As a Grave Witch, Alex solves murders by raising the dead. While she's always been on friendly terms with Death himself, lately things have become a lot more personal. But the personal takes a backseat to the professional when a string of suicides occurs in Nekros City. The shades have no memory of the days leading up to their brutal endings, so despite the very apparent suicides, this is murder. And searching for the answers might mean Alex won't have a life to remember at all....
©2011 Kalayna Price (P)2012 Tantor
Speculative Fiction Book Review Blogger
Alex Craft has landed another oh-my-god-this-can't-be-true case and is once again investigating the impossible. This time it's a string of suicides that are actually murders. Yeah, good luck proving that one! It's this strong detective-type backbone that keeps me coming back for more with each new installment. True, there's also a love triangle, alternate plains of existence and magic but it's the investigations that make these books good; the rest is just icing on the cake. In Grave Memory, Alex grows up, Death finally makes his choice and ghouls run amok. Alex Craft is back and better than ever before!
Our lil' grave witch is finally growing up! In this installment she opens up a Tongues For The Dead office, enlists the help of a couple of partners and makes responsible decisions. I enjoyed watching Alex leave her mark on Nekros City and face adversity head-on. I was surprised by her new attitude more than once; instead of wallowing in self-pity she buckles down and takes care of business. Alex doesn't run. She sticks by her friends, attempts to sort out her complicated love life and even manages to solve a case or two. Craft is dealing with a few internal problems as well namely her diminishing eyesight and a few new, not entirely human characteristics that have begun to manifest. Like she really needs any more challenges to add to her already gigantic pile!
The first 3/4th of this book progresses like the other two in this series; Alex follows various leads trying to solve a case. Interesting but nothing to phone home about. The last quarter is where the real meat is. We learn a few more tidbits about the Soul Collectors and score some serious Death face time which I've been craving since Grave Witch. I really enjoyed the pacing of this story. Whenever there's a lull in the action there's still plenty of witty dialogue and enough side plots to keep you entertained. I actually laughed out line a few times at some of Alex's one-liners. She finds herself in some pretty impossible situations yet still manages to laugh about them. Pay close attention to a scene involving a Ziploc bag. Just saying.
Emily Durante, the narrator, does a fantastic job of donning Alex's shoes. At first, her raspy almost pack-a-day smoker's voice annoyed me but after a few hours I no longer struggled to associate her with this series' heroine. She handles Craft's snark with ease and I even enjoyed her side character voices. Next time I won't think twice before buying an audiobook narrated by Miss Durante.
I should have known that Falin was down but not out. He pops up here and there throughout the story and then adds his two cents at the end to create another brutal cliffhanger. He just couldn't leave well enough alone could he? Generally love triangles piss me off more often than not but in this case I'm finding Price's to be wildly intriguing. The fun doesn't stop with Grave Memory; Kalayna has signed on for at least another three installments and I for one can't wait.
Unwasted Words Reviews
A girl's gotta want more out of life, especially when your Prince Charming drinks out of the toilet and has his wardrobe imported from Petsmart.
Personally Alex's prospects aren't much better with one fey knight who's just as likely to kiss Alex as he is to kill her and one soul collector who's avoiding her, which with Alex's luck probably means that Death is just not that into her. Professionally the only constant is a perpetually empty bank account, and at this point Craft's main career goal is staving off blindness.
So naturally Tongues For The Dead is expanding, taking on more than just shade raising, adding a couple new investigators, and an only slightly rundown office in a sketchy part of the magic quarter. Good thing too, because Alex is going to need all the help and resources she can get for this case. Suicides are suddenly on the rise. Shades and ghosts have no memory of their last days or death. Craft is sure Nekros has a supernatural serial killer on the loose. And he's gunning for a certian plain weaving grave witch.
Kalanya Price wastes no time kicking things into gear. The pacing was great, even the various plot setups and in between dialogue are really engaging giving the story constant movement when the action isn't in play. Price has written another challenging and ambitious book full of story lines to match her dueling plains of reality. The focus shifts from the fey driven threads of Grave Dance to address Alex's ever evolving life on the human plain. I like how the existing format of the Craft's life and world are changing as much as the characters' are. So many series get stagnant and boring because the author doesn't let the story or characters grow together. The changes made by the end of the book make me feel like the real story is just beginning.
Can I say that I have never wanted a love triangle so badly as I do with this series. I have picked my team and Grave Memory has a bit more romance than the last book. It was nice to finally see Death make his case for Alex's hand. Of course Craft can't catch a break since her relationships seem to come with extra complications. Yet I can't help but enjoy Price's sense of timing. She's not in a rush with the romance and she has only really focused on one beau at a time, letting the readers get to know Death and Falin along with their unique situations. I don't know when the two will collide but I can't wait to read it. The author's romantic spacing also keeps Alex from being just another wishy washy heroine who can't choose between her two or three love interests.
The only downside for me was the narration. I felt like Emily Durante was just flat in her reading. The variety of voices were ok but the performance was lack luster. Regardless of the performance Grave Memory is my favorite in the series so far. The characters and world building have progressed so much that it seems like three books in and we are only just beginning the Alex Craft novels. My one complaint is that this series only comes out once a year and I'm primed and ready for this next chapter to begin.
This 3rd book is wonderful! It has action, magic, romance. I actually had tears in my eyes at a couple of the scenes and laughed throughout the whole book. This is a must read. You're going to love the story. Of course Emily Durante does a wonderful job narrating Alex and the other characters. I don't want to give anything away just listen and enjoy!!! Thank you Kalayna Price I love all your books!!
I liked the investigation aspect the best. The love triangle is creepy. What person would stick around knowing there was another person involved with the woman you love? Then, the author creates a situation where he can't stay and shoves the next man at her. I suppose the next book will have them involved and pulled apart too...
The scene where Alex has a cross bow pointed at her. Talk about someone being a loose cannon.
Yes, because she has done all the other readings. I wish she could stress a situation without sounding as if she is whining.
Devourer of all books fantasy
This is the third book in the Alex Craft series. The fourth book in this series, Grave Memory, is due to release in fall of 2013. This series just keeps getting better. I love how elements of faerie and death magic are entertwined in Alex’s character and enjoy watching her struggle to maintain her grip on the different planes of reality.
I listened to this on audiobook and the audiobook was very well done. I really love this series on audiobook. The character voices are well done and the emotions are conveyed well. Definitely a series I recommend listening to on audiobook.
While Alex is out for coffee with one of her girlfriends a man jumps off a buliding and kills himself, but his ghost is convinced that it wasn’t a suicide. Alex and Rhiannan now have an office for their company Tongues for the Dead, guess who their first customer is...the pregnant widow of the man who jumped off of the building. As Alex starts to investigate the death more closely she finds disturbing patterns, this might not have been a suicide at all but a serial killer.
Of course added to the above investigation Alex is trying to deal with the fact that Holly can only eat faerie food. She also has her own problems with faerie, Alex has to choose a court soon or declare herself independent. Additionally Falin is still in thrall to the Winter Queen and Death is still... well Death...so her love life sucks too.
This was a wonderful book. It has a lot of complex entertwiing elements that are interesting and engaging. Any one of these things would make a good story on its own, but all woven together it makes for a fascinating read.
I love how each book has a major investigation that needs to be solved, but also continues with the broader story about Alex discovering her Fae nature.
Alex is a great character, she is funny and kind of takes everything in stride. She is resourceful and maybe a bit too impulsive at times, but that makes her even more fun to read about.
I am usually not a fan of love triangles but I have to make an exception for Falin and Death. These are two great mysterious, tortured, and witty male leads. Falin loves Alex and wants to be loyal to her but is sworn to service of the Winter Queen. No matter what, Alex can’t trust him until his oaths to the Winter Queen are broken. Sadly he actually isn’t in the story a ton, and when he is it’s nothing but emotional turmoil for him and Alex.
Death is absolutely wonderful. We finally learn a lot more about the mystery behind his character. If I had to pick someone for Alex it would be Death, he loves her so much, he is so funny, and he knows her so well. I loved, loved, loved the scenes between him and Alex. I love his character and hope he features in future books as well!
Mostly my heart just hurts for Alex...she deserves to have someone, she is just so lonely in this book. The book wraps up with a delightful teaser.
Overall a wonderful read. The plot is complex and interesting, I am completely engaged with the characters, and love this world. I can’t wait to see what happens next. This series is highly recommended to urban fantasy fans; it’s one of the better urban fantasy series out there!
This is a great series. The mystery plot in the book is good. The characters are likeable and believable. What I really like is that the lead characters personal life takes a back seat to the mystery. I can't wait until the next comes out.
Say something about yourself!
Alex is still seeing the dead and losing her eyesight. She is working with her college BFF and dealing with the fact that she is more fairy than she thought. When she is not bemoaning her fairy status, she feels guilty that her roommate must now eat fairy food. Her home is searched by her former love who consort to the Winter Queen. Because he is under a spell which prohibits him from speaking to Alex and Death (her other lover) cannot communicate with her, Alex’s love life is down in the dumps. So there is a little fairy action, death action and of course ghost action. It is an entertaining and fun read.
I always look forward to spending time in the world of Alex Craft! She is a strong, clever, and intelligent protagonist caught up in a world of potentially deadly Fae machinations and politics.At the same time, she strives to protect loved ones and those in need from the magical or otherworldly dangers that increasingly seem to be effecting the mortal world. This is a fun, fast-paced series, and I'm looking forward to Alex's further adventures!
This was a great third book, but it would be nice to have more Falin/Alex in the next book. I loved the end! It really was the best part!Looking forward to the next installment in this series!
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