Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Book Review + Giveaway: Shallow Graves by Kali Wallace




Shallow Graves by Kali Wallace
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: January 26th 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Horror, Zombies, Fantasy, Thriller, Contemporary, Fiction, Mystery, Supernatural
Rate: 3 out of 5

Synopsis:

For fans of Holly Black and Nova Ren Suma, a gripping, hauntingly atmospheric novel about murder, revenge, and a world where monsters—human and otherwise—lurk at the fringes.

When seventeen-year-old Breezy Lin wakes up in a shallow grave one year after her death, she doesn’t remember who killed her or why. All she knows is that she’s somehow conscious—and not only that, she’s able to sense who around her is hiding a murderous past. In life, Breezy was always drawn to the elegance of the universe and the mystery of the stars. Now she must set out to find answers and discover what is to become of her in the gritty, dangerous world to which she now belongs—where killers hide in plain sight and a sinister cult is hunting for strange creatures like her. What she finds is at once empowering, redemptive, and dangerous.

Tense, complex, and wholly engaging, Shallow Graves is a stunning first novel from Kali Wallace.



Every now and then I read a book that both hooks me, and completely confuses me. Shallow Graves was one of those books. While the concept was fresh, and interesting, there was always this air of unanswered questions hanging over the whole thing. Let's just say that I'm still on the fence about this one.

First off, I have a lot of love for Breezy as a character. She was honest, smart, focused, and best of all she wasn't afraid to question her existence. For a reanimated character, she had a lot of lush backstory. Specifically, I loved that she hadn't forgotten her family. It added an extra depth to the story, and made it so that she didn't completely lose all of her humanity. I actually felt for her. Which is good, since she was technically a "monster" of sorts.

The further good news is that, despite how confused I was at times, there was enough forward movement to keep me reading. If nothing else, I kept wanting to read on to see if more of Breezy's past and present would be explored. The little tidbits that were thrown in, like how she wanted to be an astronaut, and had worked so hard only to leave that behind, were amazing.

The downside of this lack of explanation, obviously, was that there were always these unanswered questions hanging around in my head as I read. I just kept desperately hoping that everything would tie up by the ending. Sadly, it really didn't. I don't mind being left in the dark, as a reader. I'll follow blindly, as long as everything is resolved at some point. Unfrotunately, that didn't happen here. It was a little disappointing.

Overall, this was a good story. It had a unique and interesting premise, it just needed a bit more in the execution department. I liked Breezy. I enjoyed watching her navigate her new and confusing existence, and I'd happily follow her into another story. Next time, I just hope there's more resolution.


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Kali Wallace studied geology and geophysics before she decided she enjoyed inventing imaginary worlds as much as she liked researching the real one. Her short fiction has appeared in Clarkesworld, F&SF, Asimov's, Lightspeed Magazine, and Tor.com. Her first novel will be published by Katherine Tegen Books in 2016. She lives in southern California.


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FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

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