Waking the Witch

Waking the Witch – Kelley Armstrong

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.

Waking the Witch, Kelley Armstrong


I received an ARC of Waking the Witch, the latest novel in Kelley Armstrong’s Otherworld series, from her publicist and I loved it.  This 11th book in the series focuses on the now grown Savannah Levine, the orphaned daughter of a dark witch and nasty sorcerer who we first met in book two of the series, Stolen.  At the tender age of 12 Savannah had been kidnapped along with a group of other supernatural beings and forced to watch her mother killed before being rescued by fellow captive werewolf Elena Michaels and taken in by the local witch coven.

Waking the Witch is Savannah’s coming-of-age story, during which she tests the waters of true independence for the first time while tackling her first solo case as a supernatural private investigator.  Employed by the private investigative firm owned by her adoptive parents, Savannah is left to hold down the fort while the other investigators are all out of town and she is elated to snag a case assisting Seattle P.I. Jesse Aanes with investigating the murders of three young women in Columbus, WA.

Aanes is a half demon and he’s convinced that there is a supernatural connection to the murders based upon crime scene photos that he obtained from a friend in the state police department.  Unfortunately he is already working a different case, requiring him to request help from Savannah’s firm.  Savannah jumps at the chance to prove herself, hoping that it will lead to more investigative work from her own firm once she solves the case.

Once in Columbus Savannah encounters a series of road blocks right from the start.  Columbus is a small dying town but its locals are very protective of their little corner of the world.  The local sheriff’s department has a suspect in mind but lacks the evidence to prove their case.  They don’t take too kindly to some young thing from the ‘big city’ encroaching on their territory.  The older brother of one of the victims just happens to be a Dallas police detective determined to find his sister’s killer, as is the nine year old daughter of one of the other victims.  Savannah definitely has her work cut out for her, both in trying to convince the other interested parties to share their information and give her access to the case, and in trying to solve the murders.

Once everyone is able to put solving the case above their own self interests and agrees to work together Savannah must contend with coaxing piecemeal information from her fellow investigators, charming the local townspeople and fending off hostile persons-of-interest, all while attempting to determine if there really is a supernatural connection to the murders.  She is lied to, threatened, endures attempts to cause her bodily harm and she just might be falling for a certain Dallas detective, despite having lingering feelings for her co-worker, Adam, another half demon that she met while being rescued nine years prior.

Unfortunately death is not finished with Columbus and the body count continues to rise as Savannah’s magical abilities begin to falter.  Realizing that she just may be in over her head she resolutely refuses to turn to her adoptive parents or Adam for help and insists on toughing it out on her own as she struggles to solve the case before she becomes its next victim.

Witches and half demons aside, Waking the Witch is a true who-done-it suspense mystery that would appeal to readers of all ages, male and female alike.  Armstrong’s fast paced writing and sassy characters keep the reader on the edge right up until the very end.  The fact that the target audience is Young Adult paranormal enthusiasts, who tend to be largely female, is very easy to ignore completely and that is a good thing as the writing truly has such wide based appeal.  In addition, another fabulous thing about this book is that it is more than capable of standing on its own and can be enjoyed even if the reader has not read the previous ten books in the series.

Armstrong is a fantastic writer, plain and simple, and Waking the Witch can hold it’s own against any novel, whether it is categorized as paranormal, urban fantasy, mystery suspense, YA or adult.  I rate it 5 Bites out of 5.

Rating: Tantalizing

5 Bites out of 5

July 21st, 2010  at 2:11 am

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