Grave Visions (Alex Craft #4) by Kalayna Price

Grave Visions - Emily Durante, Kalayna Price

Alex Craft is one of two grave witches in Nekros.  Since discovering that she is Fae, Alex has been trying to balance dealing with the drama that comes with it, her overly complicated love life and her business.  When a new drug called glitter hits the seat, Alex is tasked by the Queen, who believes that someone is trying to end her rule to find out the guilty party.  This is made even more difficult because Alex, who is not tied to a court is fading.  As a fae, Alex needs a tie to faerie to survive in the modern world and her unwillingness to pledge herself to any court makes this a big problem. Somehow, Alex has to convince the Queen to give her unaligned status, avoid the marriage that her father set into motion for her and find the person responsible for distributing a very dangerous drug.

Grave Memory, book 3 in this series was published in 2012, and I actually read it in 2013.  That's a long time between books.  While I read our previous review, I have to admit that because this series has so many moving parts, it took me a bit to catch up and get back into Price's world.  It was helpful that in many ways along the way, Price did recaps reminding us of who these characters were to Alex Craft and some of their history.

The story begins when Alex sees a man ride by on a unicorn. Yeah, I would stop and stare if I saw that as well.  It seems that a new drug called Glitter has hit the streets and people are dying because their life essence brings to life their worst nightmares.  Drugs are bad Mmkay.  I could have used a little bit more nuance with this part of the storyline.  There are various reasons people turn to drugs yet none of this was explored.  Essentially, Price puts drug use down to simple youth experimentation and then couples it with the most negative consequences.  The direction this took reminded me very much of those old eighties after school specials. Yes, I know I am dating myself so shut up about it.

Price spent a lot of time on Craft's romantic life.  At present, Alex's boyfriend is Death and this poses a problem because they're not really allowed to be a couple and so consequently he is in and out of her life.  Death cannot be there to talk through Alex's problems or even be a steady shoulder to lean on. In fact, Alex doesn't even know Death's real name or even how long he has been a reaper. Alex has known Death since she was a child and begged him not to take her mother's soul but she doesn't really know him and this bothers her more than she cares to admit. Then there's Fallon, who is sworn to the Queen and therefore cannot be trusted. This doesn't mean that the attraction toward Fallon has dimmed, it just means that Alex has acknowledged that there's no future between them no matter how many times Fallon tries to show his love for her. It's Fallon who jumps into muddy pond to save her life and Fallon who stands between Alex and the Queen whenever he senses that she is danger of losing her head to the monarch. The problem is that if the Queen orders Fallon to kill Alex, he must obey that order.  It seems that there are really no good options when it comes to romance for Alex.

Alex is one of the few disabled protagonists in this genre.  Alex is night blind and is losing her sight because of continued use of her magic to raise shades to solve murders.  Every time Alex uses her powers she is unable to see and at one point actually has to be guided around my Fallon.  My issue with this is that Alex often turns into a super crip.  She supposedly is trying to use her powers less because of a fear of going blind but throughout Grave Visions, Alex constantly uses her powers. Sure, there are reasons for Alex to rely on her power but my issue is that she never tries any other alternatives. Does this sound like someone worried about going blind to you?


Read More