The Pretenders (Cemetery Girl #1) – Harris and Golden

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The Pretenders (The Cemetery Girl #1) by authors Charlaine Harris and Christopher Golden is a terrific little graphic novel series that surprisingly, with these two names attached is flying quietly under the radar.

The tale begins with a young girl, beaten, drugged and abducted being dumped in the Dunhill cemetery. When she comes to, her memory is very hazy and she cannot remember exactly who she is. She decides to stay in the cemetery and make it her home, living in one of the crypts, stealing food from the caretaker and bathing in the fountain. She calls herself, Calexa Rose Dunhill.

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One night, Calexa spots a group of teenagers trying to perform a ritual on one of the gravesites. They return later and in the course of their actions, murder a young girl. The girl’s spirit rises from its body and flows into Calexa. It is then that the cemetery girl realizes she can see and communicate with the dead. Her mind is flooded with memories that are not her own and now she has a mission. She must find justice for the murdered young girl and in doing so, put the girl’s spirit at ease. But in doing this, she will put herself in danger and if found out, will it bring back the man who tried to kill her?

First off, the artwork is great and a little reminiscent of the Locke and Key comic series by Joe Hill. The story, strange to say with these two major names attached, is actually the weak spot in this graphic novel. You get abducted, beaten and dumped in a cemetery and you decide that what is best is to stay and hide in the cemetery instead of going to the cops? The reasoning behind this seems hard to grasp. Is it fear that keeps her in hiding? Then why go forward when she is contacted by the dead girl? The two people she steals from seem fine taking her in from time to time and keeping her secret as well instead of trying to help her find out what really happened.

But if you can get past that, there is a really good story here. Harris, of Sookie Stackhouse fame, and Golden, of Baltimore fame, work well together and once you get past the origin of the Cemetery Girl then the tale of the murdered girl and her subsequent adventure in bringing the murderers to the justice is fun and exciting.

This is a good start to the series and I am hoping the next book will open up the origin of the Cemetery Girl and clue us in on just what happened to her.

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