Book Review: Shallow Graves by Kali Wallace

cover for shallow graves
© HarperCollins, 2016.


A gripping, hauntingly atmospheric novel about murder, revenge, and a world where monsters-human and otherwise-lurk at the fringes.

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 the necklace of bruises around her neck. She also can’t explain the man lying at her grave, dead from her touch; why her heartbeat comes and goes; or how she doesn’t need to eat or drink.Haunted by the happy memories from her life and disgusted by the half-dead creature she’s become, Breezy leaves to find answers, slowly piecing together the unfathomable world to which she now belongs. Unable to live with what she’s become or to find a way to kill what is already dead, she seeks out a dangerous healing magic-but the cure is as dark and terrible as the disease.

Set in a gorgeous, terrifying world, Shallow Graves is a stunning novel about the heartbreaking trauma of a girl’s life cut short and her struggle to reconcile her humanity with the creature she’s become.”

Via Goodreads


I have no idea why Shallow Graves is listed as a horror novel. Perhaps it’s because it has monsters and it seems that, like Twilight, the sheer presence of these unsavory sorts means it must be scary. This novel from Kali Wallace is anything but. The main character, a girl named Breezy, wakes up after being murdered to find that she’s no longer human. The story that ensues is one of self-realization, one of accepting ones fate, and, in Breezy’s particular case, a very long pity party.

Shallow Graves isn’t a bad book. In fact, it’s perfect for fans of books like The Coldest Girl in Coldtown – though the plot isn’t all that much different. Girl goes to party, something bad happens, and her world falls apart. It’s a trope that’s becoming a little too popular and honestly, I find it rather vexing.

I listened to the audio production of this book and found the narrator’s voice to be semi-relaxing. It wasn’t as unpleasant as some of the other books I’ve listened to lately. Thank god for that. The narrator, Emily Woo Zeller, does seem to go a bit overboard from time to time, and at those points her voice is an awful screech. Worse than nails on chalkboard type. For the most part though, it’s alright.

This book is a perfect starting point for a series, but whether or not that has been or will be done is beyond me – I don’t plan to look any further into it beyond the story I’ve listened to. It is perfect for fans of fantasy books targeted toward young adults (which I would hope, considering it is one) – especially females. There’s just a dash of a sub-plot that hints at romance, but nothing seems to bloom there. I think this book’s a pretty solid three.

Rating: 💀💀💀

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