Audiobook Review: First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones

Posted January 3, 2013 by Carmel in Audiobook Reviews, Carmel, Reviews, Urban Fantasy / 6 Comments

Audiobook Review: First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones
First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones
Narrator: Lorelei King
Series: Charley Davidson #1
Published by Macmillan
Published on: February 1, 2011
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Length: 9hrs & 4mins
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
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A smashing, award-winning debut novel that introduces Charley Davidson: part-time private investigator and full-time Grim Reaper Charley sees dead people. That's right, she sees dead people. 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 (i.e. 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.

This is a thrilling debut novel from an exciting newcomer to the world of paranormal romantic suspense. The audio includes a sneak peak of Second Grave on the Left.

First Grave on the Left is a witty combination of clichés, one-liners and stereotypes; add well-written characters and an original storyline to the mix, and you can’t help but call Darynda Jones’ debut novel a raging success. Grim Reapers are quickly becoming one of my favourite supernaturals and this book went a long way towards bumping them further up my list. I’d even go so far as to say that they currently rank second, right under werewolves and you all know how much I love them! I was as intrigued by the plot line of this novel as I was entertained by Jones’ side-splitting humour. As a result, this entire series has become a must-read for me.

With a name like Charley Davidson you pretty much have no choice but to have a sarcastic side to your personality; having to constantly deal with smart-aleck comments about your name tends to do that to a person. I should know. That point aside, I found that her overall character was incredibly thought out and after only one book I felt like I walked away really knowing her. I’m positive that she still has a lot more to share with readers but Jones does a phenomenal job conveying Davidson’s complexity in just one installment. My first impression of Charley was “boy does she have a mouth on her!” but later on it became apparent that her snark is actually a defense mechanism. No one told her how to be a Reaper and it’s difficult for her to get close to anyone because if she shares too much they usually think she’s nuts. Underneath the surface Davidson is compassionate, fearless and has an innate sense of justice which makes her a stand up gal in my books.

There are three engaging plotlines in First Grave on the Left that are guaranteed to keep you interested. Charley’s investigating the murder of 3 lawyers, trying to figure out her Reaper side and then there’s the mystery that is Reyes Farrow. You’d think that with this many competing plotlines the story would get a bit muddled but Darynda isn’t just gifted in the area of character development, she’s also a natural at storytelling. I loved all of the ghosts that Davidson encounters in this book; they’re quirky and just plain funny. There’s her crazy aunt who likes making “coffee”, the evil demon child, the weird guy in the corner who Charley’s named Mr. Wong, and of course the 3 lawyers. The other secondary characters are also equally as enjoyable and last but not least there’s Reyes. Jones describes him in such a way that by the end I found myself drooling at the mere mention of his name. I highly doubt that this is the last we’ll see of him and thank god for that!

In the span of just one book Darynda Jones went from being a previously unknown author to me to an absolute must read. This novel also allowed me to discover Lorelei King as a narrator and I immediately became an insta-fan of hers. She reads the story like it was written for her and is the perfect voice for Charley’s brand of humour. First Grave on the Right is a brilliant first installment; now on to Second Grave on the Right!

Books in this series:
First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones Second Grave on the Left by Darynda Jones Third Grave Dead Ahead by Darynda Jones Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet by Darynda Jones


Recommendation: Perfect for readers looking for something outside of the norm and an over-the-top sarcastic heroine.
Like this, like that: The Alex Craft series by Kalayna Price and the Soul Screamers series by Rachel Vincent.

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Owner, designer and main blogger behind Rabid Reads. Avid book reader, snowboard bunny, video gamer and Supernatural fan. I love all things paranormal, werewolves especially. Oh, and I’m Canadian, eh!

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6 responses to “Audiobook Review: First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones

  1. I’m glad you enjoyed it, it only gets better from here.
    BTW, Lorelei King also narrates the Mercy Thompson series,and she’s fabulous with Mercy’s character’s too.

  2. @Loupe Duffy Ooh, I did not know that. I’ve been considering downloading a few Mercy Thompson audiobooks and you just made them sound WAY more appealing! Damn girl, you’re hard on my Audible credits! 😉