Grave Humor by R.J. Blain | The book went to an early grave

Posted December 27, 2020 by Sophia

Grave Humor by R.J. Blain | The book went to an early grave

Content and Trigger Warning: This book contains content that may be triggering to some, which we will try our best provide below the synopsis.
Grave Humor by R.J. Blain | The book went to an early graveGrave Humor by R.J. Blain
Other Books: Grave Humor
Published by Pen & Page Publishing on May 12, 2020
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Format: ARC, eBook
Source: Author

Most days, Anwen regrets working at a funeral home despite the good pay. With the residents no longer inclined to stay in their coffins where they belong, she’s got her hands full making sure everyone follows the rules:

In the funeral home, there is no screaming, no murdering, no mutilation, no possessions, no kidnappings, no resurrections, and no cursing of any type. Be quiet and stay polite.

The day Old Man McGregor decides to take a walk and disturbs her peace, Anwen learns there’s a lot more to the basement in the funeral home than a vampire and a handsome gentleman on ice.

If she’s not careful, she’ll learn first-hand why ‘eternally yours’ is the most potent of threats.

Warning: this novel contains romance, humor, bodies, shenanigans, and mythological puppies. Proceed with caution.

A copy of the book was provided for review purposes - thank you! Receiving a copy does not guarantee a positive review and therefore does not affect the opinion or content of the review.

Trigger Warnings: Attempted murder, blood, emotional abuse (?)

Grave Humor sounded like an entertaining book packed with humor, magic and dead bodies, but it went to the reading grave at 30% with a DNF marked on its tombstone.

💀 The book tried too hard to be funny sometimes, with some humorous moments or lines. But unfortunately, a lot of them (at least what I read) were either almost funny or missed the mark completely. This, of course, might be a personal preference as I’m not a fan of Blain’s writing style, where the story seems to be heavily built on telling through the characters’ dialogue.

💀 In addition, the characters feel bland and flat rather than fully developed. But again, the development feels focused on what the characters are telling each other through conversations. I could be entirely wrong, though, because I didn’t finish Grave Humor, and for all I know, there is more development later.

💀 Honestly, Anwen is a jerk? We learn that she drops out of high school and currently works at a funeral home to make ends meet (but she’s still scraping). She has an awful relationship with both her parents and, as a result, tries to put as much distance as she possibly can. Her parents still come by occasionally asking for her money, and it’s not to use it for paying bills; it’s used for drugs and sex workers, and Anwen is not about giving her parents money to be used freely when they could for it themselves. But what bothers me the most is the interaction Anwen has with her parents, and the thoughts she has.

  • She wonders, “Why couldn’t I have been blessed with some form of fire magic? I would’ve torched the bastards.”
  • When Eoghan (the handsome gentleman on ice? who she has lustful thoughts about) arrives and she tries to get them to leave, she says, “Fuck you and go away. Eoghan, in. The assholes, leave.”

I don’t know, y’all. I just feel thinking of torching parents is a bit extreme. But damn, I sure as hell wouldn’t use the words “fuck” and “assholes” in front of my parents, much less describe them that way regardless of what they’ve done. At least, not without going to Hell burning in the hottest flames my ancestors can fire up and then skin me alive. Her anger of finding out her college fund has been used on drugs and sex workers is valid, though, but the whole torching parents just doesn’t sit well with me.

💀 I found myself frequently confused with what was going on in the book. It’s almost as though the characters of Grave Humor know what’s going on, but the readers have few clues. There are bits and pieces of information given that can be connected, but I felt what I got was what I could assume without actually having it confirmed. I don’t know if Blain reveals this information later, but if it is, the execution backfired; I ended up more frustrated waiting for elaboration than the desire to be invested into reading more of the story when that energy can be used elsewhere.

Sophia started blogging in February 2012 for the hell of it and is surprisingly still around. She has a GIF for nearly everything, probably listens to too much K-Pop and is generally in an existential crisis of sorts (she's trying her best). In 2020, she graduated with a Bachelor's in Communications and minor in Women's Studies. More of her bookish reviews and K-pop Roundups can be found at The Arts STL.

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2 responses to “Grave Humor by R.J. Blain | The book went to an early grave

  1. “the book went to an early grave”.

    I’m sorry, especially since this was a book you received from the author, and we all know how hard it is to write a honest review in those cases. Also, I’m beginning to suspect that “telling not showing” is one of the most difficult skill to master. And yeah, the torching part…extreme 😦.

    • Sophia

      Thankfully it was originally for a blog tour earlier this year (I still find it hard writing them though), but yeah I agree. Telling vs showing is probably one of the difficult skills to master.