Saturday, September 1, 2012

Group Review: Graveminder

Summary: 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 at tend, 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. ~ blurb

Alice's Review:  I admit I am fairly addicted to certain ghost shows on TV.  When I received Graveminder last year, I was intrigued.  A novel about a woman whose job is to keep the dead dead seemed all right to me.  I really wanted to like this.  It was spooky enough, scary enough but I draw the line at zombies.  And the walking dead eat people.  That’s just creepy.

There were some things I couldn’t ignore.  Overall, the novel lacked something.  I think the writing was a bit elementary.  The premise was interesting, but the execution could have used some work.  In defense to Ms. Marr, I received an ARC of Graveminder.  I’m sure the finished novel was better.  I know the dead and zombie’s are no laughing matter but this novel definitely needed a dose of laughter.  Something, anything, to lighten it up.

I liked how Bek embraced her role as Graveminder.  She knew it was her destiny.  I thought she was a strong character.  She knew what needed to be done and didn’t shy away from her responsibility.  My issues lay with Byron.  I didn’t like that Byron’s  rose-colored love for Bek made him blind to everything else.  Maybe I’m just a cynic, but seriously, the guy needed to settle down.   Yes, I know as her Undertaker they are forever linked and he’s supposed to protect her, but still.  It was nauseating to watch someone that clingy.  It was creepy. 

My favorite character was William, Byron’s father and Maylene’s Undertaker.  Of all the characters, he was the most real to me.  Ms. Marr portrayed his grief beautifully.  Although his role was limited, there was such grace about him.  I wish Graveminder was about him and Maylene instead of Byron and Rebekka. 

I have several questions, especially about Mr. D (Charles).  I like Rebekkah, but can’t really stomach Byron.  My opinion of the novel changed frequently during the reading.  Sometimes I liked it, sometimes I didn't.  Although in the end, I felt a glimmer of like but it might have been joy that it was finally over.  I do believe if you are a fan of this genre, you will enjoy this novel.    Me, not so much.

Final Take: 3/5

Jenn's Review:  This is my first Melissa Marr novel, having had her YA books on my TBR list for a while but not getting to them yet, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect from Graveminder.  As paranomal genre goes it was different, and I liked that about it.    Graveminder is also a stand alone novel for now.  The last bit may or may not be a good thing.

I think that there were several potential books in Graveminder; there is so much plot exposition that doesn't get fleshed out.  I found myself wishing for more details in the world of the dead.  I'm not sure I understood everyone's relationship and/or motivation.  I'm still not exactly sure what happens over there.  I wanted to know more about Abigail.  I also wanted to learn more from the journals and clippings that Rebekkah and Byron found.  Melissa Marr has put together a nice little scrapbook of information on the history of the Graveminders and Undertakers, but I still don't think it's enough. I thought the part about the way the jobs pass from generation to generation was confusing too.

The plot itself was fascinating and their was a huge twist that I never saw coming, though in hindsight, perhaps I should have; I think it was too heinous for me to have guessed.  While I enjoyed the character's of Rebekkah and Byron, there were definitely times I was frustrated with both of them, especially Rebekkah.  Her hot-cold act wore thin after awhile.

I love that it's a novel with a play list; I'm a sucker for that and I will be checking it out this week (I just wish there were embeded links).  Graveminder has certainly peaked my curiosity about the rest of Melissa Marr's work and moved  closer to the top of my TBR list.

Final Take:  3.75/5

Julie's Review: Let's just say that paranormal isn't my usual fare and I can say that Graveminder didn't do anything to change my mind. I did like some aspects of the storyline, although I wish it had been a different paranormal angle. While wishing that, I also realize it would have been a completely different book then.

I found that I was intrigued by the story of Rebekkah and Byron more than anything else. The Underground world was interesting but I found that it confused the story more for me than anything. It were these parts of the story that interrupted the flow of what was going on in the living world. I realize that both worlds are connected to each other and if one fails, the other one does as well. What I did think was interesting was that Rebekkah and Byron had very different experiences when they went to visit Mr. D and Abigail. What Rebekkah saw enchanted her and what Bryon saw repulsed him.

I didn't think the story that gave Rebekkah the background to being a Graveminder to be all that clear. In fact, I think I found it to confuse me even more. Perhaps if I read more paranormal books, it wouldn't confuse me as much.

In the end, there were things that I did enjoy but if there were to be a sequel to Graveminder , I would probably pass on it. If you are a paranomal fan and haven't checked out Melissa Marr, then I'm fairly certain you should. Graveminder is her first foray into Adult novels.

Final Take: 3.25/5



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