Thursday, January 2, 2014

Review: Graveminder

Melissa Marr is more commonly known for her Wicked Lovely series, which I have not read.  Graveminder is my first book by this author.  It is an adult fantasy novel and I believe it is her first book that is not geared toward young adults.  I first saw the book several months back but I just wasn't attracted to the cover.  I noticed this revamped cover recently and it was much more appealing, enough for me to take a second look.  I decided to buy it.  Click on the photo if you would like to see more about this book.

Synopsis from Barnes and Noble:
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. . . .
The setting of this story takes place in a town called Claysville.  It is a small town with strange traditions when it comes to those who die.  Those who are born there seem to stay or find their way back.  That is what has happened to one of the main characters, Byron.  He is now his father's assistant and will eventually take over the job of undertaker.  Our other main character is Rebekkah, who was not born in Claysville but lived there for several years with her grandmother, who is the only relative she has that means anything to her.  She has to return to Claysville and when she does, she and Byron find out that they are the next in line to carry on these "traditions" of the dead.  
Both of the main characters are likable.  Byron and Rebekkah used to be together and he is still madly in love with her.  This is obvious throughout the entire story.  He is strong and will do anything for her but I was a little annoyed that he just kept taking all of her crap.  I was glad to see that he eventually just put himself out there and didn't take no for an answer.  Bek, on the other hand, hasn't had the easiest life so I felt for her.  The only relative her really cared for her was gone and she felt alone.  However, she kept pushing Byron away.  This was fine at first because you can understand her reasons but once some details were cleared up, she still kept pushing and I began to get a bit frustrated.  Both characters, however, pulled through at the end and proved themselves to be strong and capable human beings, able to do what they needed to do to save the town and its residents.
The paranormal element in this story is quite large.  At the first big scene when Byron is introduced to his new way of life but going to see the dead with his dad, I felt slighted.  It reminded me of the movie Beetlejuice, when the couple goes through the wall into the world of the dead and has to sit in the waiting room with all of the dead people.  It just had that corny feeling to it.  I was concerned that the rest of the book would follow this pattern. Thankfully, it did not.  After that first big ghosty moment, it toned the corny down a bit and I grew more interested again.  
The concept of this story was interesting.  A small town who has to keep the dead, "dead."  A graveminder and an undertaker who must work together to accomplish this.  It was original and it kept me turning the pages.  I wanted to see what happened next and I stayed up late to find out.  It had personal tragedy, obstacles that the characters had to overcome, some action and suspense, and of course, someone who wanted to hurt our main characters for her own benefit.  The romance wasn't overdone and it wrapped up nicely in the end.  I liked that it seems like a stand alone book and I don't have to rush to the next one to see what happens next.  Out of five stars, I would probably give it a three and half.  I enjoyed it.  If you like a story with a paranormal element, you will probably enjoy it as well.


  1. Nice review! I had read this book a while ago, and had liked it.