Thursday, 9 January 2014

Are we there yet?; Fifth Grave Past the Light (Charley Davidson, #5) by Darynda Jones...


Charley Davidson may not look like your everyday, run-of-the-mill grim reaper, but she has vowed to reap grimness wherever she goes despite this unfortunate fact. Sadly, she gets sidetracked when the sexy, sultry son of Satan, Reyes Farrow, moves in next door. As he is the main suspect in her arson case, she has vowed to stay away from him until she can find out the truth.

However, when dead women start appearing in her apartment - lost, confused and terrified beyond reason - Charley has no choice but to ask for Reyes's help, especially when it becomes apparent that her own sister Gemma is the serial killer's next target. With his ability to observe incorporeally, surely he can find out who's responsible. And even if he can't, he is 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 might be willing to pay...

Ho hum; another Charley Davidson book down, and once again I'm left wondering why it - and the series as a whole - has so many rave reviews...

Lets start with the good points; The continuing story [aka that hell thing] is explored a bit more and we are given more answers than we've been in any other entry in the series.

I found the core plot for this book more interesting than it has been in the previous couple of books - even though the mystery of the serial killer isn't actually Charley's case, so reader's can't get in on it and try to piece evidence together ourselves. Having said that I did find the ending rubbish and it seemed as though the author was making it up as she went along.

But the negatives still outweigh the positives for me; this book has been padded out with way too much inane waffle and forced attempts at humour, from the babble about Charley's bloody GPS app EVERY single time she has to drive anywhere, to her continuing obsession with naming various objects, and coffee addiction. In fact I'd estimate that around half of the book is actually just pointless padding that doesn't add anything to the series. Characters come and go for no real reason, new characters are introduced but they do nothing and are just background decoration. Background information from past books is repeated yet again - since book 3 the author has started to really go overboard with his. Also; the way that Charley's texts with Cookie are always fully laid out is annoying.

I also find myself disliking both Charley and Reyes more and more with each book; She is selfish, always antagonize people for no reason, will shove everyone aside for Rees, and doesn't think twice about placing friends in dangerous situations. He is controlling and manipulative, with serious anger issues.

I've said it before and now I'll say it again; Charley's and Reyes relationship is as shallow as they come - Reyes pushes and shoves Charley around, threatens to kill her, her family and friends, but he is a rich hunk so it's fine. The author has yet to show me anything that is good and/or healthy about this relationship

And Charley's been going on about her evil stepmother for 5 books now, but hasn't shown readers anything to account for her attitude and past behaviour that can't be reasonably explained.

I'm not sure why I've not given up on this series yet - I think that I'm only continuing to find out if my hunch that Reyes is somehow mentally controlling Charley is correct... Surely the author doesn't seriously think that this abusive alpha crap is sexy and romantic?

Paperback; £5.75
Kindle edition; £3.49

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