Friday, July 27, 2012

First Grave On The Right by Darynda Jones - review

click for excerpt
First Grave On The Right
Darynda Jones
Urban Fantasy
2011/trade ppb
****  (4 out of 6)

cover - I like it - at first glance, you see a woman's shoes and looks like an outfit of a well dressed person.  Someone who likes nice clothes....then you notice, that's a mist around her, not sheets or couch.  Her sandals have SKULLS on them...and is that a SICKLE that she's holding?  um....

You might get the impression just from the cover that this might have something to do with would be right.  

Charley Madison is a grim reaper.  Souls use her as a gateway to get to the other side.  She also has does PI work, as well as helping her uncle solve police cases with the help of the ghosts who talk to her.  Sometimes people think she's loony because when she talks to the ghosts, it looks like she's talking to herself.

First Grave On The Right starts off with Charley having dreams - she's been having dreams with a dream lover - and they feel very real.  Where at first she's not sure what's going on, somehow she puts together these dreams with the memory of a young teen (Reyes) who she came into contact with one time and decides it's him.  She's kind of obsessed with this guy - even though the one time they met he threatened her, almost like he was going to rape her she seems to want to be with him.  It's weird.

Anyway, the story is a mix of mystery - trio of lawyers have been murdered and they end up in her radar - her uncle is handling their murders.  Seems the murders are related to a disappearance of a teen,'s complicated - the plot and all the twists.  Then this being - Reyes is added into the mix - there's more to Reyes than him being some teen she came across one time.

This is actually a hard review for me to write.  I kind of liked the book, but there were aspects of it I found creepy - but then if I think too hard about certain aspects of some novels I find them creepy also - like when there's this story about vampires, one who's been waiting for a little girl to grow up so they can....see? creepy.  Same with a certain aspect of this novel.  For me it was creepy, and not in the shivery sort of scare me way - more in the old man, you're creepy way.

But there are all kinds of tastes out there, and all kinds of stories to be told and read.  The thing is, Darynda Jones wrote a mostly interesting story with some quirky characters - like the Japanese ghost that just stands in the corner of Charley's apartment and never talks or moves - along with snappy dialogue and some funny and some not so funny oneliners.  If you're into chicklit mixed with paranormal, you'll enjoy this book.  For me, I didn't enjoy it enough to continue with the series.


  1. I loved this, fun and snarky but I have to admit the vampire bit was creepy

    Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out

  2. lol - when you really think about it, all the older millenium vampires are creepy - that's one of the things I have to put aside when reading about a relationship between a vamp and a young human...the age difference. I keep thinking, lady - he was around when you were a BABY, even before! haha. have to let that go - and I do that = especially if I enjoy the writer's talent. :)