Friday, December 21, 2018

Eighth Grave After Dark by Darynda Jones

There's holy hell to pay for Charley Davidson in Eighth Grave After Dark, the New York Times bestseller from Darynda Jones.

With twelve hellhounds after her, pregnant Charley Davidson takes refuge at the only place she thinks they can't get to her: the grounds of an abandoned convent. But after months of being cooped up there, Charley is ready to pop. Both metaphorically and literally since she is now roughly the size of a beached whale. Fortunately, a new case has captured her attention, one that involves a murder on the very grounds the team has taken shelter upon. A decades-old murder of the newly-vowed nun she keeps seeing in the shadows is almost enough to pull her out of her doldrums.

Charley's been forbidden to step foot off the sacred grounds. While the angry hellhounds can't traverse the consecrated soil, they can lurk just beyond its borders. They have the entire team on edge, especially Reyes. And if Charley didn't know better, she would swear Reyes is getting sick. He grows hotter with every moment that passes, his heat scorching across her skin every time he's near, but naturally he swears he's fine.

While the team searches for clues on the Twelve, Charley just wants answers and is powerless to get them. But the mass of friends they've accrued helps. They convince her even more that everyone in her recent life has somehow been drawn to her, as though they were a part of a bigger picture all along. But the good feelings don't last for long because Charley is about to get the surprise of her crazy, mixed-up, supernatural life…

Add to Goodreads –

Book 8
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

So, where does the Grim Reaper and the Son of Satan go when they are being hunted by hellhounds? Consecrated grounds, of course!
Do they go alone? Of course not!

Welcome to the eighth book in the Charley Davidson series. This installment is jam packed with events, even though our band of friends are basically trapped in an abandoned convent.

Nine months pregnant and Charley just can't stop doing what she does so well. When she can't go to investigate the case, she brings the case to her. Of course, her snarkiness is present, along with Reyes’ overprotectiveness, Cookie's sweetness, and Osh's cool.

The one oddball character who has a huge role in this story is Denise!?!?

Book eight was not what I was expecting at all! I loved this one, with all the craziness that occurs: crying, closet ghost and nun ghost (yes, please!). Not only the are the departed interesting, but the progression of the storyline really shocked me. Of course there are more secrets, and answers, and more questions, but really, this was more than I was ready for.

What could possibly happen next?

Obviously Eighth Grave After Dark is the eighth installment of the Charley Davidson series. I suggest strongly against reading out of order. I'm rating on my entertainment value outside of my malfunction with the way Charley is now being written.

What I have to say next, I assume you're now at least a seven-book veteran of this series, and I need to get this off my chest in order to continue to enjoy the series. I need to let it go, so I have to get it out to do so.

I've come to the conclusion that I have to just outright ignore the fact that Charley is devolving both mentally and emotionally, but most importantly, devolving in intelligence and morally. Outside of rare bursts of rational thought, Charley behaves as someone who should be institutionalized for her own protection, but especially for the protection of those nearest and dearest to her.

Charley’s nonstop antics put everyone at risk – by everyone, I mean a UNIVERSE of beings at risk, because she's selfish and narrow-sighted.

For someone who is empathetic, meaning she feels as others are feeling, she is the most un-self-aware character in the Charley Davidson universe. All the characters are great, but Charley comes off as dimwitted, willfully ignorant, spiteful to a gleeful degree, and narcissistic in the extreme, to where only what she sees in her narrow scope matters. What looks selfless on the outside, is actually a god complex.

In this installment, Charley continues to treat Denise, her stepmother, badly. While I can empathize with Charley's past, evidently someone who is supposedly empathetic by nature, is completely incapable of empathizing with anyone. As a grown woman about to be a mother, she is making WORSE mistakes than what she survived as a child. How about LEARN from Denise's mistakes and NOT KILL YOUR CHILD before it's born?!

I mean, we can keep quibbling about Denise being terrified of you as you were growing up, as if that makes her evil incarnate, but let's actually deliver your child while its heart still beats, okay? I'd like to say Charley has no room to talk, but this victim mentality while creating her own set of victims is hard to swallow.

Talk about Mommy Issues – Beep should cut her mother out of her life for continually putting her at risk while in utero, dozens of times over the course of nine months, to the point her birth was during a near-fatal disaster of Charley's own making. The events that put Charley and Beep into that position were meaningless – the nun was dead, her attacker was dead, all it did was answer questions from decades ago, when NO ONE was asking the questions in the first place. IT. DID. NOT. MATTER.


Especially when said child was prophesied to SAVE THE WORLD.

Charley was hours away from giving birth, may or may not have had a broken rib she was hiding, and decided to wield a sledge hammer because how dare a locked door keep a secret from her. After all, Reyes was keeping secrets from her, and that is just not done... while she meets in the woods with a private investigator in SECRET, where she got the broken rib in the first place. Back to the sledge hammer. Denise slapped Charley, literally trying to slap sense into her stepdaughter, as she was putting Beep at mortal risk, and they astonishingly get angry at Denise, NOT Charley.

Is this an alternate universe? No, Charley has to unlock the secrets behind that door, hours before giving birth, while Satan's son is right there, a demon, Swoops, and many others. ANYONE is more capable at opening that door than Charley. Nope, Charley has to do it, just so she can say she is the one who did it. Her child's life? Who cares, right? Who cares if that broken rib pierces the sack and kills the baby, right? Because... a locked door is not allowed any secrets, because only Charley is allowed to keep secrets.

It may look cutesy on the outside, where we get a few chuckles, but let's get real. I can overlook just about anything, even the humor as Charley KILLS people, like so easily sending Jennifer to her death, but an unborn child is NO laughing matter. She can't even take herself seriously.

On a deeper level, something we haven't seen since book four, back when Charley had emotions outside of thinking only of herself. Charley is a god, and it makes me wonder how she ended up to be so emotionally, mentally, and intelligently stunted. All I felt was that she did NOT deserve the power she had, because whoever gave it to her was a moron. She has SEVEN gods embodied within her, and ends up being nothing but a series of one-liners and near-fatal disasters.

As for the rest of the cast of characters, in Charley's defense, they either enable her HORRIBLE behavior, humoring her because it's easier than telling her the truth or giving her tough love to better herself, or outright lie to her face. These disasters, with Charley running off because she has a death-wish, and apparently no love for her daughter's longevity, would be mitigated should ANYONE say anything about something of importance. But since this is first-person narration, if Charley knows, the reader knows, and to keep the reader in the dark, Charley must remain in the dark, but this only makes readers lose trust in Charley's ability to do anything even remotely rational.

Other than Denise, who may or may not have actually been Denise at the time, slapping sense into Charley, Osh is the only one who said it like it is...

"The way I see it," Osh said, "you got yourself into this mess. You can get yourself out of it."

End Rant.

After eight books of being thoroughly invested in the universe Jones has created, where I feel for all the characters and their plight, I have to know what happens next. I am praying that Charley shows some growth after what happened in the end of the novel, because the devolution of her character over the course of eight books has me not liking her. I have no idea why her friends and family put up with her, let alone like her as a person at this point. What's worse, power corrupts, and Charley finally comes into her powers.

Other than the near-death experiences while in an abandoned convent, over the course of a handful of days, not much occurs. Beep is born. My rant encompasses the attitude that was hard to ignore. From here on out, I will focus on only the other characters, the direction the world-building is leading, the unexpected, amazing humor and emotions the ghosts have to offer, and pray that a millennia of knowledge evolves Charley into someone even remotely resembling a functioning adult.

Also Available in the Charley Davidson Series

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

For reviews & more info, check out our First Grave on the Right post.

Book 2
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

For reviews & more info, check out our Second Grave on the Left post.

Book 3
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

For reviews & more info, check out our Third Grave Dead Ahead post.

Book 4
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

For reviews & more info, check out our Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet post.

Book 5
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

For reviews & more info, check out our Fifth Grave Past the Light post.

Book 6
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

For reviews & more info, check out our Sixth Grave on the Edge post.

Book 7
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

For reviews & more info, check out our Seventh Grave and No Body post.

Darynda Jones is the winner of the 2009 Golden Heart® for Best Paranormal Novel for her manuscript First Grave on the Right. Darynda can't remember a time when she wasn't putting pen to paper. She lives in the Land of Enchantment, also known as New Mexico, with her husband of more than twenty-five years and two beautiful sons, aka the Mighty, Mighty Jones Boys.

Connect with Darynda

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads
Google+  ~  Instagram

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Eighth Grave After Dark (Charley Davidson #8) by Darynda Jones to read and review.

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