Grave Witch

Grave Witch - Kalayna Price Originally posted at WickedLilPixie Reviews
3.5 Stars
Alex Grave is a private investigator for her own company Tongues for the Dead. She uses her abilities as a grave witch – the power to raise and speak to the dead – from assisting family members seeking closure with a dead loved one, to helping the police solve a homicide, and everything in between. She agrees to help her sister, whom she is somewhat estranged from, and quickly finds herself in the middle of death and mayhem.

Grave Witch is the first book in Kalayna Price’s Alex Craft series. There were elements about the protagonist, Alexis, that made her completely relatable as well as likable. One touch that I really liked was that every time she raises a shade her eyesight goes wonky and she becomes nearly blind. She is completely vulnerable with her limited sight and that gave her such an element of relatability to me, as someone who wears very very strong contacts. I could really relate to her feeling of helplessness during those periods, when things are happening all around her and she can’t freaking see! I felt right there with her in her confusion and frustration. Also, I liked that she was down and out broke, also another element that makes her easy to empathize with.

My biggest issue with Grave Witch… There is a sexual tryst between Alex and a male character that is unprotected and the issue of STDs or birth control are never mentioned. I wish Ms Price had taken the time to make a character grab and open and put on a condom! Or mention if the male’s species (should he happen to not be human) can’t carry or transmit diseases, or have her freak out afterwards that she’s a dumbass and needs to get a morning-after pill. All of these can be done in a sentence or two. I read and re-read the section hoping that I missed something, but I didn’t. This really disappointed me, In this day in age with all the PNR and Romance books I’ve read, protection is a topic always addressed and the lack of its mention unfortunately stood out as a fail.

Nonetheless, the story moves really quickly and Ms Price doesn’t spend too much time at any one time over describing characters or scenes, it just naturally flows. There is some fae mythology, which is nicely done. Some of the magical drama got a bit confusing for me, the other types of witches did not seem to be clearly defined as I’d have liked. The secondary characters are fun, particularly Death. Another issue I had was that Death turned from a real cold mean bad ass at the beginning of the book (Hellooo, he is DEATH), to a love-struck Emo boy at the end of the book. Hmmmm. Also, I am not usually a fan of a love triangle but it looks as though that is where the series is headed.

All in all, Grave Witch is an entertaining light read with enough compelling magic and charming characters that will keep you engaged. Despite the issues I had with the book, I enjoyed it enough that I am definitely going to read the next book in the series, Grave Dance, out in July 2011.