I don’t send many books back to audible and ask for a refund but this was one of them.
I’d wanted a light, slightly silly, paranormal read that my wife and I could listen to together in the evenings to wind down. ‘Grave Magic Bounty’ seemed to fit the bill. The main character is a recently divorced woman in her forties returning to her home in Savannah after twenty years away to start a new life and re-enter the Shadow world that she had run away from when she married.
It started to well enough with some flashes of bitter humour about ‘himself’ her former husband, and stories about life with her (recently deceased) gran, who had taught her how see the Shadows and how to deal with them, that an encounter with a boogeyman that ended with her being sent to an asylum led her to ask her gran to seal off her Sight and that she had left Savannah with no intention of returning.
I thought that was a promising backstory. I liked that it was shared, in bite-sized chunks, while our heroine was going through a bizarre interview in a graveyard that quickly became more like an ordeal by combat with various supernatural those-don’t-really-exist-do-they? creatures.
That was enough to get us through the first thirty per cent but not enough to make me put up with the books three main faults: the pacing of the storytelling was uneven and often dragged; the wit was thin, forced, mostly mean-spirited and soon became wearisome, and the main character was very hard to like. She had bitter written all the way through her like Brighton in a stick of rock. She ogled men and werewolves with boring regularity and in a forced penny-in-the-slot knee-jerk way that would have had any male character pilloried. She kept telling herself how clever she was while completely failing to understand what was going on.
A book stops being a relaxing read when you start to wait for the heroine to meet her well-deserved painful ending.
So it went back and I got a refund, which was probably the best part of the experience.