Sci Fi Sunday — I See Dead People
I’m currently reading two different urban fantasy series that feature the afterlife:
Grave Witch by Kalayna Price is the first book in the Alex Craft series. Alex Craft is a broke private investigator who is also a grave witch — she solves her cases by raising the dead and speaking to them. She’s even on intimate terms with Death himself; a bit of a problem as he seems to have a crush on her. In this world, fae have come out of the closet because human disbelief was causing their numbers to dwindle, so fae and humans coexist in something of an uneasy truce. Alex is threatened when she takes on a case for the police that will result in the first ever ghost taking the witness stand. Detective Falin Andrews would happily remove Alex from the case, but her exposure to dark magic makes her determined to solve the question of who is trying to kill her.
This is an enjoyable read if you like urban fantasy; nothing extremely new or shocking here, but there’s enough creativity that the story doesn’t feel recycled. Alex is a likable character although I saw some echoes of other fantasy heroines in her, particularly Anita Blake and Rachel Morgan. All in all, probably best for die-hard fans of the genre. I’m now on the second book, Grave Dance.
And now for something kind of different, Darynda Jone’s First Grave on the Right.
Charley Davidson sees dead people, mostly murdered ones, and has been helping her uncle and father (both cops) solve crimes since she was five years old. Technically, she’s a grim reaper — ghosts are attracted to her and pass through her to the afterlife. She also has a sizzling hot romance with a dream lover who is both incorporeal and irritatingly anonymous. Solving a string of crimes and ferreting out her lover’s identity occupies most of Charley’s time.
I don’t know how to categorize this book. It won an award for Paranormal Romance, although I’m not sure it fits a standard romance arc. It’s also — and I mean this sincerely — laugh-out-loud funny. There were several moments reading this in the carpool line where I’m sure people walked by and thought I was having a seizure or something. I don’t know if I can compare this series to anything in the paranormal genre. It actually reminds me most of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series, so if you liked those then you’ll like Charley. I’ve already read the second book, Second Grave on the Left and have Third Grave Dead Ahead on hold at the library.