Title: Grave Witch
Author: Kalayna Price
Series: Alex Craft #1
Published: 5 October 2010
Length: 325 pages
Warnings: violence, sex(m/f, 4 pages, kind of graphic) 16+
Other info: Book two is called Grave Mercy and book three will be called Grave Memory. She has also written the Haven series.
Summary : Not even death can save her now. As a grave witch, Alex Craft can speak to the dead-she's even on good terms with Death himself. As a consultant for the police, she's seen a lot of dark magic, but nothing has prepared her for her latest case. When she's raising a "shade" involved in a high profile murder, it attacks her, and then someone makes an attempt on her life. Someone really doesn't want her to know what the dead have to say, and she'll have to work with mysterious homicide detective Falin Andrews to figure out why...
Review: Alex Craft is a Grave Witch. Her power means she can raise shades and otherwise interact with the dead. And Death. They’re quite good friends. So she’s seen a lot of dark magic in her time-but not as dark as this. The shade she raises tries to kill her, then ends up leaving a soul-sucking charm on her, then somebody tries to kill her in the actual world. Teaming up with Falin Andrews, the new homicide detective that seems to hate her, Roy, a ghost who claims the late Governor stole his body, and some other Fae/witches, Alex attempts to work her way through this mess, keeping her life and soul intact.
I wasn’t really expecting much because I didn’t know the author. The premises isn’t really original, but it’s the kind of stuff that I like reading about anyway to see how it’ll be worked around.
It starts off well. Alex is dealing with an angry customer, even though it isn’t her fault the shade doesn’t talk. Then the customer dies, prompting Alex to scold Death - “You could’ve waited until I got paid”. From there, they learn about the murder of the governor, and things go downhill from there.
I really liked the mix of witches and fae and ghosts. It was interesting not having the normal mix of vampires and werewolves to compliment this, but I suppose that these three creatures would fit in best to “normal” life.
Alex is a medium quality character, not amazingly strong but interesting to read about. I didn’t like Falin-he didn’t really do anything. The whole meeting boy, boy hates her, somehow they end up together is rather annoying, and features again in Grave Witch.
I never realised it was a more adult book until I got to that section. Damn. And it wasn’t even well written.
The rules surrounding Alex’s Grave Sight were easy to pick up after a little while. The rules surrounding all of the magic in this book were clear cut. I liked the magical community and the way it all interlinked.
I really liked Roy, and the whole body swapping idea. It was something different and, in this context, unique to Kalayna’s book, and I’d like to see more of that idea. I also really liked Death and the humour that surrounded his and Alex’s relationship. I think Death and Alex should have got together. It could have worked well.
Overall: Strength 2 tea to a book that is a good break from anything serious, but not much more.