Wednesday 12 June 2019

Review: Grave Witch by Kalayna Price (Alex Craft #1)

Grave witch Alex Craft can speak to the dead, but that doesn’t mean she likes what they have to say.

As a private investigator and consultant for the police, Alex Craft has seen a lot of dark magic. But even though she’s on good terms with Death himself—who happens to look fantastic in a pair of jeans—nothing has prepared her for her latest case. Alex is investigating a high profile murder when she’s attacked by the ‘shade’ she’s raising, which should be impossible. To top off her day, someone makes a serious attempt on her life, but Death saves her. Guess he likes having her around...

To solve this case Alex will have to team up with tough homicide detective Falin Andrews. Falin seems to be hiding something—though it’s certainly not his dislike of Alex—but Alex knows she needs his help to navigate the tangled webs of mortal and paranormal politics, and to track down a killer wielding a magic so malevolent, it may cost Alex her life...and her soul.


Full length novel

First person, Alex

Nope, book one!

No, the adventure of this book wraps up but leaves plenty of threads hanging for future books.

Not really applicable in UF until the very last book in a series.
Alex finishes the book in a good place though. 


No... Not really. There's definitely one brewing though, much to my rage.

Yes. Plus, Alex is a Grave Witch so... Dead bodies.

Grave Witch is book one in Kalayna Price’s Alex Craft series.
Alex is a Grave Witch, that is to say she is a witch who can see the land of the dead, talk to ghosts, raise shades (which are not ghosts but memory filled spectres that can be questioned) and sense magic in an UF world where magic exists and the fae are out of ‘the mushroom ring’ as it’s termed in the story. If vampires, werewolves or other supernatural beasties exist in this world, they don’t appear, nor are they mentioned in this book.

Alex’s talent is one of the rarer ones and she is often consulted by the local homicide unit on cases but she’s young (early twenties), she struggles financially, she’s cut off from her family - for being a witch - and her life isn’t exactly what you could call rosy.
So, when her estranged sister calls her for help, Alex should just say no and go about her business but she doesn’t. Family is family so she tries to help and finds herself sucked into a dark and twisty plot which was a little bit creepy but made for compulsive page turning.
With her usual homicide contact out of commission, Alex unofficially ends up partnering a new detective on the scene, Falin, who isn’t quite what he appears to be and their partnership, the dynamic between them, was utterly addictive. Oh, how I liked Falin… And I liked Alex. She’s smart, powerful, skilled and spunky. She is a girl just trying to make her way in life with no agenda. She’s had a fair few knocks but she still does what is right. It would be very hard not to like Alex.

The world building was rich and well done. You’re given a lot of information but it never feels like it’s too much information nor does it slow down the pace of the story. The twists and turns made this book impossible to put down and I’m very excited to see what comes next for Alex given the revelations at the end of this novel.

I’m desperate to see how Alex and Falin’s relationship develops and whether Death - Alex’s invisible to all but Alex ‘soul collector’ friend - becomes a character with more substance about him... Honestly, Death was the only annoyance I had with this book. He’s this mysterious character who’s been in Alex’s life since she was a child but you know nothing about him beyond he’s a soul collector and he’s pretty, yet I get the feeling he’s supposed to be a credible love interest against the fully fleshed out and kinda awesome Falin? Pah! Give me a break.

Anyway, if you’re a UF fan and you have not read this series you absolutely must! It’s right up there, imo, with Kim Harrison’s Hollows series and Ilona Andrews’ Kate Daniels series and that is the highest form of praise I can give it considering how much I love those two series!

I kinda like it. It captures Alex and the feel of the series quite well.



  1. I did try this book but I think I DNFed it many years ago but I remember nothing about it or why I didn't like it! My memory is getting really bad! Glad you liked it though.

    1. You win some you lose some, I guess. :)

  2. This sounds like a really good series. I've seen it floating around but never knew much about it. Sorry to hear about the random, possible love interest. I'm not a huge fan of love triangles. Hopefully it's nothing and the guy turns out to be more of a bff?

    1. It... Well. Lets say the situation doesn't go away exactly but it turns out not as bad as I feared it could be.

      If you get a chance you should totally give it a try!

  3. I have seen sooo many raves for this series! I haven’t read much UF at all but I’ve kind of been looking for a new new UF series start since I’m all caught up with The Others by Anne Bishop. I really like the sound of this one! Great review, Nicci!

    1. I haven't read anything by Bishop. She's on my list. I'm back on a complete UF bender at the moment...

  4. Oh yes that's high praise as I loved Kim Harrison's books!!

    1. You should totally try it Sophie if you get time! The other books are every bit as fun!

  5. This is the first review I've come across for this book and it sounds wonderful. Thanks for putting it on my radar!


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