Usually by book 3 I’m able to determine whether or not I love a series. Well, I’m now fully into the world of Alex Craft and while good, I still don’t feel as invested in the long haul.
There are some interesting developments in Nekros City; a string of suicides leaves Alex with many questions and few answers as she investigates these occurrences. The shades of these bodies all possess no memory of their final days, meaning that there’s a big chance these people are actually murder victims. Facing magical adversaries she has never encountered before is always risky, especially as she navigates through her own evolution into her fae heritage, but this time the stakes may be too high.
While I am not totally in love with this series, in terms of the overall actual story, I thought this was the most interesting. I mean, suicide that may not be suicide? What a mindf*ck! I was quite invested in how Alex would solve the crime this time. My favorite scene for this series is still probably the last quarter of the second novel, Grave Dance, where she is fully immersed into the world of Faerie, but the overarching mystery was more compelling here.
All of everyone’s favorite supporting characters are back and just as involved as ever. I do like that her problems strike close enough to home to put her friends in real danger, not just the fodder characters. It makes me wonder how far Kalayna Price is willing to go. I’m most interested in learning more about her Faerie roots and her destiny. It seems all but certain that she will be a huge player when it comes to its future.
One can’t talk about this series without bringing up the love triangle. I was all but expecting to pull a switcheroo and get on the Team Death bandwagon, but after reading it I still prefer Falin. I’m not anti-Death and he gets more points here, but I was hoping for more substantial screentime with him this time around. Price still spends more time telling us about him and Alex than showing us like we get to see with Falin and Alex. There is undoubtedly more movement for them (I’m coining it Dalex if nobody has yet); I know he loves her and will sacrifice for her, I get it. But to keep this triangle going it’s becoming formulaic, so I wonder why I should still care at all. I can certainly say this isn’t changing my mind about love-triangles. They still blow.
Book 4 is due out next year, so maybe I will have some time to miss this world and it will be refreshing to see it again. Things are certainly about to get REALLY interesting based on the semi-cliffhanger ending…
Business is picking up a little more for Alex Craft as this time it is up to her to solve a peculiar string of murders…or so we assume. Instead of bodies turning up police are merely finding body parts, namely the left feet of several people. This makes it particularly difficult for Alex who cannot raise a shade without a body (I’m thinking a head and torso would suffice).
This means she needs to call upon the magic of her friends, but that also puts them in the line of fire along with Alex herself as she draws the attention of the Fae court. Can she fend them off and get out of it in one piece?
I would say that I enjoyed Grave Dance a little more than Grave Witch, but that’s not saying too much. I am still finding it hard to become attached to the characters and the world at this point. There are a few interesting developments, particularly Alex’s eye sight which is at risk every time she uses her magic. Her normal sight is steadily depleting, making me wonder if she’ll eventually be in the dark permanently.
Secrets are still slowly unraveling, but I still found myself wondering about a number of plot points, particularly when it comes to her father. He is more interesting this time around, but I wanted more questions answered about his motivations and his heritage. There is also the character Death. Her meetings with him are very sporadic and their feelings for one another are crossing lines into the taboo territory for reasons that we have yet to learn. So he remains mysterious.
The love triangle is an obvious focal point of this series, though it’s hard for me to buy it. Death seems like the better choice, but only because he doesn’t have the same baggage as Falin. She doesn’t have any more chemistry with Death than Falin, but she gets more screen time with Falin so at this point I’m liking Falin more. I don’t dislike Death, but I have a habit of getting attached to my first choices, so I’m trying to brace myself for disappointment. I hope it concludes soon enough one way or the other. This is why I don’t like triangles.
Towards the end of the book the plot really picks up out of nowhere and I went from being mildly interested to not being able to put it down. Kalayna Price’s writing shines best when writing about Faerie, and I couldn’t wait for Alex to go back. I doubt this will be the end we see of it.
Usually by the third book I can tell if a series will become a favorite. I’m still on the fence about this one, so I guess that means I’ll have to give Book 3 a try.
Sometimes when you’ve read a fantastic book it can be a hard act to follow, so perhaps that why I wasn’t immediately pulled into this book. Grave Witch is the start of the Alex Craft series by Kalayna Price. Alex is a low rent “Magic eye” (a derogatory term for a witch private investigator), but her abilities are anything but.
She can to speak to the dead—even to the point of befriending Death himself—making her a valuable asset for the police. And her skills are needed now more than ever for a high profile murder case that puts her life and the lives of those close to her on the line. Even with the aid of the mysterious detective Falin Andrews, the powers that be in the supernatural and human world may be more of a challenge than she can handle.
The book isn’t a difficult read at all, so even though I didn’t find myself invested in the plot until the half-way point, it was certainly bearable. I think Alex has relatable qualities. She doesn’t really carry that “too stupid to live” attitude like a number of other heroines. There were scenes where I could imagine other heroines taking a more self-righteous route, but Alex is young, poor, and struggling, and her reactions to adversity are more realistic as a result of this. It was refreshing.
Thankfully, I was prepared for a love triangle ahead of time. Sometimes that helps my mindset, but I am still not a fan of the idea. At this point in this series it isn’t too annoying, but this is only the introduction to the series so I am expecting a lot of development in the following books. So far I don’t have a preference because I have enjoyed the screentime with both Death and Falin. But it’s also a little too familiar. It’s not the only series where the heroine’s guardian angel (of sorts) develops feelings for her while carrying disdain for her current otherworldly boy toy.
While I don’t give the series many points for originality, it doesn’t quite feel like a throwaway. It’s a solid read, there’s room to grow, and I will read the next book just to see where things go.
Thanks for your input, everyone! This poll confirms that my indecision was clearly justified. It really was a tight race! I’ll start with Dorina (which I am enjoying quite a bit already), and then it”ll just be a toss up from there. I am so excited!!
I’m going to do a quick poll this weekend because I am conflicted as to which novel I want to start this coming Monday, though I may leave it ongoing to decide which series should follow. Hopefully you guys can help me out! Keep in mind that I typically like to read books in a series back to back, so the longer the series, the longer it will take for me to get to something else.
Grave Witch (Alex Craft #1) – I’ve been meaning to get around to this series for some time. I’ve heard good things and book 3 was released this July.
First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson #1) – another series that I’ve heard good things about. The fourth book is due out on October 30th (along with like…3 other books I’ve been eying >_>).
Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress #1) – Cat and Bones, I know I know. It’s taken me a while to get around to this one because I was pretty unimpressed with one of her spin-off PNR novels. But I hear this series is more UF and many seem to like it, so I’ve finally come around to being willing to give it a try. This series has 6 books out already and I’ll be honest and say that even though I have polled it, I likely won’t read this first since it already has so many books out. I honestly only added this to the mix because “Grave” seems to be a pretty popular trend here when it comes to these titles, and I find that amusing :P.
Midnight’s Daughter (Dorina Basarab #1) – I have my quirks with the Cassie Palmer series, namely Cassie, but I’ve been told by a number of people that Dorina is actually more likeable. The third book is due out on October 2nd, a date that is fast-approaching.
So please VOTE and share your thoughts!
Only a couple of blog posts ago I was sort of ranting about this series and whether or not I would be able to keep going. As much as its quirks get on my nerves, I can’t really see myself actually stopping and not seeing Pritkin’s story unfold. While I do think Mircea has potential to be interesting, so far I don’t think the series is living up to it. Pritkin on the other hand remains shrouded in mystery and intrigue even as a lot of his background comes to light. After reading his short story, I think I would love this series if it were primarily from his point of view.
The story itself is just okay for me, but it’s rare that novella’s are as compelling as a full novel. What I really liked the most was the potential and getting a little taste of John’s world from his perspective and seeing how he juggles several responsibilties from his dedication to Cassie, his heritage, and his mission. I would probably be a Cassie/Pritkin shipper more easily if it were from his point of view. If you like the ship, I really don’t think you’re going to want to miss this one. It’s just too bad Karen Chance has to follow the trend and keep her urban fantasy series from the female’s point of view.
Just forewarning that I do have a bit of a rant ahead in general, and it contains some spoilers.
I was considering writing more, but I realized this would either be super long or fairly short, so I’m taking the shorter route. After much lauding I finally got around to the Cassie Palmer Saga. I expected a lot of action and supposedly a ton of love interests that would leave me not knowing which team I shipped. That’s not really my thing but I gave it a try anyway…and this series only affirms why is isn’t. The series kicks off with a ton of options, but by the 5th book there’s really only two as one was swept under the rug. The first one gets a little side story that I’m in the middle of reading now (though it feels like such an afterthought since I know the character literally goes nowhere) after he’s just used as a plot device to take Cassie’s virtue.
As for the other two, they are at least interesting as characters in their own right, but I really have a hard time even beginning to talk about their complications with Cassie. You have Pritkin (the overwhelming fan favorite), who starts out trying to kill her, yet they end up in a partnership and grow close over the course of the series. Then there’s Mircea, super mysterious vampire, Dracula’s big bro, Senate member, and super sexy to boot who is Cassie’s current boyfriend, though it’s hard to tell most times. The only real reason for their attraction initially was because of a spell. With that done, why still go there with Pritkin obviously poised to be end game? Mircea’s busy trying to lock her away, never telling her anything and then Pritkin’s always around for the action. To me it just doesn’t feel like a real contest, so I was really irritated to hear the “L” word (for “love” not “lesbian”~_^) thrown around for Cassie and Mircea and then you have the kind of ending for this book where it’s very obvious she loves Pritkin and vice-versa. Her issues with Mircea are dragged out and out and out to where it now just seems stupid. I just don’t really see the point of them being together. I feel like it’s been books since Cassie can’t figure out who a special brunette girl is that Mircea keeps photos of. Of course, if you’re not Cassie you know it’s Dorina, Mircea’s daughter (only because she’s the focal character in the spin-off series). And actually as I think about it, it’s been 3 years, 3 Cassie Palmer books, and 2 Dorina books. What gives?
So after 5 books, I officially declare that I am not “Team Pritkin” or “Team Mircea”. Cassie ruins both for me. I’m not sure if others aren’t quite bothered because as far as Pritkin’s concerned, it’s a matter of “when” they get together, not “if,” so pretty much anything Karen Chance throws in there in the meantime means nothing. But that just doesn’t jive with me. I don’t support either ship enough to validate essentially making Cassie…kind of a hoe. Not really sure what else you can call it. Cassie doesn’t really think on it much herself, be it before or after which is even more stupid.
I’m also not a huge fan of the pace. It’s super fast and a lot of the action is really difficult to get into. I have taken a liking to her body guard, Marco. Sometimes you just feel bad for the guy since he’s pretty much responsible for Cassie and she’s always off nearly getting herself killed. No, she can’t sit tight and look pretty, but there’s got to be a middle ground. Neither side is wrong per se.
I was strongly considering the Dorina Basarab series, but I hear that it’s just as fast-paced and on-the-go as Cassie Palmer. A better lead female (at least for me because I’m not a Cassie fan at all) and no stupid “triangle” would be a plus, but the pacing usually exhausts me and I just READ the stuff so I’m not sure if I want to get to that right away. There are a number of other series in the TBR pile that I’m more excited to get around to in the meantime.
Not sure if I will keep up with this series or not. I may read a couple of spoilers first. I would wait until couple of books are out, but I suspect that too much Cassie at once is more irritating than one every year, so I’m at a loss… We’ll just see how I feel in 2012. I mostly want to see what happens to Pritkin (as a character, not a love interest though I predict she’ll end up with him), but since Book 6 won’t be the final book I can expect the same song and dance, dragging it all out.