Review: Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison

Dead Witch WalkingSource: Purchased
Publisher: Harper
Series: The Hollows #1
Edition: Paperback, 416 pages
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository*
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
Rating: 2/5

All the creatures of the night gather in “the Hollows” of Cincinnati, to hide, to prowl, to party…and to feed.

Vampires rule the darkness in a predator-eat-predator world rife with dangers beyond imagining – and it’s Rachel Morgan’s job to keep that world civilized.

A bounty hunter and witch with serious sex appeal and an attitude, she’ll bring ’em back alive, dead…or undead.

Dead Witch Walking is the first book in an extremely popular urban fantasy series and focuses on Rachel Morgan, a witch with a lot of tricks up her sleeves and a ton of enemies to use them on. I realize I’m in the minority with my rating, so I implore you to check out other reviews as well if you’re curious.

I really enjoyed the premise and main storyline for Dead Witch Walking. Rachel Morgan does a number on the world building giving us a world where supernatural creatures are known to the rest of the world and even coexist. The down fall is that at times I felt like I was getting overloaded with details on various non-important things, like shopping malls. I personally wouldn’t have minded a few time skips because of this very reason. I did love the whole idea of The Hollows, a literal community for those of the supernatural background. Can you imagine? I whole section of the city devoted to vampires, witches, and even leprechauns? It even comes with a host of moral and ethics issues.

Rachel is a resourceful woman who seems like a serious badass…but then turns into a terrified girl at the drop of hat if her roommate looks a tad too interested in anything. I think that was my biggest problem with her, and while I’m fine with their being some obvious (and understandable) tension between the two…she cowers and tiptoes during almost all of their interactions. I think I was offended for Ivy, over the lack of trust Rachel extends her….even though Ivy did quite a lot for her and didn’t have to. My favorite character was Jenks, the smart alec pixie. He’s witty, brave and isn’t afraid of telling Rachel that she’s too much to handle. Ivy is resourceful, quiet, and has that dangerous edge to her that I appreciate in a vampire. She handles situations with causal grace and most of the time she doesn’t lose her cool. I felt at odds with the fact that I enjoyed the two side characters more than the main character though, and it left me feeling a bit uneven as I read through.

I really liked the action and magic scenes, and those were the areas that I really enjoyed all the details. The spells are really interesting and I loved how instead of sparkles and lights they have substance. Oddly enough I liked that the spells and counters were messy and not some perfect invisible force. I’m also in love with the amount of supernatural variety and the fact that we get to see some many in the first book.

Overall I suppose I was a bit disappointed with the way this turned out. I can certainly see the amazing potential for the series and I’ve heard that it gets better with each book, but if I’m being honest I feel a bit hesitant to continue. I own the second book so I do plan to give it another go before deciding.

2 stars

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6 Responses to Review: Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison

  1. Christy @ Love of Books says:

    Aww.. you definitely need to give the 2nd book a shot, because I remember feeling some of the overload when I read this one, too. lol – I’d tiptoe around Ivy too, she’s a scary predator with some serious issues. But man, I love her.

    • I definitely will. I already own the second one so hopefully it’ll get better for me. I think I’m slightly desensitized to vampires, lol. I love them though.

      • Keep reading Michelle, it gets better! I’m so excited you’re getting into Urban Fantasy lol. You usually get the first book that goes overboard on the world building and takes a bit of getting used to but after the initial growing pains then the awesomeness ensues. If you ever get to the third book, count me in for a buddy read 🙂

  2. Awe, sorry this wasn’t as good as you were hoping. I’ve seen this one and was curious about, still not so sure but it does like it has some potential. Great review.

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

  3. Read book two, while Rachel can make me pull my hair out..i love this series and it just gets better. My favorite UF series is Greywalker. Wonderful review.

  4. Annie says:

    The most important character is always the narrator, you can like or love a book based on their personality.

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