Review: Grave Witch by Kalayna Price (@jessicadhaluska)

Posted January 27, 2016 by Jessica in Jessica, Reviews, Urban Fantasy / 8 Comments

Review: Grave Witch by Kalayna Price (@jessicadhaluska)
Grave Witch by Kalayna Price
Series: Alex Craft #1
Published by Roc
Published on: October 5 2010
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 336
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
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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.

hotmess magical horrific

Hmm . . . I read GRAVE WITCH for the first time back in 2010 right after it was released, and I loved it. I loved it when I reread it before books 2 and 3 came out, too. This time . . . Again, I say, hmm . . .

There wasn’t anything wrong with it. It just wasn’t OMG, I LOVE IT, like my memories were telling me it was. AND there were a lot of borrowed ideas I didn’t remember noticing.

Like how Alex is a necromancer grave witch who raises zombies spirits of the dead. Her ability is an embarrassment to her family, and she gets shipped off to boarding school when it becomes clear there is no hiding her magic—if she doesn’t deliberately use her gift, it will latch on random dead things of its own volition . . .

YES. That does sound familiar.

Know what else sounds familiar? View Spoiler »

I think it’s safe to say we have a Laurell K. Hamilton fan in the house.

Then there’s the helpful ghost who can and will go places Alex can’t, who’s just grateful not to be ignored (Night Huntress), and the gargoyle who stalks the parameter of her house and the yard of her home (The Hollows), and in hindsight . . . it’s all a little underwhelming.

Most of what’s left—a Fae friend and landlord, two girlfriends, a snotty younger sister, and an inscrutable father—is flat and underdeveloped. Even Death (the one unique element) and his feelings for Alex are just tossed out there without much effort put into the backstory.


The “snarky” dialogue also left something to be desired.

Like when Alex (a witch) crashes her father’s dinner party/political gathering for members of the Humans First party, and her parting shot is:

“By the way, George, great party, but one thing amazes me. Why is it Humans First Party supporters hate witches, but sneak in illusion charms for an instant face-lift or boob job?” Turning on my heel, I stormed out of the room . . .

*z snaps*

I’m hoping the next installment is better. I think there’s more Fae, and now that View Spoiler » is back in the picture, I’ve got my fingers crossed that things get more interesting.

I’ll let you know.

Alex Craft:

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My name is Jessica and I live in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I’m trying my hand at writing, but mostly I read. My favorite genres are Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy, and the YA versions of those genres, but if there is a book of a different color getting lots of buzz, I’ll read it too, just to be informed. If I’m not reading or writing, I’m probably on Goodreads or Pinterest or baking blueberry pies because I love them.



8 responses to “Review: Grave Witch by Kalayna Price (@jessicadhaluska)

  1. Pili from In Love With  

    I really enjoyed the three books in the series, binged them over a week I think and was super excited for the next book, that I preordered but since it kept being pushed back and back… my enthusiasm dwindled and I cancelled my preorder… Now I’m not even sure if I want to read it when it comes out, and that’s without re-reading and feeling like you do…

    I might just have to wait and see what you think of book 4 before deciding if I want to continue the series or give up on it completely…
    Pili recently posted…Now And Again by Jennifer Ellision Blog Tour: Review & Interview!!

  2. These days with so many books out there I think it’s hard to not find something borrowed from another book even if they didn’t mean too, but that being said I might like this one since I have read any of those you mentioned…lol. 🙂

  3. Felicia GeekyBlogger ( from thegeekyblogger)

    Oh thank god. I have stopped/started this book like 5 times. I just couldn’t get into it. I will wait to see what you think of book 2 (I have it too) because if it does get better–I can wade through book 1.

  4. When I read it I thought it was a really great, imaginative novel with likable characters, but now that you mention everything LOL! I don’t actually remember a lot so it couldn’t have been that memorable, also I haven’t read any of the other novels except NH but I DNF-d that one because vamps aren’t my thing THAT much anymore unless it’s a really unique spin on it. I looooooved Death! I wonder how I’d feel about his involvement and character now tbh :O I hope you enjoy the next one Jessica! I saw that the fourth book is finnaly coming out sometime soon, so I hope your journey with this series becomes more enjoyable once more <3

    Siiri @ Little Pieces of Imagination
    Siiri recently posted…A Creature of Habit? Maybe, Maybe Not!