I usually don’t beg. Well not often, but when I didn’t win an ARC contest that Darynda was holding for Third Grave Dead Ahead, I might have succumbed. I subtly let her know that I was really bummed to not get to read her third book in the Charley & Reyes series as soon as possible. She suggested that I could try and contact her publicist and see if I could get one from him. So of course I immediately emailed that wonderful man, laid out my resume of blogs/twitter followers/FB reach (heh) and begged him for a copy. He so graciously agreed and didn’t even mention how psycho I sounded. There was a little mix up in the delivery of the ARC (apparently there could be a lost copy somewhere in the Canadian postal system) but Loren was nice enough to overnight me another one.
So when I finally got my hands on this book, I couldn’t wait to get started. In fact, I might have read a few pages right outside my PO Box across the border:
For anyone not familiar with Darynda’s books, they are a mix of mystery, suspense, wit, humor and romance. If you haven’t read them, go get them. Now. Currently there are two books out, First Grave on the Right and Second Grave on the Left. Book 3, Third Grave Dead Ahead is set to be released at the end of this month, January 31st.
Darynda is a master at leaving you hanging and both books end with a desperation to know what comes next. Fortunately, the wait is almost over and I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
If you haven’t read the books and don’t want to be spoiled, do not read any further. SPOILERS AHEAD.
At the end of Second Grave on the Left, Charley has bound Reyes to his mortal body and Reyes is p-i-s-s-e-d. Like umm, really pissed. So we’re left wondering, what kind of danger will Charley be in and will she be able to save herself with his help? How long is Reyes going to be mad? When and how will he escape? And did he really kill his father? How long is Reyes going to be mad? Yeah, he was really mad, so it bears asking twice cause I was afraid for that girl!
All of these questions are answered in Third Grave Dead Ahead and we’re given a reprieve from the major cliffhangers we had to deal with in the first two books.
Darynda is master sculptor of witty dialogue, high-energy action, hilarious characters and incredible can’t-turn-the-page fast enough plots. As a writer, she is the type of author whose work I read and think I will never write again. If you’re a writer, you know what I mean and what I’m saying about Darynda’s talent. She truly is the type of writer that could write the phone book and it’d entertain you.
I could tell you that technically this book is a “filler” book. A book that is the lull in a series before we get into the next big story ARC. I could also tell you that I have a hard time reading “filler” books in a series because they just don’t hold my attention, but I’d be lying if I said that about Third Grave Dead Ahead. I enjoyed every minute of this book. Even after I finished and realized that Reyes and Charley still haven’t progressed much further in their relationship since Second Grave on the Left, or that we still don’t know what Charley is dun dun dun, “capable of” I didn’t feel cheated. It was just a great book.
Charley is even funnier in Third Grave Dead Ahead (if that’s possible) and I thoroughly enjoyed her banter with, umm, everyone…Cookies antics, Swopes annoyingness and the introduction of a few new characters. Charley remains one of my most favorites fictional characters who I really wish was real. If she was, she’d be my best friend. She is a hoot. But she has a softer, vulnerable side to her that we usually see after the climax when almost everything has gone to hell in a handbasket, and this addition is no exception. My heart broke for her heartache and I definitely shed a few tears along the way. Of course I would have loved to see some more of Reyes and the dynamic between Charley and him, but I realize that good things come to those that wait. And I have no doubt that this series is just getting started! Not bad for book 3 in a series, huh?
Five out of five stars for Third Grave Dead Ahead!
I made some custom art — a wallpaper of my favorite general:
And a countdown widget which you’re welcome to use anywhere and everywhere:
The code for this widget is as follows:
<object codebase=”http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=9,0,0,0″ width=”150″ height=”300″ id=”countdown”><param name=”allowScriptAccess” value=”sameDomain” /><param name=”movie” value=”http://countdownpage.createyourcountdown.com/countdown.swf?filename=6467c327eaf8940b4dd07a08c63c5e85_15296″ /><param name=”quality” value=”high” /><param name=”wmode” value=”transparent” /><embed src=”http://countdownpage.createyourcountdown.com/countdown.swf?filename=6467c327eaf8940b4dd07a08c63c5e85_15296″ name=”countdown” width=”150″ height=”300″ wmode=”transparent” allowScriptAccess=”sameDomain” allowFullScreen=”false” codebase=”http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=9,0,0,0″ /></object>