Fifth Grave Past the Light by Darynda Jones (Reread)

Book Review

 


Fifth Grave Past the Light (Charley Davidson, #5)Book Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Mystery, Urban Fantasy, Audiobook

Book Series: Charley Davidson #5

Released: 7/9/2013

Pages: 339  Price: $39.99 Audiobook

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I borrowed this audiobook from my library

 

 

Book Synopsis:

Charley Davidson isn’t your everyday, run-of-the-mill grim reaper. She’s more of a paranormal private eye/grim reaper extraordinaire. However, she gets sidetracked when the sexy, sultry son of Satan, Reyes Farrow, moves in next door. To further complicate matters, Reyes is her main suspect in an arson case. Charley has vowed to stay away from him until she can find out the truth…but then dead women start appearing in her apartment, one after another, each lost, confused, and terrified beyond reason. When it becomes apparent that her own sister, Gemma is the serial killer’s next target, Charley has no choice but to ask for Reyes’s help. Arsonist or not, he’s the one man alive who could protect Gemma no matter who or what came at her. But he wants something in return. Charley. All of her, body and soul. And to keep her sister safe, it is a price she is willing to pay.
Charley Davidson is at it again in the sexy, suspenseful, and laugh-out-loud funny fifth installment of the New York Timesbest selling series.

My Review:

Oy,  I had forgotten some of the truly gruesome things that happen to Charley over the years.  Here I thought listening to the graphic sex scenes was awkward, listening to a character being tortured is just as challenging.  Otherwise, I continue to enjoy this reread listen to one of my favorite series.

I continue to be surprised by how much I don’t remember from the earlier books.  I think once we get to book ten, eleven, and twelve I will be more familiar with what is going on as they are more recent releases.  I also continue to focus on subplots more than I did the first go around as I already know how Charley and Reyes’s relationship is going to play out.  While I love Charley and Reyes other characters are quickly becoming almost equal in my adoration.  Uncle Bob in this book especially tugged at my heart.

I have one more book downloaded and then I have to wait for my turn at book 7 which might be a nice spot to take a breather for a book or two.   It is going to be a long time to wait until Fall 2018 for the last book so there is no hurry.  This is such a great series I highly recommend it for whatever format you can get your hands on.  A smoking hot male love interest, humor that has you laughing in public, and touching moments that leave you in tears.  This series has it all.

My Rating: 5 Stars

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Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet by Darynda Jones (Reread)

Book Review


Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet (Charley Davidson, #4)Book Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Urban Fantasy, Mystery, Audiobook

Book Series: Charley Davidson #4

Released: 10/30/12 by St. Martin’s Press

Pages: 308 Price: Audiobook $39.99

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I borrowed this audiobook from my library

 

 

Book Synopsis:

Sometimes being the grim reaper really is, well, grim. And since Charley’s last case went so awry, she has taken a couple of months off to wallow in the wonders of self-pity. But when a woman shows up on her doorstep convinced someone is trying to kill her, Charley has to force herself to rise above…or at least get dressed. It becomes clear something is amiss when everyone the woman knows swears she’s insane. But the more they refute the woman’s story, the more Charley believes it.
In the meantime, the sexy, sultry son of Satan, Reyes Farrow, is out of prison and out of Charley’s life, as per her wishes and several perfectly timed death threats. But his absence has put a serious crimp in her sex life. While there are other things to consider, like the fact that the city of Albuquerque has been taken hostage by an arsonist, Charley is having a difficult time staying away. Especially when it looks like Reyes may be involved.
Just when life was returning to normal, Charley is thrust back into the world of crime, punishment, and the devil in blue jeans in this hilarious fourth installment in the New York Times bestselling series.

My Review:

Continuing to enjoy my reread listen to the Charley Davidson series.  Also getting a ton of knitting done because all I want to do is sit and listen and laugh.  Of course, there are plenty of moments that have me in tears and blushing at what is being read to me.  These books are definitely not safe for work or commute in public transit without headphones.

Book four brought me quite a few surprises which shocked me in how much I did not remember.  There were one or two scenes in there that I had completely forgotten.  I remember zipping right through this series when I read it the first time so perhaps I should reread more of the book I finished in a day because in my rush to read them I missed a lot apparently.

Listening to this book and the last one so close together made me realize there is a bit of a plot hole with a character that had died in the previous book.  I could have sworn he was dead-dead but he ended up showing up again in this book.  There was a little explanation as to what happened but it felt a little fishy. Will need to go and read other’s reviews about this character and see if anyone else feels the same.  Don’t get me wrong I’m happy they are still in the book it is just something feels off about what happened.

I have plenty of knitting to go, knitting a blanket for my husband, and plenty of books to go! Was a little disappointed that there was no author interview at the end of this book but I guess I can look some up on YouTube if I want to hear more of what Ms. Jones has to say about the series…

My Rating: 5 Stars

Third Grave Dead Ahead by Darynda Jones (Reread)

Book Review

 


Third Grave Dead Ahead (Charley Davidson, #3)Book Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Urban Fantasy, Audiobook, Mystery

Book Series: Charley Davidson #3

Released: 1/31/12 by St. Martian’s Press

Pages: 310  Price: $39.99 Audiobook

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I borrowed this audiobook from my library

 

 

Book Synopsis:

Paranormal private eye. Grim reaper extraordinaire. Whatever. Charley Davidson is back! And she’s drinking copious amounts of caffeine to stay awake because, every time she closes her eyes, she sees him: Reyes Farrow, the part-human, part-supermodel son of Satan. Yes, she did imprison him for all eternity, but come on. How is she supposed to solve a missing persons case, deal with an ego-driven doctor, calm her curmudgeonly dad, and take on a motorcycle gang hellbent on murder when the devil’s son just won’t give up?

My Review:

Wow.  I’m surprised at how much I did not remember in this book.  Near the end, I was totally all ‘Wait a minute, what the hell just happen?!?’.  It is a good thing I have the next audiobook all downloaded and waiting because if I had to wait my turn for the next book I might have a fit.

This reread continues to be a delight to listen to and if you are a fan of the series I highly suggest getting your hands on the audiobooks.  There was another author interview at the end of this book and to gain that insight into Ms. Jones’s development of the characters and plot is so worth it.

I really don’t want to give anything away but Garrett’s storyline really tugs on the heart in this book.  We also meet Artemis in this book which was both sad and fun.  Again there are characters here that have dropped out of the plot by book 12 that I’m having a difficult time remembering their importance.  I am also surprised at how little Reyes and Charlies’s relationship is grabbing my attention.  I know how most of that plays out, having read the series already, and I am able to focus on some of the other characters more.  Don’t get me wrong I still like Reyes but I feel like I am able to enjoy some of the supporting roles more now.

My Rating: 5 Stars (No Change)

Second Grave on the Left by Darynda Jones (reread)

Book Review

 


Second Grave on the Left (Charley Davidson, #2)Book Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Mystery, Urban Fantasy, Audiobook

Book Series: Charley Davidson #2

Released: 8/16/2011 by St. Martian’s Press

Pages: 307 Price: $39.99 Audiobook

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I borrowed this audiobook from my library

 

 

Book Synopsis:

If you hang around with dead people, life can get pretty complicated. Take it from Charley Davidson, part-time private investigator and full-time Grim Reaper. Complicated is her middle name. The deceased find her very sparkly. Demons find her irresistible. And one entity in particular wants to seduce her in every way possible.
When Charley and Cookie (her best friend/receptionist) have to track down a missing woman, the case is not quite as open and shut as they anticipate. Cookie’s friend Mimi disappeared five days earlier. Mimi then sends Cookie a cryptic message telling Cookie to meet her at an nearby coffee shop. The coffee is brewing, but Mimi’s still missing. There is, however, a clue Mimi left on the bathroom wall: a woman’s name. Mimi’s husband explains to them that his wife had been acting strange since she found out an old high school friend had been murdered. The same woman whose name Mimi had scribbled on the bathroom wall.
Meanwhile, Reyes Alexander Farrow (otherwise known as the Son of Satan. Yes. Literally) has left his corporeal body and is haunting Charley. He’s left his body because he’s being tortured by demons who want to lure Charley closer. But Reyes can’t let that happen. Because if the demons get to Charley, they’ll have a portal to heaven…well, let’s just say it wouldn’t be pretty.
Can Charley handle hot nights with Reyes and even hotter days tracking down a missing woman? Can she keep those she loves out of harm’s way? And is there enough coffee and chocolate in the world to fuel her as she does?

My Review:

I decided to continue with my reread listen of the Charley Davidson Series when I found the next three books available through my library.  It is also way cold outside and I’m stuck at home babysitting running water pipes so they don’t freeze.  Throw in a new knitting project and you have the perfect winter afternoon activity.

I continued to enjoy book two and stand by the initial review of the title.  Of course, there isn’t anything like reading a great story for the first time but I do think that this reread is worthwhile if nothing else it is a great refresher for the upcoming last book releasing later this year.  I am surprised at how much I do remember because nothing was a big surprise as I know what the mysteries being solved in this title are already.  The cliffhanger at the end, however, is significantly less annoying when you know what is going to happen next.

There were some characters that have kind of fallen away in later books like Reyes high school friend.  I will need to pay attention in the next book to see what happened to him and his family.  I continue to enjoy the narrator of this book and appreciate how she alters her accent for each of the characters.  A bonus at the end of this audiobook is an author interview with Ms. Jones which was way fun and I highly recommend borrowing a copy of this book simply to listen to that.

I didn’t really notice anything I missed in my first read but I was working out a new blanket pattern and might have missed some while working.  It is both frustrating and interesting to be with Charley back at the beginning of her journey.  I’m torn between wanting to get to the good stuff and wanting to savor the ride.  I have two more books on deck and then might take a break for a title or two.  We will see I have almost a whole year to get through 12 books so there is no hurry.

My Rating: 5 Stars (Unchanged)

First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones (reread)

Book Review

 


First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson, #1)Book Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Urban Fantasy, Audiobook

Book Series: Charley Davidson #1

Released: 2/1/2011 by St. Martin’s Press

Pages: 310  Price$44.99 Audiobook

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I borrowed this audiobook from my library

 

 

Book Synopsis:

This whole grim reaper thing should have come with a manual.
Or a diagram of some kind.
A flow chart would have been nice.
Charley Davidson is a part-time private investigator and full-time grim reaper. Meaning, she sees dead people. Really. And it’s her job to convince them to “go into the light.” But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (like murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice. Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she’s been having about an entity who has been following her all her life…and it turns out he might not be dead after all. In fact, he might be something else entirely. But what does he want with Charley? And why can’t she seem to resist him? And what does she have to lose by giving in?
With scorching-hot tension and high-octane humor, First Grave on the Right is your signpost to paranormal suspense of the highest order.

My Review:

I discovered this series shortly after starting Read What I Like blog and if you would like to read the original review of this book then you can do so here. I continue to stand by that review and will focus most of this abbreviated re-read review on the format (audiobook).  I have decided to listen to the entire series in audio format in anticipation of the last book, #13, in 2018.  I will try to think of a different aspect for future re-read reviews for this series. A couple of ideas I have are what I missed the first time or clues to future events.  We’ll see what I decide when the time comes to write those reviews. But like I said this first review will focus on reading vs listening to this story.

I had been planning on rereading this series for some time and planned to do so in print.  What changed is that I was going to Chicago for a three-day getaway and my husband came down with the flu and couldn’t go.  I needed something to listen to while bumming around town, shopping and riding the El.  I needed a book that I knew I liked because I did not want to be searching for a replacement title while I was away.  I came across this title and thought it was a perfect fit.  I crossed my fingers and hoped for a good narrator.

I absolutely loved this book in audio format.  Loved it.  It loses nothing and is just as enjoyable as reading it in print.  The narrator is a good choice for the voice of Charley and she does a great job of differentiating her tone and accent for the supporting cast.  Cookie does sound way different from I imagined but I she still works for me.  The humor is still just as funny and I had to remind myself while listening that I must not laugh out loud in public.  The steamy parts were a little awkward to listen to while carrying on in public.  Walking around wicker park listening to some pretty hot action going on in my ears made me grateful for my wireless ear buds.   The serious parts also still grabbed me and I found myself with tears streaming down my face in a section near the end.  Fortunately, that didn’t occur until the car ride home from the train station.

This is such a fun book no matter the format.  If you are looking for something that will run the gambit of emotions from hilarity to somber then I highly recommend it to you.  I look forward to rereading this series.

My Rating: 5 Stars (no change)

The Gunslinger by Stephen King

Book Review

 


The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower, #1)Book Genre: Fantasy, Western, Post Apocalyptic, Adventure

Book Series: The Dark Tower #1

Released: 6/10/1982 by NAL

Pages: 231 Price: $20.00 paperback

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Buy the Book: The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger

Source: I borrowed this book from my library

 

 

Book Synopsis:

In The Gunslinger (originally published in 1982), King introduces his most enigmatic hero, Roland Deschain of Gilead, the Last Gunslinger. He is a haunting, solitary figure at first, on a mysterious quest through a desolate world that eerily mirrors our own. Pursuing the man in black, an evil being who can bring the dead back to life, Roland is a good man who seems to leave nothing but death in his wake.
This new edition of The Gunslinger has been revised and expanded throughout by King, with new story material, in addition to a new introduction and foreword. It also includes four full-color illustrations in the hardcover and trade paperback formats.

My Review:

This my second reading of this book. The first time took place in January of 1991 when I was in high school.  How do I know this? Because I wrote the dates I finished each section in the table of contents of my book which is currently being read by my husband.  All through middle and high school I read everything I could get my hands on written by Stephen King.  Partially because it was a way to rebel, another because these were books my deceased mother had read, and because I enjoyed how pieces or clues to this epic series would be found hidden within other stories he wrote.  I have long since broken up with the author but still, I hang onto the main books in this series in case I ever wanted to revisit them.

My husband and I recently went to see the movie loosely based on the books and my husband enjoyed it so much he decided to read the first book.  Not wanting to pass up an opportunity to read the same book he was I decided to check this one out from the library and read it too.  I was also curious to see if I would feel the same about this epic fantasy that I once did.  I was obsessed with this series, after all, it was time to see if I still was.

I wasn’t.  I can see why my younger self was so enamored by the story but my 26 years older self found a lot lacking.  Younger Amy fell hard for the epic good vs evil the magic and the mysticism.  She wanted a story to get lost within something to sink her teeth into.  Older Amy knows how this story plays out and isn’t interested in taking this journey twice.  Ironic when you think about how the last book ended.  My older reading self comes to this story with more experience and was able to see the flaws of this story.  It wasn’t awful but I’ve read better where my 17-year-old self most likely hadn’t.

Basically, I’ve moved on much like the world Roland inhabits.  There were a time and place for this series in my life and it was 26 years ago.  This is one I am fully able and willing to let go because after reading this book for the second time I will not be rereading the rest. The book was a bit slow-paced for me and near the end, I kept thinking I should just put it down. But I finished it and now the husband and I can discuss it over lunch sometime.  I didn’t care for the characters much, Roland was alright and Jake was just annoying.  The man in black was probably the most interesting which surprised me.  If they ever make a second movie I’ll probably go see it but quite frankly I don’t think that is going to happen.

My Rating: 3 Stars

So I’ve Been Busy…

Just thought I should perhaps think about posting something since I’ve been neglecting both my blogs this month.  I’m still here and still reading albeit slowly.  I’ve been busy with doctors appointments, work, the garden, and my birds.  Not a lot of reading going on but I hope to pick back up soon.

Last weekend my husband and I went to go see The Dark Tower, a movie loosely based upon Stephen King’s magnum opus Dark Tower series.  We both enjoyed the movie and were disappointed to see all the negative reviews.  Oh, sure it’s not the same as the books.  Movies based on books rarely are but I thought it captured enough of the essence of the series to be enjoyable.  Now I broke up with Stephen King a long time ago but the movie has inspired me to pick The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger up and read it again.  My husband has also decided to read the book so I gave him my copy that I read back in 1991 (!) and I checked out my library’s copy.  My husband rarely reads fiction so for him to be interested in this book is a BIG deal!  I was not going to pass up the opportunity for us to read the same book at the same time and discuss it.  It is a long series, seven books if I remember correctly, and I’m sure he probably won’t finish it, but I might.  I loved this series and the complete set remains in my personal library.  I think it is time to revisit this world and see if it still hold the same magic that a much younger Amy found.  It will be interesting to see if I still think it is as great as I once did.

I hope to return to normal posting next month.

Happy Reading~

Top Ten Tuesday: Reread List

Top Ten Tuesday

Welcome to another contribution to the wildly popular Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.  This week they ask us to share lists on the following:

January 24:  FREEBIE — that super specific list you want to make?? All yours to tackle this week!

Every year I try to pick one book or series to reread.  It is my way to justify keeping some of the physical books and series I enjoy.  A book/series gets a permanent place on my stacks if I will eventually, someday, in the future reread the title.  With my recent cancer scare, hey fun fact I am probably in surgery as you are reading this, I have gone through and weeded my home shelves and reevaluated the books I was holding onto.  Some of them I decided to let go because I probably wouldn’t be reading them again.  Life is short and if a book/series doesn’t elicit a strong emotion or memory then I am going to let it go.  So below you will find my list of books that I loved and hope to recapture the magic I once felt by reading them again.

Ten books that hope to read again some day.

  1. The Time Traveler's Wife I loved this book but oh man did it make me cry.  Big ugly tears for the last third of the book.  I will reread this title some day but maybe when I’m not battling a major disease like Cancer…  Beautiful story, though.
  2. The Gargoyle Another tear jerker here and another beautiful story about love as well. This book can be rather graphic at times but it is so worth the effort.  This book will forever have a place on my shelves. Again will probably wait until I am not sick myself to reread this one.
  3. Moon Called (Mercy Thompson, #1) I have almost all the books in the Mercy Thompson series and its spin-off Alpha and Omega series.  I hope to reread this world some day but hopefully, I won’t fall out of love with this world before that happens.
  4. A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy, #1) I used to reread the Twilight series each year up until I read this book.  Haven’t read Twilight since. This is an amazing trilogy and I hope to reread the entire series someday, perhaps right before the author’s promised spin-off prequel book/series
  5. Redshirts This was the book that made me fall in love with John Scalzi.  If you are a fan of Star Trek then you will not want to miss this book. If not then this is still a great read and so much more than a parody of Trek.  So good.
  6. Fantasy Lover (Dark-Hunterverse #1) I’ve read this series twice already and hope to read it again even though it took me three months last time.  With more than 30 books, closer to 40 I think, with all the short stories that it is a massive undertaking.  So worth it.
  7. A Quick Bite (Argeneau #1) This is another long series but a bit lighter than the last one.  This is probably my favorite, still active, fluffy chick-lit paranormal romance series.  I have all but one or two of the titles and sometime when I simply need to escape and laugh I will reread this series.
  8. The Martian Why yes, I have read this book three times already. I will read it again too, most likely it will be a few years, though.  This is probably my favorite book of all time.
  9. Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #1) Another paranormal series that I enjoy.  I meant to reread it before now but simply haven’t made time for it.  If there was one series on the list that I might not get to this one would probably be it.  I love this world but my taste are changing and maybe fond memories and the current release will be enough with this world.
  10. First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson, #1) Love, love, love this series!  I would have to say it is my current favorite and I WILL reread this series!  I have heard rumors that it might end in a book or two so waiting to reread this series right before reading the last book sounds like the perfect way to say goodbye to this world.

Well, there you have my list for this week.  What books do you plan to reread in your life?

On a side note.  I am currently in Iowa City today to have my hysterectomy and hopefully, removing all of my cancer.  It has been a longer wait than I wanted but much shorter than some women have.  I hope everything goes smoothly with no complications.  I would greatly appreciate any positive energy you could send my and my husband’s way. I am only 42 so please if you are a woman and experience anything abnormal about your monthly cycle please see a doctor. Your life very well could depend on it. If you want to follow my journey with cancer, hysterectomy surgery and recovery feel free to visit my other blog, What I’m Dealing With.

30 Day Book Challenge: Day 2

bookchallenge

Day 2: A book that you’ve Read more than three times

 

A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy, #1)

Goodreads Link, Blog Review

There are only a few books that I have read multiple times and A Discovery of Witches is one of them.  It is also one that might not end up filling another spot on this challenge… I really enjoyed this series and reread the books for each release, so this one was read three times, the second twice and the last one only once.  Interesting note, after I read this book I have never reread Twilight again.  I love the history and richness of this world.  Doesn’t hurt that Matthew is absolutely yummy.  Anyway, this is one of my favorite vampire stories and I am thrilled that Ms. Harkness is going to be continuing the series!!!  Fingers crossed for an eventual H.E.A for Gallowglass.  If you love rich tales and great loves than I highly suggest this book it was one of my favorites.

Does the 30 Day Book Challenge sound like fun to you?  Why not join me!  Below is the graphic I borrowed off the internet, feel free to borrow it from me.  I will be posting pictures of the books I select each day to my Instagram account too.  Be sure to follow me over there to see my picture for today’s selection.
30daybookchallenge

The Martian by Andy Weir Re-Read

The Martian
Links to Goodreads page.

Stand Alone: Released 2/11/14, second reading

I had originally received this book from the publisher for an honest review

Author’s Site

 

Book Synopsis:

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him & forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded & completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—& even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn’t ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—& a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

My Review: First Review Link

I’m not going to make you sit through a second gushing of love for this book.  If interested you can read my first review linked above, much of it still represents what I think and feel for this book.  So that makes for a pretty short review huh, thought you were off the hook. Sorry, but no.  I am going to talk about thoughts about the upcoming movie based on the book hitting theaters on October 2, 2015.

First off I knew Hollywood was going to make this into a movie! I knew it.  Probably was in the works already at my first reading so I am going to forgo the told you so…  The movie is the reason I decided to reread the book, because on opening weekend I plan to have my butt in hopefully an Imax theater (loved it so much I’m willing to spend the big bucks) ready to watch the words come to life before my very eyes.  I have high hopes Hollywood you better not let me down!

I already have issues though.  For starters the casting of Mark Watney.  I just do not see Matt Damon as Mark.  Nope. Not at all.  I am afraid he isn’t going to pull off the humor that is the very essence of Mark’s character.  I don’t know who I would have picked, but Matt Damon would not have been it.  I am reassured a little bitty bit by the previews, but will hold finial judgement until I see the movie in its entirety.

As to the rest of the cast I am pretty satisfied for who they picked, especially for the crew of Hermes.  All of them look like stellar picks.  I won’t be pointing out that cleverly placed pun…  With the lines from the book fresh in my mind I am delighted to hear so many of my favorites in the trailers already.  I won’t spoil it for those who have yet to read it.

Speaking of that.  IF you’ve not read this book yet, please do so before you watch the movie.  You need to experience Mark Watney in his full glory before Damon comes in and forever taints the character with his own personality.  Also they are never going to fit the entire book into a 130 minutes and there is so much great material that you will have missed if you only see the movie.  So get cracken people.  Time is running out and the adventure of a lifetime awaits you!

 

Second Reading Rating: 5 Stars, no change