Saturday, February 2, 2013

Challenge Review: Waking the Witch by Kelley Armstrong

Title: Waking the Witch
Series: Women of the Otherworld #11
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Genre: Urban Fantasy Fiction, Supernatural Fiction
Elements: Demons, Witches, Angels, Ghosts, Necromancers
Publisher: Dutton Books, Penguin Group
Format: Hardcover, 309 Pages
ISBN: 9780525951780
Release Date: August 2010
Source: Borrowed from Wentworth Library
Rating: 5/5

Purchase Here: Kindle

Tagline(s): ~NONE~

Summary: 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 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.


Our favorite pre-teen sorcerer-witch is now a powerful 21-year-old knockout. Savannah Levine has grown into a gorgeous, kick butt member of the Otherworld, and it's finally her turn to take center stage. In Waking the Witch, Savannah is brought a case that she can't turn down. Determined to prove that she can handle a case solo, she travels to Columbus, Washington where three young women have been found murdered. But what should have been a simple case soon becomes deadly when an old enemy returns. Savannah will need to find the strength to overcome a potentially deadly poison inhibiting her spell power if she wants to make it out alive.

Before Waking the Witch, we only got to see small moments of Savannah growing up in the 10 years since she became Paige's ward. We knew her as a young girl who did what she wanted whenever she wanted, no matter how much trouble she caused. Now Savannah has grown into a clever and cunning investigator. She's still sassy and sarcastic, but it's more tempered now. As we find while reading Waking the Witch, the deaths of her parents, Eve and Kristoff, have left their mark.

When Savannah meets Kayla Thompson, the daughter of one of the murdered women, she feels an instant connection with the young girl. Savannah can understand what Kayla is going through and how important it is for her to have her grandmother, Paula, in her life, just as Savannah has Paige and Lucas. As the case progresses and Savannah gets to know Kayla better, she begins to feels obligated and responsible for her, so when something happens to tear Kayla's family apart, Savannah feels at fault. And Savannah will do anything, give up anything, to fix what happened.

As Savannah is investigating, she meets Michael Kennedy, a Dallas detective who came to Columbus to investigate his sister, Claire's, death. Though Savannah has, and probably always will, feelings for Adam Vasic, she takes a chance on Michael. I feel that Michael will have a lasting effect on Savannah. Their short and tragic beginning is really heartbreaking, and he is someone Savannah will likely never forget.

Savannah's magic seems to be failing just when she needs it the most. With Adam's help, she learns that a witch-hunter may be after her. The Benandanti started as demon-hunters, hunting down anything evil, but were wiped out by a group of priestesses claiming they were the very evil they hunted. These priestesses then took the Benandanti's place and switched their focus to hunting witches. No one believes these witch-hunters to still exist, but there is one in Columbus, and she's after Savannah. This is a storyline that continues in Spell Bound. And it's not as simple as this young woman being a witch-hunter. It's much, much more dangerous. This is definitely something to look out for in the next book.

The small town of Columbus, Washington started out with three deaths upon Savannah's arrival. Upon her departure, Columbus is left with five additional deaths, bringing the total to eight people dead. This town has seen a lot of tragedy that could have been avoided had Savannah never gone there, because with her arrival she lead an old enemy with a dangerous and obsessive connection to her into the lives of the people of Columbus. People who would have otherwise lived, ended up dead at the hand of this enemy. But the blame can't be put totally, if at all, on Savannah's shoulders, because the appearance of this person was only the beginning of an even more dangerous plan.

The ending of Waking the Witch will continue right off in the beginning of Spell Bound. If you thought Savannah had it tough in Waking the Witch, her trials don't even compare to what she'll face in Spell Bound. This is the beginning of the exciting conclusion to the Women of the Otherworld series.

About this Author:

Kelley Armstrong has been telling stories since before she could write. Her earliest written efforts were disastrous. If asked for a story about girls and dolls, hers would invariably feature undead girls and evil dolls, much to her teachers' dismay. All efforts to make her produce "normal" stories failed.

Today, she continues to spin tales of ghosts and demons and werewolves, while safely locked away in her basement writing dungeon. She's the author of the NYT-bestselling "Women of the Otherworld" paranormal suspense series and "Darkest Powers" young adult urban fantasy trilogy, as well as the Nadia Stafford crime series. Armstrong lives in southwestern Ontario with her husband, kids and far too many pets.

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