Review of Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison

Posted November 2nd, 2011 in book review / Leave a comment

Dead Witch Walking

Book #1 of the Hollows Series

by Kim Harrison

Published: Harper Voyager – April 2004
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 416 (paperback)

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Rating: ★★★★★ (5 stars)

Rachel Morgan is a runner with the Inderland Runner Services, apprehending law-breakers throughout Cincinnati. She’s also a witch, one of the many Inderlanders who revealed themselves after a genetically engineered virus wiped out 50 percent of humanity. Witches, warlocks, vampires, werewolves: the creatures of dreams and nightmares have lived beside humans for centuries, hiding their powers. But now they’ve stopped hiding, and nothing will be the same.

On the run with a contract on her head, Rachel reluctantly teams up with Ivy, Inderland’s best runner…and a living vampire. But this witch is way out of her league, and to clear her name, Rachel must evade shape-changing assassins, outwit a powerful businessman/crimelord, and survive a vicious underground fight-to-the-death…not to mention her own roommate!

The Good
After her boss continues to send her out on the bottom-feeder jobs no one else will take, Rachel decides to quit the IS. But when she can’t afford to buy out her contract, a death contract is put out for her head. Rachel’s only way to stop the many assassination attempts her ex-employer has encouraged is by bringing in the big fish. And that big fish is Trent Kalamack, a city councilor and successful business man. The IS has been trying to find enough evidence of his nefarious crimes for years. But Rachel may have just found a lead and hopes to use Trent’s arrest to get her death contract eliminated. But, of course, the way Rachel’s life has been going, it just isn’t that simple.

Now this is the kind of book I drool over. We get vampires, pixies, witches, and the like. We have an awesome premise that truly is one of the most creative ways in outing supernatural creatures I have ever seen. Let’s just say this, you will never look at a tomato the same way again. Oh, and the action. My body literally ached as I finished the novel because I was tense the whole time. (Note to self, try to relax when reading).

Rachel is a great character. She is sassy, funny, and doesn’t know what the hell she is doing half the time. She makes so many mistakes and, for someone reason, that only makes her more endearing. But her friends are the ones that made me fall in love with this book.

First, we have Rachel’s roommate Ivy. She is a living vampire. What the heck is a living vampire? Well ladies and gents, Harrison has created a world in which there are living vamps that are born with the vampire virus. They live “normal” lives in the sun until they die and become undead vamps. Same with low blood vamps but they were once human and turned into living vamps. Then we have the more frightening undead vamps with the basic package of no sun, no crosses, no soul sort of deal.

Ivy is both creepy and lovable. Her and Rachel live together (in a church of all places, irony is not lost) and work together. Ivy needs Rachel as a friend but fears her blood urges will overcome. Rachel just needs someone to pull her butt out of trouble.

Then let’s not forget Jenks, the irritable pixy. I pretty much die laughing every time he comes into the picture. If you think pixies are cute, sparkly creatures that spread joy, then think again. Jenks may sparkle just a little but he will cut you. Yes, you heard me, cut you…with a sword. Well, it’s a mini plastic sword, but those buggers can hurt.

I was genuinely surprised by many of the twists and turns this book took. The part of the book with Trent was by far the most fascinating. And then we meet Nick as a result of Trent trying to kill Rachel. Nick seems to be a possible love interest for future books but he has a sense of mystery that makes me unsure of his true motives.

Harrison created many fascinating characters that you easily appeal to. Her world is interesting and the action is never ending. I was pretty much fearful of Rachel’s life half the time. We get an interesting plot with many sub-plots that help us learn about the world and characters. Harrison is very descriptive in her writing and knows how to create believable dialogue.

The Bad
The first chapter was a little slow. Get past that and you will love the rest. Some say Rachel is whiny but I think Rachel acted as many would act given the situations she was put in.

The Snuggly
We get a peek of future romance but nothing substantial in this book.

I truly enjoyed this book. It kept me interested the whole time and I became thoroughly invested in many of the character’s lives. I am quite intrigued by the “bad” guy Trent because I don’t know where Harrison plans to take him. This is a very great start to a series that will no doubt be one of my favorites. If you haven’t already, buy this book now.

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