Pages: 324, hardcover
Publisher:William Morrow & Company
Date Released: May 17th, 2011
Genre: Adult / urban fantasy / paranormal / romance / horror / zombies
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.
(Taken from Goodreads)
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Wow, talk about a ride! This was so much better than I'd expected it to be.
I'm not too much of a fan of Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely series, but this was different. It still had the same gothic charm, but it had something more.
The story was fairly fantastic, always giving you just enough to keep you on the edge of your seat. It's such an original concept, and I applaud Marr for making it work so damn well.
Another stellar thing about this book was the writing. When I'd said before that there was something more to this series, I meant it. Within the writing, Marr beautifully demonstrates a constant feeling of claustrophobia and doubt. There are gothic elements, and one can't help but feel slightly on edge while reading, as if the undead might actually be real.
The world-building was the best thing about this book. The town of Claysville, with its slight utopian feel, can be something of a prison. It's hard to tell whether their utopia is real or just imagined; after all, they have the perfect lives: there is no such thing as disease in Claysville. But is it worth the price of the possible rise of the dead, of being tethered to the town for the rest of your natural born life, of not ever being able to know the truth of the town due to migraines and memory-loss? When you think about it like that, it seems less like a utopia, and more like a dystopia. Of course, I have to stress that this book is NOT dystopian, there are just elements of it.
Another part of the world building that was done magnificently was the land of the dead. It was a place that I wish we'd seen more of. The alternating histories, the splendid characters, and the twisted rules, it makes it a place I'd like to visit.
I disliked, though, the main characters, especially Rebekkah. She was an unsympathetic character, constantly changing her mind regarding Byron. Every time it shifted to her POV, I was just like MAKE UP YOUR DAMN MIND, WOMAN! The way she treats Byron, by just using him, and playing with his feelings like that, man, I felt sorry for the poor guy. I wanted him to get together with Amity.
I wished that there was more. It left a lot of unanswered questions. Will there be a sequel? Does anybody know? If there is, I will just die from happiness.
10 Second Review: Fantastic world-building, with crappy main characters. Brings a whole new spin to zombies. Worth the read.
Cover Art: 4
Level of Interest: 4
Total Rating: 4.5/5 stars