Review: Waking the Witch by Kelley Armstrong


Posted November 1, 2011 by Carmel in / 3 Comments

Waking the Witch

Title: Waking the Witch
Series: Women of the Otherworld #11
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Publisher: Plume
Published: July 27th, 2010
My Copy: Bought from The Book Depository

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 otherworld. The once rebellious teen has grown into a six-foot-tall, motorcycle-riding jaw-dropper, with an impressive knowledge of and ability to perform spells. The only problem is, she’s having a hard time convincing her adoptive parents, Paige and Lucas, to take her seriously as an adult. She’s working as the research assistant at the detective agency they founded, and when they take off on a romantic vacation alone, leaving her in charge, Savannah finds herself itching for a case to call her own. (She’s also itching for Adam, her longtime friend and colleague, to see her as more than just a little girl, but that’s another matter.)

Suddenly, Savannah gets the chance she’s been waiting for: Recruited by another supernatural detective, she travels to Columbus, Washington, a small, dying town. Two troubled young women have been found in an abandoned warehouse, murdered. Now a third woman’s dead, and on closer inspection small details point to darker forces at play. Savannah feels certain she can handle the case, but with signs of supernatural activity appearing at every turn, things quickly become more serious- and far more dangerous-than she realizes.

I’m not usually a fan of books that cast a witch as the main heroine. They’re just not preternatural enough for me I guess. However, seeing how this one’s written by my all time favorite author, Kelley Armstrong, and I’ve already read the other 10 books in this series; I just had to give it a shot. Waking the Witch single handedly changed the negative views that I have about witches in Urban Fantasy. I adored Savannah as the leading lady in this book! I’ve only experienced her previously as a side character in this series but she is a phenomenal protagonist. Adam also tags along for the ride and I love me some fire demon!

I’ve always enjoyed Savannah’s personality so I was happy that I got to explore her point of view in greater detail in this book. She’s a tightly wound ball of attitude, cockiness and energy. Levine really wants to prove herself as an investigator and that she’s quite capable of working a case without supervision. I really admired her spunk! Part of why her witch heritage appealed to me so much is that she’s not afraid to use her magic. I find that the majority of fictional magic users are hesitant to use their powers and prefer to avoid conflicts whenever possible. Savannah’s the complete opposite of what I consider to be the typical witchy stereotype. The whole karma philosophy annoys me in this context. Powers are meant to be used in my opinion. I want my heroines to zap themselves some bad guys! In Waking the Witch Levine uses spells as much as she breathes.

The plot revolves around a cool “who done it” murder mystery. A few bodies have turned up and Savannah has been called in to help find the murderer. I liked how in many social situations Levine would think to herself: “how would Paige handle this situation?” This witch can be perceived as insensitive at times so she tries to align her thoughts with those of her guardian’s in order to get witnesses to cooperate. It can be hard to uncover leads when no one wants to talk to you! Paige would be so proud! All of the suspects seemed guilty which tested Savannah’s detective skills. I couldn’t make up my mind as to who I should point the finger at which is the sign of a great book! I hate it when the ending is too predictable.

Kelley Armstrong’s trademark writing is, as usual, flawless. The plot unravels so smoothly that you’ll loose track of time and be done before you know it. One of the things that I admire the most about the Women of the Otherworld series is how it feels like the story unravels in real time. I met Savannah as a child in Stolen back in 2002. It’s now nearly 10 years later and she’s 21 and has her own book. The twelfth novel, Spell Bound, also casts Miss Levine as the main character and I can’t wait to see what kind of trouble she gets into next! Waking the Witch bridges the gap between the Urban Fantasy and Young Adult genres by offering an adult approach to a young witch’s problems. Kelley Armstrong has never once disappointed me in this series and this is the 11th installment. That right there says it all!

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Books in the Series
BittenStolenDime Store MagicIndustrial MagicHauntedBrokenNo Humans InvolvedPersonal DemonLiving with the DeadFrostbittenWaking the WitchSpell Bound


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About the Blogger
I review Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance books with a focus all things werewolf. Based out of Ottawa, Canada

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Owner, designer and main blogger behind Rabid Reads. Avid book reader, snowboard bunny, video gamer and Supernatural fan. I love all things paranormal, werewolves especially. Oh, and I’m Canadian, eh!

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3 responses to “Review: Waking the Witch by Kelley Armstrong

  1. I really liked Waking the Witch as well ^.^ I thought this book was better than the last, and I am looking forward to the romance unravelling!

    Kelley has definitely kept strong with this series ^.^

  2. Thank you so much for once again sharing a wonderful review. I’m gonna start singing book-soul sista to you any moment LOL there are so many commonalities in our enjoyment of a good book πŸ™‚

  3. @Sniffly Kitty – Yes, it is a great series. I’m eager to hear what her new UF is about.

    @Denise Z – Aww, gee. Thanks for the love. πŸ™‚