Author: Kalayna Price
Series: Alex Craft #1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Berkley UK
Published: 8th December 2011
Source: Review copy from publisher
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First SentenceThe first time I encountered Death, I hurled my mother’s medical chart at him.
Grave witch Alex Craft can speak to the dead, but that doesn’t mean she likes what they have to say . . .
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.
I thought it was about time I wrote a review for you guys and so I’m finally reviewing Grave Witch. It took me way too long to get around to reading Grave Witch (try 6 or 7 months) and now that I have I’m kicking myself for not finding the time sooner because it is definitely one of the better urban fantasies out there. Kalayna Price has created this fantastic world in which faeries exist, along with witches, ghosts and reapers. Alex, our protagonist, is what is called a ‘grave witch’. A person who can call upon the power of the grave to ‘raise shades’. Shades are basically memories of the deceased. They are not ghosts, which are separate entities altogether, but they can be questioned and Alex makes a living raising shades to aid in murder investigations, arguments over wills, and all sorts. She also happens to be the only person she knows who can see Death, as in the Grim Reaper. A Soul Collector. There are also other types of Witches but Alex isn’t particularly good with the other types of magic however we do see a lot of animosity towards Witches and Fae folk in general. This is definitely the most interesting representation of the Fae that I have read so far.
Alex herself made me gleefully happy. I’ve gotten so used to urban fantasy heroines being “solitary and independent”. Read: annoyingly stubborn and relying on the first bad ass male that comes along. Alex has friends and she is not averse to turning to them for help and spending time with them. It was like a breath of fresh air! A heroine that actually enjoys fun and companionship! Okay so sure, she does rely on the first bad ass male that comes along when she is a self-proclaimed commitaphobe but we can’t have everything, right?
What I really loved about Grave Witch, along with the fantastic world-building, is definitely the almost casual writing style. It draws you in from the very first sentence and keeps you hooked throughout. I found it an utter delight to read, especially when the Fae and their homeland came up, as well as details about modern day Witches. If you haven’t read it yet I urge you to pick up a copy. I’ve fallen completely in love with this series to the point that I immediately picked up Grave Dance and then bought Grave Memory. There is more to this book than you might think. Don’t assume it is your typical urban fantasy until you’ve encountered its’ twists and unpredictability. And what an ending.
The Alex Craft series:
1. Grave Witch
2. Grave Dance
3. Grave Memory
4. Grave Visions