Veronica 's Reviews > Grave Witch

Grave Witch by Kalayna Price
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Oct 03, 14

bookshelves: urban-fantasy, fae, female-protagonist, love-triangle, romantic-elements
Read from January 29 to 30, 2012

I really enjoyed this book. It was somewhat reminiscent of Kim Harrison's The Hollows series so that may have allowed me to settle into this world quicker than usual but that's not a bad thing. In fact, I think Alex Craft, the heroine in Kalayna Price's Grave Witch would get along splendidly with Rachel Morgan.

Grave Witch takes place in a world that is 70 years out from the Magical Awakening, when the Fae announced their existence to the world. And there are all manner of fae, from the unbelievably beautiful to the grotesque, but appearances don't always indicate heart. Shortly after the fae came out, the witches followed. As a result of the Magical Awakening, the physical world expanded as land that had previously been hidden by magic from mortal human eyes - folded spaces - is suddenly visible. Grave Witch takes place in a metropolis called Nekros City and it is located in one of these previously folded spaces.

Our heroine is one Alex (short for Alexis) Craft, a witch with the ability to see and call forth the dead, or at least their shades. Shades being more or less the genetic memory of who a person was when they were alive, differing from ghosts in that shades are not sentient.

I really liked Alex as a character and was surprised to find that she didn't do anything to annoy me once during the whole book. I'm not sure that has ever happened to me before, at least not with most UF heroines. We get to see Alex really think through her choices before making decisions, weighing the pros and cons, so when she does settle on a course of action it makes sense. That was refreshing.

Also refreshing is the fact that, her grave witch abilities aside, Alex is an everyday gal. She rents an efficiency garage apartment, owns a dog named PC, and lives pretty much job to job. At one point she only had one hot dog and some pickles in her refridgerator, lol. She has no training to be a fighter so she has to be smarter. But she is in no way alone. She has a great support system in her friends, which includes her housemates Caleb (a fae), Holly (another witch and also an Assistant DA), her other bestie Tamara (the Medical Examiner), and John (an older NCPD homicide detective).

This book, which is the first of at least three in the Alex Craft series, finds Alex drawn into solving some very gruesome ritualistic murders. Early on she steps on the toes of Falin Andrews, the lead detective on the murders, and the two clash heads frequently. The two eventually figure out that they can each do better in meeting their own goals by working together. The relationship is fun to read about and the verbal jabs they take often mirror my own sense of humor. Needless to say that by the end of the book we and Alex find out that there is more to Falin than what meets the eye.

Then there are the soul collectors, because what would a book that deals with magic involving dead people be without them? As it turns out, one of these soul collectors, whom Alex has nicknamed Death since she doesn't know his real name or even if he has one, has been periodically visiting Alex since she was five years old and he came to take her mother's soul when she died. I'm not sure what to think about Death yet. He helps Alex when he can but he's still very much a one dimensional character by the end of the book and despite the fact that he's known Alex longer than any of the other characters there just doesn't seem to be much depth to their relationship/friendship. We'll see if that changes with subsequent books.

I was hopeful that this would be one series where the author veered away from the overly worn and tired cliche that is the romantic triangle but, given a last minute declaration from Death, I don't think I'll be holding my breath. And let me just be clear...I HATE romantic triangles. It's beyond me why so many writers in the UF genre seem to use it a crutch to genrate angst for whoever the ultimate HEA is supposed to be. I really, really hope that Ms Price decides to be more bold and avoid this tired writing trope but my excitement over reading the second book is diminished by the fact that I don't this will be the case.

All in all, I really enjoyed this book and look forward to seeing what Alex does next.
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Quotes Veronica Liked

Kalayna Price
“I'm not just a warm body.”
Kalayna Price, Grave Witch


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