This is a first book, and first books can be rough. I’m not sure yet how I feel about Darynda Jones’ Charley Davidson series. Charley is a grim reaper who lives in Albuquerque and works as a PI. She can see and talk to dead people. She is the portal to Heaven and the dead pass through her. Some dead people stay behind, some want help finishing business – last words or finding a killer, and some just aren’t ready to cross.
I’m on the fence about this series. It could either be good popcorn fun, or annoying. I mostly like Charley. She’s pretty funny, and her funny is both her nature and a coping mechanism. Because her life isn’t so funny. She has the potential to be a thoughtful multi-faceted character. The other characters seem like things for Charley to bounce off or react to, but not like characters in their own right. This could become a problem if it doesn’t change in the next couple of books.
My biggest concern with the series is the character Reyes Farrow. Reyes is currently in a coma, but is able to non-corporeally visit Charley and make out with her. I’m just going to go ahead and spoil this right now, because it isn’t a surprise when it is revealed: Reyes is the portal to Hell. The physical embodiment of the portal to Hell is obsessed with the physical embodiment to the portal to Heaven and he wants to make the sex with her. This is no ThunderSex (TM), partly because when they do finally make the sex, he is incorporeal. He does give Charley orgasms that make her see the birth of the universe and reveal his entire history. I don’t have a problem with romance or sex in books. I don’t mind paranormal sex. But Reyes, he could be a problem. He is the character that will decide whether I like this series enough to continue beyond book three, or throw my kindle down on a soft surface and declare myself “over it!” He has the potential to undermine Charley’s good qualities. Or he could become an interesting antagonist.
I will definitely read the second book, but the first book hasn’t sold me on the series.