Genre: urban fantasy
Whoever said dead men tell no tales, obviously never met Alex Craft…
After a month spent recovering from a vicious fight with a sorcerer, grave witch Alex Craft is ready to get back to solving murders by raising the dead. With her love life in turmoil, thanks to the disappearance of Fae investigation Bureau agent Falin Andrews and a shocking “L” word confession from Death himself, Alex is eager for the distraction of work. But her new case turns out to be a deadly challenge.
The police hire Alex to consult on a particularly strange investigation in the nature preserve south of Nekros City. The strange part: there are no corpses - only fragments of them. A serial killer is potentially on the loose, and Alex has no way to raise a shade without a body, so she’ll have to rely on the magic of others to find leads. But as she begins investigating a creature born of the darkest magic comes after her. Someone very powerful wants to make sure the only thing she finds is a dead end – her own.
The book starts strong, with Alex wading through some kind of swamp, looking for dead bodies. So far, the police have only found some left feet, and nothing else. Alex cannot raise a shade from only a foot, she needs the whole body for that. But when she finds a whole cache of left feet, hidden in a hollow tree by Fae magic, things are getting serious. She gets threatened by a Fae, who then disappears before the police can question him.
Alex gets questioned by Special Agent Nory from the FIB. Apparently she will be in charge since Special Agent Falin has disappeared. And Nory sure does not like Alex. Does she suspect that she is Fae?
That same afternoon, while having triple chocolate cheesecake with her best friends Holly and Tamara, panic ensues. A Fae beast has appeared, and it is looking for Alex. When she tries to run away, she notices her friend Death, which means someone is about to die! Looking behind her, she only sees Holly working a spell. She can’t loose Holly! So Alex runs back, and opens her Grave Sight. The beast is not real, it is glamour! You just have to unbelieve in it, and it will disappear. It works, the Beast disappears with Holly only a little bit wounded. But there was some magic in it, as a disk clatters to the ground. And a strange mist stays behind, and when Death collects it, Alex is spooked. Was there a soul in that thing? After all, that is what Death does, collecting souls. But not all is well, there is a hole in the air, where the Aetheric is spilling through. Somehow, Alex has merged realities.
And when that is discovered, Alex is in even more trouble. A very rich guy wants her to open a rift for him, so he and his followers wanna-be-witches want to take the magic flowing in the Aetheric, which will kill them. Alex has no idea how she did it, and she certainly won’t try to do it on purpose. Thanks to her good friend Greg the Ghost, she manages to escape his clutches.
I cannot possibly summarize more of the book, so much is happening, and it is all so fast paced. It does involve Caleb, her landlord and friend, Fred, the Gargoyle, her college friend Rianna and Alex’ dagger, the Fae bar Eternal Bloom and its door into Faerie. The murder in the first book still haunts Alex, and now she has inherited Colemans possessions in Faery, including Rhianna, a castle and a brownie.
A Fae hiring her to look into things, in the hope to stay out of the clutches of the Winter Queen. And of course Falin comes back into her life, expecting it not to have changed by his disappearance a few weeks ago.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It took no effort at all to get drawn back into the world Kalayna Price has created, and to know the many secondary characters. This book is never boring, dull or predictable. So much keeps happening, so many choices have to be made, even though Alex knows something is a trap, she has to go. She has to try to safe her friends. Even her father tries to help Alex in this book, and she learns a tiny little bit more about her own heritage. But most of that comes from her uncle, the uncle she never knew she had. As a plane weaver, she is very popular in Faery, and many Courts want her for their own pleasures. Soon she will have to choose which Court she will own allegiance to.
I love the character of Death. He still is very mysterious, and I really want to know more about the soulcollectors, but I like him. He really does love Alex, and I think they are great together. Falin is too independent and bossy for my tastes. Although he is very protective, and might not have a choice in serving his Queen.
Great world, great story, great characters, what is not to love? Magic, paranormal creatures both the well known and the obscure. I do recommend this series to all Urban Fantasy lovers.
© 2012 Reviews by Aurian