Veronica 's Reviews > Grave Dance

Grave Dance by Kalayna Price
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Oct 03, 14

bookshelves: urban-fantasy, female-protagonist, love-triangle, fae, romantic-elements
Read from January 30 to 31, 2012

Grave Dance is the second in the Alex Craft series and as of right now the series looks to end at three books unless the author's contract is extended.

This book takes place roughly one month after the end of the first book. We find that Alex is doing a little better financially as more jobs are coming into her one woman PI agency, Tongues For The Dead, due to her notoriety from book one's events. But Falin, her fae agent lover from the first book, has been incommunicado during the intervening month. And as for the other possible love interest, Death, nothing new has happened on that front since his love declaration at the end of book. But who needs men because Alex still has the support and love from her wonderful group of friends: Caleb, Holly, Tamara, and Roy - the ghost that I think I forgot to mention in my review of book one. And of course, PC, her beloved Chinese Crested.

I gave the fist book four stars but downgraded this one for two reasons. The first is that it tended to drag in some spots. I believe that this book came in at almost 100 pages longer than book one and I'm not sure that the extra pages were needed. Some of the descriptions, expecially for the magic, tended to be a bit wordy and some of Alex's investigative work just wasn't all that exciting. It was still a solid book and a good successor to book one.

This go 'round Alex finds herself drawn into the investigation surrounding the discovery of multiple left feet around town. That's it. That's all that's left of the bodies, just the left foot of scores of victims. Unfortunately for Alex, the genetic memory in a single left foot isn't enough to allow her to raise the victim's shade, which sucks when you're a grave witch and that's your speciality. So Alex has to fall to other talents to solve the mystery. Along the way she discovers new, expanding powers that are directly related to her newly discovered heritage. We also learn more about the fae, the Winter Court, and how Alex may or may not fit into all that.

The second reason that I only gave this book three stars is because the author did what I had been hoping against hope that she wouldn't do. She went the way of the dreaded romantic triangle. And let me just say that I LOATHE romantic triangles. I fail to see why so many authors in this genre choose to fall back on such a lazy plot device. But here we go again. Falin makes a startling appearance and by book's end we learn that his month long absence wasn't exactly his idea. We also learn something about his history and why a relationship with Alex would be a difficult thing right now despite the fact that it seems to be what he wants. On the other side we have Death. And I know that he has his fans but he's just not doing anything for me as a character at this point simply because we are now two books in and he's still the one-note character that he started out as. He seems to be in the story just to serve as the romantic foil and that just annoys me. (view spoiler) Which tells me that the author is writing him in specifically to add supposed tension to scenes when Falin is present. This theory is further bolstered by the fact that there was no movement in the Death/Alex relationship for the month between book one and book two depsite the fact that Falin was MIA and Death had Alex all to himself. So I find this whole triangle aspect of the story to be one huge drag. I wish the author hadn't gone there but she did, unfortunately.

My other personal quibble with Death - on top of being mostly a carboard cutout character - is that he's known Alex since she was five years old. FIVE. And now that she's whatever age she is (23-24?)he wants to get into her pants? There is just an ICK factor there that I can't get around.

This was a solid book but could have been even better without the triangle drama and pissing contest between the two men, and with tighter storytelling. It's still a good read, especially if love triangles don't bother you, but for me my enthusiasm for the third - and potentially final - book is waning.
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Quotes Veronica Liked

Kalayna Price
“His shoulders sagged as he stepped back. Then a half smile made the edge of his lips crook. " You're mad at me."
"And that's amusing because?"
The half smile spread into a lopsideed grin, and he stood up straighter. "You wouldn't be mad if you didn't care. I'm onto you, Alexis."
Oh, that insufferable, arrogant--
Kalayna Price, Grave Dance

Kalayna Price
“Don't you dare throw out my toothbrush.”
Kalayna Price, Grave Dance

Kalayna Price
“I blinked at the haul. "Are you planning to go to war? Sure you don't want to pack an assault riffle as well?"
He looked up from the bag. "You have met yourself, right?"
"So should I get a gun too?"
"I'd fear the day.”
Kalayna Price, Grave Dance


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