Monday, March 3, 2014

Cemetery girl: The pretenders by Christopher Golden and Charlaine Harris

The pretenders is the first book in the graphic novel trilogy Cemetery girl and it starts with an amazing first line and then barely leaves you time to catch your breath as you enter the narrow confines of the cemetery along with a teenage girl with no memory of who she is and how she got there - all she knows for certain is that she died at some point.  In a moment of self preservation said teenage girl hides in the cemetery - and continues to hide over the days, weeks, and months to come.  She gets by with the help of some of the people who live in and around the cemetery, but it is a lonely existence and not one that she plans to cling to forever.  With no other name to use she names herself Calexa Rose Dunhill, and even though it is not her real name it will work for the time being.

When she unwittingly sees the murder of a teenage girl in the cemetery, Calexa finds herself drawn into a dangerous game of cat and mouse - partly because the victims spirit flows into her body as she dies.  Surrounded by thoughts, feelings, and memories which are not her own, Calexa must decide what to do.  If she draws attention to the location of the victims grave she may be discovered herself and a teenage girl living in a cemetery would be shipped off to a foster home in an instant.  She also can't confront the murderers herself because she is badly outnumbered.  It seems as though there is no good choice to make, and Calexa is rapidly running out of time.

The pretenders is the first book in a trilogy that carries a world of promise - coming as it does from two minds with a reputation for creating engaging reads where our world rubs up against the supernatural world with interesting results.  Sometimes graphic novels come across as a little second rate (because the author doesn't put thought into the story, not because of the fact it is a graphic novel!) but that is not the case here.  I was hooked from page one and whipped through the story to find out what happened next.  Golden and Harris have created a mini-universe in the cemetery, but we have had glimpses of the outside world that drops major hints that something very serious happened in Calexa's life just before she was dumped in the cemetery.  

A fabulously "graphic" little read and I can't wait to see what comes next for Calexa and the people in her life because it feels like something big is coming, that there is some unseen conspiracy working in the background that will make Calexa's life very interesting - whether she can remember her life from before or not!

If you like this book then try:

  • Alpha and Omega: Cry wolf by Patricia Briggs and David Lawrence
  • Moon called by Patricia Briggs and David Lawrence
  • Midnight secretary by Tomu Ohmi
  • Infernal devices one: Clockwork angel by Cassandra Clare and Hyekyung Baek
  • Maximum ride by James Patterson and NaRae Lee
  • Soulless: the manga by Gail Carriger and REM
  • Bloodwork by Kim Harrison, Pedro Maia, and Gemma Magno
  • Circus of the damned by Laurell K. Hamilton and Jeff Ruffner-Booth

Reviewed by Brilla

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