I’ve decided to start participating in I’m Loving Books’ Random Reads meme! I caught myself staring at my TBR shelf, unable to pick anything to read, and that’s TERRIBLE. So I decided to play a game! I have (most of) my TBR books listed on Goodreads; I sorted them by date added (I think), used Random.org to pick a number, and then read the corresponding book. I decided I’m allowed to skip books if it’s part of a series I haven’t read or if it’s one of those which I accidentally added to my TBR shelf instead of my wishlist shelf.
Pick 1: May 18, 2014
Book: Grave Sight by Charlaine Harris
On TBR pile since: October 31, 2010
Published: Berkley Trade Paperback (2005), Paperback, 310pg
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Mystery, Paranormal
Harper Connelly has what you might call a strange job: she finds dead people. She can sense the final location of a person who's passed, and share their very last moment. The way Harper sees it, she's providing a service to the dead while bringing some closure to the living - but she's used to most people treating her like a blood-sucking leech. Traveling with her step-brother Tolliver as manager and sometime-bodyguard, she's become an expert at getting in, getting paid, and getting out fast. Because for the living it's always urgent - even if the dead can wait forever.
I’ve had this in my TBR like for ages; I originally bought it right after I’d marathon-read nine Sookie Stackhouse books and was hankering for more of Charlaine Harris’ style of fluffy paranormal mysteries. Unlike the Sookie books, Grave Sight is a proper mystery with suspects and a murder and everything. Like the Sookie books, it stars a psychic lady with personal problems. It’s a little more serious in tone than the Sookie books, too, which should be good for those of you who weren’t into the sillier moments of the True Blood books.
Though it wasn’t without its flaws, I enjoyed Grave Sight. As a mystery it’s pretty satisfying, though if you know common mystery plot points you’ll be able to figure out the solution about halfway through. Multiple deaths and a small town cover-up are always fun, and I liked the characters (even if the brother-sister relationship had a little more incestual overtones than I’m comfortable with). It’s not a perfect book, but it’s perfect for a summer afternoon reading session.
One thing that got up my nose was how often this particular scene played out over the course of the book:
Harper: I talk to dead people and here’s what this dead person said.
Town person: You’re a liar and/or tripping out is steal my money but I also believe you for some reason.
Harper: I need to be paid for my work which is totally legitimate! Please don’t kill me and/or break into my hotel room and beat me up.
Like, I understand why those things would be an issue for a person who made her living talking to dead people, but when every other page somebody’s either calling her a devil worshiper or a money-grabbing monster– it gets a little tiring. It detracts from the actual mystery. It also makes me think the author thinks I’m stupid, because she keeps telling me the same thing over and over again.
But I think CH does that a lot in all her books. I’m remembering stuff from the Sookie books that was much the same: lots of repetition of certain key aspects of the protagonist’s life, to the point where I wanted to scream.
I probably will not read the other books in the series, but I’m glad I finally read this one! It was fun, but in a very tiring sort of way.
Read: May 18-19, 2014