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Books 89-90: Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet and Dead Ever After

Book 89: Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet (Charley Davidson #4).
Author: Darynda Jones, 2012.
Genre: Paranormal Romance. Urban Fantasy. Demons. Ghosts.
Other Details: Paperback. 320 pages

After the events of Third Grave Dead Ahead, Charley Davidson, full-time Grim Reaper and part-time PI, has shut herself away in her apartment and been spending far too much time and money on various shopping channels. When a woman shows up at her door claiming someone is trying to kill her, it finally encourages Charlie to get dressed and back out there. Of course, there is still the matter of Reyes Farrow and a variety of demons determined to mess with her.

Another enjoyable outing for Charley D & Co. I was pleased to learn more about 'Grim Reapers' and other bits of back story. I liked the central mystery though sometimes the ongoing plot about demon attacks and Reyes threatened to bury it.

I did have to unearth my copy of Book #3 as I'd managed to forget a few points regarding how things had ended between Charley and her family after the climax of same. This reads like a fun mash-up of 'Supernatural' (demons possessing humans), 'Ghost Whisperer' (ghosts wandering about and often not knowing they are ghosts) and the Stephanie Plum novels (quick-talking, plucky lead with quirky side-kick, sassy elderly relation and hot blokes in attendance). Regarding the latter, I listened to some of this on audio and as I've been listening to Lorelei King's narration of the Plum novels for some months I made an immediate association.

The one thing that bothers me about the series is the constant - and I do mean constant references to Reyes' looks and 'hotness' not just from Charley but any female with a pulse. Seriously annoying after the first dozen or so remarks. I call this the 'Bella Swann' effect though maybe it is a tendency in romance literature of all kinds. Not only does it objectify men (and yes women have been subject to objectification but tit for tat not cool) but it also gives the impression that good looks is the only quality that women should consider in a mate. It's pretty shallow in print and in life. Still it is not enough of a niggle to stop me reading further instalments as I quite like Charley.

Book 90: Dead Ever After (Sookie Stackhouse/Southern Vampires #13) .
Author: Charlaine Harris, 2013.
Genre: Paranormal Suspense. Southern Gothic. Vampires. Werewolves.
Other Details: Hardback. 352 pages.

The question is, in the end: who will love, who will live, and who will be dead ever after? - tag line from UK publisher.

There are a lot of spoilers from earlier books in the official synopsis and I don't expect that anyone is going to start reading the series with the last ever Sookie Stackhouse novel. Suffice to say that Charlaine Harris uses Sookie's swan song to say goodbye not only to Sookie and main supporting cast but to have a variety of minor characters come to take a final bow. It isn't great literature but I've enjoyed the series since Book 1 and this one was no exception.

While I was happy with the series' outcome I seem to be in the minority as there has been enough outrage from a vocal group of fans to cause mainstream newspapers such as The Guardian and The Wall Street Journal to carry stories about it.

I have to say that I do prefer the US cover art designed by Lisa Desimini for this series as it is cute and quirky.


Tags: angels/demons, paranormal, romance, supernatural, urban fantasy, vampires, werewolves, witchcraft
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