Book Review: Kalayna Price’s Grave Dance

Posted January 4, 2013 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Kalayna Price’s Grave Dance

Grave Dance


Kalayna Price

urban fantasy that was published by ROC on July 5, 2011 and has 371 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Grave Witch, Grave Memory, Kicking It, Grave Visions, Grave Ransom

Second in the Alex Craft urban suspense series set in a mythical town and revolving around Alex, a wyrd witch disowned by her family. It’s been a month since Grave Witch.

In 2011, Grave Dance was nominated for the Goodreads Choice for Best Paranormal Fantasy.

My Take

I am loving this series! Price takes our expectations of Faerie and the fae and mixes them up with human society to create an intriguingly fresh world. Nekros City seems to exist independently of the rest of the world. It certainly wasn’t in existence over fifty years ago! Yet, I don’t feel a lack.

Price has a great range of characters from the good to the nasty and it’s important to remember that looks aren’t everything.

I am enjoying the competition between Death and Falin. And I suspect it will only get better as the series progresses. Oh…man, wait’ll you learn about Falin’s misadventures and their cause…hoo, boy.

Alex is having so much more public interaction with Death and no one can see him but Alex. Unless she touches him and pushes some of her power into him. It makes for some interesting encounters, LOL. Then there’s Falin. And, oh man, is Alex ticked at him!

After the big deal that Price had John make about Alex running about with an FIB agent, she doesn’t go anywhere with this. It’s as though someone pointed out that rival law enforcement aren’t supposed to get along and this was the nod to it.

The Story

It’s a foot. It’s a left foot. And it seems the Nekros City morgue is collecting them. The city is also under assault by marauding beasts that are not alive. Everywhere they go, the battle to beat them down results in tears in the aetheric and you’d better pray that their claws don’t touch you, for they carry a wicked spell.

The rulers of Faerie are also interested in Alex. Enough to put the hounds on her. There are too many reasons why they won’t allow Alex to remain independent. Not when she keeps appearing at the wrong kind of crime scenes. Nor will they allow those fae who are already independent to stay that way.

On a more personal note, Rianna has some issues with which she requires Alex’s help. Issues which only create messier problems. Although, they’re not as nasty as Bell’s requests!

The Characters

Turns out that Alexis Craft is Sleagh Maith with a bit of mortal. She uses her abilities as a grave witch to run Tongues for the Dead which “bridges the gap between the world of the living and whatever plane Death existed on”. She consults for the police as well as helping the average citizen contact the dead and business has really picked up for her. She’s also a planeweaver. An ability that the fae had thought died out, but seems to have manifested along with her new ability to see magic after the Blood Moon in Grave Witch. If the fae find out, they’ll drag her off to Faerie and keep her there. Fred is the resident gargoyle on Caleb’s property where Alex lives above the garage (turns out she‘s the equivalent of a high priestess); PC is her Chinese Crested dog. Roy Pearson is a former computer programmer whose body was taken over and is became a ghost who helped Alex in Grave Witch; now he’s a not-so-silent partner. Caleb is fae; Holly is an assistant DA, Alex’s best friend, and a fellow housemate.

Death is a grim reaper, a collector, and he has known Alex all her life. He is also feeling very proprietary and has upped the flirting. “Raver” and “the gray man” are two other soul collectors who work with Death frequently.

Tamara is a charm witch who is the chief medical examiner and another one of Alex’s best friends. Detective John Matthews is with homicide and Alex’s friend; Detective Jenson is his partner and not one of Alex’s fans. He’s got his own secrets that he’s hiding.

Turns out that Falin Andrews is with the Fae Investigation Bureau (FIB) and he’s the Winter Queen’s lover and assassin, but he is also attracted to Alex. An attraction of which Death—and the Winter Queen—disapproves. His neighbor, Tess, at his human apartment is in love with him.

Special Agent Nori is also with FIB and she doesn’t like Alex at all. In fact, she seems overanxious to pin it all on Alex as well as threatening all the independent fae in the area.

Governor George Caine is her father and a member of the HumansFirst Party. He’s actually Sleagh Maith, a royal fae, and deep in hiding. The question is, from whom or what is he hiding? Osier is a brownie who is still with the Caine family and helped raise Alexis. Lusa Duncan is the star reporter for Witch Watch. She’s relentless, but honorable. Dr. Aaron Corrie is a founding member of the Organization for Magically Inclined Humans and absolutely hates the fae. His house is a ad for overkill!

Rianna McBride is a grave witch, Alex’s roommate and friend in college, and part of Coleman’s property now that he’s dead (see Grave Witch). She’s a changeling now and can never leave Faerie and she’s rather peeved at Alex. Desmond is a barghest and very protective of Rianna. Malik Shellycoat is an independent fae with a message for Alex. Mrs. B is the brownie who maintains the castle. And she’s not restricted just to Faerie. I want her to visit me! I could make her feel so wanted… Alex’s Uncle Nandin is the Shadow King. He just can’t wait to get acquainted…uh-huh… King Kyran is a self-made king. He’s simply taking advantage of the situation.

Maximilian Bell, a billionaire who made his money from selling magic spell courses to susceptible humans through his company Spells for the Rest of Us, has his own agenda. Edana is one of the fae freed when Alex stopped the dance in Grave Witch.

It’s been seventy years since Magical Awakening, “the day the fae…announced to the world…that…[they]…existed”. The fae’s announcement was followed by the witches.

The Cover and Title

The cover is shades of gray creating the fore- and background with a nightlit city skyline in the back and a cemetery in front where Alex is pulling power. She stands, facing us, her arms apart and her hands cupped as she stares at the ground, concentrating. Alex is the only color in her blue jeans and weapon-studded belt, wearing a bright green corset-style top studded across the bust and down the front, her shoulder-length, wavy blonde hair hanging loose.

The title refers to the Grave Dance Alex is quickstepping to as she tries to dodge the law, the fey, family, and those too power-hungry to accept.


One response to “Book Review: Kalayna Price’s Grave Dance

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