Hello fellow urban fantasy fans. Today, I’d like to share my thoughts about A Grave Death by Victoria DeLuis. Book 1 in her new urban fantasy series, Independent Necromancers’ Bureau.
Read: 29th September – 1st October 2019
Publication Date: 25th June 2019
My Overall Rating: 5/5
Plot: 5/5 – Flow: 5/5 – Character Development: 5/5 – World Building: 5/5
Quote from A Grave Death
Dylan ignored my grumbling and turned to Brandon, who’d taken the stool next to mine.
“You are lucky to have caught me. I once discovered Cassie attempt to make an omelette of her own. Scromlette, I believe is the more appropriate term for the mess that ensued.”
“It might not have looked good, but it tasted delicious, and that’s all that counts,” I said before turning to Brandon. “I’m honestly not that bad of a cook, he’s exaggerating”
A Grave Death is the first full novel (approx 206 pages) in a new cozy urban fantasy series – Independent Necromancer’s Bureau. The series blends our modern ideas about zombies, ghosts and raising the dead with Welsh mythology. A Grave Death is a story set in modern day Wales, Cardiff to be exact. Our protagonist is Cassie Dune, who just happens to be the most powerful necromancer in the UK. She works in the Cardiff branch of the Independent Necromancer’s Bureau (INB). INB is an international organisation tasked with policing the supernatural world of ghosts and necromancy.
I write about how the story was told in my reviews rather than the plot itself. Consequently they don’t contain spoilers or reveal plot twists. Here’s what the official blurb has to say about the story.
Ghosts. Zombies. Magical Artefacts and Rogue Necromancers wreaking havoc …
… Just an average work day.
As an agent for the Independent Necromancers’ Bureau, it’s Cassie’s job to deal with zombies, catch and remove unwanted ghosts, and track down rogue necromancers. Operating out of Cardiff, one of the most magical cities in the Northern Hemisphere, she sure has her work cut out for her.
When Cassie’s lifelong friend and mentor is murdered, and his spirit severed from his body to prevent anyone talking to him, she vows to catch his killer.
With the body count rising, there’s no doubt dark deeds are at play, and with the dark deeds comes dark magic. Who or what is behind that magic?
Cassie’s the most powerful agent in the U.K. But will that be enough? And who can she trust to help?
Death is on her mind … Is it in her future?
Read my thoughts about the prequel short stories Till Death and A Matter of Death HERE.
So, before we get into what I thought about this book, I want you to know that I was given a digital version of this book for free from the author as a thank you for my pre-publication Beta Reading services.
This does not influence or affect my review in any way. These are my words and this is my candid opinion.
I’m already a fan of Victoria DeLuis’ books. I love her writing style; it’s intelligent and the prose she uses makes her stories very easy to read. Her plots are well-crafted and planned out. I like the way they develop throughout the story; gradually being revealed to the reader at a believable pace. The settings Victoria creates are described in such a way that you are transported directly into the scenes. However I never feel weighed down with overly-long descriptions love the wonderful mix of fantasy and reality.
I enjoyed the twists and turns that Victoria took us on. There are a few story threads in this book and I found it hard to second-guess how things were going to pan out. However this added to my enjoyment and kept me turning the pages.
I enjoy a story more when the female protagonist is intelligent, resilient and has a good sense of humour. Cassie Dune had all these qualities and more. Cassie is already self-reliant and demonstrates her kind and loving heart when we first meet her. There’s a little bit of character growth for our heroine in this story. However, I feel that Cassie’s journey through the whole series will see her insecurities about her necromancy power tackled and brought to heel.
Nope. I enjoyed every single page.
This is a first-in-series,therefore I was bracing myself for the inevitable cliffhanger. However the murder case that Cassie and the INB are investigating is solved before the end of this book. Woop!Woop! (‘cause you all know how I feel a about cliffhangers). I found myself involved in this story from the first page – the way Ms DeLuis crafted it, sparked my interest and I think I’m going to enjoy this new series.
A Grave Death is an urban fantasy about zombies – umm, sorry reanimated. There were a lot of scenes that had me scrunching my nose in disgust as well as holding my breath in fear. However I felt a lot of other emotions too. There were a couple of scenes that brought a lump to my throat and a tear to my eye. However fear not, avid readers, this is no romantic weepy or scare-fest. There’s plenty of humour that made me smile plus some well written banter that’s giggle-worthy too.
There’s no explicit or graphic violent or sexual scenes in A Grave Death. Therefore I feel comfortable recommending it to anyone. Especially those who likes reading urban fantasy or paranormal mystery stories that are on the cosier side of the genre.
Has my review of A GRAVE DEATH (INDEPENDENT NECROMANCER’S BUREAU #1) encouraged you to find out more? I really hope it has. Click on any of the links below to check out the book yourself. Keep reading to find out more about the author.
Buy A GRAVE DEATH in ebook and paperback formats through:
or read it for free using your Kindle Unlimited Subscription.
Victoria DeLuis is a short story author and novelist, who loves reading – everything – and writing urban fantasy, mystery stories, paranormal romantic suspense, and even the occasional sci-fi.
She was born and raised in South Wales, which offers her a rich heritage and mythology to use in her stories.
After the birth of her daughter, Victoria decided to abandon the corporate life, return to education, and pursue her lifelong passion for writing. So, she studied creative writing and gained a first class honours degree. After which, she put on a brave face and headed out into the big scary world of publishing.
Victoria is now busy, busy, busy: Being a mum, writing (and doing all the additional tasks that come with publishing), and running her small book promotion site – magicbookdeals.com. Victoria has now also completed a Master’s Degree in Novel Writing.
Victoria loves to hear from her readers, although admits “I must warn you, I am rubbish at social media.” Sign up to her Newsletter and find her here:
Thank you for stopping by and for taking the time to read my review for A Grave Death.
I hope I’ve caused you to add yet another book to your ever growing TBR piles. 😉