Review: Graveminder by Melissa Marr

Graveminder by Melissa Marr, UK edition cover.

Title: Graveminder
Author: Melissa Marr
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher:  Harper (2nd February 2012)

Normal towns don’t lure you back.

Maylene Barrow and William Montgomery have for years borne special responsibilities in the town of Claysville. Duties to the newly departed that help keep their living loved ones safe.

Rebekkah Barrow, Maylene’s granddaughter, left Claysville a decade ago, trying to put painful memories behind her. But evil has been let loose in Claysville and now Maylene is dead. It falls to Rebekkah to return to the town – and the man – she left behind to stop a monster and keep the dead in their place.

Byron Montgomery, following in his father’s footsteps, is the town’s new undertaker, and the man now bears his own special responsibility – to help Rebekkah. He is also the man she left behind.

Rating: ***** (5 stars)


Graveminder is Melissa Marr’s first adult book; she wrote the fantastic Wicked Lovely series of YA novels. It is the first stand-alone novel I have had the pleasure of reading for a while – and I really enjoyed the fact that there is a complete story told from beginning to end in three hundred and twenty-four pages.

On the whole I really enjoyed Marr’s Wicked Lovely series, but Graveminder is a step beyond that. The ideas and plot of the book are completely original, and unlike anything I have read before. It was really interesting to see it explored on the page. I was hooked on the story and the characters from almost the beginning.

The main characters were really interesting. When I read the blurb I wasn’t sure I’d like the set up of Rebekkah and Byron’s relationship, but you know what? It works. As does the fact that Maylene and William haunt the narrative, although they’re not the main characters the story could not be told without them.

Graveminder is part Urban Fantasy, part horror, part detective novel and part romance. Yet despite the variety of genres the book fits, the narrative remains strong and compelling. There are a few shocks along the way – there was at least one twist I did not see coming at all. Rebekkah and Byron grow and change through the narrative, as they both learn to accept things – although, admittedly Rebekkah has more growing to do.

Graveminder is a difficult book to write a review about, because the ideas in it are so original I don’t want to spoil it for anyone. I think this book has the most original concepts I’ve read for a while, and they were beautifully executed too. If you’re looking for something a bit different, not quite so run of the mill, then you should definitely give this book a try. And, if you’re an Urban Fantasy fan then you should definitely pick this up.

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