Monday, 11 May 2015

Brianna's Brief Thoughts on #2-5 of Darynda Jones's Charley Davidson Series

WARNING: As a summary of 2-5 this WILL I repeat WILL contain spoilers (I will try to keep them minimal but you have been warned). 

The main reason this is a summary of books 2-5 of the Charley Davidson series, is because I read books 2-5 a year ago and honestly I read them back to back over such a short period of time that I’m a bit fuzzy on where one book ended and the next one started. I guess that is a testament to how much I enjoyed them as I didn’t own them all it was a case of as soon as I had finished one I immediately bought the next one.

After reading the first one (First Grave on the Right) I just had to read the next one, it didn’t take me long to buy the second one. They are books that I just can’t put down. So firstly here are all of the details of the 4 books:

Second Grave on the Left
Published: 5th January 2012
Publisher: Piatkus
Format: Paperback
Synopsis: "If you hang around with dead people, life can deliver a whole world of trouble." Take it from Charley Davidson, part-time P.I. and full-time Grim Reaper.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 slash receptionist, have to track down a missing woman, the case is not quite as open and shut as they anticipate. Meanwhile, Reyes Alexander Farrow (otherwise known as the Son of Satan. Yes. Literally.) has left his corporeal 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. And if they 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?

Third Grave Dead Ahead
Published: 2nd February 2012
Publisher: Piatkus
Format: Paperback
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.

Granted she did imprison Reyes for all eternity, but 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 hell-bent on murder when the devil's son just won't give up on his plan of seduction..... and revenge?

Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet
Published: 30th October 2012
Publisher: Piatkus
Format: Paperback
Synopsis: Sometimes being the grim reaper really is that - grim. And since Charley's last case went so awry, she has taken a couple 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. She quickly realizes something is amiss when everyone the woman knows swears she's insane

Fifth Grave Past the Light
Published: 9th July 2013
Publisher: Piatkus
Format: Paperback
Synopsis: 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' 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…


Okay so I’m not going to go into detail for each book mainly because I don’t remember where one ended and the other starts! I’m not really sure where to start so bare with me if this seems to ramble a bit.

So Reyes is the Son of Satan… and planned his entire life (even birth) around meeting Charley. Firstly that is a little bit creepy but on the other hand he forgot all of that so technically he kind of fell in love with her naturally – if you call appearing incorporeally and severing spines natural. Their relationship confuses me, well not the relationship itself, the way I feel about it confuses me. I ship it… I love it, I love them together and he proposed and I’m so happy… But let’s rewind… the first word he said to her was a threat to rape her… Whenever she says or does something that makes him uncomfortable or he doesn’t like he threatens her – that is not a healthy relationship, that is not a relationship I can get behind! I can’t condone that. Clearly you see my problem, so why do I ship it?
Firstly let’s look at where he is from (this is not an excuse). He is the Son of Satan, he was a general in hell, Darynda never goes into detail about what that would entail but I’m sure we can assume it’s not going to be fluffy bunnies and roses. And then after that he was brought up by Earl and routinely abused, (again these are not valid excuses) but where this does all become relevant is that when he threatens Charley it is normally in response to her being sympathetic to him. Pity as he would call it or when she puts his well-being before hers, he doesn’t want pity and he doesn’t care about his well-being definitely not at the expense of hers. Charley herself compares Reyes to a wild animal, he lashes out when she backs him into a corner emotionally. He’s trying to stop her from feeling sorry for him, he’s trying to make her not care about him.  It’s a learning curve for him, and he is learning and I don’t believe he would hurt her and as he keeps saying she is far more powerful than him.

I think all of the supporting characters are great, even Denise (I mean obviously I don’t like her but you are not supposed to). I think my favourite is Garret, I’m so glad he didn’t die, and I’m very pleased to see that he has taken a slightly more prominent role since coming back. Cookie is definitely underrated. It seems to me that she does most of the actual investigative work. 

If you remember from the review of First Grave on the Right, I wasn't entirely sure what I thought of the books or Charley and after 5 books I’m still not sure! But I think I’m addicted. Once I finish one I have to read the next one immediately the only gap was between Fifth Grave Past the Light and Sixth Grave on the Edge because I had to wait for the latter to actually be published. I think this is the most that I’ve read a series back to back most series I read 2-3 back to back at the most before taking a break and reading another book before going back.

Again apologies that these are not proper individual reviews, but individually they are a bit of a blur and its surprisingly hard to generalise the middle of a series. But with a full review of Sixth Grave on the Edge coming up I felt I needed to address the gap!

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