Tag Archives: fantasy

Grave Witch

Book Review: Grave Witch, by Kalayna Price

Grave Witch Kalayna Price

I won a $10 credit to The Book Depository and Grave Witch, by Kalayna Price is the book I chose to purchase with it.

About the book

Grave witch Alex Craft can speak to the dead, but that doesn’t mean she likes what they have to say.

As a private investigator and consultant for the police, Alex Craft has seen a lot of dark magic. But even though she’s on good terms with Death himself—who happens to look fantastic in a pair of jeans—nothing has prepared her for her latest case. Alex is investigating a high profile murder when she’s attacked by the ‘shade’ she’s raising, which should be impossible. To top off her day, someone makes a serious attempt on her life, but Death saves her. Guess he likes having her around…

To solve this case Alex will have to team up with tough homicide detective Falin Andrews. Falin seems to be hiding something—though it’s certainly not his dislike of Alex—but Alex knows she needs his help to navigate the tangled webs of mortal and paranormal politics, and to track down a killer wielding a magic so malevolent, it may cost Alex her life…and her soul.

my review

I generally enjoyed this. It suffers from many of the faults of Urban Fantasy/PNR published a decade ago—the hero/love interest is an asshole for half the book, the cast isn’t very diverse, there’s a possible love triangle thrown in at the end—as well as some just generally questionable things like solutions presenting themselves in easy and coincidental fashions. But I liked Alex. The writing is super readable. I was invested in the story and would happily read more of the series.

The Finder Witch and the Small Favor

Book Review: The Finder Witch and the Small Favor, by Kat Zaccard

the finder witch and the small favor

I picked up a copy of Kat Zaccard‘s The Finder Witch and the Small Favor as an Amazon Freebie. And I would like it noticed that it is January 19th and here I’ve already read a Z-book for my Author Alphabet Challenge. (I try to read a book from an author who’s last name starts with every letter of the alphabet each year.) I’m ridiculously proud of myself. Usually, I get to mid-December and scramble to find a Q, X, and Z book. Well, Z is taken care of early this year!

Natalie can’t catch a break.

After losing her job and her roommate on the same day, she’d say she was cursed… if she believed in that sort of thing.

Natalie gets a crash course in the paranormal after a first date turns into a magical crime spree. Now she has to find a job, a place to live and… oh yeah… convince the cops that she’s not an accomplice to murder.

Her luck starts to change when she realizes her knack for finding things may be more than coincidence.

Natalie thought she was cursed… turns out she may be charmed.

Soooo, this just isn’t particularly good. It’s shallow, everyone talks in exclamation points, it needs more editing (especially for homophones), it’s super cheesy at points, and the last chapter throws in a twist that has no relation to the rest of the book at all. But what really killed it for me was the boredom. Here we have a book theoretically about a woman being hunted by a half-demon for her magical potential (should be exciting), but that is about 5% of the book. The rest is meaningless day-to-day activities, internal monologue, and needless magical lessons.

I’ll grant that the characters are likeable and there is some cute humor. But for the most part this was a fail for me.


Book Review: Demon’s Wish, by Xenia Melzer

I accepted a copy of Xenia Melzer‘s Demon’s Wish (Demon Mates, #1) for review during it’s Totally Entwined Release Book Blitz.

about the book

Finding love is hard—especially when you’re a demon and your potential mate is your sacrifice…

Sammy is content with running his bookshop and leading a book club consisting solely of paranormal creatures. Despite the persistence of his friends, he has resolved himself to a life without romance, since he doesn’t think anybody could find him and his tendency to spill useless knowledge whenever he gets nervous attractive.

Dresalantion is a demon prince and slightly—make that majorly—annoyed when somebody persistently tries to summon him. He finally decides to show up and put the fear of Dresalantion into his summoners but finds himself rescuing their sacrifice instead.

Sammy intrigues him from the get-go, and when Dre realizes that Sammy can get him the manga he’s been hunting for months—not to mention that he refuses a wish he offered him—the sexy demon decides to get to know this fascinating man better. Much better.

Reader advisory: This book contans scenes of kidnapping and an attempted human sacrifice.

my review

The Good:

This is a seriously sweet, low angst story. Two men meet, are instantly attracted, fall in love quickly, and spend the whole book making each other happy, with no drama. Both characters are likeable. And the big, hulking demon just wanting to find his one special love breaks the alpha-asshole cliche. There’s also some appreciable diversity in the side characters. It’s an enjoyable read and is quite well edited.

The Meh:

The book got quite a few chuckles out of me. But some of that humor ran on the juvenile side. I think I cringed or rolled my eyes as often as I laughed. No demon should ever ask, “Do you have to go number one or two” if the author wants him to be taken seriously. just sayin’

Some of the dialogue was clunky, especially around saying names too often to feel natural. And I got bored with all the recitations of random facts and, even more so, with the lengthy book club discussions. They slowed the plot down.

The bad:

Let’s talk sex. The sex in this book is fairly graphic (if not particularly impassioned), with quite a lot of emphasis on penetrative sex and what’s going to go where and do what. Now, I have no problem with sex. I love me a raunchy sex scene. But I have a couple complaints here.

First, and probably most importantly, the books reads as if it’s written for and about teens. Sammy is in his mid-twenties and Dre is 800 years old, but you’d never know it from the writing. So, to read a book that feels quite young and then have sex scenes focused heavily on accommodating a monster cock (both in the sense that it belongs to a demon and is monster-huge) felt out of place. This book would have done better with fade-to-black sex, sweet sex, or simply to have brought the tone of the rest of the book up a few years, IMO.

Secondly, the author made a point to include an asexual character, so they’re aware not everyone loves sex or the same sort of sex. But then wrote a story that reinforced the myth that penetrative sex is the only real sex. It had to be had to for the plot and love to progress, whether the characters wanted it or not. And considering one character has a penis that is physically too large to be accommodated by the human body (and that’s not at all cliched, *eyeroll*), not wanting it would have made sense. Plus, it’s would have been a significantly more interesting exploration of the compromises mixed species relationships have to face. Instead the “special moment” was all about the mechanics of how to get one character’s cock inside another. *boring*

I could probably also address here how the smaller, more feminized character had to endure a painful physical transformation to be with the larger, more manly one. As well as how there was never any doubt or discussion about what role both would play in bed (though I’ll grant it was at least mentioned that the larger one was grudgingly willing to try switching in the future). And probably too that the mechanics of claiming a mate leaves no room for female demons to claim theirs, only to be claimed (not that that is at all addressed, there are no female demons in the book).

I feel like I had one more point to add here, but I’ve forgotten it apparently. All in all, I’d say that this is a sweet book let down by it’s sex. In fact, I feel like the sex was written by someone who’d either never had it or had been told they had to include it to get published and did so reluctantly. It feels that silted and focused on the least important parts of the sex act. But outside of that, it’s a fun little book.



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