Shelley aka Gizmo's Reviews's Reviews > Grave Dance

Grave Dance by Kalayna Price
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Aug 20, 2011

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bookshelves: 2011-releases, genre-urban-fantasy
Read from August 16 to 19, 2011

*Rating* 3.0
*Genre* Urban Fantasy

Grave Dance is the second novel in the Alex Craft series by Kalayna Price. A month has passed since Alex confronted and eliminated the evil and devious Coleman (Grave Witch), and ended up not only saving her sister Grace, but rescued Rianna her former roommate and best friend from witch school.

Rianna, known as the Shadow Girl, was presumed to be dead for the past 4 years. She was actually turned into a challenging by Coleman and spent hundreds of years stuck in Faerie where times moves differently than in the mortal realm. She was nothing more than a piece of property and can’t exactly leave Fairie without rapidly aging. Now, she is Alex’s property because she killed Coleman.

Alex has confused emotions regarding both Death, who told her that he loves her and has known Alex since she was 5 years old, as well as Falin Andrews the Winter Queen’s consort, knight, assassin, and bloodied hands. Can I reiterate how much I truly despise and loathe 3-way relationship scenarios? If the choice was mine to make, and it’s obviously not, I would have chosen Death the minute that he expressed his true feelings towards Alex. Falin is attached by the hip to the Queen who refuses to allow him to go anywhere. Naturally, there are forces on Death’s side that won’t let that happen any time soon; think the gray man, and a female reaper.

Alex is the so called Lead Investigator and Grave Witch for Tongues for the Dead. Of course, she’s the only employee! Alex raises shades and gives the living a chance to question the dead for a fee; a very large fee. John Matthews, who took a bullet for Alex in Grave Witch, asks for her assistance when police find the remains of several left feet. He is hoping that she can raise a shade and find out what happened. This search leads to an even more gruesome discovery and the possibility that someone is collecting souls. Is the killer Fae, human, or reaper?

Falin returns and doesn’t exactly offer up any explanation to where he’s been for the past month or why he didn't attempt to contact her. He shows up all bloodied and hurt and remains silent as to what happened to him. Since he’s Fae, he can’t exactly lie, so instead, he refuses to talk about it. Naturally, Alex gets all emotionally charged up and falls back into the same routine of falling head over heels with him. He also pushes his way into the investigation, thus ending up working with Alex as she stumbles and bumbles her way to find out what is truly happening to the feet and who is really responsible.

Alex slowly comes to terms with the fact that she is feykin or Sleagh Maith. She finds that she has developed a strong sensibility to metal, the inability to maintain her shields, increased ability to sense fae magic and glamour, and she can see multiple planes of existence which makes her unique as well as a target for the Fae world and those who want to use her abilites. She is also trying to figure out the Fae don’t lie rule since she has had to wiggle her way out of more than one situation where lying is a lot better than telling the truth.

Her father, a Fae noble, actually isn’t as much of an asstard this time around and actually seems to care what happens to Alex now that she is discovering her true heritage. Of course, there are a lot of questions that are left unanswered because to do so would somehow go against Fae insecurities and the inability to lie. Then there is the fact that he hasn’t exactly told Alex what really happened to her mother or why she can’t raise her shade.

As Alex stumbles and bumbles along and overuses her grave witch abilities to the point of burning herself out, she finds that she is also being pursued by the Fae Intelligence Bureau who wants to drag her to Fairie and the Winter Court because she is a planeweaver. They claim it’s for her protection, which is just another excuse for imprisoning anyone who is independent and not aligned with any court.

What’s truly interesting is that after she finds her way to Fairie, she meets her bloodkin in the Shadow Court King who not only rescues her from the Winter Queen, but tells Alex that her mother was also a feykin and thus they are related. Earlier, she found out that by killing Coleman, she now has blood on her hands, literally, and has inherited his property which includes Rianna, a brownie named Ms. B, as well as a Castle in Fairie which she has no desire to keep.

Bottom line: Alex is wanted by more than one party. The Nekros City Police needs her in help in identify the leftover feet and to close their investigation. The Winter Queen wants Alex because of her planeweaving abilities and her inability to remain invisible and away from the public eye. The Shadow Court and Nightmare world both desire Alex for their own and for very different reasons. Then you have Death and Falin who continue to have a pissing contest to see who is more desirable to Alex when she should stand up and say neither of you jerks is worth my time and efforts.

I would recommend reading Grave Witch first so that you understand what Alex is capable of and what she has gone through. Grave Dance focuses on her Fae heritage and Alex’s new found abilities as well as disabilities.

For me, this book seems to drag on at times. I found myself wondering if the magic from Grave Witch was somehow lost in the shuffle. Normally, it's the first book that takes time to develop, while the second picks up the slack and exceeds the first. Not in this case. While the action was decent enough to keep me coming back for more and the writing and world building was delightful, I would love to find out more about what really happened with Alex's mother and why her shade can't be raised. I would also love to see her father man up and explain things in a sensible and logical manner versus not discussing it at all. I would also love for Alex to make a choice and stick to it and not flip flop like a politician looking to be re-elected.

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Reading Progress

08/18/2011 page 50
13.0% "Only 50 pages in, and it feels like I've been reading this for days!"
08/19/2011 page 200
54.0% "It's most likely me, but I'm actually really not caring for this story any longer. It is dragging, and dragging...I mean get to the stinking point!"
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Maria Schneider I was pretty annoyed by the 3 way relationship and have been known to put a book down for it (I hate them. It's nearly always a deal-breaker for me these days!!!) but she handled it okay for what it was. The strength of the first book kept me reading through that when in a new author, I might not have bothered.

Shelley aka Gizmo's Reviews I agree with your comments about the first book driving me to continue the series. I requested the next book from Ms Price's publisher so it will be interesting to see in what direction this story goes.

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