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Literary Friday: Graveminder

Friday, July 1, 2011


This week, I read Graveminder  by Melissa Marr.  My oldest daughter read Marr's Wicked Lovely Young Adult series, so I thought I might enjoy her first adult novel.

If you do not like stories about zombies, you should probably stop reading now.  ;P

Graveminder is a creepy dystopian novel complete with hungry, vicious zombies, a tunnel leading to the underworld, and townspeople who do not have a clue.  The founders of Claysville made a pact with Mr. Charles D, the enigmatic leader of an underworld society. In exchange for caring for his dead, Claysville citizens enjoy a peaceful life free from illness and disease until the age of eighty. The townspeople also must apply to have children (population control helps control the number of the dead, unbeknownst to the citizens) and no one ever questions all the odd traditions in Claysville.  The dead are cared for by the graveminder, a female descendent of the Barrow family. She is assisted by the undertaker: only he can open the portal to the underworld and escort the graveminder to Charles's realm.

Byron Montgomery is Claysville's new undertaker to Rebekkah Barrow. Rebekkah is the new graveminder as her step-grandmother has recently been killed by the walking dead. More killings ensue, and the townspeople believe the attacks have been caused by wild animals.  Only the mayor and town council know about the contract with Charles and understand what is really happening; only the graveminder can set things right, and unfortunately, the graveminder is clueless about her new role.

Rebekkha attended many funerals over the years with her grandmother.  She thought her grandmother's odd rituals at grave sites were innocuous, quirky traditions.  Her grandmother would drink three sips of whiskey, pour some over a grave, and say, "Sleep well, and stay where I put you." Rebekkah had no idea that this ritual prevented the dead from coming back for food, drink, and stories, thus maintaining the peace in Claysville.  Lately, though, no one has been tending to Claysville's dead, and they have returned to feed.  Byron and Rebekkah must work together to save the town, but there is a problem: they have a romantic history, and Rebekkah plans to leave Claysville ASAP. Unfortunately for her, contracts and wills have been signed by others that place a permanent hold on her plans to flee.

In spite of the dark mood of the story, Graveminder is an extremely well-written book. Melissa Marr has a knack for creating worlds that become vivid in the reader's mind. Charles's domain with its Wild West atmosphere is brought to life through Marr's descriptive prose.  Some of the Zombie scenes are a bit graphic, and there is some mature language in it as well.  Had it now been for the language, I would have allowed my thirteen year old to read it. Marr even had me rooting for Daisha, one of the zombies.  I have no idea whether or not this will be a series, but I have a feeling it might because I still have many unanswered questions, especially concerning characters in Charles's realm. Graveminder is definitely creeptastic!

Until next time...

Happy reading!
Ricki Jill


  1. OoOo...that sounds fun! Thanks! :D

  2. I don't like Zombies, so I stopped reading the synopsis. But I want to chime in and say the cover is pretty.


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I'm Ricki Jill. Welcome! I'm honored that you're reading my blog. I enjoy sharing my creative lifestyle @ The Bookish Dilettante. For more information about my blog, please read the Start Here page. Thank-you for stopping by, and I hope you'll consider following me via email.

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