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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's not good, it's very good.....
I've read Kalayna Price before & enjoyed her 'Bitten Books', but this just blows them out the water. Her cleverly crafted world relys on witches & fae, very tricky, manipulative, there's a dark undertone throughout, & the author drip feeds the puzzle piece by piece, without losing any of the flow, a definate page turner.
Private investigator, Alex Craft, raises...
Published on 9 Dec. 2010 by sharon

versus
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Book Geek
This book was pretty good on the whole, especially when you compare it to some of the other urban fantasy books that I've had the misfortune of reading recently. The genre's taken me all over the place in the last few months: I've been addicted, annoyed, disappointed, I've laughed, I've cried, I've ranted and I've recommended. At the very least, Kalayna Price gave me a...
Published on 11 Aug. 2011 by Emily May


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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's not good, it's very good....., 9 Dec. 2010
By 
sharon "I listen to my books while working, a... (Falmouth, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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I've read Kalayna Price before & enjoyed her 'Bitten Books', but this just blows them out the water. Her cleverly crafted world relys on witches & fae, very tricky, manipulative, there's a dark undertone throughout, & the author drip feeds the puzzle piece by piece, without losing any of the flow, a definate page turner.
Private investigator, Alex Craft, raises shades, they are like the memory of the person, she is able to use her 'grave sight' & power to reanimate the shade for a short time, to tell their story. Alex raises the wrong shade, her family life is screwed, and she has to find & destroy the source before all hell breaks loose.
The writing is tight, a complex storyline that keeps you hooked & characters like a stalking ghost, a cryptic gargoyle, malicious fae and two very different male protagonists with tightly held secrets of their own.I enjoyed this new urban fantasy alot, great escapism and will definately be buying the next in the series. When you look at the plot & premise I could not help but to compare her loosely to a female 'Harry Dresden'. If you like Karen Chance, Linda Robertson, Chole Neill & all of that ilk, you should not be disappointed.
The next book in the series is Grave dance & should be out in the summer 2011.

Recommended....
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I need the next book NOW!!!, 1 Nov. 2010
The first installment of Kalayna Price's new Urban Fantasy series is thoroughly enjoyable - I couldn't put it down.

I loved the world-building, the main character is likeable, the story captured and held my attention and there are the beginnings of a love triangle where both options look very attractive ;)Whilst I would definitely class this as urban fantasy rather than paranormal romance, there are romantic elements to the book.

If I had to describe 'Grave Witch', I would say it has a good dollop of the early Anita Blake books, mixed with handfuls of Kim Harrison's 'Hollows' and Patricia Briggs 'Mercy Thompson' with a small pinch of Stacia Kane's 'Downside' books. In short, a recipe for success!

This book left me impatient for the next in the series and the only reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 is because I found some of the descriptions in the showdown at the end slightly confusing.

All in all, I thoroughly recommend this book.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Book Geek, 11 Aug. 2011
This book was pretty good on the whole, especially when you compare it to some of the other urban fantasy books that I've had the misfortune of reading recently. The genre's taken me all over the place in the last few months: I've been addicted, annoyed, disappointed, I've laughed, I've cried, I've ranted and I've recommended. At the very least, Kalayna Price gave me a real urban fantasy story instead of the typical Twilight-style "I'm-so-obsessed-with-you-if-you-leave-me-I'll-die" kind of paranormal romance with a not very exciting mystery story mixed in to try and make the reader think the author actually cares about characters and plot rather than just filling the blanks between the sweet-nothings and sex.

Grave Witch was a decent story with a decent heroine and a whole lot of decently-written supernatural happenings. But... it just wasn't particularly exciting at all. I found it an okay way to pass a lazy evening but it didn't get my pulse racing once, didn't make me feel the need to go out and buy Grave Dance, just generally failed to move me in any kind of way. The first book of a series should sell the rest of the series to you - but it didn't.

So, what did I like? I liked Alex Craft (the heroine) for the most part and, I never thought I'd say this in a review, Death is sexy. No, that's not me finally going over the edge and taking up necrophilia, that's me talking about the jeans-clad, dangerous and amusing Grim Reaper that is always looking over Alex's shoulder. I thought he would have made a much more interesting love interest (yes, I know how weird that sounds) than Falin Andrews. Andrews seemed alright, a bit of the old serious and broody kind of attractive... until we find out he's got really long, platinum-blond hair. How many times? It is only okay for men to have long blond hair if their name is Eric and they're from Bon Temps. Only Ms Harris could sell a look that is better suited to Barbie dolls.

I'll tell you what I'm also tired of that happens in nearly every novel with a witch: long, pointless descriptions of spells, rituals, summonings, etc, etc. Unless I discover my inner witch any time soon, I doubt I have the need to know the exact lengthy process that they must go through when casting a spell. Whatever happened to bibbity-bobbity-boo? Now, those were the days.

I think it's fair to say I need to leave this genre alone for a while, it's giving me a headache.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Alex Craft book 1, 18 Mar. 2012
By 
Sarah (Feeling Fictional) (Kent, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Grave Witch (Paperback)
Alex Craft is a witch and she uses her grave magic to help her in her job as a Private Investigator. Her magic allows her to interact with ghosts but she is mainly asked to contact shades which are like an echo of the person who died - they have the person's memories but no emotions so they can answer questions about their lives but are unable to lie. Alex works for family members who need some kind of closure and she also works with the police to help allow murder victims to identify their killers. When her latest attempt to raise a shade results in a ghostly attack that should have been impossible Alex finds herself drawn into a web of dark magic with a serial killer at it's heart. The closer she gets to identifying the killer the more at risk her life becomes and she must work with detective Falin Andrews to solve the case before her time runs out.

I'm a big fan of the urban fantasy genre so it is always exciting to discover a new series - particularly one as engaging as Grave Witch was. This was the first book I've read by Kalayna Price but I can't wait to continue this series and I'm also planning on buying her Haven books ASAP. In the world the author has created the public have been aware of witches and the fae for about 70 years and although there is some prejudice between them and the humans in general they are accepted. With the Humans First political party gaining popularity this could change in the future though. I was really interested in finding out about all the different kinds of witches, they each have very different abilities and Alex's grave magic is one of the rarer forms. There are also all kinds of fae creatures to watch out for.

I found Alex a likeable heroine, her power has limitations meaning she doesn't come across as too perfect to be real and she has a lot of the same worries as normal people do which makes her easy to relate to. The after effects of using her grave sight were fascinating - especially the developments towards the end - and I thought Alex was brave to continue using the sight considering what happened to her afterwards. She isn't a perfect PI, in fact she missed quite a few clues along the way, but she is determined and once she sets her mind on something she will do whatever it takes to see it through - even it that does mean bending the rules a little.

Although the story focuses on the murders and the mystery of who is behind them there is also the start of a very promising love triangle. I have to confess I'd thought that I was sick to death with triangles and that I didn't want to read any more of them but Kalayna has me hooked on this one. Normally I find it very easy to pick a team and once I've chosen it is very rare for me to change my mind but in this case I still can't tell you who I want Alex to end up with - she has a choice between two very delectable specimens! First you have Death, a soul collector who she has known since she was a child and has built a friendship with. He is very much a mystery man and definitely left me wanting to know more but I liked him from the minute he stepped onto the page. Falin is a detective who also has his secrets that I think we have only just started to uncover. At first I was annoyed by his attitude but he quickly won me over as you get to see his more caring and protective side. I'll tell you now I swung back and forth between Death and Falin each time they appeared. At the moment we know a lot more about Falin but I'm hoping we'll see much more of Death in the next book and his confession at the end of the book left me desperate for more!

There is an interesting collection of side characters but I didn't feel I got to know any of them well enough, I'm confident that this will change as the series continues though. What was really nice is that Alex has some supportive female friends, I quite often find that other female characters are shown as jealous and petty so it is nice when there is genuine friendship there instead. I was a little freaked out by Alex's dog PC (although I laughed when we found out what his name stands for), but hairless dogs scare me and that is down to personal taste - if he'd been any other breed I would have been enchanted by him. I would absolutely love to have a gargoyle like Fred guarding my house though!

Overall I thought that Grave Witch was a great start to a new series and it had me so hooked that I will be picking up the second book as soon as this review is written - that's rare with me as I usually have a break between books in a series. I enjoyed the mystery, loved the romance and want to spend more time with these characters. Definitely a series I'll be recommending to urban fantasy fans - particularly if you like witches and the fae.
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5.0 out of 5 stars better than expected, 17 Jan. 2013
By 
Miss S. Orr (Glasgow) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Grave Witch (Paperback)
i originally bought this book because the idea of Death personified as he is in the terry pratchett books was always interesting to me. in this book its not so much Death itself personified, it instead deals with soul collectors. this was good because the idea of actual Death being a hottie in jeans somehow didnt sit right with me - but a soul collector? that was a different matter. i dont normally read books about witches but the inclusion of soul collectors interests me but i didnt expect to enjoy it as much as i did. Truly, i fell in love with this series, the characters are great and well-formed and the world is beautifully set out and explained. it is a book that does what i enjoy best - it merges reality and fantasy and it does it brilliantly. I also wasnt expecting Faerie and the Fae creatures existing among mortals but also maintaining their own separate world. the Fae aspect to the novel is wonderfully conceived.it comes across really clear that the writer knows a lot about the legends behind these things.
As for the romance side of things, this is the first book ive read where i can understand the character's conflict when faced with the choice between two men. normally, in these situations the female character looks stupid to me and melodramatic but not Alex Craft; she's damn awesome. and for once i also dont know how itll end.
as for plot, i originally could see much to it. it seemed a little unexciting at first, a little simple. but having read the book, i can say that the book gets pretty complicated pretty quick and genuinely keeps you on your toes and the character even learns a few shocking things about herself along the way. her history (which even she doesnt fully understand) is still a question 3 books in but each book gives a little more of the puzzle and i for one am still interested in learning more.
so far, the books have just been getting better and better and i really look forward to the next one. so i definitely recommend.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing world building, 4 Aug. 2012
This review is from: Grave Witch (Paperback)
It took me way too long to get around to reading Grave Witch (try 6 or 7 months) and now that I have I'm kicking myself for not finding the time sooner because it is definitely one of the better urban fantasies out there. Kalayna Price has created this fantastic world in which faeries exist, along with witches, ghosts and reapers. Alex, our protagonist, is what is called a 'grave witch'. A person who can call upon the power of the grave to 'raise shades'. Shades are basically memories of the deceased. They are not ghosts, which are separate entities altogether, but they can be questioned and Alex makes a living raising shades to aid in murder investigations, arguments over wills, and all sorts. She also happens to be the only person she knows who can see Death, as in the Grim Reaper. A Soul Collector. There are also other types of Witches but Alex isn't particularly good with the other types of magic however we do see a lot of animosity towards Witches and Fae folk in general. This is definitely the most interesting representation of the Fae that I have read so far.

Alex herself made me gleefully happy. I've gotten so used to urban fantasy heroines being "solitary and independent". Read: annoyingly stubborn and relying on the first bad ass male that comes along. Alex has friends and she is not averse to turning to them for help and spending time with them. It was like a breath of fresh air! A heroine that actually enjoys fun and companionship! Okay so sure, she does rely on the first bad ass male that comes along when she is a self-proclaimed commitaphobe but we can't have everything, right?

What I really loved about Grave Witch, along with the fantastic world-building, is definitely the almost casual writing style. It draws you in from the very first sentence and keeps you hooked throughout. I found it an utter delight to read, especially when the Fae and their homeland came up, as well as details about modern day Witches. If you haven't read it yet I urge you to pick up a copy. I've fallen completely in love with this series to the point that I immediately picked up Grave Dance and then bought Grave Memory. There is more to this book than you might think. Don't assume it is your typical urban fantasy until you've encountered its' twists and unpredictability. And what an ending.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Top quality Urban Fantasy, 4 Dec. 2011
Ah, now this is why I love reading. Discovering awesome books like this. I'm not even sure I can explain exactly why I loved it so much, or what makes it stand out for me above other Urban Fantasy books with similar themes. But I just absolutely loved it.

The plot was based around a murder mystery that was written with perfect balance; neither too complicated nor too easy to work out. There were many twists and turns right from the offset to get you engaged and furiously turning pages so that you almost didn't notice the initial world-building and setting up of characters that always exists in a first-in-series book. The writing style felt very conversational and it was just an effortless read.

To give you a head start on the world-building, it's an alternate history Urban Fantasy. Anyone familiar with Rachel Morgan's world in the Hollows series will find this world easy to acclimate to. In this case, it's been around 70 years since both the Fae and Witches came out of the mushroom ring, and they now live side by side with the norms. There are different types of Fae; ones who appear as humans, and other more traditional creatures such as goblins, trolls, brownies, etc. There are also different types of witches. Our leading lady is a Grave Witch. She can connect to the World of The Dead and can see ghosts and raise Shades. Shades, unlike ghosts, are only the memories of a life lived, they are unable to lie and can only answer questions about their life. You cannot interact with them beyond that. So they are useful for the purposes of identifying their own killers in murder cases, which is generally what Alex Craft, our lead protagonist, is drafted in for.

The initial hook comes when Alex is asked to raise the Shade from a body, that for all Alex can tell, is not a body at all. She also meets the lead detective on the case, Falin Andrews, who is a mystery in and of himself.

There was a romantic subplot to this book that was fascinating, gripping and rather sexy. And also completely infuriating, complicated and unresolved! I loved it and I can't wait to see where this part of the story goes, particularly with what is revealed towards the end of the book.

This book is going straight to my Favourites shelf. If you like The October Daye series, The Hollows (Rachel Morgan) series and/or The Walker Papers series, you will love this too!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 17 Jun. 2011
By 
Mrs. P. Archell-thompson (London) - See all my reviews
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This is one of those books that it is difficult to put down once you start reading. The pace is fast and furious, the characterisations superb. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it so much that I immediately placed an order for her next book in the series. My daughter has also read it on my recommendation and she also rated it highly. Considering we have different tastes in reading material - she veers more towards the romantic - it obviously would appeal to a wide audience.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really Enjoyable, 25 Feb. 2011
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I didn't expect to enjoy this book as much as I did. The cover is a bit 'meh', so it looks a bit like it might be one of those short, quick and full of sex 'urban fantasy' books.

But it's so much more and I read it in a day.

It's very well researched and planned - with a full compliment of all things faery. Our heroine is Alex Craft, and she uses her magic to raise shades - sort of like ghosts, but not - to help her investigate their deaths. She tries to routinely raise two shades, but has problems, and the story starts from her investigation. We get to meet 'death' who's a friend of Alex's! She also gets a new partner in the form of a new detective who is also investigating one of the deaths she is.

I don't like to give too much away about the story when I'm writing a review, but suffice to say this book is funny, well written, interesting and I'm looking forward to the next one.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Solid Debut and a lot of fun, 9 Dec. 2011
By 
Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog "Falcata T... - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Grave Witch (Paperback)
I love a new Urban Fantasy title, especially when its backed with a fresh face as you're never quite sure what's going to appear within those sleek crisp white pages. What Kalanya presented was a world of enchantment and powers, of political machinations as well as groups that I could see springing up and of course a lead character that was a lot of fun to be around, despite all the scrapes she ended up in.

It's cleverly woven, has touches of Chalaine Harris' Harper Connolly as well as Trent Jamieson's Steven De Selby. Add to this crisp prose, a unique take on what its like to summon the deceased as well as the decay it brings within our own world and it was a title that I had a hard time putting down, especially with the romance element added to sizzle those pages as the two characters resisted their own attraction. All in a great bit of fun and I'm looking forward to seeing what she comes up with next.
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Grave Witch
Grave Witch by Kalayna Price (Paperback - 8 Dec. 2011)
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