Publisher's summary: A typical day in the life of Charley Davidson involves cheating husbands, missing people, errant wives, philandering business ownePublisher's summary: A typical day in the life of Charley Davidson involves cheating husbands, missing people, errant wives, philandering business owners, and oh yeah...demons, hell hounds, evil gods, and dead people. Lots and lots of dead people. As a part time Private Investigator and full-time Grim Reaper, Charley has to balance the good, the bad, the undead, and those who want her dead. In this eleventh installment, Charley is learning to make peace with the fact that she is a goddess with all kinds of power and that her own daughter has been born to save the world from total destruction. But the forces of hell are determined to see Charley banished forever to the darkest corners of another dimension. With the son of Satan himself as her husband and world-rocking lover, maybe Charley can find a way to have her happily ever after... after all.
My thoughts, with slightly spoilerific elements, but no plot spoilers: It's always fun to catch up with Charley Davidson. She is snarky, smart, and sexy as all hell. (Hell... heh...)
It's also great to visit with Reyes (OMG!), Cookie, Amber, Ubie, Osh, Garrett, Angel, and Artemis. I love it when the gang is back together for a new adventure!
I also love the way Darynda can take all of these different threads and weave them together to create one story. There is always SO. MUCH. going on in these books! 11th grave is no exception...
In this latest installment of this wonderful series, Charley finds herself ion another continent (more than once), learning how to shift, saving the day, getting thrown from a building, going to a shrink, saving the day, cuddling a little girl (not her own, sadly), being a cool aunt, saving the day, having mind-blowing sex with the son of Satan/brother of Jehovah, drinking tequila, and did I mention saving the day?
And she does it all with the best sense of humor and the most caring heart one could ask for in one's heroine. Note the 'e' at the end... not talking about the drug. Wanted to make that clear.
If you're a fan of this series, you'll want to snatch this book up immediately upon release. And if I may recommend the audio book... the series is read by the fabulous Lorelei King and though I read this book as an ARC galley, I heard the characters as done by Lorelei. She does such a wonderful job on these books!
So three cheers for Darynda for not only giving us another awesome chapter in Charley's life, but for ending it with such a cliffhanger that I am absolutely frothing to get my hands on 12th Grave. Seriously, how do I get in on the betas for these freaking awesome books??
Note: I received the ARC galley of this book from the publisher in exchange for this review. Don't judge me... these books are like crack, okay? OKAY?!...more
If I had to describe this book in one word, it would be unputdownable. I read over 80% of the book in one sitting.
I only recently received a copy of tIf I had to describe this book in one word, it would be unputdownable. I read over 80% of the book in one sitting.
I only recently received a copy of the first book, Kiss of Death, and I read that book in just a few sittings. At first it seemed a bit disjointed, but that's to be expected when there are so many threads to a story. Characters are introduced at random and you only see a little bit of their point of view before you jump to the next character. Some people might find this off-putting, but I found it fascinating because I didn't know who was who, and how they related to each other, and who was good and who was bad. And at first, you kind of like all of them. So as the story progresses and you start to see who's on whose side, and you decide who you're rooting for, you realize that these characters that you like are sort of the bad guys... and you don't quite know how to feel about it.
Part of the fun for me, when starting a book/series that ends up being so much more complex than what was expected, is learning about what's going on a little bit at a time from different character's points of view. At the start of this second installment in the series, you're up to speed and you know what's going on, so you don't get that disjointed feeling.
I won't go over the synopsis because you can read that above. Instead, I'll try to explain what I liked so much about this story. Sometimes you find a story that's very character driven, and you fall in love with one or more of the characters and you want to see what happens to them in their quest or journey or whatever. Sometimes you fall in love with other aspects of the story such as the setting or the magic... perhaps it's a prophecy that is coming to fruition, or the plots and schemes of the characters that you most enjoy.
This series has all of that. It's got great characters that you love, though they may annoy you with the things they do or say, because who is perfect, right? It's got people that you find slightly terrifying yet endearing, or bad ass, or downright hilarious. And it's got this great depth to the story as deLaney weaves multiple threads together into a great story in a relatively short time. There are various kinds of supernatural creatures, some who may be familiar from other urban fantasy type stories, and some that may be new. Some species have slightly different characteristics and different dynamics in relation to each other and to those of the other species, and there are a few different rules and laws than what you might be used to from other urban fantasy. But none of it is tiresome, none of it seems done to death, if that makes any sense.
Having read a lot of urban fantasy with various kinds of supernatural creatures, I took it in stride that there were was a more supernatural aspect than what I had actually expected when picking up this series. But it was all very enjoyable, and it was very easy to accept some of the changes in different species in the series. For my part, I thought those changes were great, I loved the differences and I thought that they gave this story its own flavor.
One thing that kept me reading the majority of this book in one sitting was that I had! to! know! what was going to happen next... to each of the characters, to the various factions who were working together or struggling against one another, and even to the characters whose loyalties were questionable and whose motives were cloudy and confusing. I've gotta say that I'm impressed at the way it all came together. There were some surprises with certain characters in the way their paths crossed, or merged with, or veered away from that of the main protagonist.
I know that what I'm saying may seem rather vague as I don't talk a lot about the events of the story, I don't talk about pacing or tone, I don't talk about specifics of the story or critique the outcome,... this is because I tend to review a book with the express purpose of relaying how it made me *feel*.
This book made me feel excited.
It made me want to go back and start reading the whole thing all over again.
My father recommended this book to me a year or two before his death. I don't now recall if it was just the one book or the entire series that he wantMy father recommended this book to me a year or two before his death. I don't now recall if it was just the one book or the entire series that he wanted me to read. I can't imagine him reading just this book and then stopping, though. Especially since this first installment of the series leaves the story hanging. It was quite unsatisfying.
Overall, I enjoyed the book very much. Alvin is a lovable character and his story fascinates me. The alternate version of the American frontier also fascinates me and I like how the little bit of truth sprinkled in with the fiction made things all the more interesting.
A couple of the characters really annoyed the living shit out of me though. If you read the book and you know me at all, you know exactly who I mean. If you haven't read the book and/or don't know me, let's just say that there is certain holier than thou preacher who is extremely young and extremely arrogant. Also, he thinks that the Devil (or something very close to him in this world) is a freaking angel and further, that this angel* would have him do some very unchristian like things.
Pretty much every one of his points of view drove me bonkers.
Regarding the audio book, it was relatively easy to follow, though having multiple readers was a bit jarring at times. Also, the very last bit alternated between a male and female reader as the characters conversed and it was just strange.
I would like to continue the series, though I don't know if I will do it on audio. I might see if I can find the ebooks cheap and toss them on my Nook tablet. I'll see...
*yes, I fully realize that the Devil is a fallen angel......more