By Melissa Marr
Three sips to mind the dead . . .
Rebekkah Barrow never forgot the attention her grandmother Maylene bestowed upon the dead of Claysville, the small town where Bek spent her adolescence. There wasn't a funeral that Maylene didn't attend, and at each one Rebekkah watched as Maylene performed the same unusual ritual: She took three sips from a silver flask and spoke the words "Sleep well, and stay where I put you."
Now Maylene is dead, and Bek must go back to the place she left a decade earlier. She soon discovers that Claysville is not just the sleepy town she remembers, and that Maylene had good reason for her odd traditions. It turns out that in 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. If the dead are not properly cared for, they will come back to satiate themselves with food, drink, and stories from the land of the living. Only the Graveminder, by tradition a Barrow woman, and her Undertaker—in this case Byron Montgomery, with whom Bek shares a complicated past—can set things right once the dead begin to walk.
Although she is still grieving for Maylene, Rebekkah will soon find that she has more than a funeral to attend to in Claysville, and that what awaits her may be far worse: dark secrets, a centuries-old bargain, a romance that still haunts her, and a frightening new responsibility—to stop a monster and put the dead to rest where they belong.
Graveminder is best selling young adult author Melissa Marr's first novel for adults, though it has been said to be “a young adult book for adults” as the genres can overlap at times and the storyline is relatable to both young adult and adult readers. The atmosphere of this story was very interesting, the way in which Melissa Marr describes the alternate world ruled by Mr. D was extremely detailed and really heightened the intensity of the story. I really felt for Bek as she struggled with her choices in this story and I appreciated how conflicted she was as she worked to find her proper place in the world. This story is filled with love, through many different types of relationships, but it is also a horror story filled with murder mysteries and the residents of Claysville rising from the dead. A good mix, I must say!
Overall, Graveminder is a richly imagined story with a relatable and interesting plot filled with likable characters. Melissa Marr sets up the story so it can be turned into a series if she wishes. Personally, I hope the author runs with the story and decides to continue the story of Bek and Byron!
4 out of 5 stars
For more on Melissa Marr check out her website and best selling young adult novels!