Tag Archives: Grim reapers

Grave Witch by Kalayna Price

Overview
Grave Witch (Alex Craft, #1) by Kalayna Price

Title: Grave Witch
Author: Kalayna Price
Series: Alex Craft #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Fae, Ghosts, Grim reapers, Paranormal romance
Dates read: 28th February – 11th March 2021
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Roc
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: Which still didn’t explain why it didn’t register as dead.

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Synopsis

Grave witch Alex Craft can speak to the dead, but that doesn’t mean she likes what they have to say.

As a private investigator and consultant for the police, Alex Craft has seen a lot of dark magic. But even though she’s on good terms with Death himself – who happens to look fantastic in jeans – nothing has prepared her for her latest case. Alex is investigating a high-profile murder when she’s attacked by the “shade” she’s raising, which should be impossible. To top off her day, someone makes a serious attempt on her life, but Death saves her. Guess he likes having her around…

To solve this case Alex will have to team up with tough homicide detective Falin Andrews. Falin seems to be hiding something – though it’s certainly not his dislike of Alex. But Alex knows she needs his help to navigate the tangled webs of mortal and paranormal politics, and to track down a killer who wields a magic so malevolent, it may cost Alex her life…and her soul.

Thoughts

I’ve read this book more times than I can count. I actually am at a point where I need to buy myself a new copy… it’s just starting to fall apart quite drastically. There is just a wonderful feeling about this tale. A sense of coming home just encompasses me whenever I open the spine of this book. Alex is an amazing heroine, the storyline is full of octane and makes your heart skip a beat. And the whole tale just generally sweeps you off your feet from the very first moment…

Normally I’m not a huge fan of love triangles – they feel kind of forced, and a little bit indulgent at times if I’m being honest. Yet, there is something about Price’s writing that makes me… not mind them. For Alex, the triangle with Falin and Death is just starting to form. And it doesn’t feel like a self-indulgent, faked out story where the girl is just desirable. Rather, it is the forming of two different relationships and the ways in which they expand. Falin and Death are two different characters, ones that will draw you in and leave you wondering who Alex will ultimately choose…

I have heaps and heaps of urban fantasy books on my shelves (it’s probably the biggest section if I’m being honest). And most of them deal with witches, magic, fae, or some kind of approach to this. However, I don’t have any books which have reapers, death and grave witches as a feature. Which makes this series and book even more special. There is only one other series that has a woman who is capable to seeing death and with that strong a connection to death – Darynda Jones’ Charley Davidson series. I love the uniqueness and wonderful way that this story is approached. After all, Alex is a wonderful enigma, one that I want to find more and more out about.

This is one of those wonderfully fast paced urban fantasies. It is a great story on its own, but it also helps to set up the world of Alex Craft and all of the shenanigans that are about to follow. It is one of those stories, that no matter how many times I read it, I will find something else to enjoy. Something else that I didn’t know last time. And even though I mostly remember the storyline with each rereading… I still feel surprised and unable to put the book down with each rereading.

<- More Kalayna PriceGrave Dance ->

Image source: Goodreads

Madison Avery and the Dim Reaper by Kim Harrison

Overview
Image result for prom nights from hell book cover

Title: Madison Avery and the Dim Reaper
Author: Kim Harrison
Series: Madison Avery #0.5
In: Prom Nights from Hell (Meg Cabot, Stephenie Meyer, Kim Harrison, Michele Jaffe & Lauren Myracle)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Death, Grim reapers, Paranormal fantasy
Dates read: 14th November 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Novella
Publisher:Harper Collins
Year: 2007
5th sentence, 74th page: Farther down the hall three kids loitered at the main door.

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Synopsis

Madison doesn’t like that she had to move to a small town to spend time with her Dad. She doesn’t like her school. And she doesn’t like that she was forced to go to a lame, pirate themed prom. But she’s going to like what happens next even less…

Thoughts

Well, this story certainly features the worst birthday and prom ever. Yet, it was also the best kind of prom to read about. After all, it involved death and reapers and all sorts of mysteries that I can’t wait to stop and unravel. There’s most definitely a reason for my current obsession / love of Kim Harrison

There is something about world building that always draws me in completely. Particularly when it is done so beautifully and succinctly in a novella. I’m already drawn into the world of Madison Avery and all of its law. And, even though the lead character is a girl that would usually just frustrate the heck out of me (she’s so against being a part of anything that she’s coming off as snobbish), it somehow all works together brilliantly.

I love that there is a whole heap of reaper lore in this story. There’s good reapers and bad reapers. And then all sorts of mystery and backstory that I really, really want to dig into! I can’t wait to find more stories which feature this lore and world building.

It sucks to die on your birthday, but the greater mystery in this story is one that fascinates me….

<- The CorsageKiss and Tell ->

Image source: Harper Collins

For I Have Sinned by Darynda Jones

Overview
For I Have Sinned (Charley Davidson, #1.5) by Darynda Jones

Title: For I Have Sinned
Author: Darynda Jones
Series: Charley Davidson #1.5
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Grim reapers, Paranormal fantasy, Strong women
Dates read: 25th April 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: St. Martins Paperbacks
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: Absolutely perfect.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

Darynda Jones revisits the sexy, suspenseful world of supernatural shenanigans she created in her Grave series with For I Have Sinned. In this Charley Davidson story, Charley helps a woman find out how she died and gives her the closure she needs to pass through to the other side.

Thoughts

This is my second ever Charley Davidson story. And I had no idea what to expect from it. What I loved about this though was the fact that although it’s about Charley, it’s not written from her point of view. Rather, it’s written from the point of view of one of her “clients” – a dead woman.

Throughout this short story there is the constant question of what did the departed do? There are so many different moments of mystery. And it’s only a very short story. And, even if you kind of wonder if she’s done the wrong thing… there is this beautiful sense of mystery that surprised me. But also one that I seriously wanted.

Reyes still, of course, makes a dark and intriguing appearance. Which, of course makes me just want to read the next book in this series all that much more. There is a great, big mystery going on and I want to know what it is!!!

<- First Grave on the RightSecond Grave on the Left ->

Image source: Goodreads

First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones

Overview
First Grave on the Right | Darynda Jones | Macmillan

Title: First Grave on the Right
Author: Darynda Jones
Series: Charley Davidson #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Grim reapers, Paranormal fantasy, Strong women
Dates read: 23rd – 25th April 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: St. Martins Paperbacks
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: After a meaningful stare-down, I pointed to the exit.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

With scorching-hot tension and high-octane humor, First Grave on the Right is your signpost to paranormal suspense of the highest order.

This whole grim reaper thing should have come with a manual.
Or a diagram of some kind.
A flowchart would have been nice.

Charley Davidson is a part-time private investigator and full-time grim reaper. Meaning, she sees dead people. Really. And it’s her job to convince them to “go into the light”. But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (like murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice. Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she’s been having about an entity who has been following her all her life… and it turns out he might not be dead after all. In fact, he might be something else entirely. But what does he want with Charley? And why can’t she seem to resist him? And what does she have to lose by giving in?

Thoughts

I had a challenge that said I had to read a book by Darynda Jones. I knew nothing more of the woman, but I was intrigued. And now, admittedly. I’m kind of a little obsessed. This was an amazingly fun book to read and I’m seriously disappointed that I now have to wait for the post to catch up and the next book to arrive at my doorstep… so very, very disappointed.

I’ve got a few stories on my shelves that feature women / witches who can see ghosts. I may even have one (that I haven’t really read yet) that features the woman as the grim reaper. But none like this. The grim reaper in this is sassy, unique and completely unique. She’s also a little unhinged. Which is probably why I loved her so much. After all, I’m slightly unhinged, and I don’t converse with ghosts on a regular basis.

Although I love the ghosts in this story, the grim reaper aspect to it, what I really love is that Charley is constantly trying to help. That no matter what is going on, she’s fighting to help others and make a better life for anyone who needs it. The fact that she does this in a myriad of ways that generally end up with her being beaten and bruised (sometimes because of others, often because she’s just not all that lucky) worked really well for me. Every time I get in the shower I tend to have a fresh bruise, so it was nice to read about someone who is WAY more accident prone than I am.

The intricate webs of this storyline made me incredibly happy. Mostly because instead of one main storyline, there were several. All of which drew me in and had me wondering in a somewhat perplexed manner just what was going to happen next. Normally I would have the potential of guessing the answer… but with so much going on, I found it almost impossible to figure out. Which is, honestly, something that I thoroughly enjoy. Now I can’t wait to find out what happens in the next novel!

<- More Darynda JonesFor I Have Sinned ->

Image source: Macmillan Publishers

Callie Meet Happy by Amber Benson

Overview
Image result for an apple for the creature book cover

Title: Callie Meet Happy
Author: Amber Benson
Series: Calliope Reaper-Jones #3.5
In: An Apple for the Creature (Charlaine Harris & Toni L. P. Kelner)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Grim reapers, Paranormal fantasy, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 3rd June 2019
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Ace Books
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: “Not gonna happen,” Callie said, holding her ground in a pair of dirty Jimmy Choos.

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Synopsis

Callie is in a class learning how to create wormholes. But a crabby teacher and judgemental peers seem to keep getting in her way… until she figures out how to go to a Happy place.

Thoughts

This was an easy and enjoyable short story. The teacher kind of reminded me of Umbridge (Harry Potter for those of you who aren’t quite educated on her evilness). This teacher was judgemental, power hungry and kind of a pain. Something that we’ve all had experience with at some point in our lives. And the judging looks from her peers… well, that was a little bit too familiar. Which, in all lead to a completely relatable, and kind of funny storyline that I was sad to see end.

Stories which feature grim reapers and death are something that always fascinates me. Especially when there is a nice dose of black humour interwoven throughout. A level of sass from a female (pretty much any female) which makes such a serious topic (death) so much less… well, serious. Actually, in the case of Callie’s internal monologue, it just made this entire adventure quite funny. And very, very cute.

Many of the fantasy stories that I’ve read with a parallel world or time portals of any kind tend to be insanely complex. Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoy them. But I tend to find it quite hard to grasp certain aspects of the storyline and then I have to go back and read certain sections again and again until I have a firmer grasp on what is happening. This tale was nothing like that. There is travel to a parallel world, but the storyline and lead character doesn’t get caught up in all of the minutiae detail.

 <- Low School ReviewIphigenia in Aulis Review ->
Image source: Goodreads

Grave Witch by Kalayna Price

Overview

Grave WitchTitle: Grave Witch
Author: Kalayna Price
Series: Alex Craft #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Fae, GhostsGrim reapersParanormal romance
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Roc Fantasy
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: Which still didn’t explain why it didn’t register as dead.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

Grave witch Alex Craft can speak to the dead, but that doesn’t mean she likes what they have to say.

As a private investigator and consultant for the police, Alex Craft has seen a lot of dark magic. But even though she’s on good terms with Death himself – who happens to look fantastic in jeans – nothing has prepared her for her latest case. Alex is investigating a high-profile murder when she’s attacked by the “shade” she’s raising, which should be impossible. To top off ehr day, someone makes a serious attempt on her life, but Death saves her. Guess he likes having her around…

To solve this case Alex will have to team up with tough homicide detective Falin Andrews. Falin seems to be hiding something – though it’s certainly not his dislike of Alex. But Alex knows she needs his help to navigate the tangled webs of mortal and paranormal politics, and to track down a killer who wields a magic so malevolent, it may cost Alex her life… and her soul.

Thoughts

I need to start this by saying that my sister and I have now read this book so many times that my version is starting to lose it’s cover. That is the level of obsession that I have had with Grave Witch and Alex Craft since I first found it about five years ago. It has moved across all seven houses with me. And as much as I want to get a new copy, there is something wonderful about still having the first copy that both my sister and I have so completely loved.

There are a number of reasons that I love this series, and everytime I read one of the novels, I found a few more reasons to add to the list. But something that really struck me with this read through was the fact that Alex is broke. She is surviving off crappy food, and struggling with emotions and is just having an incredibly human existence. There is a constant battle for survival and money that most other stories I read don’t have. And yes, sometimes finances get in the way of a good story, but it’s a little frustrating to constantly read stories about people who don’t have to worry about where their next meal comes from. It just helps to make Alex all that much more realistic and relatable. At least for me, a PhD student with a book-shopping problem.

I also love the love triangle that starts in Grave Witch. It is organic, and confusing, and it’s really hard to decide which character I want Alex to end up with more. But it’s not annoying and angsty. It doesn’t involve the lead female half leading either of the men on and although there is a bit of steaminess in each relationship, it’s not overbearingly so. And even though I’ve read the next two books before, I can’t wait to see how this relationship unfolds all over again!

 <- Grave Ransom Review Grave Dance Review ->
Image source: Kobo