Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: Coffee doesn’t ask silly questions. Coffee understands.
Charley Davidson, Grim Reaper in training and P.I. extraordinaire (well, that’s what her t-shirt says) is back and finding more trouble than ever. Book six brings readers chills, thrills, and laughter as Charley finds herself engaged to the son of Satan, trying to win back a lost soul in a poker game, and avoiding some bad men who want her to stop a witness from testifying…or else. Add in a guilt ridden father going through a midlife crisis, a young boy whose new ability to see the recently departed has him freaking out, and a dead man who seems to think he can live rent free in her apartment and Charley wonders if it’s even worth getting dressed in the morning.
Keys? found ’em
Coffee cup? full
I’ve been a huge fan of Darynda Jones’s Charley Davidson series since the first release. A wickedly funny, sexy, action-packed roller coaster ride that will have you snorting with laughter as you follow Charley and her over qualified, under-paid secretary/bff Cookie into the exciting world of private investigation, office supply theft, and ghosts in need of some anger management classes. A strong character driven series, this urban fantasy takes you on a crazy adventure teeming with strong emotional storylines, multiple subplots, insane characters, and witty dialogue.
Our heroine, Charley Davidson is a Grim Reaper, but a very special one that has her watching her back a lot more often these days. Throughout the series we have seen her grow mentally and emotionally as she has come to accept her paranormal gifts and world altering destiny. Having spent her entire life solving mysteries; first for her father and uncle and now for herself as a licensed private investigator; she uses her powers for good in order to fuel her overly developed sense of justice. Often at the expense of her own well being. This becomes a major issue in this installment as the repercussions aren’t pretty but does offer some hints towards things to come.
However, even with the added addition of danger, being a Grim Reaper has made her life far more interesting. Especially in the form of one sexy hot luscious hunk of eye candy named Reyes Farrow. Claiming to be the son of Satan and originally created to kill her, Reyes instead fell in love with Charley and used his powers to circumvent Heaven and Hell in order to be with her. Fate, not taking kindly to being manipulated, punished Reyes for his interference and his life was a series of heartbreaking lessons until Charley and he reunite. Now together, Reyes took the next logical step in their relationship by asking Charley to marry him at the end of book five. Charley, being Charley is making him wait for the answer.
“It’s a simple yes/no question, Dutch.”
Whaaaaa? Woman is cray cray. I’d snatch that man up faster than the last Cadbury Egg at a 75% off candy sale.
From the first page, Jones races out of the gate and frantically begins to set up the storyline and various subplots. Charley has a lot on her plate and it shows in here. Despite Reyes repeated requests, Charley will not let his past stay buried and is determined to discover more clues to his childhood. She gets some much needed help from an FBI friend who hands her an old kidnapping case that is connected to Reyes. While scooping out the supposed kidnappers, Charlie finds herself attacked by a very angry ghost looking for her child and a nekkid ghost who insists on riding shotgun. Mobsters, police captains, and drug dealers all seem to have it in for her. The flow is fast and helped along by Charley’s predictable wit and the insane situations she finds herself in.
We get a hit and run style of interactions with the main characters as Jones’ shows us what they have been up to. Jones’ does a fabulous job of advancing and blending the characters’ own personal storylines in to the main storyline. Cookie, Angel, Ubie, and Garrett all get plenty of scene time that gives us clues to future events. Lots of giggles and flat out fun accompanies these eccentric people.
“You’ve set the bar too high now. No one will live up to—” She gestured to all of him. “—all of that. You’ve ruined my daughter.”
It’s at the 60 percent mark that the book falters for me. This book is far more loosely structured than the previous five books. An overabundance of plotlines and subplots creates confusion and I found myself having to flip back and forth to see if I missed some clues. There are at least fifteen different story threads running through here. That is lot for one book to contain. Because of this, some subplots get hatched and then immediately resolved while others get minimal advancement because there is just too much going on to receive the attention they deserve.
There was also a scene (I am not going to spoil) that made no sense. I even discussed it with some other bloggers who had also read this book and no one seemed to have any idea what happened, why it happened, or what the objective was. Quite a few subplots seemed only to exist in order to provide Charley with a platform to be silly. Ms. Jones has mentioned before that she has no real endgame in sight for the series and it’s apparent.
I also had a few issues with Charley herself. She had slowly but reassuringly grown in the past few books but in here she stagnates. In fact, it seems as if she actually devolves. She is still in the dark about her Grim Reaper origins and responsibilities. So much so that even other characters in the books are questioning why she isn’t learning or attempting to learn more. I don’t mind a character getting criticized if it results in a change. We don’t see that in here so I’m curious to why it was even addressed . Also, too many one liners peppered her speech in this go around. I felt at times as if I was reading about a teenager rather than a grown woman.
Regardless of my issues, I still enjoyed the story overall and absolutely adore the characters who live in this world. Charley continues to engage the reader with her madcap adventures. The last chapter picks up dramatically- action and suspense wise- as we are once again tossed into a few eye raising scenes, left with a lot of questions, and are given an ending that guarantees we will all be chomping at the bit for book seven, Seventh Grave and No Body, which luckily is set to release October 21, 2014.