Grave Dance: Spooky fun

Grave Dance (Alex Craft) Mass Market Paperback – July 5, 2011 by Kalayna Price urban fantasy book reviews Kalayna Price Alex Craft 1. Grave WitchGrave Dance by Kalayna Price

Grave Dance is the follow-up to Kalayna Price’s first Alex Craft novel, Grave Witch. I had mixed emotions about Grave Witch, but I’m happy to report that Grave Dance is stronger and more original.

It’s a month since we last saw Alex Craft. She’s angry with Falin for vanishing from her life, conflicted about Death’s interest in her, and reeling from the new knowledge that she’s part fae. Her new case is a baffling one — she finds a number of feet, but not the bodies they belonged to. Then she and her friends are attacked by strange creatures, and Alex’s search for the connection between the feet and the creatures leads her deeper into the world of the fae. Oh, and Falin’s back, but Alex isn’t quite sure where his loyalties lie …

Grave Dance got off to a bit of a slow start with me, and I was never able to put my finger on why. But by the end of the book, Price had me compulsively turning pages as she revealed more and more of the fae realm — a great mix of beauty and creepiness — and as Alex raced to get to the bottom of the crimes and protect her loved ones.

Alex comes into her own as a character in Grave Dance. In the first book, I thought she was a little too much like Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake, but now I feel like I know her better and she doesn’t remind me of Anita much at all. If I were to compare her to another urban fantasy heroine now, it would probably be Devon Monk’s Allie Beckstrom. Alex, like Allie, can do awesome things with magic but always has to pay a price afterward.

Grave Dance is a good second installment in the series and has put Price on my mental list of “authors who write cool fae realms.” Check this one out for some spooky fun.

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KELLY LASITER, with us since July 2008, is a mild-mannered academic administrative assistant by day, but at night she rules over a private empire of tottering bookshelves. Kelly is most fond of fantasy set in a historical setting (a la Jo Graham) or in a setting that echoes a real historical period (a la George RR Martin and Jacqueline Carey). She also enjoys urban fantasy and its close cousin, paranormal romance, though she believes these subgenres’ recent burst in popularity has resulted in an excess of dreck. She is a sucker for pretty prose (she majored in English, after all) and mythological themes.

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