distance. I think that I would have liked to be able to delve a little bit more into her, get some more depth and gotten to know her. I had a hard time connecting with her.

That being said, I caught myself laughing out loud a few times, even if I wasn’t loving the fact that she named her breasts which just seemed absurd to me. There were times when it felt like she was being witty for the sake of being witty.

The ending I absolutely loved. The resolution of the Big Bad that's been haunting Charley is a fantastic hook. It completely pulled me in and made me want to find out what happened next, making me think that First Grave on the Right is really more of an introductory book to get us into the world and life of Charley Davidson. I will be picking up the second book, Second Grave on the Left when it’s released to see if I can connect more with Charley.

First Grave on the Right is an enjoyable, witty ride with an interesting premise. I really enjoyed the idea of a grim reaper and what that meant for the world. I’m definitely interested in seeing where Darynda Jones takes Charley, and us, next.

Grade: C

Book Link | Amazon | Kindle | nook | Sony | Book Depository | St. Martin's Press

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