Grave Witch by Kalayna Price is the first in the Alex Craft urban fantasy series that I’m finally getting to read! I’m a long time fan of a few urban fantasy series, but I tend to be picky and hesitant to start any new series without a lot of reassurances. I’m thrilled to add Alex Craft to the list that I’ll be continuing as soon as I have the chance. If you are a fan of an interesting urban fantasy world, grave magic, and Death being a notable secondary character, give this series a read!
Grave Witch by Kalayna Price (Alex Craft #1)
Published by Roc on Sept. 21st, 2010
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
Page Length: 325 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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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 really like the world of Grave Witch and think that it is one of the main strengths of the book. We get an explanation of why there is magic in a world that looks like ours right away, a timeline for how long witches have been out of the broom closet, and a good idea of what the world is like now that magic is out in the open. I know enough to be satisfied while also excited to learn more details!
- As you would guess from the title, Alex is a grave witch, meaning that she can use grave magic to raise shades. Shades aren’t ghosts, they are memories of the deceased, so Alex makes a living letting the dead have the final word in disputes about wills and murders and such. It’s like being the ultimate crime scene investigator.
- There is also, as I mentioned, this issue of Death popping up from time to time and Alex is the only one who can see him regularly apparently. Death gets his own entire subplot involving the business of soul collectors and meeting others of his kind, super cool :D.
- I love creepy fae! I really can’t stand books where the fae are nice to humans since their otherness is what appeals to me and that sort of requires them to not care much about humans. The fae of Alex’s world definitely fall into that category.
- More than anything, Grave Witch makes it clear how much potential this series has. Most urban fantasy starts with weaker early books as things get established, so if Grave Witch is weak for this series, I can’t wait to see where things go.
- There is a love triangle… Alex has two guys that clearly like her enough to try for kissy times and while it isn’t very angst-ridden, it did annoy me a bit. I hope she decides quickly….
- I like there being a number of subplots in a book, but I still can’t really tell you how they all fit together now that I’m done reading. The puzzle didn’t all click into place if you get my meaning.
- The magic of the world seemed a bit inconsistent at times, like when Alex was affected by various side effects and when she wasn’t, and what those side effects did to her and the world. Maybe the rules will get sorted out still, but I need rules to be happy with magic.
Grave Witch is a great start to an urban fantasy series and I’m so happy that I’ve finally dived in and gotten to know Alex Craft. I can see why this is such a beloved UF series and definitely recommend fans of Kate Daniels and Mercy Thompson to check out Alex Craft.
Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
Grave Witch by Kalayna Price
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