Final Grade: 95/A
Crossposted to Book Binge.
BLURB: 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: First, Alex gets into it with a client who is refusing to pay (she didn’t give him the news he wanted), and Death takes him before she can make him pay. Then, her estranged sister calls and asks a favor. A big one, it turns out, involving her also-estranged father. Reluctantly, she agrees. While she’s checking things out, she’s attacked by a murdered woman’s shade, something that never happens. And, after raising another shade to testify in court, someone shoots at her but the bullet hits her cop-friend instead and puts him in a coma. Truly, this is a very bad day for Alex Craft.
Now, all she wants to do is go home and snuggle her dog. Maybe have a drink. But she can’t. She has to find out who’s behind the murders, who tried to kill her, who is using evil magic, who is stealing people’s souls, and who cast the spell on the shade who poisoned her—and they may not all be the same person. No biggie. At least, she has that hottie Death on her side. Oh, and Detective Falin Andrews. But Death disappears every time she tries to question him, and Falin knows more than he says and is not quite as human as he appears.
GRAVE WITCH is a fast-paced, magic-filled thriller with just enough romance to make it interesting. I love the character of Death—he’s cute, likes coffee, and looks out for Alex. There’s more going on with him then we’re told, which keeps him mysterious, just the way I like them. Falin, the other hottie on the scene, is just as mysterious but I didn’t like him as much—at first. However, he really grew on me after a while. He grew on Alex, too, leading to some pretty hot bedroom scenes and sparks flying every which way each time they butted heads, which was a lot.
Kaylayan Price weaves together a world filled with magic and intrigue, where the land of Faerie touches the human world, and humans are connected to magic. The worldbuilding is beautifully done with no massive info dumps, as sometimes happens in urban fantasies. Alex is a great character—strong, snarky but with a sense of humor (especially when it comes to the state of her finances), and independent. Of course, she’s not flawless. She has commitment issues, usually preferring to warm herself up after a job with a random hook-up than a full-time guy. She’s also got family issues. Daddy doesn’t like magic and, because she couldn’t control hers when she was younger, he disinherited her. So, she changed her name, burying her past. Until it comes back to haunt her (Get it? Since she can talk to the dead?). All in all, this was a great story populated with strong, interesting characters that will have you rooting for the witch to win.
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