Grave Witch by Kalayna Price
Genre: Paranormal Mystery
Paperback: 336 pages
Release date: October 5, 2010
Series: Alex Craft #1
Reviewed by: Tynga
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.
Disowned by her father whom went to extreme length to completely erase her from the family three, Alex Craft is trying her best to earn some money to put food on the table – and in her dog’s bowl. She’s a grave witch, raising the deceased’s shadows for money. Mostly hired by families in need of closure, she’s also sometimes hired by the police to help their investigations. This latest part of the gig is proving to be more dangerous than Alex initially anticipated – trust me, multiple attempt on one’s life isn’t usual, even for a witch.
Kalayna Price set an awesome open world (e.g. things that goes bump in the night are out of the closest) and blessed us with an extremely refreshing Lore. I would qualify the Lore as multilayered. First, you have the Fey, with classical lore and magic, then you have Ghosts in the traditional sense, but on top of it, you also have Witches, each with a different affinity (this is the interesting lore part), and Shades, an echo of a person’s memory. Can’t forget about the Reapers either, especially since there is a really hawt one, blinking in and out of Alex’s life at opportune moments.
Now add to this magical shebang a series of gruesome murders, secret politics and a steaming hot cop and you have a rather interesting recipe for an action-packed novel. Tight and fast-paced, Grave Witch’s plot will really engross you. Don’t be surprise if your heart tries to beat it’s way out of your chest from excitement, you should consider yourself warned. You might also find yourself suffering from tachycardia (to keep with the heart’s metaphor!) while witnessing some rather steamy scenes. I have a specific moment in mind when Alex is having sex while blind (a side effect of her grave sight), and let me tell you, the temperature in the room must’ve been boiling hot.
I found myself falling in love with two males in this series. Falin, a grouchy bonehead cop with good looks and multiple surprises in his pocket. I specifically liked his continued banter with Alex – entertaining dialogue guarantied. Death, a reaper, also stole my heart. He is the sweetest thing and would be the perfect boyfriend if you simply ignore the tiny fact that he is dead… and collect souls as a living. The personality of each character shone light and bright in an otherwise dark and gloomy setting, holding my attention the whole novel.
The conclusion was satisfying if not surprising. Alex Craft did a very good investigating job, and kept us in the loop pretty much every step of the way, so the bad guy wasn’t a surprise. The set up for the final battle though was really interesting and I like every suspenseful second of it. Even though the culprit wasn’t a shocker other lovely tidbits of information were revealed at the end, and I can’t wait to see where the sequel, Grave Dance, will take us from there.