Released: July 3, 2012
Paperback: 384 pages
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Alex Craft
When the dead need to talk, Alex Craft is always ready to listen…
As a Grave Witch, Alex solves murders by raising the dead—an ability that comes at a cost, and after her last few cases, that cost is compounding. But her magic isn’t the only thing causing havoc in her life. While she’s always been on friendly terms with Death himself, things have recently become a whole lot more close and personal. Then there’s her sometime partner, agent Falin Andrews, who is under the glamour of the Winter Queen. To top everything off, her best friend has been forever changed by her time spent captive in Faerie.
But the personal takes a backseat to the professional when a mysterious suicide occurs in Nekros City and Alex is hired to investigate. The shade she raises has no memory of the days leading up to his brutal ending, so despite the very public apparent suicide, this is murder. But what kind of magic can overcome the human will to survive? And why does the shade lack the memory of his death? Searching for the answer might mean Alex won’t have a life to remember at all…
I don't think I have ever closed a book and immediately had to satisfy the need to rage on twitter as badly as I had to after finishing GRAVE MEMORY. As I attempt to type this review, I am trembling because I am so pissed off (and happy, I'm very happy too) and I can't stand it. For that reason, I will start the review off with negatives, and end it with positives so I can go to bed thinking about my book husband.
Falin. I want to snarl whenever I think of him now. If anyone has read my reviews of the other two books in this series, then they know I am definitely rooting for Death/Alex. Hell, my placeholder review on Goodreads was "GIVE ME DEATH! I love that sexy beast! Rawr." So for that reason, I was not thrilled reading about Alex still straddling the fence regarding these two men. What is even worse is the fact that, while I actually DO like Falin's character, I do not like how he is being flung around as this object by the Winter Queen (understandable, but I don't have to like it), and I don't like how everyone's feelings in this triangle are getting trampled on.
I suppose this means I am invested in the story, huh?
What is even worse is the ending--literally the last couple of paragraphs--that totally trampled on the happy bubble I was temporarily living in. I think I was even on the verge of squeeing because I was so thrilled with how things were going. This ending is the sole reason for my rage. It literally jumped out of the bushes, stole my candy, and flipped me off before scampering away. It is somewhat like a cliffhanger, but not in the traditional sense. I won't say anything more, and I feel only those invested in the universe will truly feel elation or rage over the conclusion. You know which side I'm on.
The last thing that was a bit of a bummer was the first half of the book. There was a lot of detective work in this novel, and frankly, it was not my thing. I dont like books based soley on mystery; I want my fantasy, and I want my worldbuilding, and I certainly want my romance and kick ass scenes where the supernatural villain dies a supernaturally violent death that he/she deserved. That is why I read urban fantasy. Regarding the first half of the novel, well, I wanted more action, and I wanted all the characters I love in this series to have appeared sooner and stayed longer. I thought there was something wrong with me initially, since this series always sucked me in from page one, but once more of the fantasy elements resurfaced, I was engaged again.
Now for the good: Death.
No seriously, he made this book for me. I've never claimed a book boyfriend out loud before (though I may have thought of a few throughout the years as one. It's like polyandry, minus the marriage and the boyfriends knowing about each other...because I've claimed so many), and Death, after the scenes in this book, has been upgraded from boyfriend to fiancé, and now I am claiming him as my book husband. I know I sound like a total lunatic, but I am okay with that.
In all seriousness though, readers finally get to catch a glimpse of this mysterious, yet sexy, character, and he did not disappoint. I wouldn't go so far as to say he's an alpha male, but he certainly has some qualities of one. He also has so beta qualities, but is not entirely beta, either. I only wish he had more screen time, because I just cannot get enough of him. He made such an impression that it truly kills me to know that there was ever a love triangle to begin with.
I'm only tacking off a star because of the mystery-novel-who-dun-it that pervaded throughout most of the first half of the novel. Aside from that, I really do not have any other complaints, and I think the "bad" that I mentioned is bad because this series has sunken its claws into me and made me care. How often do we truly feel passionate about a book enough that we feel not only mad, but sad, and happy as well by the end? Especially as reviewers? Not often enough for me, that's for sure.
I'll take it, love triangle and all. If anything, I'll just claim Death for myself and Alex can have Falin.
Verdict: Must read. Go buy it now.
1. Grave Witch (Tori's Review)
2. Grace Dance (Tori's Review)
3. Grave Memory