I had heard lots of hype how First Grave on the Right was going to be one of the best new books in urban fantasy this year. There were tons of posts, reviews, and it even had a constant stream of 5 star reviews on Amazon, before the book came out. But from the very first page I was turned off from the book.
Of course my problem with the book wasn’t based on the level of writing, nor the characters, nor the setting of the book. Instead my problem had to do with my expectations of the book. I had convinced myself from the reviews and description of the book that it was an urban fantasy. After having read it I would not describe it as an urban fantasy, instead I would characterize it as a paranormal romance.
What’s the big difference you might ask? Well first and foremost in an urban fantasy the focus is on the magic dealing with the mystery/adventure that the protagonist has to deal with. In a paranormal romance the focus still aims at the magic surrounding the mystery/adventure but a decent percentage of the books is also focused on the romance aspect. This includes sex, more sex, and usually a conflict between two different lovers (this last one doesn’t always happen but it does in a number of books.)
Of course there’s nothing wrong with having a focus on sex in a book, Laurell K. Hamilton’s series certainly heavily focus on sex and they are New York Times Bestsellers. Nor does it mean if you have sex in a book does it make it a bad book or poorly written, I have read interesting captivating books like this and loved them. But for me this just wasn’t one of them. It could have easily been my expectations being set to high but for me First Grave of on the Right just didn’t cut it.