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I Belong

Review: Grave Witch by Kalayna Price

Title: Grave Witch

Author: Kalayna Price

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Series: Alex Craft (Book 1)

Publication Date: October 5, 2010

Format: Paperback, 336 Pages

ISBN-10: 0451463803 (Roc/Penguin Group)

ISBN-13: 978-0451463807 (Roc/Penguin Group)


As a private investigator and consultant for the police, Alex Craft has seen a lot of dark magic. But even though she’s on good terms with Death himself—who happens to look fantastic in a pair of jeans—nothing has prepared her for her latest case. Alex is investigating a high profile murder when she’s attacked by the ‘shade’ she’s raising, which should be impossible. To top off her day, someone makes a serious attempt on her life, but Death saves her. Guess he likes having her around…

To solve this case Alex will have to team up with tough homicide detective Falin Andrews. Falin seems to be hiding something—though it’s certainly not his dislike of Alex—but Alex knows she needs his help to navigate the tangled webs of mortal and paranormal politics, and to track down a killer wielding a magic so malevolent, it may cost Alex her life…and her soul.

Quick & Dirty: This magical tale delivers intrigue, mayhem and adventure that will have you clamoring for the second installment.

Opening Sentence: The first time I encountered Death, I hurled my mother’s medical chart at him.

ExcerptChapter 1

The Review:

Despite working with charms, Alex Craft leads anything but a charmed life.  She’s a grave witch with the ability to raise “shades,” which are a person’s memories.  Once they take shape, Alex is able to communicate with the shade.  Alex can also speak with ghosts.  She’s trying to make ends meet as a P.I. and consultant for the Nekros City Police Department.  Alex begins to have problems from the moment she takes on a high profile murder investigation.  Bodies start turning up with ritualistic symbols and contaminated with a soul-draining spell.  With her life in danger, Death breezing in and out of her life, Alex will need all the help she can get.  She teams up with homicide detective Falin Andrews to find the ghost-silencing killer, save her soul, and hopefully pay her rent.

Grave Witch is the first book in the Alex Craft series.  I wanted to read this book from the moment that I heard about it.  Grave Witch has a unique concept.  The book has enough nuances to make it a stand out in this fall publishing season.  Alex Craft is a strong kick-ass urban fantasy heroine.  Death also plays a major role in Alex’s life.  He’s an intriguing and elusive character.  There’s a lot we still don’t know about him.  Death has that eerie and dark vibe about him, making me question what he really wants from Alex.  Any romantic relationship Alex would have with Death would certainly not be between equals.  He is out of her league and I’m just not sure she could actually stand up to him in a meaningful way.  Alex has some really cool powers, but let’s be honest – Death trumps all.

Nekros City is full of deadly fae and malevolent magic.  The world-building and characterization are fascinating but I would have liked a bit more detail.  It felt as if Ms. Price glossed over a lot of details.  The Magical Awakening is one such example that could have been expounded upon to draw the reader deeper into the story, and have a profound impact.  I just didn’t feel that the world was as complicated as it should be given the supernatural circumstances.  A world where magic is out in the open is a game changer.  The ramifications and implications of this new world didn’t seem fully realized.

Overall, I recommend reading this solid urban fantasy.  Grave Witch is an exciting and action-packed story.  Great characters make this a very entertaining, intriguing and atmospheric tale with magic and mayhem.  I’m really looking forward to reading the second book in this series, Grave Dance.

Notable Scene:

The extra defenses the charms gave me vanished.  The chill of the grave pressed against my mental shields like icy water lapping at the edge of my consciousness.  I drew in a deep breath and sank deeper into a trance.  The grave essence lifting from the corpses within my circle persisted, thundering against my mind.  Beckoning.  Taunting.  Demanding.

I dropped my shields.

A racking wind rushed through me.  The clammy touch of the grave slid against my skin, beneath my flesh.

The Alex Craft Series:

1. Grave Witch

2. Grave Dance

You can visit Kalayna around the web here: WebsiteBlog | Twitter | Facebook

FTC Advisory: The author provided me with a copy of Grave Witch.  No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.  In addition, I don’t receive affiliate fees for anything purchased via links from my site.

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Rating: 10.0/10 (2 votes cast)
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Review: Grave Witch by Kalayna Price, 10.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
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