*********SPOILERS FROM EIGHTH GRAVE AFTER DARK AHEAD*************
I’d been waiting for four weeks, three days, seventeen hours, and twelve minutes. Waiting for him to find me. For anyone to find me.
I have certain expectations on the progression of a series. I absolutely know that a writer can write how they want and my expectations do not mean a thing however at book nine, there are certain things I don’t want to see. The heroine forgetting the hero even exists is one of those things I do not want to see. At the end of Eighth Grave Charley basically explodes and disappears. She reappears in a place far away with no memory of who she is and anything that has ever happened to her. Cue my frustrated growl.
The Dirt on Ninth Grave opens with Janey Doerr, Charley, working in a diner in Sleepy Hollow, New York. As the first couple of chapters unfold the normal cast of secondary characters show up. Cookie is now a waitress working with Janey and someone Janey has an instant connect to. Uncle Bob is there. Garrett is around. Osh is in and out of the diner. Angel is pivotal. Gemma makes an appearance, they are all there watching over Charley, waiting for her to get her memory back.
And then there is Reyes. He is there but he is not right. Janey realizes she can feel emotions but the only emotions she gets off Reyes, when he opens himself up, is anger, disappointment and frustration. Funny because those are the emotions I felt in the first half of the book. Eight books working up to the point where Charley and Reyes were finally together and happy-ish and now she can’t even remember him?? Why?
As the book progresses Charley, as Janey, manages to get herself into the normal scrapes only she can find. Smaller mysteries go on throughout the book leading up to the conclusion of one major plot point we have been following for many books. I won’t spoil it but Earl is a big problem in this book and there is some resolution to the issue.
The second half of the book was better for me, maybe it just took some time for me to get used to the amnesia thing and for Charley to start to work through her new normal. There are parts of the book that broke my heart and reminded me why I was so frustrated with the previous book also.
I had forgotten something once, but I forgot where I put it.
I forgot. I forgot. I forgot.
It was so small. So fragile. Yet it held such power, this tiny thing that I promised to protect. I’d lost it.
I understand that Charley and Reyes cannot have a baby with them, with everything on that would be preposterous. But them not having Beep around is another part of me doubting their future happiness. At this point I don’t doubt Reyes’s devotion and depth of feeling for Charley- he has proved himself over and over. What I do doubt is Charley’s ability to take anything seriously and abhor her overall flakiness when it comes to anything meaningful.
Future happiness is my biggest issue with this book. Beyond the amnesia plot that was always only to be a short term thing, toward the end of this book Reyes makes a deal that I don’t see a way around. It was dumb and even though they both admit it felt like a trap, he made it. The last plot device like this ended up playing out so ridiculously that I had no idea what was really going on.
Overall, as usual, I still liked Ninth Grave. Ms. Jones can write a funny story and weave in sexy moments and also some heartbreaking ones. I’m wary of this series and how it will progress but that won’t stop me from grabbing up the next one as soon as I can get my hands on it. It is truly that compelling and addicting. The good ones never make it easy! Final grade- B-
“I’ve loved you for a thousand years,” I said because it seemed true.
To the core of my being. I was so drawn to him it hurt.
Je t’ai aimee pendant et un. -R
I’ve loved you for a thousand and one. -R