First Grave on the Right
Updated: Jul 19, 2021
Warning - This Review Contains Spoilers - Read At Your Own Discretion
Rating - ⭐1/2
"Charley Davidson is a part-time private investigator and full-time grim reaper. Meaning, she sees dead people. Really. And it's her job to convince them to "go into the light." But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (like murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice. Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she's been having about an entity who has been following her all her life...and it turns out he might not be dead after all. In fact, he might be something else entirely. But what does he want with Charley? And why can't she seem to resist him? And what does she have to lose by giving in?"
First Grave on the Right is the first installment in the urban fantasy Charley Davidson series by Darynda Jones.
I had so many issues with this.
First of all, this didn't make much sense logistically and I have so many questions. Charley is a grim reaper, which doesn't work very well when she is one of the living. What happens if she dies, does someone else become the grim reaper like what happens in Buffy with the slayers? How does she move on when that was her job? Are there really more reapers out there? How wide is her mileage in terms of people she has to help? Why does being a grim reaper somehow give her the innate ability to know literally every language?
I have questions when it comes to Reyes as well, mainly centering around the fact that he is brain dead in this. As the son of satan can he die? Cause if he can like a normal human then he is a goner. Being declared brain dead is equal to being actually dead. There is no coming back from that, so the fact that he just wakes up and disappears makes no sense. I get that this is only the first book in the series and more answers could be coming, but when I have no desire to read the rest of the series, it is frustrating.
Another minor thing that occurred a few times that bothered me were comments made by Charley that were kind of insensitive and I wasn't here for it.
Now onto the main issue I had with this book - Charley and Reyes. Oh, boy did I not like this one bit. You get your first hint of Reyes at the very beginning of the book as Charley starts to have vivid dirty dreams about him. That in and of itself isn't a big issue, but it becomes one when we find out how they initially met.
They met when they were younger where Charley and her sister ran into him in a bad situation. To get Charley to not call the cops, he asks her if she's ever been raped, then proceeds to pry open her legs and touch her crotch...yeah, because nothing screams 'we are going to be a future couple' like sexual assault. This wasn't the only time sexual assault was mentioned in the book either. When trying to get information about Reyes and when asked about why she wanted to know this, she thought to herself 'I just what? Want to rape your prisoner?' Can 👏We👏Not👏Romanticize👏Rape.
To add another layer to why their relationship is uncomfortable to read about at best, Reyes turns out to be the creature that she standing above her when she was born. So this guy has been waiting to jump on her since she was a literal baby which isn't creepy at all! Finally, to knock it out of the park, he is also the reason why she is no longer depressed. Seeing that his dad was abusive towards him made her go, 'Wow, I am so lucky to have a good relationship with my dad, guess I don't have anything to be depressed about anymore.' Let's not even get into the fact that the author decided to sprinkle in some incest too.
This was just not a good time for me.