by Darynda Jones
Series: Charlie Davidson #11
Publication Date: January 24, 2017
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
My entire life can be summed up in one sentence:
“Well, that didn’t go as planned.”
A typical day in the life of Charley Davidson involves cheating husbands, errant wives, missing people, philandering business owners, and, oh yeah...demons, hell hounds, evil gods, and dead people. Lots and lots of dead people. As a part time Private Investigator and full-time Grim Reaper, Charley has to balance the good, the bad, the undead, and those who want her dead.
Now, Charley is learning to make peace with the fact that she is a goddess with all kinds of power and that her own daughter has been born to save the world from total destruction. But the forces of hell are determined to see Charley banished forever to the darkest corners of another dimension. With the son of Satan himself as her husband, will Charley be able to defeat the ultimate evil and find a way to have her happily ever after after all?
Darynda Jones is quickly becoming the second author alive for whom I’d go out of my way to have a conversation with. Folded into a zany, quirky, funny urban fantasy series is some deeply well thought out theology; hidden amid the rapid-fire one-liners, Jones tackles head on the issues of God, free-will, and why He “allows’ pain and suffering. And she doesn’t take it lightly, and she doesn’t go for easy answers or glib reasoning. She’s successfully mixed silliness and the very opposite of silliness and I’m a little bit in love with her for pulling it off.
Eleventh Grave… clears a lot of the ongoing questions up, and I’d go so far as to say it brings the major story-arc to a close. The climatic scene was so shattering, the resolution was almost an afterthought. This is by no means the end of the series, as far as I know – there’s still a lot of questions unanswered so it had better not be.
It was mostly excellent but my complaints are twofold: The first – we don’t find out what happened to Strawberry Shortcake’s brother. I hate unresolved stuff like that. Second: I have to preface this with the disclaimer that I’m not a prude. Sex scenes don’t bother me in the slightest, but Jones went a little too far for my comfort in one of the scenes here. It wasn’t that it was deviant in any way, but after 11 books I feel like I’ve come to know Charlie and Reyes; like an invisible, unacknowledged member of the gang. And yeah, I’d rather not know as much about Charlie and Reyes as I got from that scene. At one point it stopped being sexy and started being really awkward. On the flip side, she wrote a hell of a homage to When Harry Met Sally in another scene.
Awkward sex aside, I’m with Jones and Charlie until the wheels fall off. I’d say until hell froze over but apparently, that’s a thing.
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