Saturday, April 28, 2012

Grave Witch by Kalayna Price

Title: Grave Witch (Alex Craft, Book #1)

Author: Kalayna Price

Format: Paperback, 325 pages

Publication Date: October 5, 2010


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. (via Goodreads)

Opening Paragraph: "The first time I encountered Death, I hurled my mother's medical chart at him. As far as first impressions went, I blew it, but I was five at the time, so he eventually forgave me. Some days I wished he hadn't-particularly when we crossed paths on the job."

What I Thought:

I normally don't give you guys the first paragraph, but honestly after I picked up the book because I liked the cover (yeah, I do that sometimes), but the first paragraphs was actually what got me to purchase the book!

Alex Craft is a grave witch. She can raise the shades of the dead in order for them to talk to the living. Several years ago the Fae revealed themselves to the world and with their revelation came about a magical reawakening among some humans. Alex being one of them. She primarily uses her gift to help in criminal investigations while running her Private Investigation business Tongues of the Dead. The shades she raises have the memory of the person who has died, but not the emotion that goes along with it, so her gift can be invaluable to these criminal investigations. Now, however, she is about to get involved with a high profile investigation that is going to take all her skills to survive.

When we first meet Alex, she is having a rough week. Her dog had to receive medical attention which pretty much left her broke, her latest client refuses to pay her because the shade she raised did not answer any questions the client wanted, then the client is unceremoniously "collected" by Death before she is able to convince him to pay. But, this is just the start of day. Her sister asks her to assist in finding out information about the death of Governor Coleman, who happens to be affiliated with the Humans First party, a group that doesn't believe witches and Fae should be part of society, but as in any good urban fantasy she is about to get more than she has bargained for. She ends up getting physically attacked by a shade she raises, something that should never happen, she gets on the bad side of Detective Falin Andrews, who happens to be running the case her sister asked her to look into, she is shot at, but the bullet misses her and hits her good friend putting him into a coma. And to top it all off she now has a ghost named Roy following her around and who just may be the key she needs to break the case. All in a days work for our girl Alex.

This is the first book by Kalayna Price that I have read and I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed this story and introduction to this new series. Ms. Price has created a imaginative and vivid world, where for some magic is an everyday thing, but for others it is a thing to be feared and discouraged. I really enjoyed the magic in this book. Now, they don't really delve into a lot of the different types of magic in Alex's universe other than her grave magic, however the thing that intrigued me the most is that her magic has a price. When she raises a shade she tends to go temporarily blind after she releases her grave sight. It is always refreshing to me to see magic have some sort of cost other than finding a character who can just wield it at a drop of a hat without any consequences, which sometimes can make a character too perfect. This is definitely not the case with Alex.

Alex Craft fun and highly relatable as the main character. She definitely is not without her issues. Alex struggles to pay her bills on time, including her rent to her Fae landlord, her family situation isn't exactly peachy keen being that her father is also a member of the Human First party, her sister treats her like she has the plague unless she wants something from her and she continually struggles to feed herself and her dog PC, which happens to stand for Prince Charming, which I loved. But, she does what any strong, independent woman would do and she deals with the problems as they come along. Of course Alex's problems also include getting shot at, kidnapping attempts and many more supernatural happenings that I won't spoil for you, but, you know, we all have our own problems.

I also enjoyed the way Kalayna Price dealt with the potential love triangle. While intriguing and one of the things that is definitely going to have me coming back for more, she doesn't make it the main focus of the story or even a main focus for Alex. Alex has other pressing matters. But, it can't be all bad when you have two mysterious, overly good looking men, whose job descriptions and the information we have yet to find out about them that may cause issues in further books, pining after you.

All in all I thoroughly enjoyed Grave Witch. It was fast-paced, fun and definitely left me wanting more. I just so happen to have the second book in the series, so I am excited to read that and post my thoughts. And better yet, the third installment in the Alex Craft series is due to come out July 3rd. I look forward to the continuing adventures of Alex and her entourage and I encourage you to check this series out as well. Happy reading!

Rating: 4 our of 5

Reviewed for:


  1. This sounds like a great series!


  2. Ah, I love me some witchy titles. There looks to be a realism to this protagonist that appeals; trying to pay the bills on time, familial ties that gag and bind. At least she has a prince of a dog for good companionship. Thanks for bringing this series to my attention!

    C.K. Garner