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A brand new story from two cracking authors in a wonderful graphic novel format that not only brings the story to life but will bring them to a whole new audience. The artwork is wonderful and with the imagination of Charlaine and Christopher, really does bring the whole thing together and whilst I was initially worried about the differing styles between graphic novel scripting and novel writing, it did work out wonderfully.

All round a first outing in a brand new series and one that I thought was a good bit of fun as it was not only dark but brought something new to the fore. Great fun.
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on 29 March 2017
Thought I was buying a novel, my mistake. Have no interest in picture books
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 4 January 2014
Unfortunately i don't get to read as many Graphic Novels as i would like these days, when this one landed in my lap it initially wasn't looking like my cup of tea.
What grabs you first are the very clear and stunning illustrations from Don Kramer, too often these days the artwork in new Graphic Novels can be too stylistic, but these are colourful, clear, interesting, full of mood and emotion, managing to invoke the story where the words of the authors Charline Harris and Christopher Golden are limited, as words are on these Graphic novels.
The Plot grabbed and intrigued from the first few pages, the story delighted and by the end i was left fulfilled and wanting more. Clearly the mark of a good series in the making.
I shall be getting book two
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on 8 June 2015
This was a fun first chapter but I don't think it warrants a whole book - I was expecting a lot more for my money. Maybe I should have waited for a box set when a few more have been published.
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on 10 January 2014
The book opens in dramatic fashion, with a young girl being attacked, drugged and left for dead in Dunhill Cemetery. Realising that someone has tried to kill her, but with no other memory of the past, she decides to hide out in the cemetery itself, living in a crypt and stealing food and items from local houses (and also from the caretaker). She calls herself Calexa Rose Dunhill - names she finds around her - and watching a funeral, sees a spirit escape from a tarpaulin covered grave. One night, she witnesses a group of teenagers carrying out an occult ritual, which doesn't work. Later, at another funeral, she recognises the fleeing spirit as part of that group (he was killed by a drunk driver) and when they come back for another go, she watches in horror as they murder Marla, the sister of their dead friend. But Marla doesn't ascend, instead transferring to Calexa, taking up the empty space and making her a "haunted house". As Marla settles in, her memories and visions overwhelm Calexa and she has a decision to make - to continue to hide to protect herslef or trying to bring justice to the sad spirit who needs her help.

I don't often read comics or graphic novels but this has such a great pedigree - and JF Books produce a great product - that I decided to give it a go and I'm glad I did. It's well written, immediate and smart, violent and poignant and although there are some small areas of repetition, it has a quick pace. The characters, especially Calexa, Marla and Lucinda Cameron, an old woman who spots her stealing and takes an interest in her (whilst bestowing her with the name `cemetery girl') are clear and defined and the cemetery makes a great location. The artwork, by Don Kramer who has worked with both Marvel and DC, is very detailed and captures the mood of the cemetery well (I like my art clear and defined so I thought his work complimented the words perfectly, though a graphic novel aficionado might disagree with me).

Firing on all cylinders, well presented and a beautiful object in itself (I read the hardback edition with glossy pages), I enjoyed the story and the artwork and would very much recommend it.
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on 4 October 2015
Extremely dull. Main character was just constantly whiny and there's only so many times you can read the line "someone left me for dead".
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on 3 March 2014
A girl wakes in a cemetery without knowing her name or where she comes from. All she knows is that someone is trying to kill her. Too afraid to seek help, she makes a new home in the graveyard and discovers that she can see ghosts – but this becomes the least of her problems when she is witness to a murder.

Both Charlaine Harris and Christopher Golden have many titles already under their belts: Harris' name will be familiar as the author of the Sookie Stackhouse books, the basis of TV show True Blood, and Golden has written dozens of novels and graphic narratives. They seem to work well together as the plot trips along nicely with an interesting cast of characters.

Don Kramer's artwork is visually appealing, and sets up the story world vividly. Cemetery Girl would appeal more to young adults, and reluctant readers in particular, though its lack of original elements means it's unlikely to satisfy older fantasy/horror fans.

(Review from <a href="http://www.list.co.uk/article/57926-charlaine-harris-and-christopher-golden-cemetery-girl-book-one/">The List</a>.)
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If such a thing exists, Cemetery Girl could be termed an entry level graphic novel. There's a story and there's pictures. The story is well told and the artwork fits it well. There are hints of paranormal, a bit of black magic and a murder or two, but there is nothing excessive or gratuitous in the book. Teenagers I suspect would lap it up, but it may not be sophisticated enough to hold their attention for a long series run. With series like Fables and Unwritten  out there, it's hard to imagine anybody staying too excited by Cemetery Girl for all that long.

The artwork and setting reminded me of Locke And Key, but Joe Hill's series is artistically on a much higher level. There's nothing as conceptually brilliant as the keys, nor are the drawings anything like the same quality though this isn't necessarily a criticism; L&K's Gabriel Rodriguez is probably the finest graphic novel artist out there. The drawings in Cemetery Girl are in no way bad, but neither are they exceptional.

Which all makes the book rather difficult to rate. The tale is compelling. A story of bringing a sociopath to justice for a senseless crime. The paranormal aspects stack up well and I wanted to know what happened. If you'd never read a graphic novel before,I think you'd think this was very fine and seek out more. Once you'd read a few different series, you might struggle to remember exactly why you liked this one so much...
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on 10 January 2014
Cemetery Girl: The Pretenders is a book of firsts: it's the first book in a new series for Charlaine Harris and Christopher Golden, it's the first graphic novel Jo Fletcher Books has ever published, and it's my first-ever graphic novel. It's been decades since I last read comics and even then it was more of the Asterix, Tintin, and Donald Duck variety instead of DC or Marvel. So I was interested to see how I would enjoy reading one now that I'm an adult. It was definitely and fun and successful experiment.

Cemetery Girl has a cool story centred on its protagonist, the titular Cemetery Girl, Calexa. We meet Calexa when she's left for dead at Dunhill Cemetery and we follow her making a life for herself there. Calexa doesn't remember anything before her life at the cemetery, a mystery that seems to lie at the core of the series. During the course of the book she does regain bits and pieces here and there and this is where the plot for this first instalment comes in. In the course of her involvement with the teens running amok in the cemetery some memories are shaken loose and these form a hook for the next book.

In addition to Calexa there are two or three other prominent characters and of course the teenage vandals. Calexa finds people who care for her in the person of the cemetery caretaker, Mr Kelner and in the old lady living opposite the cemetery, Lucinda Cameron. While they get limited screen time, we do get a good sense of who they are. We get a lot of background information in relatively few panels for both Kelner and the old lady. Some of it not even stated explicitly, but there in the background.

The art, drawn by Don Kramer and coloured by Daniele Rudoni, fits the story really well and has lots of detailing. The colours and the tonal palette used are muted and often blue/greenish in overtone, helped by the fact that a lot of the story is set at night. This lent the visual aspect of the story a dark and chilling mood, contrasted with the far warmer and brighter tones used for scenes where Calexa feels safe and cared for or when we visit someone's memories. It almost felt like a form of visual pacing, where the brighter and safer panels allowed the reader to breathe before the next action scene.

As stated above, reading Cemetery Girl: The Pretenders was a quite enjoyable experiment. This is a lovely story, not just suitable for adults but a YA audience too. While the plot for this story is resolved, the main story arc very much isn't and we're left with plenty of questions. It a fast read, I read it in about an hour, but satisfying nonetheless. I look forward to seeing - literally in this case - what happens to Calexa next and what she discovers about her history.

This graphic novel was provided for review by the publisher.
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on 2 November 2016
I love Charlaine Harrris books but this was in a cartoon format I prefer the written word and use my own imagination.
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