The Dirt on Ninth Grave by Darynda Jones
Release Date: January 12, 2016
St. Martin’s Press
Target Audience: Adult
I am new to the Charley Davidson Series, but the positive reviews certainly piqued my interest. When I was offered an ARC of The Dirt on Ninth Grave by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Darynda Jones from St. Martin’s Press, I happily accepted — yet I worried about jumping into book nine of a popular series with no previous knowledge of the characters and only a vague idea of the storyline. I decided to go for it and was not disappointed.
The ninth book in Charley Davidson’s adventures proved to be a good place to start for a newbie, because it begins with Charley’s amnesia (she doesn’t even know her real name, so she’s referred to as Jane). She is working in a diner in New York and begins to realize that she can see the spirits of the dead — and demons. She can also sense emotions and tell when someone is lying. Although this all frightens her at first, she turns her strange supernatural ability into an enjoyable quirk with her sarcastic wit. As the bits and pieces of her life came into focus, I was able to grasp the backstory, as well as the spunky, likable personality of Jane/Charley. I was rooting for her the whole way.
The plot in this ninth book takes the reader on quite an unusual journey — Jane/Charley can see beyond the tangible world to where souls dwell and even see glimpses of the light that welcomes fortunate souls and the dark chasm that swallows up the less fortunate ones. On top of this ability, she soon learns there are dark forces at work in her own life and someone/something wants her dead, yet she possesses a power that gives her strength and courage. Without spoilers, all I can say is that Jane/Charley’s community of friends in this book keeps things pretty interesting — surrounded by lies, she has to learn who she can trust. Did I mention there’s also a thread of romance that kicks things up a notch?
The Dirt on Ninth Grave is a wild, unpredictable, supernatural ride — it’s also a quick, enjoyable read full of humor, mystery, and paranormal suspense. If you’re a fan of these genres, this book/series is sure to please. If you don’t like a heavy dose of the paranormal, then pass. (As a comparison, think Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Steakhouse Series blended with Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum Series and add a dash of Sylvia Day’s Crossfire Series.)
Even though it’s currently winter in New Jersey, I kept imagining this book as a good beach read — to whisk you away from reality and into a sexy, playful, suspenseful, spooky world. The crisp prose is well crafted and the characters are uniquely their own with distinct personalities. Darynda is clearly a gifted writer with a vivid and creative imagination.
I was lucky enough to have a Q & A exchange with Darynda, which I will post on January 12th in conjunction with the release of The Dirt on Ninth Grave. Please follow the tab “Author Interviews” above to access my conversation with her.
Praise for Darynda Jones:
“Jam-packed with unique supernatural elements, an assortment of fascinating characters and enough going on to keep readers guessing until the very end and beyond.” – Kirkus on Fifth Grave Past the Light
“Übertalented Jones keeps stirring the pot and throwing in crazy new developments, guaranteed to keep her characters and reader zanily off balance.” – RT Book Reviews on Sixth Grave on the Edge
For more info on Darynda Jones, check out her fan group on Goodreads: