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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison

Dead Witch Walking (Rachel Morgan/The Hollows, Book 1)
Published: 2004
Pages: 416

With endorsements from Charlaine Harris "you'll love this" & Kelley Armstrong "A wonderfully fun romp through the supernatural world, a spellbinding blend of sharp wit and vivid imagination" I was sure I was going to 'lurve' Dead Witch Walking. This was also my chosen March read from the Romance Readers Group so I really did want to love this pick!

The first few chapters I was unconvinced; witches, vampires, demons, pixies, fairies, werewolves, leprechauns, actually I was seriously weirded out. I love the fantasy and paranormal genres but for me the whole concept of Kim Harrison's world took a while to gel, I did however enjoy the author's amusing writing style.

Bio-engineering gone wrong; the Angel virus, spread in genetically modified tomatoes greatly decreases the human population, bringing supernatural creatures out of the shadows; except elves (the virus knocked them all off.) After "The Turn" Inderlanders (witches, vamps, pixies, fairies etc) integrate with human society; an imaginative concept but Harrison took some time explaining this new world leaving my brain in a genetically modified 'funk'.

Rachel Morgan is an earth witch and runner for Inderland Security (IS), a law enforcement division that brings down law breaking surnaturals. The Federal Inderland Bureau (FIB), is the human equivalent force in competetion with the IS. Fed up with her assignments Rachel leaves the IS with Ivy, a non practising vampire and Jenks, a smart-mouthed pixie. Unfortunately Rachel incurs the wrath of her ex-boss, who puts a contract on her life and most of the book is a relentless, action packed ride of danger and threats to Rachel's life.

While Rachel is the central character she is not the most developed; clueless at times & reckless to the point of self destructive, I did however love the spell casting, amulet making side of her character.
For me, Jenks was the star of Dead Witch Walking, his sarcastic wit added comic relief to the story much like his smatterings of pixie dust. He quickly moves from pixie body guard to full partner in the Rachel/Ivy/Jenks freelance operation.

There is no romance in the book unless you count the slightly kinky flirtation thing happening between Ivy & Rachel. Maybe with the late entry of Nick (questionable human) the scene may be set for romance in future novels. This novel doesn't leave you hanging, the main plot concludes nicely in Dead Witch Walking but there are plenty of loose ends to be tied up in further novels in this series.
I have been told to stick with the series, Dead Witch Walking is the debut novel for Kim Harrison & the first in the Rachel Morgan series. Apparently the 2nd improves and the 3rd and 4th will blow your mind. I just don't know whether an adrenalin junkie witch, fairy assassins and humans wimping out at the sight of pasta sauce is for me.

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