Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Review: Seventh Grave and No Body by Darynda Jones

Seventh Grave and No Body
(Charley Davidson #7)
Darynda Jones
Release: October 21, 2014
Links Goodreads Amazon
Summary: Twelve. Twelve of the deadliest beasts ever forged in the fires of hell have escaped onto our plane, and they want nothing more than to rip out the jugular of Charley Davidson and serve her lifeless, mangled body to Satan for dinner. So there’s that. But Charley has more on her plate than a mob of testy hellhounds. For one thing, her father has disappeared, and the more she retraces his last steps, the more she learns he was conducting an investigation of his own, one that has Charley questioning everything she’s ever known about him. Add to that an ex-BFF who is haunting her night and day, a rash of suicides that has authorities baffled, and a drop-dead sexy fianc√© who has attracted the attentions of a local celebrity, and Charley is not having the best week of her life.

A tad north of hell, a hop, skip, and a jump past the realm of eternity, is a little place called Earth, and Charley Davidson, grim reaper extraordinaire, is determined to do everything in her power to protect it.

We’re doomed.
Review: Seventh Grave and No Body has all of the snark and humor that fans of the series expect from Charley Davidson. But she's also finally making an effort to act like a grown-up. She goes about it in typical slightly clueless Charley fashion, but I appreciate the effort. Her powers are growing as well and Charley learns a few new tricks in this one. She also adds to her entourage, as the demon known as The Dealer becomes a major player. I really enjoyed the frenemy tension between him and Reyes and I love getting see more of the supporting cast.

There's A LOT going on in this book. Charley starts out working a cold case with her FBI friend Agent Carson. Once she sets the FBI on the right trail though, she never finds out what happened and I felt left hanging a little bit. Two other plot threads get resolved really quickly and I wasn't completely satisfied. One of them ends with a character speculating about the answer, but we never find out if he was right. I really hate it when that happens! I'm wondering, though, if the characters involved will show up again in a later book.

Meanwhile, Charlie helps her Uncle Bob on a case where several people have left suicide notes, but their bodies weren't found. This might be the first time in this series where I've thought "Hey, that's where the title came from!" And Reyes has a stalker. Charley gets jealous over all the female attention he receives, which feeds into some other relationship drama. But she also finally realizes how all the attention makes him feel. And he actually talks about feeling something other than lust. (But don't worry, there's still plenty of lust and dirty talk from Mr. Farrow.) I think he's starting to feel a little more human, which is nice. I was surprised with the way those two plot elements were resolved and I kind of wanted to throttle Reyes.

There are a couple of developments in this book that are really bothering me. First, the Catholic Church gets involved in the story. Maybe that was inevitable given the devil and the demons were already there, but I don't like it. It's not that I have religious sensibilities to offend or anything. Anyone who does probably isn't going to read a book where the Grim Reaper is engaged to the son of Satan. I just have this fear of going down some kind of DaVinci Code rabbit hole and that makes me nervous.

Charley also learns some more about her true nature - what she was before she was born as a human. I appreciate that Jones is trying to explain more of the mythology, but I'm not sure how the new information fits with what Charley already knew. I feel like something doesn't add up and I wish Charley would have recapped. I'm also not sure how this part fits in with the angels and demons part of the story. But I'm pretty sure that it will all make sense eventually, despite my misgivings. I'm trusting you, Darynda. Don't let me down.

Fans of the series won't want to miss Seventh Grave. Something we've all been waiting for finally happens, right before the final gut-punch at the end. I'm so glad we only have to wait until May for the next one.

Recommended for fans of: Duct tape, Reyes Farrow, funny, sexy paranormals, angels and demons


Goldilox's reviews of other books in this series:
Sixth Grave on the Edge
Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet
Third Grave Dead Ahead
Second Grave on the Left

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