Review: Eighth Grave After Dark by Darynda Jones

eighth graveReviewed by Jen

So much happens in this book. So many question are answered. So many things we have been anxiously awaiting finally come to pass.  It’s got everything I’ve been waiting for… and some things I never expected.  It’s a great story with a fast pace, Charley’s trademark humor, and plenty of feels.  It also has an ending that is not only a cliffhanger, but could create some mixed feelings among fans.

The book begins about 8 months after the end of the last one. Thankfully, Darynda Jones pressed the fast forward button, so we don’t have to endure a never ending pregnancy.  Charley is now ready to have Beep any minute –and it can’t come soon enough.

“I just don’t get it. I’m supernatural. You’re supernatural. Why can’t we have one of those quick pregnancies like Bella and Edward? Gwen from Torchwood. Scully. Deanna Troi. Or even Cordelia when that demon impregnated her. Twenty-four hours later, bam! Demon child.”

Obviously, the snark is in full force, which I love. I mean, who doesn’t remember that horrible Cordelia pregnancy?

Anyway, Charley and Reyes are living at the old convent, trying to keep safe from the hellhounds. And Cookie and Uncle Bob are getting married! You would think between Charley’s job as maid of honor and her inability to leave her location, she’d be unable to work any cases. You would be wrong.  Her FBI buddy, Kit, has her on a job, which Charley tries to juggle while tending her best friend and worrying about her husband. You see, Reyes is keeping secrets and he is having problems he won’t share with Charley.  Of course, that’s only fair considering she is keeping secrets from him as well.

I love how Jones really advances the series plot in this book. I had so many questions for so long about what Charley is. About what Beep is. About Charley’s powers and her true name.  About Osh. Lucifer’s plans. Charley’s dad. And Rocket. And Mr. Wong.  Questions answered, folks.  And they are answered as things happen.  It’s all so exciting. I think I cheered out loud when Mr. Wong finally revealed himself.  (In fact, I know I did.) It’s kind of epic.

But it’s not perfect, at least not for me.  I hated the secrets between Charley and Reyes. I feel like they should be at a point where they are a team.  But they’re not. I think their hearts are in the right place, but the deceit on top of deceit… we should be past that.  Then there is the ending.  First, Charley has to make a sacrifice that was pretty awful.  To me, that would have been enough.  It was shocking and it shakes everyone to the core. It would have been a twist worthy of ending the book. But then there was something more.  I don’t want to spoil it.  But I didn’t love it.  It just felt a little trite in a series that is otherwise so wonderfully unique and original.

I guess Jones needed a set-up for the premise of the next book.  Perhaps she needed a new conflict with so much resolved here. I don’t know.  I think it will be a bit polarizing for readers. But I reserve too much judgment until I see where she goes with it in 9TH GRAVE.

Regardless of how you feel about the ending, you won’t want to miss this book. It’s a must-read for fans of the series. Plus… double bonus points for Charley reading Lover Awakened.  Say what you will about the newer BDB books, but you can’t go wrong with Zsadist.

Rating: B/B+

*ARC provided by publisher

Click to purchase: Amazon

Eighth Grave After Dark
by Darynda Jones
Release Date: May 19, 2015
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

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