Thursday, May 17, 2012

REVIEW: Kalayna Price's Grave Dance

Book: Grave Dance

Author: Kalayna Price

Series: Alex Craft

Publishing stats: July 5th 2011, Penguin Group (USA)

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Cover Blurb: After a month spent recovering from a vicious fight with a sorcerer, grave witch Alex Craft is ready to get back to solving murders by raising the dead. With her love life in turmoil thanks to the disappearance of Fae Investigation Bureau agent Falin Andrews and a shocking “L” word confession from Death himself, Alex is eager for the distractions of work. But her new case turns out to be a deadly challenge.

The police hire Alex to consult on a particularly strange investigation in the nature preserve south of Nekros City. The strange part: There are no corpses, only fragments of them. A serial killer is potentially on the loose, and Alex has no way to raise a shade without a body, so she’ll have to rely on the magic of others to find leads. But as she begins investigating, a creature born of the darkest magic comes after her. Someone very powerful wants to make sure the only thing she finds is a dead end—her own.

First line: "When I first straddled the chasm between the land of the dead and the world of the living, I accidentally raised the shade of our recently deceased Pekinese."

What I liked: I love the world-building of this series. It's beautifully layered so that each book allows it to unfold just that much more, unveiling hidden depths and surprising twists that just seem natural in hindsight. Which, incidentally, is also how the mystery plays out; it really keeps the intrigue dialed up to ten and the interest just as high. I also love how Alexis' powers work - how they have the effect of stripping the world to show its state of decay, how they have the instantenous consequence of blinding her regular vision, how they reveal, conceal, bend, twist, and warp reality not just in her vision but in reality as well.

What I didn’t like: I am not a fan of love triangles - more often than not they serve only to frustrate me and I end up screaming "JUST PICK SOMEONE!" at the heroine after the first debate-riddled chapter. Unfortunately for this book the love triangle seems a bit of a moot point; Option A is a fae bound to serve the Winter Queen like a good little puppy and Option B is essentially a grim reaper existing in another plane. They basically personify "unattainable." Naturally, as with the first book,  by the last page Alexis was once again all by her lonesy.

Overall: I liked it. Admittedly, its rendition of Fae politics is a might confusing. Oh, and I kind of wish someone would drop a house on the Winter Queen - seems like it would solve a lot of their problems. Also, the Shadow King seems a lot better by comparison, so here's hoping for that in the next sequel.

Would I read this author again: Definitely. Next book - Grave Memory - releases on July 3, 2012.

My rating: /5

To purchase the book for yourself, you can find it at,, or Barnes & Noble. Enjoy!

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