I haven't read any of Melissa's YA work so I really ddiin't know what I was letting myself in for with this title. The book blurb read well and being in the mood for something a little different (the inventiveness of the backstory really struck a chord) I really couldn't wait to pick this title up.
What unfurled within was a story that hooked me from the beginning. I loved the character of Rebekkah, the quirks and of course the roundedness that allowed you to associate with her and when added to the inventive background as well as a kick ass love story that was melded together with a mystery, then you really are in for a real treat. Back that up with a decent understanding of prose as well as pace and it was a satisfying read all in. Great stuff.
on 3 July 2012
Graveminder is perfect if you like supernatural books but are getting increasingly bored with vampire romance storylines or cliches such as zombies chewing off flesh - Mellissa Marr's Graveminder is refreshingly different, and breaks away from all supermatural cliches, as she has created an exciting new world that explores the barrier between life and death, and the forces that strive to keep that balance in place. This is a great standalone novel, but there's plenty of opportunity for a sequel- fingers crossed!
on 23 September 2013
First off I though 'oh no, not another zombie book!'.
But as the story developed I became more intrigued and engrossed.
Whilst the 'love story' is a key element of the plot I did feel that too much time was spent on this aspect. I got that the Graveminder was scared to commit and did't need reminding endlessly.
Nevertheless, great story well written.
on 4 November 2011
Melissa Marr has created a rich and captivating world in Graveminder that is well-worth exploring.
The cover for Graveminder is simply done in shades of white and blue, with black vines looping across the surface that twist into patterns resembling the metalwork you see on many old churches and graveyards. The red flowers stand out against this cool background and catch the eye. It is a graceful cover that suits the book.
Melissa Marr is known for her Wicked Lovely series, but this is the first of her books that I have read. I was very impressed with the world that she has created in Graveminder. It is rich and nuanced - urging you to dive in and explore it. Graveminder is currently a stand alone book, but I would love to see Marr explore this world more closely - there are so many elements to it that it would be a shame not to. The story progresses at a relatively slow pace, and while it does let you soak up the atmosphere that Marr has created, I would have liked to see some more action to create a more dynamic story.
There are several great characters in Graveminder and Melissa Marr manages to inject them all with life and individuality. I love that in a book. The two main characters are Rebekkah and Byron and the relationship between the two is complex even before any of their new responsibilities. I liked that they had history with each other and a backstory that played well into the plot. It took me a while to warm to Rebekkah, although I understood her motivations and decisions from the start. She came across as quite shut-off and a bit selfish, but as the story progressed she lost some of this hardness and I ended up liking her. Byron is a great character - down-to-earth and dependable, but with a vulnerability about him that softens his personality. Rebekkah and Byron's personalities fit beautifully with the roles of Graveminder and Undertaker that they inherit. Maylene, Rebekkah's grandmother, is only in the first part of the story, but she is such a strong presence that I immediately liked her. Then there is the mysterious Mr D with his own agenda - he is neither entirely a villain nor a hero and I enjoyed that about him. The characters in Graveminder are integral to the story and Melissa Marr has done a great job with them.
Graveminder introduces you to a richly detailed world populated by real characters. I expected more from the plot itself, but I would definitely return to this setting if Melissa Marr chooses to write a sequel.
on 27 October 2013
I was a little dubious about this book when I read what it was about but I decided to give it a chance. It was definitely different to what I normally read, however it really surprised me. I looked forward to picking it up and continuing with the story each time I got the chance, I felt like I got to know the characters well and cared about them and what was happening. Considering the subject I found it was written in a very believable way and the descriptions created a wonderful image of the settings. I totally recommend it and will be searching for more of Melissa Marr's books after reading this one.
on 18 October 2011
This book is fantastic. I am a big fan of Melissa Marr and when I seen this I had to read it, I was not disappointed the writing in this book is compelling.
In the town of Claysville the dead must be minded by a graveminder and an undertaker or they will rise and bad things can happen. Maylene Barrow is the graveminder until she is murdered, her granddaughter Rebekkah Barrow must return to the town that she hasn't been back to since her stepsister Ella committed suicide years ago. She is not looking forward to going back to the strange little town with its strange traditions and superstitions, and she also not looking forward to seeing Byron either her former boyfriend. When she returns she finds out she inherits maylene's house and possessions and the job as the new Graveminder for Claysville. The characters are in depth and interesting and I connected with them early on.
For me this is Melissa Marr's best work I loved it! :)
on 21 February 2014
This had an interesting take on supernatural stories, not just the same old stuff, but I don't think I really enjoyed it. Because I loved the Wicked Lovely series I gave this a go, but I didn't feel the main characters were very engaging, and I didn't really care what happened to them, although the world MM has created for them, and the back story is interesting. I would rather read the stary of how it all began, than read any more about these guys though.
on 30 September 2014
This book is involves an original storyline. At first I thought this book was about zombies but they don't refer to the waking dead as zombies. I like how the romance of the two main characters is rooted from a back story. The book has an amazing plot twist at the end. And the dead that's going around eating everyone gives a nice creepy vibe to the story, although its very mild to my expectations.I just wish a was much more creepier.
on 24 August 2012
I was very much looking forward to reading this book. Melissa Marr has shown with the Wicked Lovely series (which I loved) that she has a beautiful way with words and can conjure up a whole new world in the mind of her readers with ease. So it was with very high expectations that I approached Graveminder: beautiful cover, enticing blurb, so far so good...
Then once I started actually reading the book, I was surprised to find myself bored, very bored. The set up was established early on. It's quite clear to the reader what the mysteries of the dead are and how they are handled from early on. Unfortunately, Melissa Marr then wastes chapter after chapter trundling along with a supposed build up to the two lead characters, Byron and Rebekah (dreadful character names), discovering what their role with the dead is. This happened roughly half way through the book. HALF WAY! After that, I thought it might pick up as we were lead through the world of the dead, but no. Although Melissa Marr describes this new world very well, I found myself bored by it, uninterested in how it worked. Too little too late, I suspect. At this point, new dangers are presented, particularly for Rebekah, but, once again, I found that I didn't care. Maybe if she fell foul of one these dangers, it would all be over more quickly, I found myself thinking.
Such a disappointment! It really could have been good, but it was written as though it was the first book in a series, when actually the author has made it quite clear that is to be a stand-alone novel. If it was to be a series, then you could forgive the lengthy tedious build up a little, but a stand alone novel really needs to get going quickly!
I think if you have been enchanted by the Wicked Lovely series, then I suspect you may be very disappointed by this book. A real shame.
In the town of Claysville, the dead must be scrupulously minded by the Graveminder and the Undertaker... or bad things happen.
"Graveminder" really shows that Melissa Marr has left teenage faerie tales far behind her. Her first adult novel is a much darker, stranger story -- a lushly-written American Gothic set in a small town where death is very different from what it is elsewhere. It takes awhile for everything to settle into place, but the suspenseful journey is worth it.
When her grandmother Maylene is found murdered, Rebekkah Barrow is called back to the town she hasn't lived in for almost a decade -- ever since her stepsister Ella committed suicide. Claysville has a lot of weird traditions and superstitions, including a mysterious connection between the Barrow women and the local undertakers, including Ella and Rebekkah's onetime boyfriend Byron.
But as Rebekkah and Byron try to figure out what happened to Maylene, other people are injured and killed by something roaming through Claysville. The new Graveminder and Undertaker must uncover their connection to the world of the dead, learn why a Hungry Dead girl is roaming through the town -- and stop a horrifying evil that is festering in their town.
Out of the books Melissa Marr has written, "Graveminder" is probably her darkest, eeriest and most organic. She doesn't rely on explicit gore to creep us out, instead allowing the horrifying moments to drift down like dead leaves (such as Daisha "accepting help" from people). Yes, it's even creepier than monsters could ever be.
And Marr's prose is lushly-described and full of rich, small-town-gothic atmosphere. She builds up the story slowly, carefully laying out clues and hints about Claysville, the Graveminders and their connection to the dead, and letting them gradually settle into place. Think of it as a supernatural murder mystery, entwined with an eerie story about a town's links to the world of the dead.
Her characters are equally complex and hauntingly realistic, from the odd old undertaker to the amiable barmaid. Rebekkah is a woman who has run from everything Claysville-related, but now she has to face everything about it -- her love for Byron, her past, her dead sister, and her destiny. At first she seems kind of selfish, but she has a genuinely good heart and strong core.
And Byron's conflicted feelings about Rebekkah, Ella and his preordained life are pretty moving. Even the "Hungry Dead" girl Daisha, who is slowly piecing together how she died, is given a fascinating character despite being... well, dead.
"Graveminder" is a haunting, fascinatingly complex novel that clings to your mind like a cobweb. Possibly Melissa Marr's greatest work yet.