Grave Memory by Kalayna Price

grave memory coverAlex Craft may finally have her life under control. She is opening an office for her Tongues of the Dead business with her best friend and changeling Rianna that she recently rescued from Faerie. The office may not be pretty, but it’s located in the Quarter, the magical area of Nekros, and it means Alex may finally be able to do business for herself instead of relying on work from the police, which hasn’t been coming very often anyway after her last two magical disasters. Rianna is adjusting to life outside Faerie, and her friend Holly (with the help of her landlord Caleb) is adjusting to her addiction to Faerie food. Of course there are still things that complicate Alex’s life, and one of those things is her love life. She hasn’t seen her good friend Death, a soul collector who saved Alex’s life more than once, professed his love for her, and then disappeared for over a month. Her former lover Falin hasn’t been around much either, since he is the right hand fae of the Winter Queen, who doesn’t like Alex very much since she lives in her territory but refuses to swear allegiance to a Faerie court. Falin is only allowed to speak to Alex if it relates to his work with the Faerie Investigative Bureau, which isn’t often, and he is forced to obey his Queen’s commands, even if she orders him to hurt or manipulate Alex. On top of all of this, a string of unusual suicides whose shades don’t remember the three days leading up to the time of their death pulls Alex into a dangerous investigation that may cost her everything, including her recently improved life.

I simply adore these novels. Alex is such an impressive and strong female leading character, and I love Kalayna Price’s world building as well. In this novel, Alex is learning how to deal with her Fae heritage becoming stronger. She can no longer lie, and when she thanks someone or apologizes, she can actually feel the debt incurred by these words as a physical burden. Though these things are problematic, they aren’t nearly as problematic as when Alex visits the Fall revelry and has a sip of Faerie wine. This pulls her Sleagh Maith heritage even closer to the surface and she starts to glow. This forces her to finally accept who she is and start learning to use glamour to protect her identity. I am very intrigued to see how Alex’s growing “fae-ness” changes how she acts in the next novel, and also how it effects her relationship with Falin, who is 100% fae and completely bound to the Winter Queen.

Speaking of Falin, I’m intrigued to see what happens with Alex’s love life in the next book. I have been rooting for her to hook up with Death (I know that sounds terrible, but don’t blame me, I didn’t name the characters, Price did!) since the very beginning, and while I like Falin, I didn’t miss his absence in this novel. I have a feeling we will be seeing much more of him in the next novel, whether Alex wants to or not. I also have a feeling some of the “side” characters in this novel have more of a story to tell, and I think we might get to hear it soon, especially Rianna, Holly and Caleb. I am continually  impressed by how Price always works all these characters into her books, and makes them important without taking away from the main story line or leading characters. I love everything we get to know about the backgrounds of all these characters, and I feel like I know them almost as well as I know Alex. That’s cool, because this is not something every author I read does well.

It’s so hard to say anything else about this book without giving anything away, which I really don’t want to do. You will just have to go read it and discover the really exciting bits for yourself!

Happy reading,

-Branwen

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