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Review: Grave Dance by Kalayna Price

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Grave DanceGrave Dance
Author: Kalayna Price
Release Date: July 5, 2011
Publisher: ROC
Alex Craft Novels #2
ISBN: #978-0451464095
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format(s): Paperback (371 pgs), e-book
Book Source: Publisher

About the book:

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 G & U are talking about:

Grave Dance is the second novel in the Alex Craft Novels. Una was not able to read the first book however Gikany (to the rescue) was able to. After conferring, Gikany and Una agree, it is best to read the first book, Grave Witch. There are quite a few plot points that are referred to in this book that occurred in the first book, along with relationships that have bearing in the second book. It isn’t necessary, but we feel that to fully enjoy Grave Dance you need to have invested the time in understanding some of the characters and you will get that if you read the first book. For a small non-spoiler example, it took Una a bit of time to realize that one of Alex’s roommates is a fae, something that was established in the previous book and is important to the storytelling. Not to mention a good bit of Alex’s background is revealed.

Grave Dance begins a month after Grave Witch ends. From the moment the story begins, Una was hooked. The story was paced well and the balance of the detective/mystery unfolds nicely with the witty banter and the intriguing “love-life” of Alex. This novel is urban fantasy so the romance(s) is a sub-plot, but there are interesting ramifications in this plot. It added to the suspense and intrigue of the novel.

Another huge aspect in this novel is fae dynamics and politics. Una and Gikany are Lord of the Rings fans, so fae politics can be quite fascinating. This book did not disappoint nor did it bore. When politics or the history and etiquette of a race are paramount to the storytelling it is easy for the author to “teach” these elements in the novel rather than unfold them in the story. We feel the author did a rather smooth job of weaving those elements into the story. It was difficult to put the novel down; Grave Dance was gripping and thoroughly enchanting.

Alex’s powers add another intriguing element to the storytelling. It seems (again if you read the first book this will make more sense) that Alex’s abilities are changing and she is still learning how to use them. The revelation of Alex’s family history provides yet another layer of interest in the novel. Alex is still coping with many of these issues at the end of the novel, and the unresolved issues give the reader a bit to think about once finished reading the novel.

Grave Dance is a fresh and exciting novel. Una is going to go back and read the first novel, Grave Witch so she is prepared when she and Gikany read the next Alex Craft novel. We cannot wait to see what happens to these characters in their next adventure nor how the unfolding of Alex’s family will proceed.

Their Rating:

Loved it – enthusiastically recommend (A)

  • I like this series okay – I want Death to be more of a presence. Interested to see where we go with book 3 though.

  • Great review, U and G! Alex’s world sounds interesting and I’m always curious how authors create the paranormal politics. It’s something that I really enjoy in teh Mercy Thomspon series. I’m going to look for the first book and see if I can get it at the library! Thanks for the recommendation.

  • Una

    Mandi – I agree, I love the character of Death and with the way the book ends…we hope there is more in the third one. I simply do not believe things are finalized nor resolved and I can’t wait to see what happens in the next one. I would have liked to have seen more, but maybe she is holding back because there IS more coming.

    Rum – glad you enjoyed, check out the first book and let me know what you think!

  • Alex Craft is an interesting leading lady and really like the sound of where her character progress is going! I will look this series up! 😉

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