Grave Visions: Alex Craft, Book 4

Grave VisionsAuthor: Kalayna Price
Book Name:
Grave Visions
Series:
Alex Craft
Order:
#4
Genre: Fantasy/Romance
Rating:  Really Good
4+stars


Blurb:  If you want to hear voices from the dead in Nekros City, you call Alex Craft. She’s a grave witch with reasonable rates and extraordinary powers who specializes in revealing the secrets of the dead. But she has her own secrets. She’s not human—and her newly discovered heritage is causing havoc for her both in the human realm and in Faerie.

Fae can’t survive without a tie to Faerie, and now that Alex’s true nature has awoken, she’s no exception. She must align herself to a court, and soon. To retain as much freedom as possible, she makes a deal to track the source of a new glamour-infused street drug which causes hallucinations that kill—and not just the user. Her investigation entangles Alex in a conflict brewing in Faerie, and she must find answers before she’s dragged so deep that she loses not only her freedom, but her life.

Review:  There is always a huge worry when there is a large gap between releases in a series that it just won’t be the same as it was before, even more so when that gap lasts 4 years.  I can say that this had very much the same feel as the previous 3 books, which is and isn’t necessarily a good thing.

It is good because all the elements that I’ve loved about this series are still there.  The world is still rich in both characters and setting.  We get to see plenty of it in this book and is the biggest reason for the rating, along with an interesting main story line.

It is not so good because it seems as though the characters didn’t grow or progress all that much from the previous books.  There was no obvious or significant change in Alex’s powers.  There is still the three-way drama with her sort of relationships with Falin and Death.  The only difference at all doesn’t even take place until the end of the book and even that is apparently just a temporary fix that doesn’t actually solve anything.

On a spoiler note…

While this does resolve the main issue story line, it also doesn’t.  It mostly leaves a whole lot of open ended speculation that there is more going on than what we saw here.  It also felt pretty anti-climactic that the reader never learns why Glitter didn’t burn out Alex like it did every other user.  You can speculate that it is because she is at least part Fae, along with the Winter Queen, but it is never actually addressed.  You would think that with her ability to see through glamours, it wouldn’t have affected her the same way and that there should have been a very different affect on the Queen than there was on Alex.

I do really enjoy this series, but I would love it a whole lot more if we could get past the unnecessary relationship flip flopping and move on to something different now.  Resolve it one way or another and lets explore Alex’s place within the world of Faerie as that seems to be a much more important issue.

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Alex Craft Series Reread and Notes

In preparation for the supposed February 2nd release date of the very, very long awaited book 4, Grave Visions, in the Alex Craft series by Kalayna Price, I took the time to reread the first three books in the series.  I say supposed because the last book in the series to date was released in 2012.  4 years is a really long time to wait for a book and I’m kind of half expecting this to be yanked before it actually releases.  Not for any real reason but that I’m just so excited about his release and can’t believe it is actually finally happening.

Grave Witch – Book 1 Grave Dance – Book 2 Grave Memory – Book 3 Grave Visions- Book 4

If I had to rate the series as a whole, based on the first three books, I’d say this squeaks in around a 4.5.  I don’t use a ½ point rating, but I’m using it here more to indicate that it is just missing a 5 star rating from me.  Honestly, I love this series.  The world and the characters are all pretty vivid and amazing.  But there are just a couple of aspects to the overall story line that I’m just not a huge fan of and that is just enough to keep me from giving these my highest rating.

The world this series is set in is based on a modern society where magic and Fae are real.  The main character, Alex, is a grave witch who deals mostly with shades and ghosts and can see and interact with them on a level that other grave witches normally can’t because she can interact with and see different planes of existence.  There are lots of Fae, other witches with different specialties and soul collectors as some of the other more important characters.  How that is all built and written is done in a really excellent way and are the best parts of this series.

The parts that I’m just not a huge fan of are the romantic parts.  That is because that entire thread in this series has Alex bouncing back and forth between a soul collector that she calls Death and a Fae in the control of the Winter Queen, Falin.  Neither are relationships that she should be in or is even really allowed to have.  I’m not a huge fan of impossible relationships that are really pretty hopeless, but I’m even less of a fan of the triangle theme.  It makes the character in the middle seem really flaky and fickle.  Considering I really love most everything else about Alex’s character, that is frustrating.

Outside of the relationship issues, though, there are tons of great things going on with Alex fighting soul sucking Fae, a crazy witch and soul collector that are in love and a body jumping monster from the depths of the land of the dead.  All that while learning more about her history and becoming more than she ever thought she was, and doing her best not to piss of the Fae royalty.  It make for some awesome storytelling.

Each book does have a single large story arc that is resolved by the end of the book as well as larger ones that spread across the series, never really leaving the reader hanging.  Well, with the exception of book 3.  That one left something of a cliffhanger on the larger relationship story arc.  So not a good place to end a book when there is a 4 year gap between releases.

I do really love this series, even with the not so great relationship story issues.  I’m hoping like crazy that book 4 clears some of that up as it will make it even more frustrating if this is a never ending kind of a back and forth.  That kind of thing can kill a series.  I’m also hoping that whatever happened to force the gap in releases isn’t something that is a regular occurrence.