Grave Witch (Alex Craft Series #1)

Grave Witch (Alex Craft Series #1) - Alexis Craft is a Grave witch, a witch with powers over the dead and their remains. She’s just entering into a ground breaking case where a shade can be used as a witness in court – which promises a much more steady income, a major concern of hers.Or it was, that was before people started trying to kill her. And curse her. And kidnap her. Because there’s another case she’s been dragged into – the murder of the governor. A murder that left magical traces on his body that only she seems able to sense. A murder that may be linked to a series of other brutal murders across the city – also with magical signs that are invisible to even the most sensitive witch, but not her.With her family closely involved with the governor, she also finds herself being dragged back into her family circles despite a long estrangement – and perhaps they’re even more closely involved than she expects. Between family, a murdered ghosts, a mystery gun man, kidnapping fae and a soul consuming curse, she has a lot of pressure to solve this case and precious little allies: only Death who is acting severely out of character, and a police officer she’s just met and has no idea if she can trust.The plot was fun, well paced and an actual mystery that was mysterious. There were a couple of times I got a little lost because of the size of the world and the sheer number of side characters and suspects, but I did pick it up again quickly. There was a lot going on but it all added to the character, the world and the story as well as the ongoing mystery that wasn’t revealed until the end of the book when things finally came together. I think the culprit was a little out of left field, I didn’t see it coming but nor do I think anyone could – because he was such a minor character that the reaction was less “HIM?! I never saw that!” so much as “Who is that again?”. But the journey was still interesting and kept me glued just to see Alexis fit into her world and try to take the many many elements of this mystery and bring it togetherWe have a very large world here, the fae were slowly being reduced as technology reason and disbelief took over – so they decided to reveal themselves to humanity. In the sudden surge of belief, the fae grew back to their old levels of power. Not just the fae – but fae lands were opened again, access to faerie and “folded land” opened up, expanding the Earth. They were joined by witches – the wyrd – who seem to have inherent magical talents and can learn more, seemingly at schools and by organisations. We seem to have different courts of the fae, many many different kinds of fae and a whole raft of political and legal issues arising from the fae and the witches. We have death – actually deaths, soul collectors who only Grave Witches can see, bars that lead to fae realms and a plethora of spells and charms on the market.It’s rich, it’s diverse, it’s complex and there’s a lot of meat to it. The reference to law and politics suggests there’s a lot of behind the scnees world building and we’re not just looking at word dropping “hey let’s include this,” without any real substance – I think there’s a lot of work gone into making this world rich and internally consistent.I have used “seem” a lot there for a reason – because this book is a tease. This vast, rich world is hinted at repeatedly, used when relevant, but only bits of it are shown. We have a lot of side references, such as reference to the charms people wear, or the fact that they were the 54th state with the newly unfolding land opening up. But little is examined in detail – I’m not even sure what the Wyrd means or is. In some ways it’s a master of “show” not “tell” – we always have enough information to work in the world, we’re never lost, we’re never without information we need to know while at the same time being spared lectures and info dumps. Read More