Review & Contest: Seventh Grave and No Body by Darynda Jones
The latest book in the Charley Davidson series, Seventh Grave and No Body, is finally out today! The book, which follows Sixth Grave on the Edge, is even better than the previous one. In this book, Charley starts off almost exactly where Sixth Grave left off. Only now, Charley has to deal with an ex-BFF who won’t stop haunting, the twelve hell hounds chasing her down, and her fiancée, Reyes, being even more overprotective than normal. To top it off, Charley’s father has disappeared without a trace, and she discovers, via the investigation he’s been working on, that she might have to question everything she’s ever known about him. There have also been a lot of suicides with no bodies left that have the authorities completely perplexed.
This book opens with the information that we learned at the very end of Sixth Grave. Now, the goal is to keep everything dealing with that situation going well while dealing with the external world. Here is where the first bit of conflict that goes throughout the book comes up. From the beginning, Reyes makes it his duty to keep an even closer eye on Charley, and being the independent woman that she is, Charley tries to resist his efforts at being a 24/7 body guard. She’s also more testy than usual due to the lack of caffeine in her system (due to her own choice to go off the stuff cold turkey). Poor Reyes. Poor friends and family of Charley. Then there’s the issue of the twelve hell hounds that have been released and their goal to get Charley. The biggest problem with this is that no one, and that includes Reyes, knows how to kill them.
A lot happens in this book, to the point that I’m a bit scared to say much of anything because I don’t want to spoil any readers. I will say that I’m more interested than ever in Mr. Wong and what’s going on with him. I can’t wait until we find out! The plot dealing with Charley’s ex-BFF was a bit irritating (due to the ex-BFF’s personality), but I liked how it was resolved. I really enjoyed the plot dealing with a newswoman who is a bit obsessed with Reyes. Charley has a bad feeling about her, as does Reyes, and when you find out why, the reveal is a bit shocking (and a lot of fun to read). I also loved the interactions with Charley’s best friend Cookie and her daughter Amber. Those two characters are so essential to the series, and I love how they deal with Charley. My only complaint with this books is that I miss the edge Reyes used to have. However, he is settling down into the life he now has, so it’s understandable that the sharpest edges of his character are being slightly smoothed in preparation of what’s coming next.
The ending of the book is simultaneously my favorite and least favorite thing about the series. I love how Charley and Reyes’ relationship comes together, as well as the gift that she gives him. When it comes time for Reyes to share some info he’s promised Charley shortly afterward, I love the tenderness of the moment. It’s so well done.
One of my favorite things as a reader is how Darynda balances the serious portions of the book with the humorous, with no scenes losing power due to that balance. This was most definitely the case when it came to Seventh Grave and No Body. I was laughing so hard I nearly cried during some parts of the book (I’ll leave you to discover those on your own.) At other moments, including a death I really wasn’t expecting, I cried. I was also left entirely frustrated by the ending of the book. I don’t know if I can wait until Eighth Grave After Dark comes out to find out what happens next!
In order to best enjoy Seventh Grave and No Body, I highly recommend reading at least Sixth Grave on the Edge first, if not all the previous books in the series. Sixth Grave has a lot of points that lead directly into Seventh Grave, and I assume that the same will be true for Eighth Grave as well. You can purchase your own copy of Seventh Grave and No Body from Amazon, iTunes, and Barnes & Noble.
Below is an excerpt from Seventh Grave. It’s a tiny taste of the fun that the Charley Davidson series is, so enjoy!
Strawberry stood there, petting a ragged Barbie doll with its hair chopped off in large chunks. Which wasn’t creepy at all. Poor Malibu Barbie. All her Malibu friends would be horrified. Taft told me his sister had always cut off her dolls’ hair. A fact that kind of scared me. I did have to sleep occasionally, and the thought of a departed child in dire need of therapy cutting my hair in my sleep did nothing to ease my mind as I fell into oblivion.
“Why am I in trouble this time?” I asked her, kneeling down and wiping a smudge off her cheek. She really was quite beautiful. It pained me to imagine who she would have become, given the chance. For the life to be ripped away from someone so young just seemed so terribly, terribly unfair.
“Because you’re going to die soon.”
On second thought, maybe she was better off. Away from other people and most sharp objects. I had a sneaking suspicion she would have become a serial killer. Or a telemarketer. Either way.
“Well, I’m hoping I don’t.”
“I hope you do. You can live with us.”
“She is adorable,” Jessica said, kneeling beside me. “What’s your name?”
Strawberry frowned. “I can’t talk to strangers. And I especially can’t tell them my name is Becky. Or that I’m nine. Or that—”
“Have you seen Rocket?” I asked, interrupting. We’d be there all day.
This series is also released as audiobooks. Listen to a sample below.
Finally, you have a chance to win your own copy of Seventh Grave and No Body! Enter at Rafflecopter Giveaway.