Early Review: Summoned to Thirteenth Grave by Darynda Jones (Charley Davidson #13)


Summoned to Thirteenth Grave by Darynda Jones // VBCSummoned to Thirteenth Grave (Charley Davidson #13)
Darynda Jones
Published: January 15, 2019 (St. Martin’s Press)
Purchase at: Amazon or Book Depository
Review Source: Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for and honest review

Reviewed by: Amy

Rating (out of 5): 4.5 stars

Note: While this review will be spoiler free, it will contain references to previous books in the series. If you haven’t yet started, check out VBC’s review of First Grave on the Right.

After bringing Amber back to life in Twelfth Grave (a big no-no since her soul had already left her body) Charley was exiled off the earthly realm. Well, after one hundred seven years, two months, fourteen days, twelve hours, and thirty-three minutes, Charley has returned.

You know, or ten days Earth time. And thank goodness for that because it turns out that the Hell dimension Reyes constructed eons ago, was then trapped inside, and then subsequently broke out of, that Hell dimension is threatening to overtake the planet. Demons have already started trying to break through, and more than one person is being effected personality-wise. Charley only has three days to stop the dimension from overtaking everything. Along with this, she has to ensure Beep’s safety so she’ll be able to fulfill her prophesied victory over Lucifer himself. Yes, the end is most definitely nigh.

I almost couldn’t believe I was actually reading the end of one of my favorite long-running series. Yet, Darynda Jones was very precise with the feeling of finality that embodies Thirteenth Grave. Like with most ends, there’s a lot of rumination on the past, and making sure each beloved character makes an appearance. The way Jones employs the latter is done very organically. Charley Davidson is a series that has collected quite the rollcall, and many times any characters added throughout the series have served a purpose for that particular book. So any and all revisits were very natural, yet were unsurprising.

Now, it’s the former where Jones really pulls out all the stops. Instead of a visit down memory lane of the previous twelve books in the series, we’re going farther back to the day Charley was born. Specifically, why Charley’s mother died. This line of investigation opens up surprisingly new outlooks on very important characters in the series. Enough that I absolutely must go back a search the rest of the series for clues immediately. I was pretty impressed that Jones decided to be quite so revelatory in this the final book of Charley’s.

With that said, however, I did feel like there was almost too much going on and some of the tie-ups seemed a bit too easy to come by and were a little too abrupt in some areas. Not only does Charley have to deal with the emerging Hell Dimension—which you would think would take precedence over any other conflict—but in order to do that she must unravel her mother’s final moments, deal with a mysterious Ghost Boy, and get the deets on one of Pari’s clients whom she believes is a serial killer. True, it wouldn’t be a Charley Davidson book without much multitasking ensuing, but the focus felt a little misguided at times despite everything wrapping up in a plausible, and satisfying, matter minus a few teary-eyed crossings-over. (I know, she’s the grim reaper/portal, but come on!)

The reasoning, I believe, is because of Beep. I would be completely flabbergasted if we didn’t get a Beep spin-off series. As of this writing, nothing has been announced that I can find, so I apologize if this is dated by publication. I definitely felt like Charley and Reyes were “passing the torch” to Beep. I have no doubt, being Charley’s daughter, she’ll pick up the mantle in a truly extraordinary way.

Sexual Content: Sex

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