Title: These Shallow Graves
Author: Kali Wallace
Publication Date: January 2016
Version: Physical Book
Genre: YA, Paranormal, Fantasy
Rating: 2.5/5 Stars
Breezy remembers leaving the party: the warm, wet grass under her feet, her cheek still stinging from a slap to her face. But when she wakes up, scared and pulling dirt from her mouth, a year has passed and she can’t explain how.
Nor can she explain the man lying at her grave, dead from her touch, or why her heartbeat comes and goes. 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.
Haunted by happy memories from her life, Breezy sets out to find answers in the gritty, threatening 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 discovers is at once empowering, redemptive, and dangerous.
I picked this book up after reading the synopsis and being super intrigued, knowing nothing about else about it. And it started off so, so strong. It really did. We have the main character, Breezy, who wakes up after being dead for a year now knowing what the heck is going on. We find out as the story progresses that she is kind of a badass and is one of the main reasons why I gave this book a 2.5.
Sadly, after the beginning, the book went downhill for me. All of the other characters we meet felt incredibly flat and the story went in a completely different direction than I first thought. The whole middle part of the story completely dragged and ideas and questions are introduced that are never explained, which gives a sense of incomplete world building.
The whole book feels like there needs to be a sequel or like it’s setting up for further world building, which is a shame that it doesn’t feel like it could stand on its own. If there is a sequel in the works, I probably wouldn’t pick it up and per Goodreads, as of last year, the author wrote that it is meant to be a standalone.
I did really like Breezy as a character and I liked the diverse characters and the themes that run through the book, which can be very heavy, but are handled really well. However, the overall story just didn’t do it for me.