Disclaimer: A review copy was provided by Netgalley and the publisher for an honest review. No other remuneration was received.
Book Title: THE CURSE OF TENTH GRAVE
Author: Darynda Jones
Series: Charley Davidson #10
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Category: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance/Thriller/Mystery
Author’s Website: http://www.daryndajones.com/
Release Date: June 28, 2016
Main Characters: Charley/Reyes and a cast of kooky characters I’d like to trade my family in for.
Find It: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Books-a-Million | iTunes
Source: ARC provided by NetGalley, ebook format
5 FANGIRL SQUEE Batty Moons! (I was going to give it 10, I loved it so much. LOL)
If one door closes and another one opens,
your house is probably haunted.
As a Part-time PI and fulltime grim reaper, Charley Davidson has asked a lot of questions throughout her life: Why can I see dead people? Who is the hot supernatural entity following me? How do I get gum out of my sister’s hair before she wakes up? But, “How do I trap not one malevolent god, but three?” was never among them. Until now. And since those gods are on earth to kill her daughter, she has little choice but to track them down, trap them, and cast them from this dimension.
There’s just one problem. One of the three stole her heart a very long time ago. Can the Razer, a god of absolute death and destruction, change his omniscient spots, or will his allegiances lie with his brothers?
Those are just a few of the questions Charley must answer, and quick. Add to that a homeless girl running for her life, an innocent man who’s been charged with murdering the daughter of a degenerate gambler, and a pendant made from god glass that has the entire supernatural world in an uproar, and Charley has her hands full. If she can manage to take care of the whole world-destroying-gods thing, we’re saved. If not, well…
READ ON FOR MY REVIEW!
You know, I end up making a lot of confessions and adding a lot of disclaimers at the beginning of my reviews, don’t I? I don’t know what that says about me, but here comes another one: I am a downright CRAPPY fan. In the past few years, I have not been at ALL diligent about auto-buying (and/or reading) any but maybe two of my favorite authors. In fact, the last Charley Davidson book I read was, I’m pretty certain, FIFTH GRAVE PAST THE LIGHT.
That’s right. I missed the last FOUR books. Don’t I have to give all my fangirl cred back for that? I mean, I OWN them, but I’ve never READ them. It’s a bibliophilic sin, I’m pretty sure.
Ah, well, that’s the way it goes. I got a chance to read THE CURSE OF TENTH GRAVE from Netgalley, and whatever I had to do to catch up, I was perfectly fine with it. I seem to have a fairly easy time figuring things out so it won’t usually interrupt my enjoyment of the story if I’ve missed previous installments. With a good writer, it’s even easier. Darynda Jones is that kind of writer. I already knew the characters, the basic universe, and a lot of the foundation/background, so I wasn’t all that lost, and the happenings of the last book or so make themselves abundantly clear in this story even though I haven’t read them… yet.
This is the first time in a long time that not only did I SQUEE like a tween when I started and finished the book, I actually stopped somewhere in the middle and thought, “Wow. This book makes me really happy.” Not that it’s all cotton candy (oh dear, I may not quite think of cotton candy the same way again after this book.) or puppies and rainbows, but it was soooooo good. All those beloved characters, the steamy/funny/scarry/mysterious plot threads intermixed, tears shed here, LOL’s there, gallons of coffee-fueled madness. Snarky tee shirts, smartass ghosts, the Son of Satan, a baby named Beep, invisible demon dogs, a Jeep called Misery, a hot man who cooks, and oh, the joy goes on.
Important Things happened in THE DIRT ON NINTH GRAVE. Like, literally world(s)-shattering things. There were huge changes in our heroine, her husband, and everything and everyone they touch. The effects of those changes reverberate hard through TENTH GRAVE. There was a one-shot mystery, as always, that Charley is recruited to solve using her unique talents. At the same time, she’s trying to save a children’s home full of kids who have slowly been falling mysteriously ill and dying. ON TOP OF ALL THAT, she’s dealing with the giant over-arching series plot of her ultimate identity and fate, along with that of her family.
I adore pretty much every character in these stories, from Charley, Reyes, and Cookie, all the way down to the little ghost girl Charley calls Strawberry Shortcake, who apparently still has ADHD even in the afterlife. I love that Charley is so powerful, and so full of good intentions (mostly), but how deeply flawed and insecure she is. I love how real everyone around her is, even villains and not-quite-totally-villains.
I’m a girl who can’t resist a good love story — the Charley Davidson books has a doozy of a pairing in Charley/Reyes. Because… well, Reyes is hot, talented, dangerous, devoted, and romantic. Just… gah. The fact that Charley can’t be entirely sure what he is or what he will do is nerve-wracking, but it runs a truly interesting parallel with her own situation. We still don’t have answers regarding that yet, and that’s one of many interesting things to follow through the ongoing series. But I discover more and more that my favorite series involve a single central couple who work through the main adventures together. Not that “one-couple-per-book” stories are bad, I just like the ones where love conquers all in the long-term, not just in this book.
The best part of this series, I think, is the humor. Even when things are scary or tough, you don’t have to wait long for a laugh to relieve the tension. A demon dog that plays with demons like chew toys, for example. How every chapter begins with a snarky saying from a tee-shirt, bumper sticker, or Charley’s own experience. Charley’s Buffy-esque snark when she outdoes an antagonist. There are very few situations she won’t shoot a smart-assery at. Hm. That’s terrible grammar. Oh well. *shrug* You know what I mean.
I’ve read a lot of really enjoyable books this summer, but this baby rises easily to the top. If I didn’t have a pile of review reading to do, I might be tempted to start at the beginning of the series and read back down again.
But then, I’ve said that about a couple of series I’ve discovered lately. I’M GOING TO DIE BEFORE I GET TO READ ALL THE BOOKS I WANT TO READ!
At least I was lucky enough to read this one! I’m giving it
FIVE BATTY MOONS!
THE CURSE OF TENTH GRAVE drops June 28th! (Do the kids say ‘drops’ when it comes to books?) Don’t miss it!
And stay tuned, because I hear that ELEVENTH GRAVE IN MOONLIGHT is slated for JANUARY 12, 2017, and I will be STALKING NETGALLEY to get my grubby paws on the ARC.