Witches, Vampires, Weres, Oh My! || Dead Witch Walking Review

deadwitch-review

Initial Thoughts: 

Fun read! Haven’t read a Kim Harrison book until now, but I like that this particular series focuses on a white witch with a bit of a bite. Her vampire roomie is awesome too. Not sure how I feel about the humans and their tomato-hate, though. Personally, I couldn’t bring myself to hate tomatoes. Does that make me an Inderlander?

DEAD WITCH WALKING

by Kim Harrison
HarperTorch, 2004
Urban fantasy
Rated: 3.5 / 5 cookies

deadwitchAll the creatures of the night gather in “the Hollows” of Cincinnati, to hide, to prowl, to party… and to feed.

Vampires rule the darkness in a predator-eat-predator world rife with dangers beyond imagining – and it’s Rachel Morgan’s job to keep that world civilized.

A bounty hunter and witch with serious sex appeal and an attitude, she’ll bring ’em back alive, dead… or undead.

So this book took longer for me to get through than your average urban fantasy book. I’d picked it up to read because I knew it was going to be a fast one, but then for some reason I wandered off, read another hundred pages of a high fantasy, and just went into a book rut for a good week. Which can be explained by my somewhat absence in blogging (or at least, commenting on blogs and checking my usual online haunts). That’s hardly Rachel Morgan’s fault, really, but Dead Witch Walking wasn’t a remedy or solution to the book rut. Even though yes, it was a good read when all is said and done.

What I Loved

A Cincinnati city filled with supernaturals. Rachel Morgan’s world is pretty interesting, because it’s taking its cue from a historical change, where people were more interested in biology and less on space technology. America never went to the moon, bioengineering became a thing, and supernatural beings such as witches, werewolves, and vampires exist. Not to mention the fact that there are definitely more types of supernaturals that exist in the area, but those get revealed further into the books, I suppose.

Non-practicing vampires exist. Because hey, they totally exist in stories even before the whole Twilight craze. That said, there doesn’t seem to be any other non-practicing vampire in the Hollows except Ivy Tamwood, and even she’s still a bit of a mystery as far as I’m concerned. All the same, though, if Ivy can do it, so can many others, if they choose to.

Jenks and Von Pixie Family Singers. Okay, so I don’t think singing bodes well for Jenks and his ilk, but he could pretty much pass them off as such. At first, I actually wasn’t sure what to think of Jenks as Rachel’s side kick, because he seemed pretty annoying at times. That said, he pulls through quite a bit much more than I’d expected, and he’s got a family who’s willing to stick their necks in to help him do his job. That says a lot about the little pixie.

“Good thing you escaped when you did,” Jenks said, swinging the ladle to send gleams of light about the kitchen. “Ivy was about to throw what little she has left after you–again.”

“I will call my cat Pixy Dust,” Ivy said. “I will keep it in the garden and not feed it.”

The sass is strong in these characters. This book is pretty dark at times, and it gets darker still, considering Rachel’s got several factions out gunning after her. Yet even in the grimness of the book, I still couldn’t help laugh over a few things that get said. Jenks and Ivy bicker a lot, and they’re my absolute favorite tension-slicers of the entire story (though, to be fair, Ivy practically causes most of that tension).

Centered in the middle of it all was a stainless steel island with empty shelves beneath. The rack above it was festooned with metal utensils, pans, and bowls. It was a witch’s dream kitchen; I wouldn’t have to stir my spells and dinner on the same stove.

There is a lot of cooking involved. I mean potions, guys. Yes, potions. Not drugs (though this book seems to talk a lot about biodrugs), but potions. Rachel, after all, is a witch, and nothing cheers a witch up than a witch’s kitchen. She can also legit cook, which is always a plus, especially when she has an entire garden and a grocery-shopping vampire as resource.

What I Didn’t Like

All the hot guys. Don’t get me wrong, I probably do my fair share of oggling as Rachel, but I swear, besides Francis (and Keasley, because he’s an old witch-like grandpa), every guy that Rachel’s encountered so far comes with a built-in six-pack and washboard stomach. I get it, most of the men so far are Inderlanders who probably wear glamours for all I know (Like that Trent. That Trent has some ‘splaining to do with his fae folk magic. I still believe he invoked the Wild Hunt in the book, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s some kind of fairy king or what-have-you.), but honestly, either Rachel’s just trying real hard to affirm to the world that she’s straight (which I don’t think is strictly true), or she’s going through a super dry spell (pun not intended).

The damsel-in-distress and shining demon-negotiating knight romance. I admit, I wasn’t big on the male love interest in this book. I can agree with Rachel that some of Nick’s charm is probably due to the fact that he was helpful to her at least twice during her times of trouble, but hey, so were Jenks, Ivy, and Keasley, and you don’t see Rachel wanting to jump their bones every time they save her life (though when Ivy kicks things up a notch, things do get heated up). So yeah, I wasn’t feeling the romance that the book was leaning towards. But then again, I’m more interested in how Ivy’s going to deal with her obvious love for Rachel (I CAN TOTALLY SEE THE FANFICTION POTENTIAL HERE, GUYS).

Slow down, fast-paced craziness! I suppose things will get clearer later on in the series, but I felt like there were a lot more questions I asked at the end of the book than there were answers. The business with Trent is still unresolved, there was this nonsense with demons and demon magic, there’s still the mystery of Ivy’s actions (though I have theories on that), and will someone explain to me WHY humans hate tomatoes? I thought there was too much happening, to the point where Rachel could not catch a break AT ALL, and it’s going to be a long time before even she can sleep soundly at all.

3.5 out of 5 cookies! It was good, I was entertained, and I would read more of the series, though I hope Rachel gets more confident in her witch skills, because she’s apparently kickass.


deadwitch-ivy

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4 thoughts on “Witches, Vampires, Weres, Oh My! || Dead Witch Walking Review

    • Yeah, I hadn’t realized it until I reread the book blurbs and realized the setting wasn’t anywhere I’d seen before in books. But hey, Cincinnati certainly works! And it is a good book if you’ve a mood to read something fast and urban fantasy 🙂

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