Hardcover: 336 pagesAs most of you who follow this blog know, I am a HUGE Melissa Marr fan. The Wicked Lovely Series is one of the best series I've ever read (my review). So, when I heard that she was writing an adult novel, I knew then and there I was breaking my "only Young Adult books" streak. There was just no doubt. Besides, I know there are a lot of adults who read this blog!
Publisher: William Morrow (May 17, 2011)
Author's Website: http://www.melissa-marr.com/_graveminder/graveminder.html
Buy the book: Amazon
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.
When I was contacted to review this book....I may have squealed. But, I was also really nervous. What if I didn't like it? What if it was awful? Melissa Marr, I will never doubt again! If you have read the Wicked Lovely series, you will recognize Melissa's writing in this book. She has a unique style, and when I started reading, I immediately smiled because it was like a reunion with an old friend. But though the writing is similar, the story is worlds apart.....and what a world it is!
I have never read ANYTHING like this book. Graveminder was a much slower moving read, which lends itself to the town and the creepy feeling that you get while reading it. I love how the viewpoint shifts between the characters, so we get to see from the eyes of a few of the people in Claysville. Rebekkah (the Graveminder) and Byron (the Undertaker) are the two main characters, and the two people we read from the most. I felt a constant ache whenever I read about their relationship. It was obvious that they had a deep love for each other, but that Rebekkah had issues that were keeping them apart. I love the constant push and pull these two gave each other. As they learned the secrets of the Claysville contract, and their rolls in that contract, they began to rely on each other, and see each other in a whole new light.
The most bizarre of the viewpoints we read from has to be Daisha's, a Claysville resident who has recently died. Reading the thoughts of a dead girl? Possibly the creepiest thing ever, especially when.....well, I'll let you figure that out. Let me just tell you, my jaw dropped and I had to re-read it just to make sure I read it right. Then I though, "Oh, crap! That just happened!" Gruesome doesn't even begin to describe it! But in a way my heart broke for Daisha, not knowing what was happening, or why.
One of my favorite characters had to be Charles (or Mr. D), the ruler of the world of the dead, and my favorite setting was the town he ruled. I would have liked to have seen and learned more about both of these things. The town beneath Claysville was so fascinating. In a way it reminded me of the underground faery courts that we sometimes read about, but it was also a unique world that had a different feel from anything I've ever read, kind-of mobsters meets Wild West. It would be a really interesting place to be able to view from afar, and a really scary place to actually visit. I guess I'm glad I got to visit from the other side of a book!
I'm not sure how to classify this book, American Gothic, Ghost-Story, Zombie Book, Mystery, Paranormal Romance, but one thing is for sure, this book is fantastically written. I've seen a couple of reviews that say it reads more like a YA book than an adult book, but I didn't feel that way. Especially since I felt like the Wicked Lovely series could easily be written for adults. Marr's writing is just that elegant and complex. I really enjoyed this book, which solidifies that I will read anything that this woman writes!
I loved it!
*This is an adult novel, it is not YA. But I will let you know that there are quite a few gruesome scenes, as well as a couple of heavy profanities, and a sexual situation.