Author: Kali Wallace
Publication Date: January 26th, 2016
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Summary from Goodreads: 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.
Shallow Graves is an interesting little book about a girl who wakes up in a grave eighteen inches under the ground, a few houses down from her own house. She has been dead for a year, but doesn’t know this as soon as she climbs out of her grave. Also, upon waking and climbing out the grave she had been in for a year, she accidentally kills a man trying to help her out. As soon as she touches him, she can sense something is off…and she can see the horrible things he’s done, including the fact that she knows he has killed someone.
As Breezy continues to piece together what happened the night that she died, and why she came back from the dead, she encounters a strange cult of people who are trying to get rid of “monsters” like her and the few others that she has come in contact with. After some close calls, Breezy escapes and tries to make sense of things – such as why she is able to tell when someone is a murderer, and why she is able to easily take their lives.
In Shallow Graves, Kali Wallace spins a nifty little story of the supernatural – zombies, magicians, and all kinds of other creepy monsters that walk around like normal people. While it isn’t a heart-pounding thriller, or a spine-tingling horror, it’s a curious little novel that really keeps you turning the pages and on the edge of your seat as you try and figure out what really happened to Breezy the night she was killed. While some parts of this book are a little slow, for the most part, there were always interesting things going on. While the pacing of the book was a little bit slower than I’m used to, it wasn’t a bad thing…I’m just used to the faster pacing in a lot of other books.
While I have read a LOT of horror, thrillers, and supernatural books, this one just seems so different from anything else. The main character of the book is pretty much a zombie, only instead of walking around eating brains or whatever, she’s able to touch killers and see exactly what they have done, who they have killed, and even easily kill them, if she chooses to. That’s definitely original, and I was impressed to see how much thought was put into Breezy’s character. While I didn’t have an easy time connecting to the other characters in the book, I loved Breezy.
Also, there wasn’t really any romance in here – instead, the book is focused on the questions Breezy asks about herself and what’s going on. I like that there wasn’t any kind of romance going on, because a lot of times these kinds of books end up getting ruined by out of place love triangles or insta-love. It was nice that the story was the main focal point.
If you like thrillers, especially ones that are different and full of supernatural elements, you shouldn’t miss this one!
Note: I received an ARC copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
About the Author
Kali Wallace studied geology and geophysics before she decided she enjoyed inventing imaginary worlds as much as she liked researching the real one. Her short fiction has appeared in Clarkesworld, F&SF, Asimov’s, Lightspeed Magazine, and Tor.com. Her first novel will be published by Katherine Tegen Books in 2016. She lives in southern California.