Grave Beginnings by R.R. Virdi
Grave Beginnings by R.R. Virdi is the story of Vincent Graves, a being that wakes up in the bodies of dead people and is given a time limit to solve their murders, which have all been committed by some other nasty supernatural creatures. In Grave Beginnings, Graves has inhabited the body of Norman, an old museum curator that’s suddenly filthy rich, right before he dies. When other people start dying, Graves has to find the killer. But between getting chased by a giant tiger and a FBI agent, it’s not as easy as Graves would like.
I had high hopes for this book. I love Urban Fantasy and the reviews I’d read beforehand (something I always do before buying a new book) had been promising and compared this book to The Dresden Files. Maybe reading that had set the bar too high. I love The Dresden Files. In the beginning quarter of the book, I correctly guessed who the Big Bad was, although I was a little off on what they were, but not by much. Also, if it weren’t for Church and Gnosis, Vincent wouldn’t have been able to solve this case. Almost all the information he needed had been handed to him, save for a little bit of legwork he and Agent Ortiz did.
I did like all of the characters. Ortiz reminded me of Karin Murphy, (Harry Dresden’s human cop counterpart), and Church was intriguing enough that I want to hear from him again. Graves is interesting too. I felt bad for him, not remembering his much of his own life, or when and how he got this gig because it’s pretty cool. Graves is pretty funny if a little worn down and there were quite a few times I was laughing out loud from something he said or observed. Did anyone else catch the tape measure innuendo at Norman’s house?
When I read this genre, I expect a fast-paced story with great action scenes and witty repertoire. I almost got all three, but there were little errors that made the author just miss the mark. Most parts were fast paced and witty, but it was inconsistent. I’m not sure if it was a stylistic choice, but there were a lot of run-on sentences throughout the book and they pulled me out of the story every time. There’s also a lot of repetitive words and dialogue. If the author went through and removed those two issues, the writing would be that much more crisp and the pace would really pick up. As it stands with those errors, I’m judging the writing a bit harshly. I just couldn’t stay in the story because of them. Vincent Graves also explains every little thing he’s doing and why, multiple times and usually on the same page. With Urban Fantasy, I want to come to these conclusions on my own, not have my hand held as I’m led to conclusions and told why the character is doing what he’s doing and how he’ll benefit. Most of the time, those explanations aren’t needed and take away from any suspense.
I do have to say that the author’s take on the monsters is unique and I love the thought put into all of them. Urban Fantasy has been taken over by vampires, werewolves and fairies. I’m happy to see some “new blood” in the genre and that these aren’t the run of the mill monsters.
From what I understand, Grave Beginnings is Virdi’s first novel, and I can see where people make the connection between him and Butcher. He’s not on Butcher’s level yet, but Virdi has talent. His books are only going to get better as the series progresses and his writing improves. I probably will be picking up the next books in the series (they’re not out yet), because I think this is an author to watch.
My Rating: 3.5/5
Creature Feature: 5/5
If you’re interested in Grave Beginnings, you can pick it up on Amazon for only $1.99.
Like my review? Hate it? Let me know on Twitter @BBReviewers or on our Facebook page. We love hearing from readers.
Thanks for reading!