Review- Grave Witch

Kalayna Price
Urban Fantasy
325 pages
Alex Craft series #1
ROC/Penguin Usa

Goodreads Synopsis:
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.

My review:
It's no secret that magic is one of my favorite varieties of Urban Fantasy and Kalayna Price is a new-to-me voice that has now landed herself on my "must watch" list. In Grave Witch, the first book of her new series, she's created a fast-moving story with near perfect lead characters that left me anxious for more.

The many character relationships in Grave Witch were the star of the show for me.  The relationships are true to life and make it easy for any reader to find similarities among their own experiences and relationships.  The plot takes care of the dramatics so the entertainment really comes from the cast. From Alex's best friends Holly and Tamara, to her dog PC, to Roy a disgruntled ghost that wont leave Alex alone, and of course to the new detective in town Falin Andrews; each character has a purpose to the story and they serve them well. 

I will say, some of the magical terms and events that take place aren't explained with as much detail as I think a first book in a series should be. The mis-steps are minor enough that they don't ruin the story in any way, but new "magic" fans might find themselves a little fuzzy from time to time. 

The world Price introduces us to quickly became one I wanted to be a part of, as lame as that sounds. The story's setting is creative and pure fantasy, but I enjoyed how the author mirrored Alex's world to the everyday.  I know that's the point with 'Urban' fantasy, but so often it doesn't feel like that to me.  Sure Alex Craft is a witch and has a friendly relationship with Death {who's actually a big softy}, but she has a room-mate, job demands, and family issues like so many people.  It made it really easy to connect with Alex.

Bottom Line: An entertaining first glimpse at an impressive new world; I can't wait for round 2.

3.5 stars


  1. I bought this book last week and have it in my TBR pile. I also love some magic in my UF, but I like strict rules on it.

  2. Sharon: If you love magic then you wont be in the dark at all, I really enjoyed this book.

  3. So I've read some Urban Fantasy, but never as an exploration of the genre, it's just stuff that was given the tag or fit the definition. Because of this I have a question about you saying magic is one of your favorite varieties of Urban Fantasy. I had thought magic was in every type of UF. What are some of the non-magic types? Are they like werewolf/monsters, or something else?

  4. DL: Well I suppose you're correct, all fantasy has "magic"in it a little bit. So, I guess when I talk about "Magic" I'm referring to witches casting, spells, calling circles etc...good ol fashion magic. Versus Vampires, Weres or other shifters, Fae or the like.

  5. I haven't read this one, but I've seen it around. And you've made it very compelling. Nice review, as usual! :)

  6. Great review, Thanks! Just put this is on my TBR!

  7. Julie: I think you'd really like it. Falin is a steamboat :D

  8. Pam: You'll like...steamy action ahead :)

  9. Thanks for the review! I've seen this one floating around too but, was kind of iffy on whether I'd like it or not. Looks like I'll be adding another one to the wish list. And wanting to be part of an author's world is not lame. It happens to me all the time. It's what happens when they know what they're doing.

  10. Jen D: LOL thanks, I'm glad it's not just me :D