From the publisher…
Rebekkah Barrow never forgot the tender attention her grandmother, Maylene, bestowed upon the dead of Claysville. While growing up, Rebekkah watched as Maylene performed the same unusual ritual at every funeral: three sips from a small silver flask followed by the words, “Sleep well, and stay where I put you.”
Now Maylene is gone and Bek must return to the hometown—and the man—she abandoned a decade ago, only to discover that Maylene’s death was not natural . . . and there was good reason for her odd traditions. In Claysville, the worlds of the living and the dead are dangerously connected—and beneath the town lies a shadowy, lawless land ruled by the enigmatic Charles, aka Mr. D. From this dark place the deceased will return if their graves are not properly minded. And only the Graveminder, a Barrow woman, and the current Undertaker, Byron, can set things to right once the dead begin to walk. . . .
Sounds good and creepy right? Well it is to a degree, but its not all about the creep; it’s more about the story of their lives and the town. The curious nature of the relationship between the townspeople and events transpiring is something you come to understand as the story unfolds just as the Rebekkah and Byron do. Can you imagine going from a simple understanding of your life with explanations for the curiosities of eccentricity to oh, honey…by the way, we help the dead STAY dead”? Yeah, needless to say that’s a conversation and a half that neither Barrow women nor the chosen Undertaker are chomping at the bit to explain to the next generation. Combine that with the fact that the “trade off” requires a bit of an “ending” to occur in order for the transfer of power to take place. Hmm, power doesn’t seem like the right word here, perhaps it’s better put as responsibility.
There is a cast of characters you’ll grow to know as the story progresses but some are closer than others. Maylene, though our time with her is short, seems like a remarkable woman; highly capable of the role she was given and smart enough to set future events in motion before her time came. Her Undertaker, Byron’s father was also pretty remarkable himself. Besides carrying on the traditions his role dictates, he was strong enough to hold things together long enough by himself that the new dynamic duo could get their bearings; grant it not VERY long, but some time which one is better than no time with any.
Rebekkah is a breath of fresh air in an otherwise stale atmosphere…the town‘s that is, not the story. She’s not as she’s expected to be and she’s taken the lessons Maylene taught her about life and death to heart in a very real way. She feels things deeply and the absence of this guiding figure in her life is tough….especially when she finds out the truth about how she passed, and what she is expected to do now that she has. It’s a hard role to fill under normal circumstances and things are anything but “normal” in the sense that you or I would recognize. Byron, her new Undertaker and long time “acquaintance”, takes things in stride despite the fact that it’s just as much of a rude awakening to him as it is to her. You’d think living in Claysville his whole life would make it easier to digest or even guess at what’s been going on, right? Wrong.
Last but not least is a character who plays a more vital part in the story than you may at first believe….Daisha. She’s a conundrum. One moment you feel bad for her, the next you want to murder her and then you land somewhere in between. Would it surprise you if I told you in the end, you might not like her but you’ll understand her? It’s true. She does some things that are highly questionable and others that are downright evil but she’s been wronged herself and her situation as you’ll come to know is not entirely her fault. I can’t explain further without needing a spoiler alert but let’s just say, she’s one to watch. Now back to that story….
|Author Melissa Marr|
In summary (because I know you’re dying for me to wrap this puppy up), a paranormal tinged tale that relies heavily on its connections to OUR world creating a bond that is as hard to resist as the original bargain with the founders of Claysville. There are zombies, yes…..but not in the traditional sense. It’s a new form of the classic that works well for the story’s purpose and one that while not easily summarized in a word, I found rather intriguing. Recommended read for older teen and adult fans of the author’s previous works, or those simply looking for a part contemporary part paranormal story that will give you plenty to ponder after you turn the final page. Will there be a sequel? According to her latest post on her site, no…or rather not at this time. She mentions a partial second book written, but it’s just a WIP she’s toying with….nothing serious at this time. (*darn*)
HarperCollins Publishers….the same publisher for which I send my thanks for the review copy. (THANKS GUYS!) For more information on this title as well as their complete catalog, feel free to visit them online, or follow along on Twitter. To discover more of the wondrous worlds of the author’s creation, visit Melissa Marr’s official website or follow along on Twitter.
Until next time…happy reading!