Grave Ransom

4/5
It took me only one day to read through the whole thing. It is that easy to get into it.

Grave Ransom by Kalayna Price

The whole idea of Alex’s castle and the mixed reality of havin it just pop up in the backyard is fascinating. I loved that. I think we are finally getting to know the extent of Alex’s magic powers, the ones that everyone has seemed to find so game-changing.

There were some downs, like that crazy violent and annoying special agent, and the apparent last appearance of my favorite character: death. Of course, their relationship was doomed to end from the beginning, so their break up was expected and inevitable, but still… That was my favorite character.

I understand, though. Alex is getting more and more into the fae world. Even living in a fae castle. She is basically immortal now, right? So, it makes complete sense to have her move away from the guy that cannot come into that world with her.

But besides the whole series story arch, the mystery this time is great. Dead bodies walking around! It was really good, specially when it had nothing to do with zombies. I’m not that big a fan of zombies.

I’m still confused about Rihanna’s lover/protector/friend/pet. What’s going on there? And is the winter queen losing her mind? Will she be a less annoying and paranoid without the poison she was being fed?

I guess I’ll have to wait for the next book. Yes. Another endless series. Good thing I’m still enjoying it.

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Grave Visions

Turns out that the best way to catch up with my reading is to be stuck in an airport for a couple of hours without anything else to distract me. Lately, when I try to take advantage of my time by reading while in transit from one place to another, there’s always someone trying to make conversation and it becomes impossible to focus.

Today, thou, I’m not sure if it was some kind of Don’t Talk to Me signal I might be sending out, but no one has tried to make conversation. I am grateful. Best group of people I could possibly keep company with in an airport as far as I’m concerned.

Let me read in peace, and I’m a happy camper. I can keep on waiting for the plane to beard for a couple of hours more. (It doesn’t look like I’ll have to, though).

So, this means I’m finished with Grave Visions. And a bit shocked, somewhat annoyed, but mostly curious to learn there is another Alex Craft book coming out this summer. Alex Craft series

I felt this one was a bit slow and not as packed with detective and mystery goodness as all the previous ones. And while I still liked it, I’m not as crazy about it as I was expecting.

There was crazy magic, and crimes were being committed and investigated… But I felt there was a lot going on in the story that was beyond Alex’s point of view. So much happened while she was unconscious or asleep, or as plain and simple as just terribly confused. And while all this makes sense when you take into consideration that she’s somewhat sick, it still left me with a feeling that I was missing much.

I think this story might need some alternative points of view. I’m dying to know more about Alex‘s father, of her elf, of her changeling, or even her Grimm Reaper of a boyfriend (who happens to be one of my favorite characters and barely made an appearance in this book). 3/5

But well… Hopefully next book would give us more. Right?

I’ll have to add the release date to my phone alerts, otherwise I’ll totally forget.

Odd one out

4/5

Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers

This might not have been my favorite among the three books that make the whole series, His Fair Assassin, but it was undoubtedly very good and a fair ending.

Ismae‘s story has much political intrigue, and a sense of  self-discovery and finding your our strength.  She’s manages to find herself and her faith, outside of the boundaries of the into tutor hat has fostered her for years. Unlike that, Sybella‘s story was more about family intrigue and the capacity of depravity mankind can reach, about finding peace and love when you have suffered much. She finds her own capacity for love, honest and devoted faith, and even manages to learn to thrust others.

Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers

Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers

This story though, Anneth‘s, felt completely different.

We got a completely different love story, deeper and more complex. And more family drama instead of intrigue… But here was also less action.

This story felt slower.

With Dark Triumph, I couldn’t stop. I simply couldn’t get it out of my head that something dramatic and game changing could happened at any moment, but Mortal Heart had more waiting periods when nothing happened. We even got some implied and not-so-implied time jumps!

I think I’m more a fan of stories that happen quickly with a somewhat fast pace. The times of introspection where Anneth‘s debates what she’s feeling and what could thing possibly mean, drove me a bit crazy… But it all helps to separate clearly and definitely the three girls and their distinct personalities and backgrounds.

One of he things that I definitely loved about this third and last part of the series is the presence of Death as main character. We had had glimpses of him before, when he shows himself to Ismae and the to Sybella. These ARE his daughters after all. His presence has been implied and hinted at. He was a real entity in the background for most of the first two books, but now we got to really know him and understand him. He is more than just a silent shadow, he is almost a man. That was one of my favorite parts in the whole series.

How can I not be totally intrigued and besotted with stories that give flesh, mind and heart to mysterious and incomprehensible ideas as Death itself? Right?

Divine punishment 

(Spoilers for His Fair Assassin book one and two, Grave Mercy and Dark Triumph, to follow)

I have always felt somewhat undecided when people start talking or commenting about the death penalty. I can see both sides of the debate, and while there are good arguments everywhere, I remain unconvinced either way. 

But while I find it  very difficult to agree to a standard of capital punishment, I do believe there are some offenses that go beyond what can be forgiven or atoned for. 

Ripping a newborn from his mother’s arms and murdering it in cold blood… That is as bad as it gets. 

Dark Triumph has one of those bad guys that you can freely hate, all while making him feel viable, d’Albret

Yes, he was monstrous.  He hit his children, abused his wives, raped his servants; he murdered by sword and by fire… Without regard for anything nor anyone, with only himself and his ambitions in mind. But, sadly, he never felt unreal. 

This man, at least for me, represented every depravity mankind is capable of. 

And one of the things that I found the most realistic, as depressing as it sounds, is that his mere presence and position of power, attracted others of the same kind to him. I think that is as true as it gets, this sort of human monstrosity brings out the worst in others as well. 

But, what to do with them? How can you really punish justly someone like this? Without it turning into vengeance, without falling to the same lows. Without making yourself a monster in the process… 

And here is where divine intervention played my favorite role in this book. 

Sybella, the second of Death’s handmaidens that we get to know, struggles with this all along. And I thought that it was necessary for her not to be the ultimate instrument of d’Albret‘s death. Not just for her sanity, but also for a sense of justice.  

What can be a worst punishment than to watch your body rot while you’re still in it? What better punishment can the God of Death offer, but nothing at all? 

He is to be so repudiated that Death himself won’t welcome it into his house! 

And after his body become inhabitable, and his souls is finally free of it… He will still wander the world, funding no peace not rest. 

Talk about divine punishment!

Death’s daughters

It’s been almost a year since I read Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers. It was the first in a trilogy, His Fair Assassin, and the two sequels have been sitting there… in my metaphorical shelf… waiting to also be read.

Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers

Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers

The time’s is finally here.

I always hesitate before picking up the sequel to a book when a long time has passed since I read the previous one. What if there are references there about thing that I don’t remember? What if I’ve forgotten the names of all the characters or confused them? Should I re-read the previous one?

Those kind of questions always bother me.

The second book of this series, Dark Triumph, is supposed to be from the point of view of another of Death’s Handmaidens… so I’m expecting it to be tangential enough to make it irrelevant if I can’t remember the details of the first book.  Hopefully there still be enough killing and assassinations. After all, this is supposed to be all about Death’s daughter and their skills as assassins after being trained in an special convent!

 

Cliffhanger

3/5

Grave Memory by Kalayna Price

Serial killers.

Who doesn’t enjoy stories about serial killers?

I do. Does that make me weird?

Without wanting to get too much into how old I am, let me tell you that I used to watch -and love- Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And this book series is starting to feel like that. Every book a new episode. Including the post-conclusion chapter that only gives you a taste os what is to come without any details to tie you over. All designed to make you read the next book, I’m sure.

I did feel more repetition of previous books facts, but that could be because I read this one right after the previous one without any pause nor delay. We did get more information about Alex Craft and her childhood and origins, but for every new thing we learn, 20 more questions pop up. There is so much mystery and confusion around her father and his motives that it’s becoming a bit of a drag, and the no-progress is driving me a bit nuts.

Grave Memory by Kalayna Price

Grave Memory by Kalayna Price

Another thing that’s starting to worry me, is all the leftover bits. There are a few facts and events from  Grave Witch and Grave Dance that seem to have been neglected or happened for no reason. I really hope I’m wrong and the author is planning to collect all those bits and pieces that Alex seems to be forgetting and use them in a creative way further down the story line. Otherwise I’ll be seriously disappointed.

Things are getting more and more dicey with Alex‘s personal life and that, I think, makes the story more interesting… if not taken too far. I don’t think I would enjoy if the next book focuses too much in her romantic woes instead of all the crime and social/political issues popping up around her. I mean… her city is in the verge of chaos! and her father playing a very unknown and convoluted political game around her! And her friendships are going through a rough patch. I think all that needs to be more important than the two boys vying for her attentions..

But I guess there’s nothing but wait and see.

I don’t know when I’ll be able to get to the fourth book of this series, Grave Visions, but I’ll keep you posted.

Responsible pet owner

4/5

Grave Dance by Kalayna Price

Who wouldn’t carry their tiny dog in a world-saving mission? I would.

Too bad my dog is not that tiny and I don’t really go on many world-saving missions.

I was looking for something nice and easy, that would give my imagination a work-out without asking too much intellectual input… I think I found it. I’m not saying that this is a book without substance or dumbed down, not at all. But neither does it have many complicated mysteries nor too emotional twists. It is a comfortable read, and a highly entertaining one. I really enjoyed it.

I read the first book on this series several weeks ago, so I appreciate the short and to the point recounts of all the previous facts that this story offers all along the way. It was great in a “don’t get lost” kind of way without being repetitive.

It did remind heavily of A Court of Thornes and Roses, but I’m guessing that’s only because I read that one first (If I pay attention to the publishing dates, I guess it would be the other way around), except I liked this one better.

GraveDance

Both books talk about faes, and Fearie courts and fae royalty, but I guess this female main character didn’t feel that hopeless and never really becomes their toy. I’ve never really enjoyed stories that involve the abuse of those without the ability to defend themselves, and Grave Dance has none of that.

We do get a view into an interesting and complex world, full of diverse being with diverse powers and motivations. You’re never quite sure who you can trust, and that makes everything all the more interesting.

And of course, that was on top of all the crime fighting and mystery-killer chasing! There was even some mythical creatures and love triangles.

Now, I have claimed many times to hate love triangles, and that’s still true, but mostly what I hate is the sense of betrayal, or when a story focus too hard on the love interest part of the story… This author does notpne of that.

Yes, there are two guys pursuing one girl that cannot seem to decide between the two… But there’s no deceiving nor cheating. They both know about each other and none of them is pushing the issue. There’s also no long winded monologues about the pains and suffering of being wanted by two handsome guys, on the contrary, they times she mentions it is only to point out how that is not really important or relevant with all the dire things happening around her.

And, of course. Who says she cannot be involved with two guys at one? Specially when none of the three sides of that triangle are really what you would call available?

There are more parts to this books series that I’ll be sure to get to soon.

Magic Eye

4/5

Grave Witch by Kalayna Price

This is a girl who can talk to the dead, see Death himself (or what I think is more like a Reaper) and uses it all to make money sometimes by solving crimes. I has hooked from the beginning.

Alex Craft is the product of a quite dysfunctional family, stubborn and bad-ass. I really liked her. With her intimacy issues and not so sociable personality. It might have much to do, too, with the fact that her fae lover Falin Andrews kept reminding me of Rowan Whitethorn (another fae hottie from a whole different story).

I think this might mean I have a thing for fae males.

And on top of that, there’s a whole mystery to be unraveled -gory clues, police dodging and unknown enemy interference included- that kept me flipping through pages to be able to figure out who did it!

I think my favorite character might have been the ghost side-kick.

“Then let’s kick some body-stealing ass”

Who wouldn’t love a little helper who cannot be seen, can sneak into all kinds of places and cannot tell on you due to his inability to be seen by anyone else but you?!

Besides, watching Roy Pearson annoy the hell out of Alex until he gets what he want, was really fun.

In case you didn’t notice at the top of this post, or haven’t catch up to my new rating system, I would give this book a very smiley face (or a 4 out of 5, for those who deal better with quantifiable things).

There’s a whole series of books based on this Witch PI character, that I might be adding to my library as soon as next month’s book budget comes in.