Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Darynda Jones: Second Grave On The Left

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Darynda Jones is back with her second installment of her Charley Davidson series and things are going to get tough for the Grim Reaper:

Charley is about to take a case that is really personal to her best friend and co-worker Cookie. One of Cookie's friends Mimi disappeared five days earlier and this was just after she had talked to Cookie about hiring Charley for help. As Charley and Cookie dig into Mimi's past they find of friend of Mimi has just died as well and the body count keeps getting higher from people of Mimi’s past and she could be next if they don’t find her first. If this was not enough Reyes has left his corporeal body and is haunting Charley. Reyes is being tortured in order to lure Charley to the Demons who are looking for a way out of Hell and Reyes has decided that he no longer needs his corporeal body. Charley is determined to save him at all cost, but it becomes a question is showing the Demons a way into Heaven too much of a price to pay?

I liked and enjoyed this book, it was a good continuation from the first and the elements that are established in the first carry over in to this book and you are not left wondering, what happened to this character. Jones does a good job of just updating you on even the secondary characters are in their lives, but she works it into a way that it is part of the story, for example, the demon child spawn ghost (Charley’s words not mine) from the first book, you don't get as much of her in this book, I think she only has a few scenes but she is helpful to the case but also gets Charley involved with her brother’s love life, lol.

I really appreciated that Charley had the ability to say NO to Reyes even when he was trying really hard to persuade her otherwise. This made me not only like Charley as a character more but also Jones as an author as she did not succumb, to what would have been easier and let Charley and Reyes have sex. However, I did find that there may have been a few too many incorporeal scenes where Reyes attempts to persuade Charley to have sex with him, and although it doesn't happen, I just got a little bit tired of them popping up every time it seemed that Charley was asleep and sometimes when she was not. I think in many authors these days lack the art of developing a relationship from book to book and it has been lost in series based novels. If you know that you are going to have at least a trilogy why not have your characters a) get to know each other better and b) no just jump into bed with them because of this sudden "love" / "lust" that the characters feel between each other, I think that Jones has attempted to find the best of both those worlds that I think this series will appeal to more that just those looking for a paranormal romance.

I liked that there is always more to these stories than the supernatural and that Charley and Cookie take actual cases. There is the Case about Cookie's friend, the dead guy in the trunk of Cookie's car that needs to be investigated and then all the Heaven/Hell/Apocalyptic events with Reyes. Yes all of this is in one book but I never found that the intertwining plots to be overwhelming or confusing, Jones is some how able to make it all work well together.

I liked that we get to see more development of Charley as a character, things from her past, her powers and the development of all her relationships, including some of those in her family, which I think needed to be done. I'm a big fan of the Grim Reaper aspect; I just find that role so interesting and something truly unique to me as I have not read another book that has the Grim Reaper as the main character. I am also interested in finding out more of the powers that Charley has as the Grim Reaper as Reyes hints throughout this book that Charley has power that she has yet to discover and I wonder what direction Jones will take this in as the possibilities are endless.

This is a really good follow-up to the first book and I look forward to reading the third. Although, I do hope in the third there is a bit more interaction with ghosts such as Angel, I find him a really interesting character. Jones has done something that all authors want to do, make their sequel just as good as the first. I personally think that Jones has succeeded in that venture.

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