Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Grave Witch

Grave Witch
Kalayna Price
Published by Penguin

I took this book on vacation but never read it. Then, the other night I just picked it up trying to decide if I was going to read it at all. I started on the first chapter and finally turned out the light at about chapter 16. Also didn't get much sleep as it was pretty late. So, that is a high recommendation from me!

Grave Witch is a very different book than what I was expecting and I love the characters, the romance, and the mystery. I don't always like paranormal novels with witches and spells as I often find them to be anti-Christian. But Price's world is different and intruguing enough for that not to be an issue.

The main character is named Alex Craft. She is a witch of that raises shades -- a kind of spiritual recording of the person who has died. These are not ghosts but impressions of the deceased. She is also a licensed PI and a consultant for the police of Nekros which, as best as I can tell, is located in the former state of Tennessee. Alex has a few friends, including her landlord who is a member of the Fae, as well as an interesting relationship with the man she calls Death -- so called because she sees him whenever someone is dying or is about to die.

The book is a mystery as well as a paranormal. Who is killing these girls and who killed the Governor? How is Alex's family connected to these mysteries? Who is this Detective Falin Andrews? Why is Death always hanging around Alex?  How come Alex can now see a ghost and why does he keep following her around? And the biggest mystery of all: when is Alex finally getting paid so that she can buy some groceries?

Warning: there is one very explicit romantic scene but I thought Price did a nice job with incorporating what  Alex had thought of as an act to part of being in a relationship.

What did this book have to do with my faith? One of the jobs of this Death character is that he comes and takes a person's soul at the moment of death. No one else can see him. He does not seem to be an angel, although he definitely looks after and listens to Alex. This makes me think of the whole dualism ideas of the early church which have now adopted into our present Christian theology. If Jesus was resurrected bodily and we are all promised a bodily resurrection, do we have a soul? If so, what happens to the soul when we die? Does it go to heaven? Stay with the body? If the body of Christ is so important and the emphasis in the bible is on the body rather than a soul, why don't we hear more about it in church? The idea of the soul is actually a Greek (read Gentile) thought. Grave Witch made me think more about what really happens to us in death and what we should believe and teach in our churches.

This is the first in a series and I can't wait to check out the next book: Grave Dance. I highly recommend Grave Witch!

Happy Reading!


Copyright 2011 Amelia G. Sims

1 comment:

  1. David talks to his own soul in Psalm 103. It opens and closes with "Bless the Lord, O my soul." In between, his soul launches into praise and remembrances of God's immense and merciful character. The soul is like a modem within a person that receives and translates from the Holy Spirit. His soul then goes on to exhort other entities to bless the Lord -1.His angels 2. all his hosts - (ministers of his that do his pleasure) 3. all His works in all places of His dominion. That last one cuts a pretty wide swath. Do all His works have a soul like the man does? Do the angels? Do the heavenly hosts? Do the doggies and the flowers and the mountains have a soul? I think maybe they don't need the modem (?)

    Then he ends once again with a direct address to his own soul.
    There's an exuberance…and a soberness too in Psalm 103 that surely only a soul could furnish.
    So in it, you can see the soul at work, so to speak.

    Could it be that the soul is the capacity to recognize and praise the Immortal (God) while we're yet still mortals?
    Which makes me think that when we are in heaven it won't be like here on earth where we need the soul to recognize and praise God. We just will.

    Jesus said what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his own soul? So that tells me the modem can get "unplugged". (lose the connection)
    And he didn't say "lose his own personality - or emotions - or individuality" - which are sometimes equated to the soul.
    And he didn't say lose his mind, his body, or even his human spirit.

    The soul of man is a precious unique gift for mankind only, because we are made in His image. We're given a working modem.

    Why is the soul not talked about more in the Church? Maybe because we don't need to?

    Ah, I hate to make stabs at definitions of the spiritual realm! So please overlook my clumsy stabs.
    I just love Psalm 103.
    Bless the Lord o my soul - that I have you!