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Grave Witch: Alex Craft Series, Book 1 | [Kalayna Price]

Grave Witch: Alex Craft Series, Book 1

Not even death can save her now. As a grave witch, Alex Craft can speak to the dead---she's even on good terms with Death himself. As a consultant for the police, she's seen a lot of dark magic, but nothing has prepared her for her latest case.
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Publisher's Summary

Not even death can save her now. As a grave witch, Alex Craft can speak to the dead---she's even on good terms with Death himself. As a consultant for the police, she's seen a lot of dark magic, but nothing has prepared her for her latest case. When she's raising a "shade" involved in a high-profile murder, it attacks her, and then someone makes an attempt on her life. Someone really doesn't want her to know what the dead have to say, and she'll have to work with mysterious homicide detective Falin Andrews to figure out why.

©2010 Kalayna Proce (P)2011 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"[A] captivating series debut." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (692 )
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4.0 (577 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Katie JOHNS CREEK, GA, United States 01-11-13
    Katie JOHNS CREEK, GA, United States 01-11-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fascinating story!"
    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    The story really is fascinating. I put off reading this book despite recommendations because it looked and sounded a little cheesy. When I finally started reading it, I was completely sucked into the story. I liked it so much, I even bought the audiobook when it was on sale. I didn't like the performance of any of the male voices but I had no issues with the main character's voice so it wasn't too bad.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pam Bicknell, IN, United States 09-03-12
    Pam Bicknell, IN, United States 09-03-12 Member Since 2009
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    8
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    "Just did not get into it"

    felt like I should already know all the different kinds of magic that she had concocted in her mind. Looking for a good series, for me this is not it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    crazybatcow East Coast, Canada 07-12-13
    crazybatcow East Coast, Canada 07-12-13 Member Since 2007

    I like Jack Reacher style characters regardless of setting. Put them in outer space, in modern America, in a military setting, on an alien planet... no worries. Book has non moralistic vigilante-justice? Sign me up! (oh, I read urban fantasy, soft and hard sci-fi, trashy vampire and zombie novels too)

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A reasonable entry in the urban fantasy world."

    I hadn't been expecting much from this book... I figured it was going to be another generic Urban Fantasy heroine who solves some weak mystery and falls for some strong, mysterious and handsome guy.

    Well, I was partly right. It is urban fantasy. Alex is a stronger than usual character, and the mystery is actually a bit suspenseful. There is some romantic tension that is not over done, and there isn't the usual UF couple dozen pages of soft flowery porn. Oh, okay, there is a bit of that, but it wasn't the whole point of the story. There is actually a bit of a plot outside of the sex, and the characters feel like they are distinctly drawn.

    I don't know that it stands out from the genre a whole bunch, but it is as strong as some of the better ones (such as Caine's Weather series, or Kim Harrison's Dead Witch series). I like the main character, and her romantic interest, and the world is unique and interesting enough that you don't feel like you're reading a do-over of someone else's work. I have bought the next one in the series, but this one did not end on a cliff-hanger so you won't feel forced to buy the next one.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Berls 11-23-14
    Berls 11-23-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Awesome World and Characters"

    You ever buy a book and then forget you bought it? And then when you do remember you bought it, you forget why? Well, that’s what happened with Grave Witch. And as a result, it sat in my Audible library for about a year and a half, unread. I can’t tell you how frustrated I am with myself for letting that happen, because Grave Witch was everything I love in Urban Fantasy – a solid world with fascinating, unique and well explained magical systems. A strong, gets-herself-into-loads-of-trouble heroine, good friends, great mystery, and the fae!

    I was pretty much instantly hooked on Grave Witch. When the story opens, Alex Craft has just finished raising a shade – a person’s memory that remains attached to the body after death without their soul and emotions – for a client. A client who is unhappy with how the ritual went and doesn’t want to pay her. As she’s trying to get her fee, she sees Death – at least that’s what she calls the Soul Collector she’s had a crush on since she was a young girl – and yeah, he’s there to collect the soul of the man she’s trying to get her money from. That’s the kind of luck Alex has. The bad kind.

    So yeah, I kind of loved Alex immediately. A girl who’s splitting a pickle – the only food left in her fridge – with her dog is the sort of girl I can totally relate to and would love to be friends with. That she calls her dog P.C., short for “Prince Charming” is just another sign I’d love her. And we haven’t even gotten to her abilities.

    Alex is what’s called a Weird Witch – she has abilities that aren’t about casting spells, but are natural and unavoidable. The majority of witches are just humans with the ability to harness magic and perform spells. Alex actually kinda sucks at that kind of magic. But she’s a bad ass grave witch and sensitive. Being a sensitive just means she can see through spells – she knows when someone is wearing a charm and what it’s for. She can feel and SEE (with her other sight) magic. Being a grave witch allows Alex to SEE the world of the dead. She can SEE ghosts. She can SEE soul collectors (like Death) and she can raise shades. She happens to have some extraordinary abilities even for a grave witch, but I’ll let you read to figure those out.

    But Alex is not really your kick ass heroine. She’s very vulnerable because her magic takes a toll. The more time she spends SEEING the land of the dead, letting her grave essence work, the colder her body temperature gets and the longer it will take her to fully recover her eyesight. She’s always almost completely night-blind and after rituals she at least needs glasses to see clearly, and that’s on a good day. I love this kind of complexity in my magic systems and it totally carried over to the world building. I never felt like I was getting an info dump, but I also never felt lost about this world. Everything is constructed to so well and seamlessly into the plot. In this world, about 70 years ago the Fae came “out of the Mushroom Ring” – that is, told humans about their existence – because humans had stopped believing in the Fae. Without belief, they were ceasing to exist. Them coming out led to discoveries of other magic users as well as whole areas of the world that had been hidden because of disbelief/fae glamour. Freaking cool right? There’s lots of little details, but you just need to read it to savor them all. Trust me!

    Relationships play a really big part in Grave Wtich as well – from family ties, to friendships, and of course the men. I have to say I loved every single aspect of each relationship dynamic. The family situation is truly complex – but basically, Alex was disowned by her father when she couldn’t hide her abilities. She was shipped off to witch school and eventually changed her name from Alexis Crane to Alex Craft. Oh and for shits and giggles, her father is Lt. Governor of Necros (where they live, one of those rediscovered areas) and a representative of the Humans First Party —> READ: The party that doesn’t like Fae or Witches. So yeah, lots of warm family feelings. The friends are Alex’s TRUE family and I just love seeing those kinds of friendships in my books. There’s disagreement but there’s also solidarity and trust that just makes me smile.

    The men… okay, so we do have a dreaded love triangle going on here, but to tell you the truth, it doesn’t bother me one bit. You’ve got Death – soul collector – and Falin Andrews – annoying new-to-Necros cop that won’t leave Alex alone. They’re both bad boys in their own ways, which is fun. They’re both full of secrets. They’re both sexy as hell. And as of right now, I’m kinda rooting more for Falin, but really wouldn’t be disappointed either way.

    I haven’t even talked about the mystery and action – but if you’ve read any of The Hollows by Kim Harrison, you get the feel these books have. There’s a couple of sub-plots carrying Grave Witch forward, but there’s also layers upon layers of problems and mysteries to solve that we have barely scraped the surface of.

    The narrator, Emily Durante, only added to my enjoyment of Grave Witch. She nailed the voices for everyone – including the men. I can’t imagine reading the books now, but I’m sure that if I do, I’ll hear her voices. A definite for your audio wish list!

    Needless to say I’m hooked and jumped immediately into book 2 – Grave Dance – as soon as I finished Grave Witch. I highly recommend this series for fans of Urban Fantasy and the Fae (though we haven’t gotten THAT into the Fae yet, we will)!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    barc2003 Glendale, AZ, United States 03-13-14
    barc2003 Glendale, AZ, United States 03-13-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Witches and Fey have come out of the caldron"

    Witches and Fey have come out of the caldron, so to speak. What does one call a private investigator who is also a witch? Well a Magic Eye, of course.

    Seriously this was a pretty decent whodunit where the main character is a witch and some of the friends are human some are fey and they are all fun.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shelley Chatsworth CA 02-18-14
    Shelley Chatsworth CA 02-18-14 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Ruined by the narrator"

    I don't know why I purchased this first in a series. It must have been on sale because almost all the reviewers felt the same way that I did. The narrator actually reads it like text to speech and so stilted that I could not get through the first chapter.

    Other reviewers have said that story picks up, but I'm not waiting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Moe 12-05-13
    Moe 12-05-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    53
    6
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    "Meh"

    This book had so much potential but in my opinion the narrator completely ruined it for me. I almost turned it off because of her but because I like the premise of the book, I kept going. It did get better towards the end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Knoxville, TN, United States 12-04-13
    Linda Knoxville, TN, United States 12-04-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    45
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    3
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    "Suprisingly Good"

    I honestly wasn't sure about this story when I read the synopsis, it seemed kind of questionable. And even the first hour or two I figured I would listen to it and move on it wasn't bad, it wasn't good. And then I got hooked, what started off as kind of ify, became enthralling such that if I was doing other things and I missed something I was rewinding it to hear what I missed. The story and the use of the magic / different types of magic, blended with the Fae world into a cohesive whole was unique and well done. They detective storyline that led through out the books was well done and suspenseful. The romantic triangle that pops up in the story adds a bit for the romantic type and also tosses in some amusing scenes as well. I ended up enjoying it so much that I actually stared at my phone that it was over and immediately started book 2.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patsy G. 11-23-13
    Patsy G. 11-23-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Couldn't even make it to the end"

    First I hate a weak main character , this girl just can't stand whinnying-ness ..bought all three book and didn't even finish book one, returning.... As far as narrator, it was passable, can't say for sure it it was her voice or the words that made me dislike the story..

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Zulu 08-22-13
    Zulu 08-22-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    7
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    "Loved it"

    This had a new twist on the fantasy world of witches. The main character is a grave witch which means she can raise shades which take solid form so they can be questioned. One even testifies in court for the first time. She can also see ghosts and into different realms. She's even unique among grave witches because she can see Death and interact with him. There are great supporting characters, like a gargoyle that she can actually talk to, a fae landlord There's a mystery that keeps the plot moving. She has a great sense of humor and bad luck seems to follow her around. I can't wait to listen to book 2 to see how her personal life develops which seems to have two contenders right now.

    The narrator was okay but could have put a little more life into the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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