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review 2016-06-29 02:24
Grave Witch by Kalayna Price
Grave Witch - Kalayna Price

Series: Alex Craft #1


I don’t remember what brought this book to my attention.  It was probably something to do with one of the later books in the series. I know better than to expect too much from a book marketed as urban fantasy, but the library had a copy, so I figured it was worth a shot. I’d call this more of a modern day fantasy world rather than an urban fantasy, however, because we’re most definitely not in our world.  Magic users and fae went public about seventy years ago and it’s a modern-day mishmash of magical charms, cars, and cell phones.


I almost quit because it took a good hundred pages to get interesting. Several of the tropes bordered on cliché territory (the absolutely broke investigator, the girlfriends who would throw the MC at any man who showed interest [and who don’t apologize when said man tries to harm her], the sort of triangle, the hostile police, etc). And at several points the characters basically acted in the way most convenient for the plot without a lot of conviction.


But…the world felt like it was a more original take on the genre with how the MC’s magical powers, the ghosts, and the fae stuff were presented, so it gets an extra half star.  I’m undecided as to whether to give the next one a shot.

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review 2016-03-31 01:52
The Witch's Grave - Shirley Damsgaard

A psychic librarian cozy mystery sounded like it could be promising, but it was mostly just meh.  Starting in the middle of the series may not have helped, but series like this can settle out after a few books so that later books can be better, so I figured it was worth a shot.  I don't remember how this book came to my attention; it might have turned up accidentally in a library catalogue search. I probably take too many chances with books from the library.


Anyway, what ended up happening was a lot of amateurish questioning and running around with very little librarianing.  Plus Ophelia kept being worried that this sheriff/cop was going to arrest her on very flimsy pretexts because that's what he kept threatening to do.  Also, the use of magick (yes, spelled with a 'k') as opposed to magic struck me as gimmecky.  I guess it was the new age psychic thing but still.  I should probably just steer clear of anything that mentions the word psychic and stick to the relative safety of urban fantasy.

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text 2016-03-30 17:50
Reading progress update: I've read 125 out of 262 pages.
The Witch's Grave - Shirley Damsgaard

Wait, you can take your needlepoint onto a plane in your carry on? I don't think I've eve seen that...


You know, starting in the middle of this series may not have been such a great idea. 

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review 2016-02-21 03:38
Alex Craft series re-read
Grave Witch - Kalayna Price
Grave Dance - Kalayna Price
Grave Memory - Kalayna Price

I real all three of these years ago and really enjoyed them.  No weres or vampires, but plenty of fae and witches and soul collectors.  I was truly irritated that the fourth book's publication date had been repeatedly pushed back, although I understand it was for good reasons on the author's part.


But praise be to the book gods, because the fourth one, after 3 years of delays, is out!  I've had it on pre-order for the past three years, so it's on its way to me now and I thought it would be a good idea to re-read these to make sure I knew what was going on (and to see if they stood up to the test of time).


Alexia is a grave witch;  she's able to raise a shade of the dead that they might give their loved ones information they didn't pass on before they died.  She does't raise their souls, but just the memory of them; for this reason, shades can't lie and Alex has no shortage of work helping the police solve crimes, insurance companies settle claims and loved ones tie up loose ends.  


The re-reads stood up well and I still like these books a lot; the premise is off my beaten path, the characters are likeable and the plots are dark but not graphic (or at least not too graphic).  There's a hell of a love-triangle though.  I'd prefer it be resolved, but at least the author hasn't turned it into a pissing contest yet.  It's very similar to the triangle in Evanovich's books, minus the silliness and slapstick humour.


I'm glad I was stubborn about keeping my pre-order open, as I'm looking forward to book 4 now more than ever.

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review 2014-10-19 00:00
Grave Witch
Grave Witch - Kalayna Price Good world-building, interesting characters, originality, nice plot - overall good read. Will definitely look into the next installment.
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