I am a huge fan of Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series of novels. They’re charming and fun and strike just the perfect tone. They’re nice light reads and thoroughly enjoyable. Harris is a pretty prolific writer – she has several series currently in publication – so I thought I’d give another one a try.
Grave Sight is the first book in Charlaine Harris’ Harper Connelly series. The lead character was struck by lightening when she was in her early teens, and has been able to locate the dead and identify the dead ever since. She’s feels something like a buzzing when she gets close to a dead body. It gets more intense as she gets closer, so she’s able to use that sense to hone in on cadavers. Once she’s close enough, she’s able to immediately tell how the person died by essentially reliving the person’s last moments. This sense of reliving the person’s last moments does not include visions of whoever might have been responsible for the person’s death (in cases of murder).
I was frankly a little disappointed with Grave Sight. The general answer to the mystery was fairly obvious very early on in the book. The setting never really gelled for me, either – the universe Harper inhabits is far more tragic than it is interesting.
Harris’ main characters in the two series I am so far familiar with have quite a bit in common. Both are hard luck stories – Sookie lost her parents as a child, and suffered her share of other trauma, and Harper’s parents were alcoholics and drug addicts that attempted to sell her into prostitution to pay for their habits. Both are close to their brothers. Both have what they might consider “disabilities” (paranormal abilities to you and me).
Despite their similarities, Harper doesn’t have half of Sookie’s charm. The character is still pretty believable, but Sookie has had (and continues to have) the personal resources to stay positive. Harper seems ready to come apart at the seams the second her brother isn’t there to prop her up. Somehow, I never got to care as much about Harper as I did about Sookie.
Harper’s debut wasn’t great, but Grave Sight was an extremely quick read, so I will give the second outing (Grave Surprise) a try and see if things pick up. In the meantime, with all the certainty of someone without creative writing talent, I’d rate this one a pretty solid “Meh.”