Fight the Unquiet Dead in Melissa Marr’s “Graveminder”
Melissa Marr, the acclaimed author behind the Wicked Lovely series, enchants adults in her novel Graveminder. The books follows Rebekkah Barrow, a woman whose childhood memories include a bizarre tradition her grandmother Maylene performed at every funeral. Her grandmother would take three sips from a silver flash and recite a chant. After her grandmother is murdered, Barrow learns the women of her family are graveminders who must keep the unquiet dead at rest lest they walk the town. Barrow teams up with a man named Byron Montgomery who is destined to be her “undertaker” in order to keep the dead from rising and causing a zombie apocalypse.
Marr’s writing is spooky and full of fantastic twists and turns that will keep the reader on the edge of their seat. For example, the tension between Barrow and Montgomery is unusual until you get to the part where Barrow admits that she had an older half-sister who had been in love with Montgomery up until her death. However, Barrow’s dysfunctional family and her fears are what make her such an engaging, relatable character that you can’t help but root for as you get drawn deeper into the novel.
The mythology of the unquiet dead is also very interesting too. Much like her YA novels, Marr’s supernatural elements are fully fleshed out and become one of the best parts of the book. Unlike other authors who are piggybacking on the zombie genre’s popularity, Marr takes an old concept and gives it a new twist.