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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Review: Graveminder by Melissa Marr

Publisher: William Morrow
Genre: Mystery, paranormal
Trade paperback, 352 pages
Book Source: TLC Book Tours
My Rating: 85/100

From TLC Book Tours home page:

Rebekkah Barrow never forgot the tender attention her grandmother, Maylene, bestowed upon the dead of Claysville. While growing up, Rebekkah watched as Maylene performed the same unusual ritual at every funeral: three sips from a small silver flask followed by the words, “Sleep well, and stay where I put you.”

Now Maylene is gone and Bek must return to the hometown—and the man—she abandoned a decade ago, only to discover that Maylene’s death was not natural . . . and there was good reason for her odd traditions. In Claysville, the worlds of the living and the dead are dangerously connected—and beneath the town lies a shadowy, lawless land ruled by the enigmatic Charles, aka Mr. D. From this dark place the deceased will return if their graves are not properly minded. And only the Graveminder, a Barrow woman, and the current Undertaker, Byron, can set things to right once the dead begin to walk. . . .

My Thoughts:

The town of Claysville entered into a contract with supernatural forces long ago for the protection and well being of its residents.  Two families pay the high price the contract demands: the Barrows,  women who serve as Graveminders for the dead and, currently, the Montgomerys, the men who serve as the Undertakers for the dead, and coincidentally operate the only funeral home in town.  It is now time for Rebekkah and Byron to assume their roles, unfortunately they have no idea what awaits them.  They have been kept in the dark about their ultimate work by the families who loved them dearly, and wanted to see them have normal lives, at least for a bit.  Once Rebekkah and Byron assume their duties as Graveminder and Undertaker, everything changes. 

I loved the world and plot Marr created in this book.  The world of the living and dead being side by side, how things worked, the traditions, the back story, etc.  It is interesting and fresh to me.  What I didn’t like and almost made me put the books down, was the relationship between Rebekkah and Byron.  They have a history together that goes back to their high school days.  There was a tragic event and they felt guilty about it, almost as if they were the impetus for it.  Regardless, there is a chemistry between them, a pull neither one can shake; and over the years they have come together as lovers, and then parted on bad terms, usually with Rebekkah doing the breaking up.  I get all that.  Rebekkah has issues.  However, when she and Byron meet up again, Rebekkah came across to me as a bit of a tease. 

At first, it was bearable, but then I felt as though Rebekkah’s behavior was too much. She knows Byron loves her and only her, but she continues to lead him on and shut him down, refusing not to talk about their relationship.  Yet, hold me close because I’m lonely and scared.  I felt like Byron was a puppy and Rebekkah was teasing him with treats.  I disliked Rebekkah greatly and almost put the book down, but….I sucked it up and finished the book, because of the overall arc.  I wanted to know what was going to happen.

Thankfully by the end of the story, Byron stood up for himself like a man, and Rebekkah wised herself up.  Together, they tackled the problem of the worlds of the living and the dead being side by side.  This book finishes nicely and does not end on a cliffhanger.  However, Marr has left her options open and the overall arc is nowhere near finished.  There are clues in both worlds that something is not right and issues need to be addressed. 

With the exception of the relationship issue, I did enjoy this book.  Marr has a way of writing and world building that allows for the real world to melt away.  I would read the next one in the series, however I’m not waiting on pins and needles.

For more information about the author, Melissa Marr, and all of her books, please visit one of her many social media sites:

For other reviews and points of view, check out some of the other tour stops:

Tuesday, January 17th: Unabridged Chick
Tuesday, January 17th: The Road to Here
Wednesday, January 18th: Raging Bibliomania
Thursday, January 19th: Wordsmithonia
Friday, January 20th: Lesa’s Book Critiques
Monday, January 23rd: Books Like Breathing
Tuesday, January 24th: Jenny Loves to Read
Wednesday, January 25th: Life in Review
Thursday, January 26th: Reviews by Lola
Tuesday, January 31st: Elle Lit.
Wednesday, February 1st: The Scarlet Letter
Thursday, February 2nd: Savvy Verse & Wit

Thanks to TLC Book Tours for including me on the tour :)

Thanks to TLC Book Tours for including me on the tour :)

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