Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Book Review: Waking Witch

Waking the Witch

By:  Kelley Armstrong

Publisher:  Dutton

Publish Date:  To Be Released - July 27, 2010

Genre:  Urban Fantasy

Format:  Paperback ARC, 309 pages

Series:  11th book in The Otherworld Series

Recommendation:  Yes!!  A great young witch and half-demons mixed with a compelling murder mystery.

Book Synopsis:
Golden girl of the supernatural world, orphaned daughter of a dark witch and a conniving sorcerer, Savannah Levine has nothing to lose and everything to prove on her first solo case as a paranormal investigator.

She’s got a wide arsenal of spells at her fingertips, many that only she knows.

She’s got a tough-as-nails attitude and an even sharper wit.

She’s got one problem though . . . no one thinks she can handle this on her own.

Savannah has the power . . . and she’s not afraid to use it.
At twenty-one, Savannah Levine—orphaned daughter of a notorious dark witch and an equally notorious cutthroat sorcerer—considers herself a full-fledged member of the supernatural race that rules the Otherworld. The once rebellious teen has grown into a six-foot-tall, motorcycle-riding jaw-dropper with a full arsenal of spells that she’s not afraid to use when she gets caught in a bind. There’s only one small problem—her adoptive parents, Paige and Lucas, don’t always trust her. Of course, she’s given them plenty of reasons . . . but those are in the past. People can change, right?

When Paige and Lucas take off on a romantic vacation alone, leaving her in charge of their detective agency, Savannah is presented with a case that she can’t turn down, and one she can finally call her own. Recruited by another supernatural detective, she travels to Columbus, Washington, a small, almost shell of a town. Two troubled young women have been found in an abandoned warehouse, murdered. Now a third woman is dead, and darker forces seem to be at play.

Savannah feels certain she can handle the case, but with supernatural activity appearing at every turn, things quickly become more serious—and far more dangerous—than she realizes. Caught up in a web of lust, false identities, and lies, Savannah must summon strength from her depths, and fight like she’s never fought before.

First Sentence:
For the first time since Claire Kennedy died, there wasn't a deputy guarding the site of her murder.

My Review and Summary:
Nine year old Kayla is sneaking into the guarded building her mother was killed in.  She had done this a hand full of times before, but this time would be different.  Claire Kennedy was killed here a week ago and there had to be a connection between Claire's death and her mothers murder.

Lucas and Paige are out of town for the week on a vacation - in which Savannah smuggled their cell phones away from them - and now twenty-one year old Savannah is trusted to be in charge of the PI office in their absence.  Jesse Aanes, a half demon PI from Seattle who has worked with Lucas before, shows up wanting to run a few cases past Lucas.  Jesse is investigating the murder of 3 twenty-something year old girls - two from last fall, one from 10 days ago - abandoned in the same vacant building appearing similar, in a quite small depressed town - Columbus Washington.  This poor little town hasn't seen a murder in ten years.  Jesse believes there is a supernatural connection to these cases from the crime photos he has.  Savannah is excited.  This would be her first solo case after five years of working under Lucas and Paige.  She offers to take this case for Jesse while he finishes up the current case he's on.

This book was a great quick read for me.  The pacing was constantly moving forward and it wasn't diluted with heavy unneeded material, and the mystery kept growing in suspense for me driving me forward to read more and faster.  This is a great book to jump in the series at even though it's the eleventh book.  I learned a lot of history of Savannah and start off with her on her own adventures.  Through the book you learn of the additional characters around Savannah; Page, Lucas, Adam, and a few others.  In meeting a few of the characters in this deprived town there was one I hope to see more of as I just fell in love with, Kayla.

I liked how Kelley answered my thoughts when I had a question.  Like when Savannah easily uses several spells in a row in a short time frame, Kelley acknowledges this and explains it.  A great style I enjoyed here is in reading this book from Savannah's view, you get glimpses of her history and heritage.  I am very curious to learn more about her and when Paige and Lucas became her guardians.  Savannah has moments where she compares what she is doing to what Lucas or Paige would do or what they would say to her.  I felt I got to know them through Savannah.

Kelley's writing style is easy to visualize and follow.  The story starts off easy, but pulled me in to Savannah quickly.  She really felt like a relatable character and one that was personable.  I wanted to read more about her.  The further I went the more in depth the mystery got.  I enjoyed how the mystery turned around in the book.  I found myself flipping back through the pages to reread sections to try and piece it together myself.

This book could be read by some mature Young Adults.  Savannah is responsible with alcohol even though she is old enough to drink.  There is mention of sexual activity and acts, but no details.  Savannah does have a moment in the book where she is kissing, but she does not let it go further - she has her limits.

I really enjoyed the case with Savannah and look forward to reading more with Savannah, as the way this book ended Kelley has to come back to write more on Savannah and I will be waiting.  But I am also ready to go buy the other books in the series as I loved what I learned of all the characters.

I received this book as an ARC for review.

This book qualifies for my reading challenge - Speculated Fiction Challenge hosted by Book Chick City.


  1. I need to catch back up with the series before reading this. Good review!

  2. WonderBunny - I really tried to keep this spoiler free. And I don't think you need to be all caught up with the series for this book. I actually just started with this one. It seems like a great starting point with Savannah out on her own case. :) I am going to have to get to the rest of the series though. I really enjoyed this book.

  3. I can't wait to read this book! I love this series. BTW, after reading your review of The Poison Throne I bought the book. I'm liking it so far!

  4. Melissa you did well, no real spoilers as far as I can tell not having read the book yet myself. I am so looking forward to this one, it has been a long time coming as have watched little Savannah turn into Miss Savannah and now she is finally coming into her own with this book. Like you it is so cool to read the back story and there will be more from her POV at some point, the books are taking turns with that...


  5. Me Want! Me Want! :) No Adam? :(

    This sound GREAT! I'm still not caught up to this book in the series, but I still want this book. Even more so now! Great review! :)

  6. Spav - Hi! Glad you stopped by.I think you are going to love this book as well. :) I am looking forward to reading more of this series. I am so glad you picked up Poison Throne and are enjoying it. :) I am reading the second book, and I am so sucked into the world - it's great! :)

    Jackie - Thank you! I really wanted to keep this spoiler free, being an ARc review. :) I hope you enjoy it. And the more I looked into the books, I saw they are from different POV's. I love that idea. Thanks!

    Melissa - :D I can't tease you any more, Adam is here. :) I love Adam! :D Thank you!

  7. The second book has already been released? I guess that's good. Less time I have to wait for the next one. So, who do I have to kill to get an ARC of Waking the Witch? lol. 3 weeks seem so far away ...

  8. Spav - The second book in the Poison Throne series just came out on the 1st. Its called The Crowded Shadows. And the Third book will be out in October. :) Another quick released trilogy. And for the Arc... no killing, just beg, plead, and offered my child up in the bargin. ;) I just got lucky I think. Thanks!


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