Publisher: Roc (July 1, 2012)
ebook: 350 pages
Series: Alex Craft #3
Add on: Goodreads
Rating: 5 of 5 stars
As a Grave Witch, Alex solves murders by raising the dead—an ability that comes at a cost, and after her last few cases, that cost is compounding. But her magic isn’t the only thing causing havoc in her life. While she’s always been on friendly terms with Death himself, things have recently become a whole lot more close and personal. Then there’s her sometime partner, agent Falin Andrews, who is under the glamour of the Winter Queen. To top everything off, her best friend has been forever changed by her time spent captive in Faerie.
But the personal takes a backseat to the professional when a string of suicides occur in Nekros City and Alex is hired to investigate. The shades have no memory of the days leading up to their brutal endings, so despite the very public apparent suicides, this is murder. But what kind of magic can overcome the human will to survive? And why do the shades lack the memory of their deaths? Searching for the answer might mean Alex won’t have a life to remember at all…
With each new book, Ms. Kalayna Price manages to outdo herself. The big bad always gets bigger and badder. This investigation starts after Rianna and Alex discover there is a suicide near their new office. This is not a bad guy easily trifled with especially given how much is unknown, which means Alex inevitably ends up immersed in the case to catch him. Despite the looming threat of the bad guy, there are fun moments in the book.
“I think I should have my own office.”
“You’re a ghost.”
“Yeah, but you’re not using the room next door.”
“Roy, that’s a broom closet.”
Roy is Alex’s ghost sidekick that she met in the first book, Grave Witch. He’s good for reconnaissance and humor. And luckily, he’s just a friend that has no romantic entanglements with Alex. Maybe because he’s a ghost. But, then again, Death is a soul collector and somehow he and Alex manage.
The romantic complications do not want to untangle themselves. If anything, Alex’s romance troubles just seem to get more complicated with each book. This book sees Alex and Death become closer while Falin was kept on a tight leash by the Winter Queen. Regardless of that tight leash, Falin still made it clear that he was very much enamoured with Alex. Death is steadfast in his feeling, even as the other soul collectors try to keep the two separate. All in all, it’s a tough decision to make, especially since there doesn’t appear to be much of a future with either parties.
Then, in addition to all that craziness, we throw in Briar Darque of Magical Crimes Investigation Bureau. She is convinced that Alex is behind some bad happenings in Nekros City because of her relation to the previous big cases that were left with inexplicable endings seen in the first two books. Even though, Alex isn’t the one behind the ghouls (because, btw, let’s throw in some ghouls to make Alex a happy, busy girl), Ms. Darque doesn’t believe Alex is an innocent bystander and keeps a close eye on her, which both helps and hinders Alex in her own investigations.
Despite Alex’s tenuous (and basically nonexistent) relationship with her father, she does rely on him in crucial moments. It’s interesting to watch his character develop slowly through the books. Since we only ever get to see him for brief periods, it’s hard to fully understand his character and his motivations, but it was a treat to see how he interacted with Alex in this book.
Overall, this was a fantastic addition to a fun, adventurous urban fantasy. Alex Craft is a sympathetic character that kicks butt and has some sizzling hot romances. The ending of this book has me wishing for book 4 like a crazy person, which is definitely a good sign. This is a great series for anyone who enjoys a well thought out urban fantasy with some fun characters and some great mysteries.
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