Saturday, March 11, 2017

Grave Witch (Alex Craft #1), by Kalayna Price (author), Emily Durante (narrator)

Tantor Audio, April 2011 (original publication September 2010)

Alex Craft is a grave witch--a witch able to summon the shades of the dead and question them--in an alternate present where magic and the Fae returned to the world about seventy years ago. One of the cascading effects of this change is that now there are more states in the USA, and Alex lives in one of them, Nekros.

Another effect is that there's an anti-Fae, anti-witches political party, the Humans First party. The Governor and Lieutenant Governor of Nekros are members of the Humans First party.

Lt. Governor Kane is Alex's father, a deeply buried secret neither of them wants revealed. It all gets very awkward when Governor Coleman turns up dead, and Alex notices something very, very peculiar about his body.

She's about to experience the worst week or so of her life, while she struggles to unravel a dark plot that endangers everyone she cares about, and even her estranged father and sister.

One of her friends is Death. Along the way she meets a ghost named Roy, who has his own reasons for wanting to stop the plot. Her landlord and friend, Caleb, is Fae, She also has human friends--Tamara, the coroner; Holly, a prosecutor; John, a police detective.

And then there's Falin Andrews, a police detective who just transferred into the department from some unspecified someplace else, who has been handed the case of investigating the Governor's death, and who may be friend or foe.

Alex has a lot of secrets to dig through. The obvious ones are who is behind the plot, and what the purpose of the plot is. Where did Falin Andrews come from and what are his real intentions?

There are Alex's own secrets.

There are also the family secrets that Alex doesn't even suspect yet.

It's a nicely intricate story, and Price put some real thought into the background without letting background overwhelm the story. The magic in this world has rules, and a price for using it. Also, to many fantasies that postulate such a big change in the world, treat it as something that would leave the rest of the world unchanged, no political or practical repercussions. Ms. Price hasn't done that; she's given some thought to how it would change the world.

This is a good, solid story, with interesting characters and an interesting world. Recommended.

I bought this book.