Saturday, 27 March 2010

Book Review: Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison

Grade: 4 stars

Novellus Superbus!
Amazon appetizer: From New York Times bestselling author, Kim Harrison, comes the first book in an exciting urban fantasy series; packed with the perfect balance of wry humour and thrilling action, which will delight fans of thrillers and fantasy alike.

Rachel Morgan is a white witch and runner working for Inderland Security, in an alternate world where a bioengineered virus wiped out a great deal of the world's human population -- exposing the existence of the supernatural communities that had long lived alongside humanity. For the last five years Rachel has been tracking down law-breaking Inderlanders in modern-day Cincinnati, but now she wants to leave and start her own agency. Her only problem is that no one quits the I.S. Marked for death, Rachel will have to fend off fairy assassins and homicidal weres armed with an assortment of nasty curses. She's a dead witch walking unless she can appease her former employers by exposing the city's most prominent citizen as a drug lord. But making an enemy of the ambiguous Trent Kalamack is just as deadly as leaving the I.S.
My thoughts: Another book, author and series I discovered thanks to blogger promotions and competitions (I won this book from Kenda at Lurv á la Mode, thank you Kenda!), and I'm really glad I did!

Dead Witch Walking is the first book in The Hollows urban fantasy series, and lucky for me and all new joiners, Kim Harrison has since published her 8th book in the series, so we have quite a few book to munch on to catch up :-)

In Kim Harrison's urban fantasy universe magic and all paranormal creatures are out in the open and known by the humas, trying to coexist peacefully.

I really enjoyed reading this book, because the writing is fantastic: it is detailed enough, just as I like it, but still moves at a fast pace. The story is always on the go, which made it very frustrating to me - who mostly reads on my way to work - to have to stop at exciting parts when I arrived at my destination, so I would recommend you read this book when you can read at your leisure, this is no book to read 20 pages and then stop. Kim Harrison is great at storytelling, Rachel's narrative is sarcastic and humourous, her dry wit and personal touch making the story even more real.

Kim Harrison's characterization is layered, interesting and deep. Her characters step off the pages and Rachel, Ivy and Jenks feel as real as if you knew them personally. Each of the characters, minor and major, are well developed, with their unique quirks and flairs (I especially love the pixy family: though in size Jenks is the smallest, he is one of the best charcters!). I love all the details Kim Harrison put into her characters giving them depth and more flesh.

Several issues weren't closed at the end of the book, so I hope the second book will address them.

Plot: 9/10
Characters: 10/10
Ending: 8/10
Writing: 9/10
Cover: 8/10

Verdict: All in all a great read, fantastic debut to a series, and I can't wait to read more! Kim Harrison is another author to watch and add to your urban fantasy to-read-list.

Dead Witch Walking only gets 4 stars because I feel this series will become even better, and I will need those 5 stars for the later books.

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