Sunday, June 23, 2013

Review: The Gravedigger's Brawl

The Gravedigger's Brawl
The Gravedigger's Brawl by Abigail Roux

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Book Info: Genre: PNR M/M (ghosts, haunting)
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: fans of PNR, esp. M/M, who enjoy historical aspects to the story, and ghosts
Trigger Warnings: physical assault, violence, murder (historical), torture (historical), slavery (historical)

My Thoughts: An enjoyable book. I loved the easy banter between Wyatt and Noah, their sweet flirtations with Ash and Caleb; it was all very fun. I also very much liked Ryan and Delilah. Roux does a good job of creating interesting characters and giving them an individuality. The vast majority of the story I really enjoyed. The vast majority of the story was sweet and lighthearted, which just the occasional creepiness thrown in. Overall I liked it, and I was set to give it 5 stars until the ending.

The ending felt really rushed. It felt to me as though the author realized she had reached a certain word count and suddenly realized she needed to reach the main event, and just threw us in there. While there had been some foreshadowing, the abrupt change in flavor to the story was jarring and hard to adjust to. From about 91 percent to about 97 percent the book felt like horror, while the rest was fairly lighthearted, standard PNR. That alone would have probably left the book at a 4-star rating, but there were a couple issues with the plot flow that threw me off as well.

For instance, several times it is mentioned that Noah believes in ghosts and hauntings, while Wyatt does not. However, when the group came over to cleanse the building, Wyatt was the one who was thinking to himself he didn't know if this would actually remove the ghost while Noah was suddenly saying he didn't believe in any of it. The time frame between when Gravedigger's closes and Halloween feels off as well. They say they decide to close it on the “third week in October”, and then the renovations take several days. Ash and Ryan are gone for three days (after spending at least three or four days working on the renovations). That is one week. Now it is the fourth week in October. Halloween is at most a few days away. Then Ash has his break-down and is out for a week. It has to be November by then, but he still recovers in time for Halloween? The time doesn't line up.

So, while I overall really enjoyed the story, the ending and those issues with inconsistencies dropped the rating to three stars. Still, I will definitely be looking into reading more books by this author, whose style overall I really enjoy. I see she has written a number of books featuring a Madeline Urban, so I'll be checking those out. If you like M/M PNR, you should definitely check out Gravedigger's Brawl.

Disclosure: I received an e-galley from Riptide Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Synopsis: Dr. Wyatt Case is never happier than when he’s walking the halls of his history museum. Playing wingman for his best friend at Gravedigger’s Tavern throws him way out of his comfort zone, but not as much as the eccentric man behind the bar, Ash Lucroix.

Ash is everything Wyatt doesn’t understand: exuberant, quirky, and elbow deep in a Gaslight lifestyle that weaves history into everyday life. He coordinates his suspenders with his tongue rings. Within hours, Wyatt and Ash are hooked.

But strange things are afoot at Gravedigger’s, and after a knock to the head, Ash starts seeing things that can’t be explained by old appliances or faulty wiring. Soon everyone at Gravedigger’s is wondering if they’re seeing ghosts, or just going crazy. The answer to that question could end more than just Wyatt and Ash’s fragile relationship—it might also end their lives.

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