Review: Grave Dance by Kalayna Price

September 30, 2012 § Leave a comment

Star Rating:

Date released: 5th July 2011 
Publisher: ROC
Author’s website: www. kalayna.com
My source: Amazon Kindle Store
Part of a series: Yes, #2 Alex Craft series
Find it at: GoodReads | Amazon | B&N

GoodReads synopsis:

Whoever said dead men tell no tales obviously never met Alex Craft.

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.

What I really liked:

  • The plot. The mystery with the severed left feet? Exhilarating, I was riveted the entire time.
  • The time spent in Faerie and the alternate magical realities within the Faerie realm. It was confusing as hell, but I enjoyed the way it was written and the complete lack of predictability the world help.
  • The character dynamics between Alex and her friends and associates, i.e. John, Detective Jensen, Holly, Tamara and Caleb. It’s good to know that these relationships aren’t set in stone and that Alex’s actions affect them deeply with even the smallest action on her part. I’ve read a lot of books where the hero or heroine do something stupendously idiotic, but the offended friend still continues along merrily like nothing happened.\
  • Death, the character. Smoking. Hot.

What I didn’t like

  • The love triangle. From what the gray man told Alex, it really sucks because it seems Death doesn’t even have a chance of being with Alex, that he’s already out of the running for her affection. I hate how these angsty love triangles make me feel – especially in this case because I’m actually rooting for Alex to be with Death, not Falin. Ugh!
  • The parallel of Alex and PC entering Faerie and Dorothy and Toto entering Oz. Alex’s almost fanatical devotion to her dog was so irritating.
  • Alex’s… indifference. I find her a hard character to relate to, she’s incredibly cold and inaccessible to me. She’s passionate about her friends and her job and her magic, but for some reason, that passion doesn’t translate to any particular affinity for me to like her.
  • The introduction of a lot of new characters closer to the end of the book that is obviously laying the foundation for the next book. It was a little irritating because Price obviously wanted the characters introduced, but a lot of them seemed superfluous to the current story (like the reject ‘king’ of the nightmare realm).
  • The scene with Maximillian Bell in the cemetery with his goons. I seriously thought that scene was useless and dragged out that part of the story for me (the part that was supposed to be all gung-ho, oh my god we’re approaching the climax kind of part).

Overall, I liked the second book because of the mystery and the plot. It got a little fuzzy towards the end, especially the parts where she enters Faerie and meets something like half a dozen new characters that we never end up learning a lot about. The romance in the book was considerably lessened because Alex was torn between two love interests, but it seems from the way the book ended that Alex will be staying with Falin for now because of what happened to Edana and the rogue reaper.

I feel really bad for Death, and wish we knew more about the soul collectors and what binds them. Seriously, I feel that Death is so amazing compared to Falin. I can’t even discern the two of them but my heart’s telling me to root for Death and Alex – and even with Edana’s demise and warning, I still want them to be together. Impossible? Fuck it. Even Alex’s relationship with Falin is doomed to failure because of his loyalty to the Winter Court and queen. She just can’t choose the easy way out, can she?

Solid 4 Stars.

My review of Book 1 in the Alex Craft series can be found here.

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