Reading time 3 mins
Review: SHALLOW GRAVES by Kali WallaceShallow Graves by Kali Wallace
Published by HarperCollins on January 26th 2016
Pages: 368
Genres: Young Adult, Horror & Ghost Stories, Monsters, Paranormal
eARC provided by Katherine Tegen Books

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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.

This book didn’t go in the direction I thought it would. This book went into a fantasy direction. It was pretty good, but not exactly what I thought it would be. Breezy wakes up in a shallow grave one year from the day she was killed. The man who finds her is a murderer. With just a touch she unknowingly kills him. Breezy comes to quickly realize that she is not dead, but not really alive either. She can tell if someone has killed before. Breezy finds out the hard way that some people know what she is and they want her gone.

Breezy’s story starts off a few weeks after her awakening in her hometown in Illinois. She doesn’t seem to have any direction, but she starts hitchhiking toward Colorado. She really wants to find out why she is the way she is, and if there are other people like her. I had serious questions about why Breezy didn’t go straight home, why she didn’t tell people about herself. The author was great in filling in those answers throughout the story as Breezy remembers or tells people about how she got here.

Breezy’s character grows so much throughout this story. Breezy was easy to like. She starts off as a pretty blank slate and her ability (or power) is pretty cool. I could imagine that some people would think her very useful, maybe even a force for good. That is not what the author did with her. Breezy ends up running into the sort of people that want her (and others like her) gone.

This story has some real addictive qualities. The world building was done beautifully. I could see the whole story through well worded descriptions. Breezy is lone female that is actually alone. There wasn’t a love story hidden in this tale, it is Breezy’s story through and through. There were a few times there I was scared for what would happen to her, she doesn’t do anything that is blatantly stupid, but she really has nothing to loose. So she gets a bit reckless. I love that Breezy was unpredictable. I loved the pacing and I found this story hard to put down.

I have to admit that some of this story I still don’t understand. I am just not sure why Breezy did some of the things that she did or why certain characters were even there. I could have done without the cave entirely. I also didn’t enjoy the open ending. I needed this story to have closure. I wished this went into a more fantastical element, or if it it had a actual ending for Breezy. I still have too many questions to be happy with where the book left off.

My Rating


About Kali Wallace

For most of her life Kali Wallace was going to be a scientist when she grew up. She studied geology in college, partly because she could get course credit for hiking and camping, and eventually earned a PhD in geophysics researching earthquakes in India and the Himalayas. Only after she had her shiny new doctorate in hand did she admit that she loved inventing imaginary worlds as much as she liked exploring the real one. Her short fiction has appeared in Clarkesworld, F&SF, Asimov's, Lightspeed, and She was born in Colorado and spent most of her life there, but now lives in southern California. Her debut YA horror novel Shallow Graves will be published by Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins on January 26, 2016.

I received this product free of charge in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links. This review is in compliance with the FTC guidelines.

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