The second book in the Alex Craft urban fantasy series.

Publication year: 2011
Format: print
Page count: 371
Publisher: Roc

After the events in the previous book, Alex’s life has changed only a little, at first. She’s still a grave witch, able to sense and channel grave essence from the land of the dead and able to raise shades (memories) of dead bodies. She still helps the local cops in murder cases and even though she’s not as struggling for money as before, she’s not rolling in it, either. And both of her romantic interests have vanished from her life.

The Nekros City police have just a foot from a dead body and they want Alex to find the rest of it. A bit reluctantly, she agrees to wade in a swamp looking for a body. Instead, she finds more left feet, hidden by glamour and full of magic. After that, one local independent fae threatens her.

When Alex is out enjoying coffee with her best friends, Tamara and Holly, they attacked by a huge monster which turns out to be mostly glamour – with a soul bound into it. Alex manages to stop it but in the process she tears a hole in reality.

Then things Alex did in the previous book come back to haunt her and this time, they will change her life.

“Grave Dance” is even more focused on the triangle romance than the previous book which was somewhat frustrating to me. There were a lot of unanswered questions about both her suitors: fae Falin and a soul collector Alex calls Death. A lot of things about Falin are answered, somewhat, but Death is still a mystery. I’m not a fan of that and I’m starting to think that Alex is stupid for trusting either of them, let alone both. Another thing I didn’t care for was that Alex hadn’t learned anything; she still didn’t ask questions she should have. She didn’t even bother to research her own heritage which was really disappointing, considering that one of her roommates is a fae: all she had to do was ask him!

The plot was fast paced; she didn’t have the time to do research during the story, but she had a whole month before the story started. I liked the way her heritage made her life harder, though.

What I did like a lot were the fae courts. We got a glimpse of three of them and I’d love to see more of them. The Winter court is ruled by the Winter Queen and she’s a pretty stereotypical manipulative bitch, although quite well done. The other two were different but seen only briefly. I also like the quirky new characters, the brownies. In fact, I’d love to get a book just about the fae.

A detail that I really liked was the bloody hands: a fae who has killed has literally blood on his or her hands which shows when she/he is in Faerie.

Well, it seems that my review is awfully negative but I (mostly) enjoyed reading Grave Dance; only in retrospect I find it somewhat frustrating. Also, it leaves a lot of questions unanswered and the ending is almost a cliffhanger.