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Grave Matters: A Demon Trappers Novella Paperback – December 2, 2013
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About the Author
A resident of Portugal, Jana Oliver admits a fascination with all things mysterious, usually laced with a touch of the supernatural. An eclectic person who has traveled the world, she loves to research urban legends and spooky tales. When not writing, she enjoys Irish music, Cornish fudge and good Scottish whisky.
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This is a great novella for fans of the series. I wouldn't necessarily recommend as an intro to the series since there is a lot of backstory for these characters that you don't see in this novella. However, it should read okay as a stand alone.
I loved how this story showed our characters moving on. Riley is working on training apprentices and Beck is studying to become a Grand Master. Their reunion is sweet and amazing and plagued with all the complications that plague Demon Trappers.
Oliver does an amazing job all around with this story (and the whole series). The action scenes are breathtaking, the characters intriguing, and the world is well developed and engaging. The writing flows beautifully and the dialogue is snappy and fun. This was such a fun and easy story to read.
Overall I adored this addition to the Demon Trappers series. I would recommend this whole series to urban fantasy fans. I was beyond ecstatic to hear that a fifth book, Mind Games, came out in this series...last year...HOW DID I MISS THAT! Anyway, highly recommend to urban fantasy fans I love it!
Grave Matters reveals some interesting things about both Riley and Denver, that they are more than they were both raised to be. The discovery of that, however, takes them on a hard and painful path. Riley has niggling doubts that bring out Denver's insecurities. My only complaint here is that Denver has gained confidence in recent months, yet he is rehashing the same old self doubt of just being a simple man. The sentiment fell a bit flat for me as I would have expected more conflict between his new confidence and his old lack. Riley's constant one-liner inner monologues were a bit redundant sometimes as well.
The two short stories at the end were great. Set before the first book of the series, they are action packed and funny, and far better than the average bonus short story. I have to say that Jana Oliver has found the best use of Melville's "Moby Dick." Ever. I also got a kick out of Riley's reference to an Ilona Andrews book -- very funny! Read the first books of this series, then buy this one. You'll be happy you did!
**There may be Grave Matters spoilers in my review. It's not intentional but necessary to the quality of my review**
I've really missed Riley and Beck, so when Jana Oliver announced a novella I jumped all over it. I started by reading excerpts of Grave Matters on her website [...]. Then when the novella was available in print, I purchased it right away. I own all 4 of the full length novels in the series and it's nice to be able to add Grave Matters to the collection. The novella also contains 2 short stories, including Retro Demonology, which has only been available previously as a free eBook.
Riley and Beck get a lot of face time in the novella and not all of it is good. Treachery occurs as soon as Riley lands in Scotland and it's up to Riley, Beck, and the occupants of the home where Beck is completing his training, to figure out who's after Riley this time. The finally realized relationship between Riley and Beck is in jeopardy, Riley's life is in danger, and Beck will have to come to terms with what being a Grand Master will actually entail. All of this is squeezed into the 142 pages of Grave Matters.
I loved the concept of the novella and, really, you can't ever go wrong with Riley and Beck. The friction that develops between Riley and Beck is unexpected and played out quite well. The cause and effects of the trouble certainly plays upon the reader's emotions. After working so hard to get their relationship to where it was at the end of Foretold, I was distraught when the relationship began to crumble. Well played, Jana Oliver, well played! The dissolution of Riley and Beck is fully dependent upon the other actions within the book. There is action, adventure, misunderstandings, and of course, the attempt to use Riley for, and by, the forces of evil.
I must admit that Grave Matters wasn't nearly as dynamic as the four full length novels in the series. There just didn't seem to be as much suspense and nail biting build up in the novella. The ultimate reason for all of the happenings in Grave Matter were written cleanly and cohesively, however, and the entire novella was still very good. I'm glad I purchased the novella for my bookshelf.
I certainly hope this isn't the last we hear about Riley and Beck. They are one of my absolute favorite power couples. I'd almost like to see them cross over from the young adult genre into the adult genre and see where that takes them; especially now that Riley is eighteen.
Review Copy Courtesy Of: My Bookshelf