Dangerous Romance Book Reviews's Reviews > Grave Memory

Grave Memory by Kalayna Price
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Aug 17, 12

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Read in June, 2012

When the dead need to talk, Alex Craft is always ready to listen…

As a Grave Witch, Alex solves murders by raising the dead—an ability that comes at a cost, and after her last few cases, that cost is compounding. But her magic isn’t the only thing causing havoc in her life. While she’s always been on friendly terms with Death himself, things have recently become a whole lot more close and personal. Then there’s her sometime partner, agent Falin Andrews, who is under the glamour of the Winter Queen. To top everything off, her best friend has been forever changed by her time spent captive in Faerie.

But the personal takes a backseat to the professional when a mysterious suicide occurs in Nekros City and Alex is hired to investigate. The shade she raises has no memory of the days leading up to his brutal ending, so despite the very public apparent suicide, this is murder. But what kind of magic can overcome the human will to survive? And why does the shade lack the memory of his death? Searching for the answer might mean Alex won’t have a life to remember at all…

I really liked this series when it first came out. Although it reminded me a lot of early LKH (basically Alex Craft had the exact same job as Anita Blake before she went all Ardeur, raising shades of the dead and getting them to testify as to what happened or their wishes after they have departed ...AND working with the police as a consultant to solve murders) It was still fun, and well written. I loved the fact that this character had a very strong female support system, something so few of our female leads in Urban Fantasy seem to have.

I'm not a fan of a Heroine who is a self admitted slut. Call me old fashioned, but I like my heroine to be a bit of a challenge to whoever she is dealing with. While Alex as the voice of the books, spoke to the fact that was how she behaved in the past, I didn't see a lot of that in the first books, it was more referred to as seen. She had a job that was interesting, she was smart, the world building was extremly strong, and there was an interesting love triangle. What's not to like?

Well...things are changing. Alex is starting her own P.I. Agency (sigh...dear god, could we please have other jobs besides PI for our protaganists? I know it means you get to solve crimes and deal with the police without being shut out but it gets old.) Alex was also dealing with the fall out of the past books, discovering the fact that she is a powerful Fae and that her Father has been hiding things from her, her whole life and the damage Faery is wrecking extends not just to her friends, two of whom were captured and kept in Faery...one for hundreds of years, but also has put constraints on her love life but more about that later.

The mystery plot in the book is good. It is tightly written, moves right along, our protaganist is a good detective and clever. Her side characters are strongly written and feel quite real.

The problem for me with this series, and in particular in this book is Alex's inability to make a decision regarding her love life. There are two men she is attracted to. Both of them come with dire complications and problems. And there in lies my issue with what is developing with this character. She goes with and sleeps with, which ever guy is available. She tells one she loves him, and then when she can't be with him ....off she goes with the other one who she loves. If things get complicated with him...she'll bounce back to the other. I for one am getting sick of it. I like this series, I like the characters (although I'm a little irked that we are sliding right into the whole...I gain more powers with every book syndrome), but I can get past that. It seems to be occuring with all my favorite Heroes and Heroines. I've said before, I think it would be fun to see a series where a Hero starts out strong and powerful and loses abilities with every book until by the last book of the series, he/she is human.

No my real complaint is my Heroine, the person in my head...Alex Craft, who I like. I'd want her for a friend. She is smart, cunning, tough when she has to be, compassionate when she needs to be, and I almost never see her do things marking her as too stupid to live. However, she HAS to make a decision herself at some point in regards to her love life instead of just landing in bed with which ever guy is ALLOWED to sleep with her by the forces that run their lives. I like Alex alot, but I'm really starting to lose respect for her and that bothers me. I want to shake her, and tell her to grow a pair, figure out which dude is worth the trouble and then fight for him. She'll fight for her friends, she'll fight for a client. But she doesn't seem capable of making a decision and then fighting for her man.

Towards the end, I thought we'd finally seen progress in this area, and it was sad to know one of the guys was going to lose but the other would win, and that in and of itself was satisfying. Then we get a cliff hanger that puts us right back in a situation where she's not going to have any control over what happens. This is partly her fault because (once again) she refuses to make a decision as to what court she is going to join in Faerie, thereby allowing the nasty ole Winter Queen to mess with her life.

So is the book a good read and should you read it? Absolutely. It is another great addition to a really well written series which is moving along nicely. More information is being divulged, and the character is growing in all areas other than her emotional ability to make a decision involving her love life. Here is hoping the next book has Alex Craft grow in this area as well. Because the series deserves it.

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