Pulp Superfan Michael Brown posted a review of The Adventures of Gravedigger Volume One at Amazon.com – this is what he had to say:
Successful New Pulp writer Barry Reese has a new character: Gravedigger.
I have been reading his Rook series (7 so far and counting), and Lazarus Gray series (3 so far and counting). Now we have Gravedigger. She is also set in the fictional “Sovereign City” (created by Pro Se Press publisher Tommy Hancock) and so is part of the “Sovereign City Project” that also includes Reese’s Lazarus Gray. but also includes two other characters from Pro Se: Fortune McCall, and possibility Doc Daye.
And, yes, Gravedigger is also set in the same “universe” as The Rook, and we get an updated chronology of the universe that places the her stories with all the rest from Reese.
In this first novel we are introduced to Gravedigger and her legacy. She (the first female Gravedigger) is really Samantha Grace, linked to other Reese characters. We learn that there have been many Gravediggers, and we will me two former ones in this book. All are sinners who died and were given a choice: be condemned to hell or redeem themselves by dealing with the evil in the world. They are given a limited amount of time to do so. So this does put a limitation on the series, but then the series could continue with another Gravedigger.
In addition to Gravedigger, we meet her agents: friends she has assembled to help her. In Reese’s afterward, we learn he is trying for a Shadow dynamic with the Gravedigger’s agents rather then the Justice Inc inspired Assistance Unlimited group from Lazarus Gray. However, I felt the dynamics were less the Shadow’s agents and more Justice, Inc, tho not to the degree of Assistance Unlimited.
This first Gravedigger novel gives us her origin and sees her going after bad guys, but in particular deal with several occult dangers. She must stop a would-be sorcerer from summing the Old Ones (from Lovecraft), must deal with a gender-changing satanic cult, and then with a headless horseman. She also teams up with the Rook, who had met a prior Gravedigger. And she has a run in with Lazarus Gray as well.
Overall, this is a great first novel. It’s a great setup, and I look forward to the next Gravedigger book. I also want to learn the story behind one of Gravediggers new associates. I did see a few problems, like a mess up with some names in one part that was confusing.
Thanks for the review, Michael! I’m so glad you enjoyed the book and think it’s a worthy addition to my little pulp adventure universe. I’ve already written a sequel so you can expect to see more of Charity Grace soon.