Friday, August 4, 2017

SHALLOW GRAVES BY KALI WALLACE - BOOK REVIEW

I know I do it a lot but I want you to know that I went into this book with little expectations and having not really read the synopsis. I knew there was a dead girl who wasn't dead. That's about it. And I'm still trying to wrap my head around what happened.

Hello everyone!

I am back with another book review, today it is Shallow Graves by Kali Wallace.

The story follows Breezy, a teenager who wakes up and claws her way out of a grave. She's been dead for a year and suddenly she is back. But she's not really alive either. She doesn't remember what happened that night after the party, who killed and buried her, and she can't figure out why the man at her feet died when she touched him. Or why she gets the memories of him murdering a whole family as they sat down for dinner one night. Alone, Breezy starts hitching rides across the country, trying to find answers and escape the past that haunts her. She soon meets a sinister group of people who aren't as friendly as they first seemed and who have no intention of helping her figure everything out.

Ok, let's start with Breezy because she is a huge part of this story. She is the narrator of the story and we follow her journey. The narration flashes back to her "life" now and her life when she was alive. We see her interactions with her family and friends and we learn about her dream of becoming an astronaut. Overall, I liked her as a character and as a person, but I'm still not entirely convinced I know what she is.

I think that was the biggest problem I had with this book. The story was overly ambitious for a book like this and a book of this length. Wallace tries to explain what is going, the 'monsters' that are real, but there just isn't enough book to adequately cover all the details that would explain everything properly.

While I applaud Wallace's ambition to include many types of monsters, I think it would have been better to focus on one or two and really explain what they were all about. There were ghouls, ghosts, banshees, magicians, witches, etc. - all creatures that make for a great story but together are too much for a standalone book less than 400 pages. And the explanations that were given seemed spotty at best. We were introduced to something and just told to accept it, there was no time for questions.

I think that's another aspect of this book that I didn't enjoy, I still have so many questions. During the book, Breezy's big question was why her. Why did she come back as a whatever she was? Why doesn't everyone? We get part of an answer, but nothing that really explains it. That is just one of the many questions I am left with. And, once again, I think it all comes back to being over ambitious. This book could have had a really great story if it was just a little more focused.

All that being said, I did still really like this book. It was so different from everything I have read recently. The atmosphere was creepy and spooky. The story was paced very well, I think I read the whole book in a total of just under 4 hours, which is pretty good for me.

There was not really any romance, which would have been unnecessary, in my opinion. There are some minor flashbacks and interactions but Wallace had the good sense to see that a well-developed romance in this book would not have been feasible with everything else that was going on.

Overall, a unique read with diverse characters and an interesting premise.