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Waking the Witch by Kelley Armstrong

Waking the Witch by Kelley Armstrong
*won the ARC from Literary Escapism blog – in exchange for an honest review

The orphaned daughter of a sorcerer and a half-demon, Savannah is a terrifyingly powerful young witch who has never been able to resist the chance to throw her magical weight around. But at 21 she knows she needs to grow up and prove to her guardians, Paige and Lucas, that she can be a responsible member of their supernatural detective agency. So she jumps at the chance to fly solo, investigating the mysterious deaths of three young women in a nearby factory town as a favour to one of the agency’s associates. At first glance, the murders look garden-variety human, but on closer inspection signs point to otherworldly stakes.

Soon Savannah is in over her head. She’s run off the road and nearly killed, haunted by a mystery stalker, and freaked out when the brother of one of the dead women is murdered when he tries to investigate the crime. To complicate things, something weird is happening to her powers. Pitted against shamans, demons, a voodoo-inflected cult and garden-variety goons, Savannah has to fight to ensure her first case isn’t her last. And she also has to ask for help, perhaps the hardest lesson she’s ever had to learn.

Waking the Witch is the newest installment in the Women of Otherworld series by Kelley Armstrong.  It follows Savannah Levine, who is all grown up now.  She has been working with Paige and Lucas since she graduated high school.  She is ready to show them that she is not the same spoiled little girl she used to be.  The perfect opportunity knocks while Paige and Lucas are on vacation in Hawaii.

Jesse Aanes shows up at the office with an offer Savannah can’t refuse.  He has been hired to investigate the murders of three young women in a small factory town north of Portland.  There are signs that the murders may have been part of an occult ritual.  Adam is at a conference, so that just leaves Savannah. 

She is excited for the opportunity to spread her wings, with Adam acting as backup she takes off for the town.  She encounters a lot of road blocks along the way and the bodies keep piling up.  As the story progresses there are several underlying events taking place that eventually come to a conclusion.  There are twists and turns in the story that kept me guessing for awhile.  I had figured out who was the “bad” guy toward the end but the left turn caught me off guard.  The ending was great but I HATE cliffhangers in books.  I want the next book NOW!!!!

I really enjoyed Savannah’s book and seeing her grown up.  I have liked Savannah since she was introduced in Stolen.  I like the werewolves in this series but unlike most people, I actually enjoy the witch stories just as much.  Savannah has had to deal with a lot in her young life and she is finally realizing that she needs to take responsibility for who she is.  She lost both her mother and father at an early age but she has had Paige as a stable role model growing up.  You see that influence on her as she struggles to do the right thing even when she wants to give in to her darker side.

The story is a little slow building up but about midway through it picks up.  I was not happy with the way things turned out with Michael, Claire’s brother but understand it was part of the story.  I think he was good for Savannah and helped bring out a little softness in her.  She is used to taking care of herself and doing things her way that she had to learn give and take when working with him.   Their verbal sparring sessions were very entertaining.

I love Adam’s character and how he has a soft spot for Savannah.  They are best friends, even though she wants more.  I think Adam has a hard time getting past the age thing with Savannah and seeing her as a young woman.  His reaction whenever anyone does something to hurt her says he cares for more for her than just a friend.  I hope he has a bigger role in the next book and we can see if things progress between the two of them.

Overall it’s not the best book in the Otherworld series but I enjoyed it and can’t wait for the next book to continue Savannah’s story.  If you are a fan of Kelley Armstrong’s Otherworld series, I definitely recommend it.  If you have not read any of the series, I would start at the beginning and read them in order.  I give Waking the Witch 3 Flaming Hearts. 

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