Sunday, 4 September 2016

Book Review: A Grave Magic by Bilinda Sheehan

Darkness can't always be beaten by the light. Sometimes you have to fight fire with fire.

Amber Morgan is a rookie in The Elite, an organisation tasked with the elimination of rogue preternatural beings in King City. But she has a secret. She's a witch and only joined The Elite to settle a personal score.

Her first case is supposed to be the routine investigation of a rogue vampire but it soon becomes clear that dark forces are at work, darker than anything the team has dealt with in the past.

When an irritatingly sexy Hunter offers to help, Amber wants to say hell no! The last thing she needs is another distraction even if he is sin personified. But with the fate of a missing child at stake and a possible connection between the case and her past, how can she refuse? 

My Review: 
I had a bit of a struggle getting into this one. I didn't find anything wrong with it when it came down to the way the author wrote it and developed it. There were a couple of small things that I struggled with which were enough to switch me off the book.

Lets start with the plot. Amber was our MC and she is a low powered witch, meaning she isn't as powerful as other witches. She has tried to conceal this to get a job in Elite, which tracks down and brings to justice supernatural monsters. Her co-worker Graham, an ex cop, knows what she is and wants Amber to help him locate his missing daughter. To test her powers, he takes her to the scene of a brutal vampire murder, a case which Amber is now determined to solve. There was nothing wrong with the plot and I found her powers interesting, especially when dealing with the aftermath of the vampire attack.

It was the characters that I didn't really connect to. Amber is interesting in her own way but we don't find out much about her except she is a witch and something bad happened to her, which after a third of the story, I still didn't know anything about. It is repetitive in that Amber is constantly talking about her lack of power and being a failure as a true witch, which starts to annoy you after a while. WHY does she feel a failure and why has she really joined Elite? It bugs me to have the entire back story of the MC being hidden from the reader for so long.

Graham was annoying too. He asks Amber for help yet continually annoys her by trying to force the issue. First he takes her to a bloody crime scene to test her to see if she'll be of any use to her. As she feels the pain of the murder victim and 'sees' a recreation of what happened there, that is a pretty cruel way to convince someone to help you. He won't tell her anything about his daughter until he has decided that Amber can help. When Amber is unsure that she can do anything, Graham then tries to force the issue by giving her something of his daughter's and forcing Amber to endure more pain. I lost patience with him at this point. He behaves like an asshat. Add in her obnoxious boss and the local police acting like they do in every case Anita Blake ever investigated and my tolerance for idiot characters was reached.

Look, it's not a bad book. There is a decent enough story in there but I felt that it was starting to drag a bit for me. I just didn't feel that the story was moving forward in a way that would keep me interested. It just wasn't grabbing me and making me want to find out what was going to happen next. When I switch off a bit, I don't generally get that interest back so I'm afraid I didn't finish the book.
star rating photo: Two Star Rating 2stars.png


  1. It's a shame when there are lots of those tiny things that don't quite work for you. Once they add up they can be enough to ruin a book. I've been seeing this one around, but hadn't bought it. And that's too bad you don't learn a lot about Amber. Good review!

    1. Thanks! Yeah it had potential I think, and it wasn't bad but when you don't get grabbed and dragged along it can be a problem. Beautiful cover though!