Graveminder by Melissa Marr


Rebekkah Barrow never forgot the tender attention her grandmother, Maylene, bestowed upon the dead of Claysville, the town where Bek spent her adolescence. There wasn’t a funeral that Maylene didn’t attend, and at each Rebekkah watched as Maylene performed the same unusual ritual: three sips from a small silver flask followed by the words “Sleep well, and stay where I put you.”  Now Maylene is dead and Bek must go back to the place—and the man—she left a decade ago. But what she soon discovers is that Maylene was murdered and that there was good reason for her odd traditions. It turns out that in placid Claysville, the worlds of the living and the dead are dangerously connected. Beneath the town lies a shadowy, lawless land ruled by the enigmatic Charles, aka Mr. D—a place from which the dead will return if their graves are not properly minded. Only the Graveminder, a Barrow woman, and the current Undertaker, Byron, can set things to right once the dead begin to walk.

Graveminder is the first novel I’ve read of Melissa Marr’s. I know she writes a YA series, but since I’m not big on faeries, I’ve never thought to try her YA books. However I spotted Graveminder on Amazon UK and the cover was immense and the synopsis sounded really good, too. So I went to Amazon US (the only place I can buy Kindle titles being in Spain, boo) and bought myself the Kindle version, with the equally lovely US cover. See, aren’t they gorgeous covers? As you might expect, I started it straight away and wow, what a thoroughly enjoyable novel. 

Graveminder is one of the most unique novels I think I’ve ever read. I’ve never read a novel about someone who has to ‘mind’ the dead’s graves and I found it fascinating. I found the whole concept fascinating, that the dead have a contract with Claysville that means that should any of the dead not be properly minded, they can awaken and the Graveminder and the Undertaker have to stop them before they cause irreparable damage. It’s an easy enough novel to follow and everything’s explained really well, so that I was never confused over what was happening. The whole concept of the novel was brilliant, and I enjoyed every single page!

The way in which Byron and Rebekkah become the Undertaker and Graveminder was well thought out and I thought, as characters, they were great. Although Rebekkah’s inability to be honest with Byron about her feelings was a bit annoying, I could also see why she felt that way despite the fact I was desperate to hear them tell each other they loved each other. Their relationship, despite Rebekkah’s hesitancy, was so easy and I just lost myself in both of them, in the way they interacted and the way they talked to each other so easily. 

I thoroughly enjoyed being introduced to the new world Melissa Marr has created and I found the land of the dead to be fascinating. Although the novel ended well enough, Melissa could write a sequel if she was that way inclined (personally, I’d vouch for a sequel, because I loved Byron and Rebekkah). I loved Graveminder – it was everything I wanted, it was an easy read, it had wonderful characters and a brilliant concept and I thought Marr executed it all brilliantly and I look forward to her next novel.

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