Book Review: Graveminder

Published By: William Morrow
Release Date: May 17, 2011
Buy it at Amazon
Source: Won Via First Reads on Goodreads
Audience: Adult

I have been a big fan of Melissa Marr's writing ever since I first picked up Wicked Lovely. Her writing style never fails to cast a spell on me. I can't even pinpoint what exactly she does that sets her apart from other writers in my mind, but there is just something about her novels that captivates me every time. It is a strong statement to someone's writing talent for me to love everything they write.

Graveminder deviates from the Wicked Lovely series in many ways. One, it is an adult book, which is something different for Marr who has previously focused her efforts into YA books. Second, there is not a member of the fey in sight in this one. However, there is still plenty of what I have come to expect from Melissa Marr - a dark setting, sinister plots, and expertly crafted characters. Graveminder was actually better in my opinion than the Wicked Lovely series. 

The small town of Claysville looks picture perfect to the outside world, but something foul is stalking its streets and an ancient contract requires that all those born in the town must return to it in death. Rebekkah Barrow finds herself compelled to return to the town she had run away from in her youth when her grandmother is mysteriously murdered in the sleepy, peaceful town. As she struggles to make sense of the killing, she is also confronted with the man who has haunted her heart since the first time she ran away - Byron Montgomery.

To make matters worse, Rebekkah is the new Graveminder in town and not everyone seems to be happy about that. The Graveminder's sole purpose is to keep the dead happy so that they don't rise and feed on the living. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that this was a zombie book. I hadn't heard much about the plot before I began reading so I was excited to see how Melissa Marr would approach the zombie issue. She did a wonderful job of creating a town and structure for her zombies. I also loved the whole concept of a Graveminder and an Undertaker. Furthermore, I loved the land of the dead. I kept seeing flashes of the town from Corpse Bride in my head as I read. 

Overall, this was one of the best zombie books I have read in quite some time. I would highly recommend it to zombie aficionados, fans of Melissa Marr's previous work, and paranormal junkies. Also, as someone who has always been fascinated by old graveyards and stories about the dead, I found this novel to be exactly what I was looking for in a good read. This book did have some major creepy moments so if you're a bit squeamish or easily spooked you might want to keep a flashlight and some salt handy as you read. Salt keeps the dead contained so you should be safe. :)

I want to leave you with one of my favorite lines: "Sleep well, and stay where I put you."

One Last Gripe: I hope this is a series because I really want to know what the deal with Alicia is...

My Favorite Thing About This Book: The lore behind the Graveminder and Undertaker

First Sentence: Maylene put one hand atop the stone for support; pulling herself up from the soil got harder every year.

Favorite Character: Byron Montgomery

Least Favorite Character: Cissy

Rebekkah Barrow never forgot the tender attention her grandmother, Maylene, bestowed upon the dead of Claysville, the town where Bek spent her adolescence. There wasn't a funeral that Maylene didn't attend, and at each Rebekkah watched as Maylene performed the same unusual ritual: three sips from a small silver flask followed by the words "Sleep well, and stay where I put you."

Now Maylene is dead and Bek must go back to the place--and the man--she left a decade ago. But what she soon discovers is that Maylene was murdered and that there was good reason for her odd traditions. It turns out that in placid Claysville, the worlds of the living and the dead are dangerously connected. Beneath the town lies a shadowy, lawless land ruled by the enigmatic Charles, aka Mr. D--a place from which the dead will return if their graves are not properly minded. Only the Graveminder, a Barrow woman, and the current Undertaker, Byron, can set things to right once the dead begin to walk.


  1. Gahhh! I CANNOT wait to get my hands on this book! Thanks for the great review :)

  2. @Theresa - You will LOVE it. It had a great plot and balanced the creep factor and romance perfectly. This is going to be one of my favorites for awhile.

  3. Thanks for your review. I'm not a huge zombie fan but I love Melissa Marr. I've seen this book around and have been so curious. If I'm feeling brave one day, I might read it. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

  4. Ohhhhhhh, this sounds really good!! I haven't read many books with zombies, but I will be reading this one!!

  5. @Marcie - I will say that even though the zombies are important it isn't a traditional zombie book. The focus is much more on the Graveminder and the Undertaker. There also aren't very many really violent Zombie scenes - it's more allusions to those acts without the details.

    @A Journey in Reading - Yeah! I'd love to hear your thoughts on it when you've finished.

  6. I love, love, love the sound of this book! I'd seen this book before, but hadn't realised it was about zombies. I haven't read any zombie books, so I am rather intrigued! I am reading Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr right now and I have to say I love her writing. I will definitely try to get my hands on this one as soon as possible!!!

    Thanks for the great review! :)

  7. Graveminder by Melissa Marr is a dark gothic fantasy of a role that the town of Claysville entered a long time ago ensuring a complete safe place to live, providing that the town kept the Graveminder and Undertaker doing their jobs. While growing up, Rebekkah watched as Maylene performed the same unusual ritual at every funeral: three sips from a small silver flask followed by the words, "Sleep well, and stay where I put you." Now it seems in Claysville, the worlds of the living and the dead are dangerously connected - and beneath the town lies a shadowy, lawless land ruled b the enigmatic Charles, aka Mr. D. From this dark place the deceased will return if their graves are not properly minded. And only the Graveminder, a Barrow woman, and the current Undertaker, Byron, can set things right once the dead begin to walk.

  8. Ahhhhh, Graveminder is by far my favorite Melissa Marr book! I read this one earlier this year and I've been thinking about rereading it. I saw it on audio at the library and I'd love to listen to it! Glad to hear you loved it too. Thanks for the review =).

  9. It sounds like I might like this novel the best out of Melissa Marr's stories. I absolutely love books with a dark undertone, and the premise has me incredibly intrigued!

  10. How awesome! It's a completely new take on zombies, almost Gothic, with a small town and a mystery.

    LOVE how the characters are interesting and come alive.

    Lovely review :)

  11. This is one that i wanted to pick up and it slipped my mind. Thank you for the reminder!


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