Saturday, September 25, 2010

Waking the Witch (Women of the Otherworld Series, Book 11) by Kelley Armstrong

The new novel in Kelley Armstrong's bestselling Women of the Otherworld series showcases the fascinating Savannah Levine, a powerful young witch with a rebellious past and a troublesome heritage.

The orphaned daughter of a sorcerer and a half-demon, Savannah is a terrifyingly powerful young witch who has never been able to resist the chance to throw her magical weight around. But at twenty-one she knows she needs to grow up and prove to her guardians, Paige and Lucas, that she can be a responsible member of their supernatural detective agency. So she jumps at the chance to fly solo, investigating the mysterious deaths of three young women in a nearby factory town, as a favour to one of the agency's associates. At first glance, the murders look garden-variety human, but on closer inspection signs point to otherworldly stakes.

Soon Savannah is in over her head. She's run off the road and nearly killed, haunted by a mystery stalker and freaked out when the brother of one of the dead women is murdered when he tries to investigate the crime. To complicate things, something weird is happening to her powers. Pitted against shamans, demons, a voodoo-inflected cult and garden-variety goons, Savannah has to fight to ensure her first case isn't her last. And she also has to ask for help, perhaps the hardest lesson she's ever had to learn.
I read this before the R.I.P. challenge started, but since it needs to be reviewed eventually I decided that this time of the year was the perfect time for it. This is the latest novel in Kelley Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld series. Before I get into the book, though, I wanted to ask where this series is shelved in your local bookstore? I noticed within the last year that it has started appearing in the horror section at mine. I know the new released covers are black and maybe a little dark, but horror? They always used to be in with the regular fiction, which I never agreed with either. I think of them as fantasy. Patricia Briggs, for example, writes essentially the same type of books and she has always been in the fantasy section. I just think that Armstrong is the type of author that people that don't even read fantasy would enjoy, but putting them in the horror section is really misleading. Thoughts on this?

Now, on to the book. If you read my review of Frostbitten, which was a discussion with Marg, you will know that the witch books are not my favourite of the bunch. I am a fan of the werewolf books first and foremost, but Savannah and Paige have grown up a lot and are starting to interest me a lot more than they did. When Dime Store Magic came out, Paige was in her 20's and Savannah was just young. Now, Savannah is almost the same age as Paige was when she became her ward. Savannah is a different personality to Paige, though, and that means she acts a lot different. She has attitude, drives a motorcycle, etc. Paige is all about the her work and was always a bit calmer. It makes for an interesting contrast. This is Savannah's book, though.

As I said above, Savannah lives with Paige (and Lucas). Paige and Lucas run a successful business solving cases in the paranormal community. Savannah has been left home alone, though, while Paige and Lucas go away on a trip together. While they are away a case appears and Savannah is determined to solve it by herself and prove to Paige that she is ready to take on more responsibility. This book turns out to be a bit of a murder mystery, but paranormal in style. I feel like you really get to know Savannah in this book. She has always really been a secondary character, but now she is taking the reins and coming into her own. There are other characters in the book, but this is really all about her. Savannah is perfectly capable of holding her own, but sometimes she discovers that she needs the people around her. This book was a learning experience for her.

Once again, I loved this book. With the exception of one book, I have really enjoyed all of the books in this series. Considering this is an 11 book series and there are two short story collections; I think Armstrong is doing really well! I continue to get excited every time there is a new book in the series and even though it has been going on for a while now, I don't find that anything is getting old. I would gladly read this series for many more books to come, so hopefully they continue. There are still so many characters that I want to see more of and many more story-lines that should be developed. The next book in the series once again deals with Savannah. Considering how this book ended, I am really interested to see what is going to happen next!

If you haven't read this series, you really should! The first book is Bitten.

Thanks to Random House Canada for a review copy of this book!


  1. I haven't heard of this series but it sounds really good!Can this book be read as a stand-alone?

  2. I started Bitten today and you were so right, it is fabulous. That woman can write, really. And I think you are right that people who don't even like fantsay might like it because it is so well written. The accuracy of the descriptions is fantastic. Maybe the topic or genre wouldn't appeal to everybody but you sure find books that are getting a lot of praise from critics and they are not as well written. In my bookstore you find it in the Fantasy section.

  3. I never heard of this series before. I rarely read about witch too. Your review makes it sound interesting, I will try finding it soon.

    I haven't read it yet but judging from your review, I agree with you, it doesn't feel like horror book

  4. I really enjoyed this one too and it's my first taste of this series. But I'm on the lookout for Bitten!! I think these are still in the fantasy/romance section at B&N at my local store. In fact, your cover is not the one I saw but rather the one that I posted with my review of the gorgeous girl on the front.

  5. Vasilly: If you have to, yes, but I think it is best to just start with Bitten, the first book in the series.

    Caroline: I am so glad to hear that you are enjoying Bitten! It's a great series, so I hope you continue to enjoy it!

    Novroz: It's a good series. Hopefully you give it a chance and enjoy it!

    Staci: I was happy to see on your blog that this worked well as an introduction to the series. I hope you will carry on with reading more from it!

  6. This cover creeps me out. Don't think I'd care for this one.

  7. The cover does look creepy and if its in the horror section, I'd definitely expect it to be a scary read. I wonder why they'd put it there.

    It sounds like a good series, great review :)

  8. I've never even heard of this series! I'll have to keep an eye out for it when I'm next at the library.

  9. I second Jenny's comment... will be checking this out on Goodreads.

  10. I'm glad you continue to enjoy this series! I have the second one waiting for me on my bookshelf, and I'm planning on reading it as an RIP challenge book, so I hope to get to it soon!

  11. Bibliophile By the Sea: The cover is creepy but the books aren't... I am not sure what they are trying to achieve with the covers...

    naida: I'd expect them to be scary, too. Actually, I don't really read horror, so if I knew nothing about this series and saw it in that section, I probably wouldn't even give it a second glance...

    Jenny: It's a great series! I have my fingers crossed that more people will check it out!

    Shellie: I hope you give it a try!

    Darla: I love this series! I just have to read Industrial Magic and I am all caught up. Considering it takes me forever to finish a series I am very excited by this!


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