Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Eighth Grave After Dark (Charley Davidson, #8) Darynda Jones ARC Book Review

Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal
Source: Publisher
Edition: Hardcover, 352 pages

Sometimes I wonder if the purpose of my life

is to serve as a cautionary tale to others.


Charley Davidson has enough going on without having to worry about twelve hellhounds hot on her trail. She is, after all, incredibly pregnant and feeling like she could pop at any moment. But, just her luck, twelve deadly beasts from hell have chosen this time to escape onto our plane, and they've made Charley their target. And so she takes refuge at the only place she thinks they can't get to her: the grounds of an abandoned convent. Of course, if hellhounds aren't enough, Charley also has a new case to hold her attention: the decades-old murder of a newly-vowed nun she keeps seeing in the shadows of the convent. 

Add to that the still unsolved murder of her father, the strange behavior of her husband, and Charley's tendency to attract the, shall we say, undead, and she has her hands full…but also tied. While the angry hellhounds can't traverse the consecrated soil, they can lurk just beyond its borders like evil sentries, so Charley has been forbidden from leaving the sacred grounds. Luckily, she has her loyal team with her, and they're a scrappy bunch who won't let a few thirsty hellhounds deter them.

While the team scours the prophesies, searching for clues on the Twelve, for a way to kill them or at least send them back to hell, Charley just wants answers and is powerless to get them. But the mass of friends they've accrued helps. They convince her even more that everyone in her recent life has somehow been drawn to her, as though they were a part of a bigger picture all along. Their presence is comforting. But the good feelings don't last for long because Charley is about to get the surprise of her crazy, mixed-up, supernatural life….
I'm just meeting Charley Davidson. I know, and I'm reading book eight. Makes no sense, right?!
Well, I never attested to always being in my right mind. ;)

Anyway, because I have no previous experience with these characters--I was a little concerned I wouldn't be able to properly review this title, because I wouldn't be able to connect with the characters. Not true.

While I didn't know the background, the characters were easy to love. Charley is like a paranormal version of Stephanie Plum--getting into mischief, solving crimes, and going to bed with a super hot hunk. (Did I just say, hunk?) 

For those of you unfamiliar with the series, we have a nice round-up of characters, there's Charley the obvious star of the show. She has the ability to see the dead and she's really good friends with some of them. She solves crimes using her otherworldly powers and she's best friends with a woman named, Cookie. Cookie is the best friend. She has a daughter and she is Charley's sidekick and is the other half of the crime solving team.

Reyes, oh Reyes. I wanted more of him. He wasn't exactly present often but the way Charley described him, I wanted him around more. He's a ball of hotness, literally.  Oh, and he's the son of the devil. There's more to this series, but that's the crucial points.

Quirky paranormal crime solver, Gorgeous son of the devil, best friend crime solver, dead people hanging around. Yeah, that seems about right.

In this installement, Charley is a pregnant as over, and ready to give birth at any moment but, yeah she can't leave her house--because there are some gruesome "hellhounds" out for her blood. And, yeah they're surrounding her property. To top it all off, she has a crime to solve, the dead are still lurking, and her husband is acting strangely.

I liked this story. I liked how easy it was to get into the story even though I had no backstory. I didn't feel like I was completely out of the loop. I don't recommend starting with the eighth book but I will say you won't feel completely lost.

It was really easy to breeze through this book and I don't think there was a character I didn't like. My only complaint which would be probably be rectified by reading the previous books was--despite the crazy paranormal tone of the book, it moved at a slow pace. But, what I noticed is in books like these once they hit like the fifth books and further, things get a little repetitive. I can't say that's happening here but it's possible the book is just already in the flow of things and I'm behind.

Needless to say I have some catching up to do, and if I'm judging it based off of this book, I'd say it was worth jumping into. 

The ending definitely left me wanting more, as the ending left a lot to be answered--but in a good way. This book has nice elements. Sexy, humorous, and paranormal. It was worth reading and I'm excited to see where the story progressed from and where it's going to go.

I recommend this book to fans of the Stephanie Plum and the Undead series.


  1. I have never heard of this series. I will have to look into it! I like sexy and humorous!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

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  3. Hi! I nominated you for the Blogger Recognition Award! See my post here: http://blueeyebooks.blogspot.com/2015/05/award-tuesday-blogger-recognition-award.html

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks

  4. I have only read the first in this series. Although this seems alright, I hope it's not an indication that the series is turning lukewarm in the later series.