Review: Grave Dance by Kalayna Price

What happened with this book? I thought this was going to be a sure thing! Maybe it’s more glaring because I read the first book, Grave Witch, immediately before I started this one, but everything felt off kilter. I’m not saying that I thought this was a bad book, because it wasn’t, but it sure was a lot less engrossing than the first one was.

I don’t understand what happened to Alex’s character. I felt distant from her the whole time I was reading. And that’s pretty amazing considering the fact that I was reading a first person book. She felt like a passive participant in her own story. People pointed her in the direction they needed her to go and she just went. No real thought or deliberation, she was just one reaction after another. And the fact that it always led to trouble made me grind my teeth.

Grave Dance starts a month after the end of Grave Witch, but in that time Alex didn’t bother to learn anything helpful about the mysteries we were left with. Like Falin—why didn’t she bother to learn more about him and his role in Faerie? It’s not like it would have been hard to find information. She rents from a Fae who (based on how he reacted in the first book) would probably love nothing more than to give her the dirt on him in the hopes that she’d realize what a bad idea hanging around him would be. I know finding information on the new developments with her power would be near impossible, so I can’t criticize that, but why not take a proactive role in finding out more about Faerie itself, since she now has a need to know? Why did she have to stay so clueless?

The Fae are the main focus of the plot, so her lack of knowledge about their customs and their plane was the driving force behind the action. She cluelessly tripped through one situation after another and always came out the worse for it. The events of the book came quickly one after another, but instead of feeling like I was on the edge of my seat, I felt confused by the disjointed storyline and wished it would just slow down a little and make sense. The situation kept changing without ever resolving and I couldn’t see a need for half of it except to pave the way for future storylines.

The love triangle that was hinted at in the first book comes to full steam. Every time I blinked Alex was cozying up with another end of the triangle. I liked Falin in the last book—at least I did in the second half of it ;)—but he really turned me off here. The fact that he was constantly around in the second half did not help as my attention began to waver. His constant silence and half-truths, while still trying to cuddle up with Alex, did not impress me. The fact that she had such a hard time resisting him ticked me off and didn’t ring quite true based on how she was presented in the first book. And that leads me to something that bugged me the whole book. Why exactly is Falin the only other person who can touch her without feeling scorchingly hot? That seems awfully convenient for me.

I was much more interested in Death, although I still am not happy about getting stuck with yet another UF love triangle. Are there even any Urban Fantasies out there without love triangles? Anyway, that’s beside the point… In the first book Death was only a hint of any idea, but here he steps fully into the spotlight and completely captures my attention. He’s trying to share more with Alex and you can see the struggle he goes through whenever he runs into an area where he can’t. The rules and the constant cautioning by the other soul collectors has me intrigued. I haven’t seen an indication of which way the triangle is going, which irritates me, because I don’t want to get attached to the losing team. Logic tells me that Death is the less likely choice since she’s the only one who can see him, but I have to admit that I’m pretty unhappy making that prediction.

Although it may seem by now that I didn’t enjoy the book, that wouldn’t be accurate. I really enjoyed learning more about her connection to Faerie and the new turn her magic has taken. I still love a lot of the side characters and would love to see more of them. Holly plays a nice role in this one. I wonder how things will develop with her and what will happen with the location it was hinted she might need to visit. I’ve really loved getting to know more about the soul collectors and am eager to see more develop with them in the next book.

Favorite Quote:

“Someone had come in my house. Had entered my space, violated the masculinity of my dog, and…and…cleaned?”

Rating: C
Grave Dance by Kalayna Price
July 5th 2011 by Penguin Group
Urban Fantasy
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  1. says

    Okay so I was not the only one who was so hyped because the first book was just so “the bomb” and this one almost “bombed” in comparison. Catherine I loved the character author Kalayna Price created in “Grave Witch” where did that Alex Craft go?

    Like you I enjoyed the read, just wanted the same level of excitement I felt when read book one and it just did not make it for me… Want to keep reading the series though, have invested my imagination into this character’s life and have to just have to know what happens next until there is no more written about Alex and her “friends”.

    • says

      How nice to see someone who shares my opinion. The majority of the reviews I’ve looked at have been very positive, so I felt a little like the odd man out.

      I really do like the world the author has created, but just like you I have to wonder, where did the Alex Craft we were shown in the first book go?

  2. Niki_B says

    I actually liked this book a lot. I thought the evolution of Alex’s character was fine. In the first book she finds out she’s part fae and after the events of the blood moon that part of her genetics becomes active. She isn’t going to be the same person she was before. Also the time line is only a month after those events, she’s going to be a little off kilter while she adjusts. She can still use her grave magic, still cast spells she’s just sensitive to iron and can’t out right lie. I can’t wait to see how the increasing dominance of her Fae genes will impact her future especially with her two romantic interests, both of who are immortal.


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