Friday, 14 September 2012
Waking the Witch by Kelley Armstrong
Series: Otherworld #11
Type: Adult Urban Fantasy
Savannah Levine is taking on her first case as a private investigator. Three young women have been found dead, apparent victims of a ritualistic murderer, and the small dying town of Columbus has been shaken to its core. Savannah's investigation is hindered by resistance from the locals to her presence in their town, but she quickly discovers that the case is a lot stranger and more sinister than she could have predicted and it's not long before Savannah herself is at risk of becoming the killer's next target.
This is the eleventh book in the Otherworld series (which started with Bitten) and is the first installment of the three book conclusion to the series, told from Savannah's viewpoint. If you are a new reader I'd recommend starting at the beginning as this book builds on the previous storylines.
Savannah is a character who was first introduced as a twelve-year-old orphan in the second book of the series. Now she is twenty-one and working for Cortez-Winterbourne Investigations. Savannah has been gradually growing up in the background of the books since her introduction so it is great to see her as an adult taking a leading role. She is a lot more mature now and focused on creating a life for herself as well as gaining the respect of her adoptive parents. One thing that hasn't changed about her is her crush on half-demon Adam Vasic, although her expectations as an adult are different to those as a child.
The storyline is cleverly plotted and fast paced, packed with twists and turns. I did manage to figure out one twist in advance which was a little disappointing, however it then twisted again into something I didn't see coming at all. The twists are spread throughout both Savannah's investigation and her relationships with her fellow investigators Jesse Aanes, a half-demon PI, and Michael Kennedy, an off-duty cop whose sister was one of the victims. There is less of a romantic focus than in previous installments, possibly because Savannah is narrating the two books directly after this.
As with the other books in the series the world building is expanded, although by a smaller amount in this installment as the focus is on a longer running storyline. Witches are explored a little more, with a focus on darker magics, and a new supernatural race is introduced. For the first time in this series the book ends on a cliffhanger, another sign that the final three Otherworld books are essentially a trilogy within a series.
All in all, this was a great read and I'm looking forward to Spell Bound.