USA Today Best Selling author Kalayna Price last graced the literary world with any sort of release in 2012 with “Grave Memory” the third novel in her highly-popular “Alex Craft” series. These novels follow the continuing adventures of Alex Craft– a police consultant who also happens to be a “grave witch” with the unique ability to commune with the dead. As a matter of fact, she’s also on very good terms with Death himself. But when one of the “shades” she’s raising suddenly attacks her (something that she thought was impossible) and attempts are made on her life, Alex must come face to face with a variety of new threats- both mortal and paranormal alike.
In the Alex Craft universe, Price manages to create a new form of magic that is difficult to find with so many other fantasy stories out there. Everything has a cost, and the heroine doesn’t just get everything (or really anything) handed to her. Each book in the series is very fast-paced and easy to read, while still coming across as intelligent with Price’s own witty and sarcastic sense of humor only adding to the overall enjoyment of the experience. Combine this with her fantastic pacing, and ability to always leave you wanting to know what happens next, and you can see why this has quickly become a personal favorite series of mine. Mind you, this isn’t the type of story that’s going to leave you sitting deep in thought pondering your life, but it’s a very light, entertaining read that will surely appeal to readers who prefer escapism to realism.
Also of note, as the books progress so does the writing style. Descriptions and explanations become more in-depth and you can tell that the author is trying to flesh out her own writing style and continuously improve rather than letting the series follow the steps of others before it by falling off and causing the reader to lose interest. While much of the setting of the second book may feel like a bit of a jump from the first you have to keep in mind it’s supposed to be a new adventure even if it is part of the same story. The same goes for Book Three… while “Grave Memory” is easy enough to follow on its own, it is highly recommended that you first go back and read Book One (“Grave Witch”) and Book Two (“Grave Dance”) first. Because regardless of how easy they are to follow, who wants to jump into a series on the third act?
Overall, “Grave Memory” is smart, sexy, and most-importantly, fun. It’s a fantastic addition to an already great series. While some might argue that the series does follow a lot of the typical rules of fantasy novels, it also manages to (forgive the pun) craft its own personality, to offer up a really enjoyable and refreshing read. Simply put- if you’re not a fan of urban fantasy (particularly dark urban fantasy) then this one probably isn’t for you, but if you are, then this one may very well become one of your all-time favorites within it. Either way, there is no denying that Kalayna Price is definitely a force to be reckoned with in the realm of fiction/fantasy, and I look forward to seeing more and more from her in the future! No idea why we haven’t seen a release (or honestly, very little public word of any sort) from her since 2012, but whatever the case, let’s hope we see her again real soon! “Grave Memory” (just like the previous two Alex Craft novels) is currently available everywhere books are sold through Roc/Penguin Books. Look it up for yourself via ISBN: 045146459. Amazon UK currently reports that “Grave Visions” – the fourth book in the Alex Craft series is set for release on March 26, 2015, however Amazon US lists the release date as “2099” so very little is known at this time. That said, whenever it actually does come out, I’ll be first in line to pick up a copy!
9.0/10 (when not taking into consideration my own guilty pleasures)
Guest Contributor: Nerd Nation Magazine