Alex Craft #1
by Kalayna Price
Published on October 5, 2010 by Roc
Genres: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
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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.
Yay! Another urban fantasy series to get into! I haven’t been reading them as much lately and I’m not sure why because I love this genre and used to binge-read it all the time. But I’m glad to have found another series to get started on.
I’ve actually had this book on my TBR for a while now and when I started it, wasn’t completely hooked. Everything lined up: the strong heroine with the cool powers, the hot potential love interest (possibly multiple in this one), the mysterious deaths linked to more magic, and the supernatural beings, of course. I felt like I had everything on my genre list checked off.
And that was the problem.
Price does a great job of adhering to the formulaic nature of urban fantasy. Which, don’t get me wrong, I love it, I keep reading it, clearly it’s not a problem. But I missed out on the extra WOW factor that I look for because of how this genre works. I wouldn’t say that Grave Witch bored me because I liked the idea of grave magic and the witches mixed with the fae, and the whole “I can see Death and he’s hot” thing (really, I need more of this and hope that what we got isn’t everything). It just took a while to get the plot rolling and it never really caught my eye like other series have.
That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it. I finished this book in one sitting and was all ready to pick up the next book. There’s something interesting about it, something that is enough of an incentive to keep on reading.
I liked that Alex is a “tough” heroine but not all the time. She has weaknesses and while she doesn’t give up, she does accept help which I don’t see often. Alex has friends and a life and isn’t hiding away while secretly bringing bad guys to justice.
Her potential love interest Falin and her had the whole enemies-to-lovers thing going on and he was alright enough. A bit one-dimensional in my opinion but I’m hoping that, based on some of the info revealed in this book, that will change in the future.
And Death… he was SO GREAT until he went all swoony over Alex. I think I liked him better when he was oh so silent and mysterious. Not the most interesting of characters,
So with decent enough characters, world-building that wasn’t the best but has potential, and some magical element I can’t put my finger on that has me interested in reading more, I’d say Grave Witch is a good start to a potentially great urban fantasy series. One that I’ll definitely be reading more of.