Review: Grave Witch by Kalayna Price

grave witchReviewed by Jen

It’s always exciting when I find a new Urban Fantasy series to love. And I can tell from this first installment that the Alex Craft books hit my sweet spot.  There are moments that feel a little familiar. I felt hints of Charley Davidson’s Reyes in the sexy, enigmatic Death. With the grave magic our heroine uses and her affinity for the dead, I caught a little whiff of Anita Blake (of the Guilty Pleasures variety, before all the group sex.) There’s a little estranged, wealthy father action, a la Chicagoland Vampires or Allie Beckstrom. But within the sum of its parts, this book really stands up as a unique and engaging story.  The worldbuilding is well done and original. The pacing is good. And the characters are well drawn and sympathetic. Especially Alex.

Alex Craft is a grave witch. She is able to thin the walls between the living and the dead, making her living off of her skills.  As the story begins, she is contacted by her estranged sister to investigate a death. It turns out to be a task way more than she bargains for.  Her life –her very soul– is put in danger as she works to put the pieces together and stop a serial killer from claiming more victims, and perhaps, doing something even worse.

I love that Alex is both powerful with her gift, yet she has clear limits.  She’s special, but not invincible.  She gets into dangerous situations, but not because she is reckless or TSTL.  She does things for the right reasons and I could understand the way she thinks.

I also really liked her possible love interests. Yes, there are two, giving us hints of a triangle… a concept I usually hate. But here, I could go either way. The golden, beautiful Falin is a police detective who starts out very prickly, but as the book progressed, he intrigued me more and more.  I appreciate that his jerkiness doesn’t linger over-long, and I am very curious to learn more about him and his motivations. — Then there is Death. Dark, sexy Death, who Alex has been able to see since she was a child. He is less prominent, but his scenes stick with you.

Kalayna Price does a great job dropping breadcrumbs on her characters, reeling you in, then leaving you with more questions than answers.  Done the wrong way, that could be annoying. Instead, I am intrigued.

This book is dark at times, but not overly so. It moves quickly. And it has just enough sexy times to satisfy.  The Fae are the prevailing supernaturals of the book, and I like the various roles they play. I want to know more about them… about Faery. About Falin. Death. Alex and her dad. I can’t wait for book two.

Rating: B/B+

Click to purchase: Amazon

Grave Witch
by Kalayna Price
Release Date: October 5, 2010
Publisher: Roc

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