Wednesday, June 22, 2011
After a month of down time, Grave Witch Alex Craft is ready to get back to solving murders by raising the dead. With her love life in turmoil, Alex is eager for the distractions of work. But when her new case forces her to overuse her magic, it might be the last mystery the Grave Witch ever gets to solve...
barnes and noble
Grave Dance: An Alex Craft Novel
Contest is now closed.
I fell in love with this author and this series with the first book, Grave Witch, and I've been anxious to jump back into this world in the second book, Grave Dance. You can check out my review for Grave Witch right here. So, you may well imagine my delight when my copy arrived. There may or may not have been a happy dance. My motto: If it doesn't show up on YouTube, it didn't actually happen.
In Grave Dance, Alex is facing a new threat as well as still dealing with the repercussions of the events that took place in Grave Witch. I like that this book, while standing alone in plot, builds very well on the story arc that was introduced in the first book. There's a great feeling of continuity and it is very easy to sink back into the world and to reconnect with the characters. Now we find that Alex is dealing with her growing fey powers and also weaknesses that are affecting her life. Business has taken off since the events in Grave Witch and the enigmatic Death has stepped up the heat in their flirtatious relationship. However, one person is noticeably absent: Falin, the man that shoved his way into her life and made her care and then disappeared without so much as a word or warning.
I love that Alex has no problem loving her friends, but when it comes to romantic relationships, she's like a fish out of water. She doesn't want to care for Falin and she knows that a real relationship with Death, a soul collector, is less than realistic, but these two dynamic and secretive men have gotten under her skin and they have no intention of stepping aside and making it easy for her.
I like Death. I love the parts with him and the other soul collectors and I'm enjoying what we've been slowly learning about them. Having said that, for me it's Falin all the way. He's such a fascinating mix of strong and dangerous alpha male and yet he's vulnerable and not ashamed or afraid to submit to a powerful female. He's so tough and dominant in his interactions with other people, but from very early on in the first book he has worn his heart on his sleeve when it comes to Alex. The explanation for his absence as well as the complications from his divided loyalties really brings a great and realistic conflict to the story. I know there's no easy fix, but I couldn't help rooting for Falin and Alex to find a way.
I have to confess that I'm not a huge fan of the fey and I usually don't enjoy stories that take place in whole or part in faery, with a few notable exceptions. This series is one of those exceptions. I really enjoy the fey in this world and the glimpses of faery that we get are fascinating and well developed. The author conveys well the fact that faery is both beautiful and deadly and filled with a magic all its own. I was very happy that we get to see more of it in Grave Dance and I can't wait to see what happens with the discoveries that Alex made there.
We meet some new characters in this installment and my mind is already abuzz with where these introductions will lead in later books, but I also enjoyed the interactions with already established characters. I enjoy Alex's relationship with her three best friends and it was great (and terrible) to see how the events that take place in her life really affect the lives of those closest to her. Something that made me very happy was seeing Alex's dad again. I can't wait to learn more about this man and see what's really going on with him. He's a mystery, wrapped in an enigma, wrapped in bacon...or well, he's fun to read about and I want to know all his secrets.
In the end, I think Grave Dance is a solid entry that continues the development of the story and characters very nicely. I didn't love it as madly as I did Grave Witch, but the truth is I am so very in love with this series because of the wonderful world building and fabulous characters that I'm hooked and there's no turning back for me.
Final Grade: A
Now, because I'm awesome and because I enjoy these books so much, I want to share the love with all of you. Therefore, I am giving away a copy of both Grave Witch and Grave Dance to one lucky winner. I am shipping out of Book Depository so this giveaway will be international as long as you are in a country that they ship to. You can check for your country here.
All you have to do is leave a comment on this post with your email addy to enter. Contest will run from now until July 5, 2011 at 11:59 pm PST. I will announce the winner on the blog and I will contact him/her by email. If I do not hear back from the winner by Friday, July 8, I will redraw for a new winner.
Thanks for stopping by and good luck!!