Review: Fifth Grave Past the Light (Charley Davidson, #5) by Darynda Jones

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★★★★

You guyssssssssssss, I love Charley! Sincerely, I have massive amounts of affection for her.

I wish she’d be my friend. We could get drinks together, gossip about people (both alive and dead), maybe smoke a little pot together in our pajamas and then pass out watching Rick & Morty.

She’s just honestly one of my favourite female characters.

And really, you don’t even need to read this series from the beginning to get into it, (but it does help.) You can jump in whenever and immediately know Charley. Because her voice and her personality are clear and genuine from the beginning. Darynda Jones has her figured out and never wavers from that truth.

This time around Charley is dealing with a lot. And it starts from page one. A cheating husband, gun fire, being confronted by the police about how exactly she manages to solve cases the way that she does. Not to mention, her apartment is filled with dozens of dead blonde women who may, or may not, have been killed by serial killer. They are the worst houseguests too – climbing her walls (literally), hanging from the ceiling (literally), straight up ignoring her requests to communicate but then also getting in the shower with her. Like you do.

Speaking of her apartment, Reyes has somehow managed to move in right next door by surprise. How convenient.

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Full disclosure, I’m not the biggest fan of Reyes. Actually, I mildly loathe him. He comes across as possessive, threatening, glowering and mildly abusive. And hey, maybe some readers are into that and find the whole smoldering do it because I said so schtick to be super sexy. But I do not. No man of mine would ever dare threaten to not help me in a time of dire need unless I did a striptease for him. Fuck off, Reyes.

In this new installment in the Charley Davidson saga, Reyes is given a touch of humour, a bit of humanity, of vulnerability. That much I will admit. Some of his otherwordly douchebagness is stripped away, perhaps to make him more palpable as boyfriend material. Objectively, fans of Reyes with definitely love this installment.

But I’ve never totally gotten it. Charley is just too strong in her sense-of-self to be into such a controlling boobpunch. I’m not into this overused plot trope of a strong badass bawse turning into a life-sized dripping vagina whenever a sexy man is around. Everyone knows it’s the vagina that holds the power!

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The whole “romance” thing doesn’t work for me because at the end of the day he’s still just an abusive dick. And the only thing all that blahblahblah-ing about his abusive upbringing did was make me think “oh, the cycle of abuse continues.” I did not feel sorry for him at all.

I don’t like who he turns Charley into. Because like I said, I love Charley. Girl is better off without him, in every way. Why does she even like him? Because of his personality? She’s never even mentioned it.

As far as I can tell it all comes down to some mystical bullshit magnet between them and her uncontrollable lust for him because he’s sooo sexxyyy *barf*. If he were to spend a whole book farting and running away with explosive diarrhea, Charley would find a way to explain how sexy it was and why she just can’t control her sexual desire when he lets it rip. The whole thing comes across as pretty surface “love.”

Sneaky, devilish little shithead.

But I digress, because despite my loathing of Reyes there was a lot of good stuff in this book. A little more information of Charley’s purpose on Earth, for one. Non-stop action! The serial killer angle was super engaging and I love that Bob is into Cookie. Plus, my favourite: a cliffhanger ending!

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Honestly, this might have been my favourite book in the series so far. I can only hope and pray to the gods I don’t believe in, that Charley comes to her fucking sense about Reyes.

And maybe some of you readers too. Seriously – he’s awful. Hellooooo.

🔪🔪🔪

 

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