Cemetery Girl: The Pretenders – Charlaine Harris & Christopher Golden
Calexa Rose Dunhill was just fourteen when she woke in a cemetery. Bruised, bloody and left for dead, with no memory of her previous life, she took a new name from the headstones that surrounded her.
Now, three years on, Calexa still lives in Dunhill Cemetery, struggling with the desire to know her true identity – and the all-consuming fear of what she might discover when she does.
Then, when she witnesses a gang of teenagers staging a stunt that goes horribly, fatally wrong, Calexa Rose Dunhill discovers she has a unique ability. One she cannot control…
I was extremely pleased when Cemetery Girl landed in my mailbox because I’ve been wanting to start a graphic novel or comic book series but never know where to start. This is the first graphic novel published by Jo Fletcher Books and so a great way to get to know this sort of reading material and to see if it’s my thing or not. I was a big fan of comic books here in Belgium when I was little, things like Jommeke and Kiekeboe were very popular among the kids here. But growing up I kind of lost my love for comic books and never started again. So it’s been ages since I read one and I have to say, as a newbie, I enjoyed “Cemetery Girl” immensely.
I had obviously heard about Charlaine Harris, but I have never read any of her books, same goes for Chirstopher Golden. Of the artists, Don Kramer and Daniele Rudoni, I had never heard, so I started this graphic novel with a completely clean slate.
The story is dark and mysterious and the art reflected this perfectly. It really succeeded in bringing across that dark, heavy mood, adding rainy and dark scenes in the cemetery that were beautifully detailed. Most of the scenes take place at night which gives another dark undertone to the story. When we enter memories of Calexa or scenes that take place inside her head the scenes get a sort of sepia hue, creating a distinct difference and bringing across a totally different mood. Still quite toned down, but for example, with a beautiful sepia starry sky in the background, giving it that supernatural/brighter note. I’m not an expert when it comes to graphic novel art, but I have to say that this art is a perfect fit for the story and is in my eyes pretty great.
The story centers around Calexa, a girl who gets dumped at a cemetery, presumed dead. But she’s not. And she has no idea who she is or who would want to kill her. All she knows is she can’t trust anyone anymore and she’ll have to manage on her own. She decides to stay in the cemetery and choses a name from some of the tombstones she encounters there. She tries to find out who she is, but then something happens that might push her out of the shadows of the cemetery if she wants to do the right thing.
“Cemetery Girl” reads fluently and can easily be read in an hour. It’s the perfect break in between other books. I really enjoyed it and can’t wait to read the rest of Calexa’s story, because we still don’t know who she is, where she came from and who wants to kill her. I’m a fan!