I’m going to start my review off honestly and confess I am one of THOSE people who start each book by reading the last couple of pages. I know it is bad but I need to mentally prepare myself for the good or bad ending that will be coming. The first thing I did before reading chapter one of Eleventh Grave was read the last chapter. Big mistake. I got very, very grumpy. I got so grumpy I started muttering to myself about not reading the book, why would this happen and generally all kinds of unhappy things.
So I started this book off with an unfavorable opinion and the first couple of chapters didn’t help. Sometimes I get annoyed with how flaky and ridiculous Charley is written. It was funny, for a while, but now things are kind of serious and she still has thought patterns like this:
I sat in the chair across from her, the one I’d secretly named the Winter Soldier. It had a mysterious vibe with a murky, possibly sordid past.
Cookie was at her desk, looking rather perky in a hot-pink, filly thing. I could totally use that in my streetwalking gig. It would be a tad big, but that’s what bondage straps were for.
These thoughts are what make her Charley and maybe I just need to adjust for them at the beginning of each book? She hasn’t changed, the writing hasn’t changed and though I was annoyed at first, I eventually settled into the story.
Charley has essentially declared war on the big guy upstairs who is also Reyes brother. She has angels following her around and is working on her normal side jobs. Reyes adoptive brother has hired Charley to figure out what is going on with their parents. Reyes is angry she took the job and they argue about it each time they are together. Amber has a stalker and she finally admits to everyone what is going and they help her solve the problem. Ubie is becoming more distant with Cookie and she thinks he is getting ready to leave her all the while he is still being followed by Charley’s group because of the death mark he has on him.
At the beginning of the series each of these side stories felt like filler. Now they all have significance to the main story arc. Amber’s stalker is related to the other god Charley has to trap and Reyes’s family is part of his background. Uncle Bob’s issues are resolved and Charley settles the death mark problem.
I heard recently book 13 will be the final one so each of these books are building up to finish off the main conflict. Eleventh Grave ends on a pretty big cliffhanger, the one I was talking about earlier that made me so irritated. The cliffhanger is the result of a decision made by Charley and Reyes that they literally make in like five minutes of conversation. Both of them have supposedly been around for centuries but they made this huge choice in a matter of seconds and they just go for it. Clearly, the choice has some major consequences and it made me feel like we were back to ground zero with them.
Overall, even with my touchy start, I did enjoy the book. There is a great storyline going on and I am looking forward to where it takes the reader. I really would like to know how Charley is going to save everything, especially Reyes when he is one of the ones supposed to be dead. Each book Charley discovers more and more about herself and these things will help in the final confrontation. Reyes is always around to teach her (throw her off a building) and then clean up afterward. Heh. I love when he calls her Dutch and even though they fight over almost every case, their make up time is pretty awesome. Even though not much happens, fans of the series will like this one and look forward to reading about how Charley fixes what she messed up during the final chapter. Final grade- B
“Few things in life are as surprising as having your husband, the man you gave your heart and soul to, throw you off a 350 foot building. I should know.”