By: Justin Hopkins
Off the excitement I had leaving the first story in Calexa Rose Dunhill’s story. Was eager to jump to the next story, Inheritance. Which going off the title sounded pretty ominous. Didn’t read the description, because I preferred to go in blind, but started to worry about the safety of the returning characters. Lets jump in and see if my fears are warranted shall we.
We start off two months down the road. Winter growing closer and Calexa is talking to the stone angel, before heading off to Lucinda’s for dinner. Lucinda is beginning to get more worried about her. Not wanting her to suffer winter in the Cemetery and trying to convince her to go to the cops for help. Calexa is not quite ready and doesn’t want to move into the spare room because of fear of being found, but agrees to stay in the attic bedroom for the night. Where she has a dream about being haunted by the ghosts on Dunhill. Troubled by the fact that she can’t help them if she can’t help herself. Awaken by a sound. Getting downstairs to find Lucinda being attacked by a masked assailant. Stabbing her before she could stop it. Knocking the knife away from the attack which scares them off. Holding Lucinda close as she fades away. Seeing her spirit rising from the body, but to her dismay, flies into her instead of flying off. After a flurry of memories wash over her. She begins to clean the house of any of her prints before calling the police before fleeing back to the cemetery. Watching the scene from her tree. Swearing to find out who did this is where I will leave it for now.
This was more of a whodunit story as opposed to the first one .It was a gamble to kill of Lucinda this early on, but they used it to maximum effect. Really throwing Calexa’s make shift world upside down. She still has the same issues of not wanting to be exposed yet, but now she doesn’t know who it was or if she is in danger. She doesn’t have the skills to solve it on her own. Leaving you wonder who it could be and keeping her on her back foot and reacting to most of the things around her. The wildcard of Mason and if he wasn’t going to take it upon himself to call the cops. Then they throw in the element that Lucinda left everything to her, but if she came forward, she would risk exposure and it all worked so well.
This was as much of a stepping stone to the next story as it was a sequel to Pretenders. Setting up Kelner as someone who is going to get behind her in more of an assertive way while at the very end, they end with Mason being left alone with a man wanting to know all about the ghost of Dunhill Cemetery. Ending with a massive cliffhanger and what could possibly happen next.
Graphic Audio continues to knock it out of the park with their audio books. Sound Affects and background noises, all down to the smallest details are top notch. Emilyn McFarland has really got Calexa down pat. Chris Stinson was a nice addition as Mason and look forward to seeing how he plays out in the next book. Same with Andy Brownstein’s Kelner.
There was a negative to this though and that was having the gang involved. They didn’t add anything to the story. Were suppose to try and lead you to think they were involved with her death, but never at any time did I suspect them and to lead her to where she needed to be for the discovery. Which could have been done another way. Small gripe but still a negative for me.
This was a fun story that has definitely built my excitement for the next installment in the series. Would strongly suggest giving this audio book ago and can’t wait for the finale. As always, I hope you enjoyed and…
Thank You For Reading.
By: Justin Hopkins
Back when I was over the road. Use to listen to a fair amount of Graphic Audio CDs. Listening to a lot of Marvel and Silver in particular. Cemetery Girl was one that was high up on my list to get, but stopped listening before I ever got it. As I have been playing more games such as Minecraft that doesn’t require that much sound however. Allowed me to get back to the audiobooks and I finally picked up Cemetery Girl and after giving it a listen. Decided to talk about it here. So lets dive in shall we and break down book one.
The story starts with a girl being rolled down a hill and left for dead in Dunhill Cemetery. Suffering from amnesia and takes shelter in a crypt. Doesn’t remember who she is and only a few flashes of being attacked. Afraid that if she goes to the police for help though, that the person who tried to kill her will try again so she stays at the cemetery until she can remember. While she was attempting to steal a few things for warmth was startled by a soul of a recently departed man ascend from his grave and disappear. Adding to the mystery of who she is. As days begin to go by, she makes it by blending in with people attending funerals. Stealing little things from their cars and the groundskeeper’s house. When she saves his life one even though. Dawns on her that she needs a name and gets one off a faded grave, Calexa Rose Dunhill. One night a group of teens break into the cemetery, trying and failing to raise a demon. A group she sees again when one of their friends die and they break in again, with their friend’s sister and murder her, in a sacrifice to bring him back. Burying in his burial plot when it doesn’t work. While she is watching from a distance, the girl’s spirit comes out and instead of disappearing like the other. Beelines it into Calexa. Giving her all of her memories and voice inside, longing for justice, but doing so would put her at risk of being exposed and her killer taking another shot at her.
This was a much shorter story than I am use to with this medium, clocking in at only a little over an hour and a half, but they make every bit to tell a wonderful tale and introduction into the world. Charlaine Harris did a wonderful job at writing the story. Calexa is a likeable character who really sucks you into her plight. She wears her emotions on her sleeve. Crafty and capable enough to survive in the cemetery, despite probably only being a kid, by the way the groundkeeper is reluctant to notify authorities and have her sent to a foster home, but at the same time, she is incredibly human. She is not some master thief or capable of going toe to toe with anybody. When she finds herself in a dangerous situation, you feel like she is in danger and helps you cling on to every minute of the story. Wondering how she is going to help Marla and not get caught at the same time. Lucinda and The Groundskeeper were wonderful additions and genuinely excited to see how the relationship with Calexa evolve from here.
Much like everything Graphic Audio puts together, the sound effects and background music is spectacular. Sounds of people walking and hearing a difference when people are far away or talking while they walk away. Get multiple, extremely talented voice actors voicing different characters. From Emlyn McFarland’s portrayal of Calexa. Andy Brownstein as the Groundskeeper and Shari Eliker and Lucinda and just everyone involved. May sound like a small thing, but it really makes a difference to immersing you into the story and Cemetery Girl is no different.
I do strongly suggest giving Cemetery Girl: The Pretenders. It is a perfect way to get introduced into audio books and a great short story for people who are well versed in them… and it is always a Graphic Novel for those who really don’t want to listen to an audio book. Whichever avenue you choose to enjoy what is a really good story.
As always, I hope you enjoyed and…
Thank You For Reading.