Thursday, September 2, 2010

Waking The Witch

Before I start this review, I’m just going to put this out there: I am a fan of this series, but I am still objective. It is my believe that being a fan of an author does not mean you should blindly love everything that they write or that being a fan of a series means you have to love every book in that series. As a fan you should be able to know what is possible and be disappointed when it doesn’t happen. I enjoyed this book, but if you need proof that I truly do believe this, look for my review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s “Bullet,” where I shall probably sadly mourn the continued destruction of a once beloved series.

“Waking the Witch” is the 11th book in Kelley Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld series. For anyone unfamiliar with this series, first of all let me make it clear, these are NOT romance novels, even though relationships to appear, they always take second seat to the actual plot. The series takes place in our world, but werewolves, witches, necromancers and the like exist, normal people just don’t know it. Instead they have a strong underworld community (think mob, not hidden fairy mounds). Different books are narrated by different characters (sometimes one and sometimes multiple) and often take place years apart as apposed to days or months apart like a lot of series in this genre. This is done in such a way that a new reader shouldn’t be worried about being lost if they pick up this book; a decent job is done of giving necessary background information about the main character to let new comers know what is going on, without making returning readers feel like they have to wade through too much they have already read.

This is the 1st book to focus on 21 year old Savannah Levine, who readers first met as a 12 year old in the book Stolen. She is the daughter of a two powerful practitioners of dark magic, but was raised since the age of 12 by two parishioners of white magic who use their magic to help those in need. All of this means that Savannah has tons of power which she tries to use for good, but she is willing to do things her foster parents would not consider. In this book, she decides to finally get them to treat her like an adult by taking on a case for their PI firm, without telling them.

Savannah often came across to me as younger than a lot of the other women featured in this series, even though many of them were a similar age when they first appeared. This is probably because she just barrels headfirst into things, and the author goes out of her way to point out how reliant Savannah is on her magic (to an annoying degree at times). Also, Savannah talks about how she’s in love with this guy, but wastes no time starting to date a guy she just meets, while still talking about the other guy; it made it hard to believe her. Overall, she’s an ok main character, though not as likeable as others in this series.

The plot of the story moved nicely, and while some of it was indeed predicable, there were some real surprises thrown in to keep you guessing, and change things up a bit. Also, between the way the book ended, and the fact that the author has said the next book in the series will also be about Savannah, it’s obvious that at least parts of this storyline will continue.

This series is a fun read. If you are looking for a book that makes you sit down and think after you’ve read it, then this isn’t the one for you. If you are looking for a book to read for a quick escape and harmless fun then this totally fits the bill, though as a fan of the series, I’d strongly suggest starting with Bitten, unless you like really prefer the dark rebel, Savannah.

This was my first book review. I hope to see you again for my next review in a couple of days. For those of you who want a book that really makes you think, I will be reviewing Caragh O’Brien’s “Birthmarked.”

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