Reviewed by: Jo
Rating (out of 5): 4 stars
Alex Craft is a Grave Witch, using her powers of raising Shades (echoes of the dead) to aid the police and try and pay the bills as a P.I. When the head of the Humans First organization is found dead, Alex is drafted to get some answers. What she uncovers is bigger than anything she has ever been involved in. Caught up in a world of deadly politics, elusive Fae and very persistent ghosts, Alex finds herself in a race against time to save lost souls, and maybe even her own.
Kalayna Price has woven a world where magic and the Fae may appear to be out in the open but still have plenty of secrets lurking out of sight. Even though magic and the Fae have been known to humans for more than 70 years, there is still a undercurrent of unrest and prejudice. I really enjoyed the alternate reality here, where certain humans are more magically sensitive than others. There was definitely a darker side to the magic being used, but I also really liked that it was used for petty things, like anti-bald charms!
There are quite a few different plot threads, those and nonstop action had me staying up late to see how they all tied together. Alex doesn’t have it all figured out, she’s broke, hasn’t spoken to her family in years and has serious issues with commitment…. And I loved her. She felt real to me, which is something that always draws me toward a character, especially in a supernatural environment. She was brave when she needed to be and asked for help from her group of friends when she was out of her depth.
Alex’s grave magic rituals where very interesting, particularly as Price didn’t get too bogged down with descriptions of rituals. The decaying state of the world around Alex when she was seeing through her grave sight was very vivid and she faced some serious handicaps if she over used her magic.
While Detective Falin Andrews always seems to be there to pull Alex out of the fire, he also seems to do his best to rub her up the wrong way. I adore a love/hate sexual tension relationship in my urban fantasy books and Grave Witch had bags of it. If you prefer more of the tall, dark and mysterious type then you may find yourself routing for the enigmatic figure of Death. Whichever team you decide, both these male leads have plenty of mystery about them that I can’t wait to see unraveled in later books.
Grave Witch is a fantastic beginning to this engaging urban fantasy series. If you are a fan of the earlier Anita Blake books, Patrica Briggs’ Mercy Thompson or Kim Harrison’s Hollows then Grave Witch is one to pick up. I’ve already grabbed a copy of the next in the series Grave Dance and I can’t wait to get stuck in!
Sexual content: Graphic sex scenes