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Series: Alex Craft #4
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Fourth in the Alex Craft urban fantasy series and revolving around a grave witch living in Nekros City, Texas.
Geez, Alex’s life is beyond complicated. Using her grave witch powers too often will result in her going blind before 30. Worse, she’s in love with Falin. He loves her. And he’s compelled to obey his queen, who hath no love for Alex. You can imagine how often Alex has been at the point of death at Falin’s unwilling hands!
While there are several events in Grave Visions that will have long-term effects (and introduces a new problem that affects Alex personally — and does lead to a new playhouse in Caleb’s backyard, lol), this seems to be more of a bridge novel between really major issues.
It’s one thing to repeat “facts” to ensure the reader understands. And then there’s repeating to the point of too much. Price also drives me a bit nuts with the trope in which the protagonist knows she needs to learn how to use her magic, and refuses to.
Iron isn’t the only danger for the fae. Being severed for a lengthy period of time, not being attached to a court, can cause a fae to fade into death. And drain anyone to whom she’s attached. Belief is a big part of Grave Visions. Primarily in the need the fae have for humans to believe in them.
“Belief magic really was the damnedest thing. It could enact a glamour that killed, but it could also guard a small boy who believed in the protection of a teddy bear.”
The Winter Queen has ordered Falin to keep watch on Alex 24/7. That means living with and sleeping with…Alex. Detective Jenson is in a bind with a series of deaths that make no sense. And Alex discovers she has a life-threatening condition. Two of them, actually.
Alexis “Lexi” Craft is a grave witch who can communicate with the dead and a planeweaver, a very rare skill. She’s also half fae of the Sleagh Maith ruling line. The knife she carries is fae-wrought and expects to be fed when pulled. PC is her Chinese crested dog. Caleb is a Green man, fae, and Alex’s landlord. He’s also heavily involved with Holly, a human assistant DA and best friend to Alex. Death, a grim reaper, is Alex’s forbidden lover and best friend since childhood. Roy Pearson, a computer programmer when he was alive, is the ghost who works as Alex’s self-appointed sidekick.
Tongues for the Dead is…
…Alex and Rianna McBride‘s business. She’s also Alex’s once-lost-now-found best friend, a grave witch, a changeling, and fellow private detective. And she has to live in Alex’s enchanted castle in Faerie. Desmond is a barghest and Rianna’s constant companion. Ms. B is a brownie who has been housekeeper at the castle forever, now she’s acting as receptionist for the girls’ business.
Her fae father, George Caine, plays the long game. He’d been Nekros’ first governor, and 50 years later, he’s governor again. Part of that long game is joining the Humans First party. Casey had been Alex’s sister.
Falin Andrews is the Winter Queen’s knight, her Bloody Hands, lover and the head of the mortal realm-based local FIB office. The Winter Queen is determined to add Alex (and her skills) to her court. Her council includes Ryese, the queen’s nasty nephew, angry at Alex’s constant rejection; Maeve; Lysell; and, Blayne. Icelyne, a frost fae, and Snowlilly were two of the queen’s handmaidens. Rath is what the queen’s dungeons are called.
The Shadow King, Nandin, is scary and Alex’s great-grand uncle. Dugan is a prince of the shadow court…and Alex’s betrothed. Kyran is the usurper kingling of the nightmare realm. The Queen of Light is sister to the Winter Queen.
Tommy Rawhead, a red cap hobgoblin, and Jenny Greentheeth, a hag, crash Tamara’s wedding. Malik Shellycoat and, I think, Peg Powler, who likes to hunt in dank, putrid bogs, are both independents. Nixies are harmless, childlike water spirits.
Nekros City Law Enforcement
The pregnant Tamara Greene is the lead medical examiner, a witch and scientist, and one of Alex’s closest friends. She and Ethan are getting married; Alex and Holly are her bridesmaids. Mrs. Greene is a major bridezilla. Too bad she’s the mother. Donella is Tamara’s sister. Detective John Matthews used to be friendly with Alex, hiring her as a consultant. Not anymore. Detective Jenson is John’s partner and doesn’t like Alex. Partly because he’s a glamourized fae.
The Eternal Bloom is…
…a fae bar built around an amaranthine tree. All fae are required to frequent the bar. It attracts human attention and increases their belief which makes the fae stronger. It’s also a portal into Faerie. Do not, however, do any dancing. One of the bartenders is a satyr.
Lusa Duncan is the star reporter for the city’s witchy news station; Todd is a fellow anchorman. The Mender is Death’s boss. The Reaper is a fellow soul collector who has also been hiding things from the Mender.
The victims include…
…Emma Langley was giving herself a pedicure. Jeremy Watts was her boyfriend. Gavin Murphy was riding a unicorn. Bruce Martain and Shannon were about to enjoy their after-prom. Little Sam with his teddy bear, Lancelot, and Molly are trapped in a burning house. Maryanne Johnson is a very miserable client.
Glitter is a drug that causes hallucinations. Humans First is an antiwitch, antifae organization. Only the seasons have direct doors to the mortal realm, so only the seasons have independent fae.
The Cover and Title
The cover is primarily blues in the night with a city skyline lit up in the background and an arch of stone and wrought iron in the foreground. Alex is front (and slightly off-center) in a royal blue support tank and jeans with a wide belt holding that fae-wrought knife at her hip. The author’s name and most information is in white while the title is in orange.
The title could be applied in one of two ways: the Grave Visions that push the victims over the edge or Alex’s visions of the souls trapped within.