[Arc Review] Grave Matters by Lauren M. Roy

ARC Reviews, Fry's Reviews, Reviews 0 Comments 2nd May, 2015

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

[Arc Review] Grave Matters by Lauren M. RoyGrave Matters by Lauren M. Roy
Series: Night Owls #2
Published by Ace on February 24th, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal
Pages: 304
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
three-stars
Night Owls bookstore always keeps a light on and evil creatures out. But, as Lauren M. Roy's thrilling sequel continues, even its supernatural staff isn’t prepared for the dead to come back to life…

Elly grew up training to kill things that go bump in the night, so she’s still getting used to working alongside them. While she’s learned to trust the eclectic group of vampires, Renfields, and succubi at Night Owls bookstore, her new job guarding Boston’s most powerful vampire has her on edge—especially when she realizes something strange is going on with her employer, something even deadlier than usual…

Cavale isn’t thrilled that his sister works for vampires, but he’s determined to repair their relationship, and that means trusting her choices—until Elly’s job lands all of the Night Owls in deep trouble with a vengeful necromancer. And even their collective paranormal skills might not be enough to keep them from becoming part of the necromancer’s undead army…

Overall this entire review contains spoilers. It contains spoilers for book one, and spoilers for this book. Read at your own caution. 

You know, honestly, Ace/Roc was awesome enough to, even though I didn’t make it on their street team, give me an ARC anyway. This happened to be the one they gave me. Woohoo, free books! I even picked up the first one and read it straight through.

Unfortunately, I didn’t like this one as much as the first. Sure, all the characters are there doing the exact same things I enjoyed about them in the first place, but this one just didn’t strike my fancy as much. I’m not sure if it was the vampire politics that culminated overall in a less than spectacular fashion, or the fact that most of the reveals fell flat and cliche, but it didn’t do it for me.

I will say, I did enjoy seeing a bit more from some of the less touched upon characters, such as Sunny and Lia. I also enjoyed the slow burn romance between Justin and Elly. Not to mention, I loved the fact that there was a passing bisexual mention. It’s nice to see more authors adopting the Seanan McGuire approach to sexuality.  Kudos.

There is a distinct lack of Jackals in this book, though there was a mention that maybe they’re staying away because they think that Justin is their alpha now? For some reason Elly’s mother does show up in the midst of the bad guys, though that’s not really explained away. There wasn’t any reason for her to be there, seeing as there weren’t any Jackals around. Putting her dead set in with any baddie that shows up is a little weird? Maybe she’s working for the vampires as a side gig? Who knows. It was a huge plot hole and a little annoying.

The big baddie this time is a necromancer. He’s raising all sorts of undead baddies and even taking vampires under his control. Overall, though, he’s not super threatening. He’s sickly and grumpy, but he’s really more like a wet paper bag full of meat than anything resembling a threat. He’s temporarily got the powers of an underworld god, and they’re slowly eating him from the inside. To make sure he doesn’t die, he foists his death off on other people nearby. This only proceeds to make the god mad, as he should have gotten his power back by now. So, he comes looking for the necromancer.

The necromancer is employed by the head of the Boston vampires, in order to root out possible dissent. You know, that’s how you root out usurpers, you fabricate a turf war and murder half your people. Nah, it’s fine. Unfortunately, Elly is caught in the cross-fire and commanded basically into the fray and to her death. She survives, just barely, and the death god offers a trade. The necromancer’s life for her own. So, the Night Owl’s crew rides to the rescue and goes to get the squishy necromancer.

The tangled web didn’t work as well as it does in some other books. Everything seemed obvious and cliched and even though the first book was a little predictable, this one was more so, and more infuriating, because it seemed like it was trying to load up on shocks and reveals. Anyway, not the strongest of the series. I didn’t hate it and I’m looking forward to seeing more from these characters.

Written by Fry

Fry

Probably in a dungeon somewhere. Game Master for the D’n’D actual play podcast Roll For Wenches .

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