Friday, April 26, 2013

First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones


I'd heard good things about this series, so I thought the audio book might be a good way to explore it, particularly when I saw that Lorelei King, who reads the Stephanie Plum series, narrates this one, too.

The premise was promising: Charley Davidson is a grim reaper, which means that she helps those who have died but have, for some reason, decided to remain behind, move on into the next phase of their existence, whatever that may be. Her ability to speak with the recently dead has made her of invaluable assistance to her uncle, who's a cop, and she consults with him from time to time. 

What I liked: The premise wasn't the typical one, so that was refreshing. Aspects of Charley's previous life were woven into the present story through flashbacks, so that the current mystery of the murders her uncle is trying to solve alternates with the more personal mystery of Charley's past, and her current situation as a reaper.

What I didn't like so much: There was too much description (I might have skimmed over it had I been reading the actual book, but it was excruciating to listen through), in particular too much lovingly detailed prose about every hot guy (and there were a lot of them) that Charley was lusting after. I prefer my paranormal mysteries to be more about the characters and the mystery than the romantic element. Romance is fine, but I personally don't usually want it to be the point of the book. Rather than a paranormal mystery with a romantic element, this one reads like a romance with paranormal trappings. Not my thing, really. Also it annoys me when a character can instantly prove her credibility (i.e. her supernatural abilities) but chooses not to, and then goes on and on (and on) about how annoying it is when people don't believe her (particularly hot guys). 

Still, it was an interesting story, and while I personally don't feel the need to continue with the series, I think it would appeal to those who enjoy romance as a central part of their paranormal fare.

First Grave on the Right (#1 in the Charley Davidson series) by Darynda Jones; narrated by Lorelei King (Macmilan Audio, 2007)

6 comments:

  1. I got this as a gift from someone around Christmas time. I still have not started it (I haven't been reading much of ANYTHING lately) and what you say about it actually mirrors my own worries and thoughts about what I might find when I do pick it up. Interesting.

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    1. Cat - Well, maybe if your expectations are in the right place, you'll enjoy it more. I didn't hate it, I just didn't love it. It is good to give the first book of a series some room - often the books improve as the series goes along. I think this one was just a bit too romancey for my taste. I'd love you hear your thoughts when you get to it.

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  2. Oh dear. Sounded like a fun concept, but I get irritated quickly by successions of excruciatingly described hot guys...

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    1. Marveloustales - It does sadly go a bit overboard - but again, it's the first in a series, so it may be that things smooth out as the series progresses. Maybe some fans of the series will weigh in...

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  3. The premise sounds great, but I agree with everyone else about how irksome hot guy descriptions become. Sounds a bit juvenile...Perhaps as you say the next book in the series will improve.

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  4. It was a bit much - and also, listening to it as an audiobook, you can't just skim down the page, so that probably made it more annoying than it would have been had I just read the book, now that I think of it.

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