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.
This refreshingly new Urban Fantasy goes far beyond the typical witch stuff. Alex is an enjoyable heroine gifted with the bizarre talents of...well, it's not easy for me to describe. Let's just say it's a highly police procedural type book, rich with mystery as Alex tries to solve crimes and help deal with cases using her unique abilities. There's also Falin, a detective clothed in mystery and standing as a potential - maybe? - romantic interest, or is he an eventual enemy? The other main character, "Death" - seriously - is a grim reaper in a series of grim reapers, who is supposably attractive and attracted to Alex. Alex is one of the only people in the world able to see grim reapers, who had to follow a code of rules and club membership stuff to get the "job done."
Personally I find the idea of Death a little hokey and although it's amazingly unique, I can't feel anything for the character. Putting a face on grim reaper and making him a real person and even potential love interest makes little sense to me. Falin is actually dreamy and I dug the heroine of the series. Alex is personable, intelligent, enjoyable to read through the viewpoint us. She's not melodramatic, snotty, or overdrawn as some Urban Fantasy chicks tend to be.
Plot-wise, it's a goodie. The villain was twisted beyond belief and there was serious mystery and intricate webbing here. Not heavy on suspense but the ending rocked and I'm intrigued by the revelation of who the main characters really ARE.
The book took me awhile to get into as it wasn't as engrossing as I'd like. Main reason likely being the slower buildup and Death hanging around as a slight turn-off. Once the police procedural took farther off, and the weird world started revealing other mystery creatures, I could see why this series has become so popular among the Urban Fantasy crowd.
Price's writing is a delight to enjoy, as it's filled with description, realistic comforts, and she has a knack for making characters seem three-dimensional. Pacing is tight and suspense runs high some of the time, especially when it's on the mystery side rather than the danger side. The fairy side stuff seems particularly mysterious and dark.
It's the strange situation where the book was only mediocre till the middle half, then really started saving itself by suddenly sprouting more interesting wings. I'm sure you've all been there with books before when this happens. I also fear this will be a big love triangle type series. Still, the book didn't end on a cliffhanger but still left me hanging wanting to read the second, which I thankfully had close at hand. Here's hoping I'm more impressed with the second round.
“He was secretive, bossy, and regularly insufferable. He had also saved my life a couple of times. And he looked really good in my kitchen.”
“Ms. Craft, while I’m sure your charming personality endears you to many people, is there anyone you know who would want to kill you?”
“This is so sweet I’m going to end up diabetic.”