Wednesday, July 27, 2011
"Graveminder," by Melissa Marr
Rebekkah Barrow is forced to come back to Claysville to bury her beloved grandmother, who was murdered. There she finds former friend and lover Byron, whom she has pushed away time and time again. But the two have to come together in a way neither of them could have ever predicted.
Long ago, the fathers of Claysville made a contract to keep their town members healthy and to always have their needs met. In exchange, a Barrow woman must be a Graveminder. She keeps the dead in the ground by offering food, drink and words. If any dead escape, she must bring them back to Charles (aka Mr. D) in a world that is neither heaven nor hell. But the Graveminder cannot open the gate to that world herself. She must always be attended by her Undertaker, who keeps her tethered to the living when she longs to join the dead.
Rebekkah, the Graveminder, and Byron, the Undertaker, unite to find Bek's grandmother's murderer, a walking dead girl who becomes stronger each time she eats human flesh.
This was an interesting storyline, and Mr. D's world was richly described, but the rest was kind of boring. Rebekkah's constant pushing away of Byron when they both clearly love each other got repetitive and annoying. And another character, Amity Blue, was very intriguing but was quickly dropped toward the end. She had a sexual relationship with Byron before Rebekkah came back to town, and despite assuring that she wanted a no-strings relationship, it was obvious she had feelings for him. Her other love interest became a walking dead, and later Bek says she wants Amity to take her place as Graveminder should something happen to her. However, Amity is then never mentioned again.
Charlie, Mr. D, was also interesting. He didn't have nearly enough time in the book, though he was an integral part of the plot. If there's a follow-up, I hope he gets a bigger spotlight.
The story pushed forward quickly; it was never boring. I just kept wishing for something more.