Thursday, January 3, 2013

Review | Grave Memory by Kalayna Price

Grave Memory
Kalayna Price
Alex Craft #3
Published 2012 by Roc (Penguin)
Urban fantasy
3 stars

When the dead need to talk, Alex Craft is always ready to listen…

As a Grave Witch, Alex solves murders by raising the dead—an ability that comes at a cost, and after her last few cases, that cost is compounding. But her magic isn’t the only thing causing havoc in her life. While she’s always been on friendly terms with Death himself, things have recently become a whole lot more close and personal. Then there’s her sometime partner, agent Falin Andrews, who is under the glamour of the Winter Queen. To top everything off, her best friend has been forever changed by her time spent captive in Faerie.

But the personal takes a backseat to the professional when a mysterious suicide occurs in Nekros City and Alex is hired to investigate. The shade she raises has no memory of the days leading up to his brutal ending, so despite the very public apparent suicide, this is murder. But what kind of magic can overcome the human will to survive? And why does the shade lack the memory of his death? Searching for the answer might mean Alex won’t have a life to remember at all…

Bite-Sized Review
As a whole, I like this series a lot, but this book is not my favorite in the collection. The overarching storyline has stalled a bit, and there seemed to be more focus on the love triangle. However, the series is definitely worth reading, and if you've read the previous two books, you'll probably enjoy this one as well.

-With each book, Alex's life gets more complicated in a way that's a lot of fun for the reader. She continues to discover more about herself and her abilities, and while I'm not sure how long this can go on without becoming ridiculous, so far it intensifies what could otherwise be a run-of-the-mill supernatural PI story.

-The world is relatively straightforward, but I like it a lot. There's enough detail and conflict to make it seem real, and while there's less of an overarching world story than I really love, Kalayna Price does a great job adapting well-known myths and legends in a unique way. I especially appreciate the inclusion of serious magical limitations or consequences to magic.

Brussels Sprouts
-In this book, the love triangle seemed to be much more prominent than previously. This triangle doesn't bother me as much as many others because the focus is still definitely on the plot rather than the soap opera element, but I have to say, I preferred it when Alex didn't spend all her free time wondering what to do about her love life.

-This one could go either way depending on your preferences, but I'd like to see the books start to shift in plot toward fae politics and whatever Alex's father is up to. The supernatural PI schtick is a tried and true way to start a series, but doesn't necessarily take you very far. This series definitely has the potential to go beyond that, and I'd really like to see it get to that point. With this book, Alex's case seemed to get in the way of the meta-plot rather than advance it.

-I really enjoy these books, but sometimes Alex can be incredibly annoying. She's terrible at making decisions, as demonstrated by the previously mentioned love triangle, so reading her internal monologue can be a torturous exercise in vacillation. Don't get me wrong, I don't actually dislike her, but sometimes...

Recommended for
Urban fantasy fans generally.

Quality: Acceptable
Enjoyability: Acceptable

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a series I need to look into. I think I have the first one on my GoodReads TBR so that I don't forget about it. I love Urban Fantasy! And Alex seems like the type of heroine that, despite her flaws, might be fun to read about.


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