Series: Graveminder #1
Published by HarperCollins
Pub Date: May 9th 2011
Format: Hardcover | Source: Purchased
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance
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The New York Times bestselling author of the Wicked Lovely series delivers her first novel for adults, a story about the living, the dead, and a curse that binds them.
Rebekkah Barrow never forgot the tender attention her grandmother, Maylene, bestowed upon the dead of Claysville, the town where Bek spent her adolescence. There wasn't a funeral that Maylene didn't attend, and at each Rebekkah watched as Maylene performed the same unusual ritual: three sips from a small silver flask followed by the words "Sleep well, and stay where I put you."
Now Maylene is dead and Bek must go back to the place--and the man--she left a decade ago. But what she soon discovers is that Maylene was murdered and that there was good reason for her odd traditions. It turns out that in placid Claysville, the worlds of the living and the dead are dangerously connected. Beneath the town lies a shadowy, lawless land ruled by the enigmatic Charles, aka Mr. D--a place from which the dead will return if their graves are not properly minded. Only the Graveminder, a Barrow woman, and the current Undertaker, Byron, can set things to right once the dead begin to walk.
The only thing I knew to expect from Graveminder was that it was going to be great, and heck yes, did it deliver! Melissa Marr has a way of writing that, to me, can only be described as poetic and cinematic. She lays the words out in a way that makes you feel like you’ve stepped into this world she’s created. It is descriptive enough to give you the perfect picture, but doesn’t over saturate you with details and the way the words just flow so smoothly…*sigh* It’s really amazing.
I was completely engrossed in delving deeper into these characters and this story. There were so many layers to both. Just when I thought I had it figured out, something unexpected and/or original would negate that theory. I really liked Bek. She was tough, independent, doesn’t take crap from anyone, and I loved that she took everything in stride and with good humor, for the most part. The only problem is that she doesn’t feel she deserves happiness with the one person she’s loved for years, Byron. Byron…oh, Ms. Marr knows how to write her men (Irial, Niall and Seth from the Wicked Lovely series are some of my all time favorite males in any series). He is sensitive but not a pushover or weak. He’s ruggedly sexy with his jeans, boots, leather jacket and his Triumph bike. And when he promises to always be there for you no matter what, he honors that promise with all of his being. Being pushed away by the person you made said promise to makes it a little harder though. Once Bek comes back to town for good, he wants to make her realize once and for all that they belong together…if she can finally let go of the abundance of guilt she feels for loving him as much as he loves her.
I loved the originality of the world also. Because of a deal the town founders struck with Charles there are two individuals who have to visit the land of the dead time and again: the Undertaker and the Graveminder, now Byron and Bek. Their duties are to make sure your body and soul are taken care of when you die. If everything goes normally, you are buried and the Graveminder will perform a very simple ritual that will keep your body in the ground and your soul in the land of the dead. Every now and then, somebody misses a dead body somewhere and the Undertaker and Graveminder have to lead this soul in there by the hand, literally. What happens when you die and the Graveminder doesn’t know, is what the characters in this story are dealing with. See, if left unattended for an extended period of time, the undead begin to munch on humans. The more they kill, the stronger they become, the harder it is for the Undertaker and Graveminder to find them and lead them underground.
Simply put, I loved this book. It was a yearning love story, with some mystery, intrigue and original gothic, supernatural aspects. One book wasn’t enough. I am making a plea to Melissa Marr…please! We need more Bek and Byron!
UPDATE: Melissa confirmed to me on Twitter that there will be one more Graveminder book!! Totally made my day! :D