Aug 14, 2021

Review--Shallow Graves by Kali Wallace


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.



Shallow Graves by Kali Wallace was a dark and eerie story that held me captivated for the past two days as I read it! While it wasn't the horror story I was looking for, I still found myself held riveted by the words and story and there was still enough creepiness and mystery to have me turning the pages faster than I thought!

Breezy wakes to find herself crawling out of a shallow grave and a dead man at her feet. Though, now having finished the book I wonder more about this creepy dude, as we only really get a glimpse of him through a flashback or two. Breezy died a year ago, well, sort of. She died but now she's alive-ish, but not. She can't really eat food anymore without getting sick, her heart beats on occasion and now she can see the shadows around people to see what kind of person they are. She's drawn to the ones with dark shadows, signs that they have killed.

Breezy isn't sure what she is. She survives somehow by killing murderers, with a touch she knows their sins and can steal their very life essence from them and leaving them a dead shell. She's really just been going about life the past year now moving across the country killing killers, not really having any purpose. Then she finds herself at a church house, one that claims to help the helpless and can save one's eternal soul. She's not so sure about that mumbo jumbo, but she wanted a nice hot shower. What she quickly discovers is that the church is basically filled with monster hunters, finding monsters, and gifting them to a mysterious Her. And naturally, Breezy has become their next target. Breezy is determined to escape her captors with the help of their other captive, a mysterious girl named Rain.

This book was honestly just filled with mystery! Not the whodunit kind, but one where you're trying to puzzle things out. Like what Breezy is, learning about the other "monsters" in the world. The mysterious Her the main priest at the church seems to worship. So many mysteries, so little answers at times. 

Breezy doesn't really have one mission in mind. After learning about who her captors were, she's curious to know who they were serving and what was happening to the other "monsters" that never came back from the church. That itself was pretty terrifying as were the end results.

Throughout the book we get flashbacks of Breezy's life from before she was killed. Sometimes a few years and other times in the weeks before. We do eventually get to see the flashback where she was killed and whodunit. That was honestly a little more shocking than I expected, but I suppose the clues were there. I did enjoy how Breezy handled things after she "came back." It's not quite what you would expect, but pretty satisfying in some sense too.

This review was a little hard to write as there's no real driven plot. It's more of an aimlessly wandering kind of story where Breezy is encountering different "people" and not all ones she can or should trust. She does seem to make good friends with a ghoul named Zeke and his brother, Jake. So it was nice to see Breezy adjusting to her new way of life in that sense. 

In some ways this was a book where not much happened, but a lot happens at the same time. It's a standalone so you know everything is complete at the end and things are mostly resolved. It's kind of an open-ended ending too. It's part terrifying, part hopeful in that sense.

While I struggle to really say much about this book, it's not because I didn't enjoy it. I rather did enjoy it! It's just hard to put into words Breezy's journey without getting too deep into it and revealing too much. Needless to say this is a book about a girl who died, came back, and has to adjust to her new undead(ish) life and learning about the hidden world that was always around her. It's a story about love, hope, revenge, death, and more. Shallow Graves was an intriguing and mysterious story that will hold you riveted and chill you down deep. It proves that humans can be monsters and monsters can be humane.

Overall Rating 3.5/5 stars

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