Review: Grave Ransom by Kalayna Price (Alex Craft #5)


Grave Ransom by Kalayna Price // VBCGrave Ransom (Alex Craft #5)
Kalayna Price
Published: July 4, 2017 (Ace)
Purchase: Book Depository or Amazon
Review source: copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review 

Reviewed by: Margaret

Rating (out of 5): 4 stars

Note: While review will be spoiler free, it does make reference to previous books. If you haven’t started this series yet, check out VBC’s review of book 1, Grave Witch.

I recently picked up the Alex Craft series for the first time in five years, reading books four and five back to back. I was surprised how easy it was to get back in to the story. Grave Ransom in particular feels like a classic urban fantasy that focuses on a detective solving a single case. That feeling is helped by the fact that it doesn’t have as many Fae elements as some of the previous books. (Well, except for the fact that Alex and her friends are now living in an actual fairy castle, complete with magical food and a garden gnome groundskeeper.)

Grave Ransom opens about a month after the end of Grave Visions. While having lunch with a friend Alex senses a dead body, which might not be unusual since she’s a grave witch, except that it’s walking down the street. So of course, she follows it. And she winds up caught up in a heist and dragged to the police station. That puts her on the radar of Briar Darque of the MCIB. (Think magical FBI.) She’s crossed paths with Briar before and is not a fan of her “by any means necessary” approach to law enforcement.

Then Alex takes what would appear to be an easy case, locating a missing college student. But when she finds him, he’s robbing a bank. And if that’s not bad enough, he’s another walking corpse. Since she’s now involved in a second robbery, Alex has no choice but to help Briar investigate. And the case takes some turns that I did not see coming.

One of the things I’ve always liked about this series is the way it presents the soul collectors. But now that Alex is in what sort of passes for a relationship with Death, something feels off to me. (You know the kind of off when the twenty-something is dating the millennia old vampire and they’re just not on equal footing?) So I’m happy to see some of their issues addressed in Grave Ransom, as well as her relationship with Falin starting to be less awkward.

That’s a pretty standard trope but I’m excited to see Alex explore it. Her wyrd (human) magic is rare and useful but actually using it makes her vulnerable, weak and blind. I think that’s what sets her apart from a lot of the badass warrior women we’re used to seeing. She’s a lot more October Daye than Kate Daniels—or at least she will be if she can figure the whole Fae thing out. I’m definitely looking forward to watching her try.

Sexual content: sex

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