Audio Review | Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison

October 14, 2013 Blog Fun, Reviews 23

Audio Review | Dead Witch Walking by Kim HarrisonDead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison
Narrator: Marguerite Gavin
Series: The Hollows #1
Published by Tantor Audio on July 23, 2007
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 416
Length: 13 hours 14 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased

Rachel Morgan is a runner with the Inderland Runner Services, apprehending law-breakers throughout Cincinnati. She's also a witch, one of the many Inderlanders who revealed themselves after a genetically engineered virus wiped out 50 percent of humanity. Witches, warlocks, vampires, werewolves—the creatures of dreams and nightmares have lived beside humans for centuries, hiding their powers. But now they've stopped hiding, and nothing will be the same.On the run with a contract on her head, Rachel reluctantly teams up with Ivy, Inderland's best runner…and a living vampire. But this witch is way out of her league, and to clear her name, Rachel must evade shape-changing assassins, outwit a powerful businessman/crimelord, and survive a vicious underground fight-to-the-death…not to mention her own roommate!

Fun, sassy, filled with action, humor, and romance, Dead Witch Walking is the perfect summer listen for anyone who likes vampires, paranormal fantasy, romance, or just a great beach book.

Get it on Amazon

My Initial Reaction…

I read Dead Witch Walking about a year ago and devoured it. Now that Kim Harrison is doing a read-along I thought this would be an excellent opportunity to reread the series and review the books as I go. The second time around I liked this book even more than the first time and it’s definitely still a favorite series.

The Narration…

Marguerite Gavin is a pretty good narrator. I’m listening to another series with her right now and enjoying her narration much more than I did in Dead Witch Walking. I think this is one of those situations where, when you read a book the first time, you have certain voices in your head and anything else just sounds off. Despite that, I got comfortable with her style and think she did a decent job embodying the characters.

The Characters…

I love Rachel and seeing her in these early days after seeing where she’ll go made this first book so much more interesting. Even so early on she’s tough and capable. She’s funny and what I love most is that she’s genuinely good. She doesn’t want to hurt anyone – the idea of killing an animal, even to save her own life, pisses her off. And unlike much of the magical community she treats supposed “lessers” like Pixies and Fairies like people too. But life isn’t being kind to her and she’s ready for a change. So she quits her job as a Runner for the IS (Interlander Security) and, because she happens to take Ivy (their best runner) along for the ride, from the second she leaves she’s under a death threat. Seeing her deal with the death threat reveals a lot about the strength she has inside and you can see lots of potential ready to burst out.

The second time around I also realized that all the characters, from even this really early point, are wonderfully developed. Ivy, a living-vampire and Rachel’s new partner/roommate, is fighting with her nature and her destiny. She wants to be someone different and you can see it tearing her up. Jenks, their pixy partner, is marvelous (and will become a favorite character for me). He’s hilarious, but so much more than comic relief; he’s braver and more essential to Rachel’s survival than you’d think anyone a few inches tall could possibly be. Then there’s Trent, Nick, Kinglsey… I could go on and on. Every supporting character is full of depth and fun to read.

The Story…

Dead Witch Walking centers around Rachel, Ivy, and Jenks decision to leave the IS and the disastrous consequences for Rachel. Ivy was able to buy her way out of her contract. Jenks didn’t have a contract. The IS wanted to get rid of Rachel, but they hadn’t planned on her taking their best runner, Ivy, with her. And they expect her to pay – with her life. No matter how good Rachel is – and she’s good – or how great Ivy and Jenks are at keeping her safe – and they’re great – eventually one of the IS’s contract killers will get lucky. So Rachel knows she has to find a way to get the contract paid off. And when she learns that Trent Kalamak, sexy councilman and wealthy businessman, may be involved in running drugs on the side she decides that tagging him will be her ticket out. Too bad he’s not easier prey – catching him will be more than Rachel bargained for and she just might not make it out alive.

I remember getting hung up on the story development the first time I read Dead Witch Walking and, even though I followed it better this time because I knew where I was headed, I stick by my earlier judgments. The first quarter of the Dead Witch Walking really drags and is awkward in a lot of places. It’s easy to get confused and it really seems that the story should have started when Rachel quit her job and filled in a lot of the earlier (and slow moving) details as Rachel’s race to save her life moved along, but at least once you get to that part you know you’re to the good stuff!

Concluding Sentiments…

Ultimately, Dead Witch Walking suffers from what I call “first book syndrome” – there’s so much world to develop that the story suffers a bit. Having read further I know that it’s worth sticking with it through that first bit, because Harrison is laying the groundwork for what will be a fantastic world. And once you get passed the first 25% it’s a nonstop race to the end!
Get it on Amazon

But wait! There’s a giveaway!!

As part of my month-long celebration of things that go bump in the night, I’m participating in the Something Wicked Returns Giveaway Blog Hop! This review is one of many of my recommended Paranormal/Fantasy Reads this month and commenting on this post can earn you extra entries in the $25 Giveaway at the end of the month! Enter below and good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About Kim Harrison

Kim Harrison, dark urban fantasy author of the New York Times bestselling The Outlaw Demon Wails, was born and raised in the upper Midwest. After gaining her bachelors in the sciences, she moved to South Carolina, where she has remained since. When not at her desk, she is most likely to be found chasing down good chocolate, exquisite sushi, or the ultimate dog chew–for her dogs.
other pseudonyms: Dawn Cook


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About Berls
Berls has been a book lover her whole life. She reads pretty much every genre and is currently working hard at making her childhood dream of becoming an author come true. She loves sharing her thoughts about books, blogging, and just random fun stuff. She's a challenge and read-a-thon junkie, so it's no wonder that she loves co-hosting the COYER reading challenge. Leave a comment, Berls is always happy to chat!

23 Responses to “Audio Review | Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison”

  1. BookLady

    I love The Hollows series. The world-building and characters are fantastic. I will definitely miss this series when it ends.

  2. Erika Messer

    Thank you for the great review, and I am glad you mentioned to stick with it even though it starts a little slow – I can have a lot of trouble getting into books and a lot of times I will just stop reading them if I can’t get into them right away. So knowing others had the same experience will help 🙂 Thank you!

    • Berls

      Yeah – this book doesn’t really match the rest of the series in that respect. I had to push through, but once it takes off, it is… just WOW. Definitely worth it. Hope you enjoy it 🙂

    • Berls

      This is the first time (I think) that I’ve tried rereading via audio and I think that has everything to do with how I felt about Marguerite Gavin – I’m currently listening to book two and I think I’ve managed to be conformed to her voices and it’s working much better for me. Kinda like watching a film for your favorite book – you have to get adjusted to them not being everything you imagined.

      I’m glad you’re going to continue with the series – each book gets better and better in my opinion. The last several have been incredible! (I’ll be reviewing all of them as I do the read-along)

    • Berls

      Thanks Chene! It’s one of my favorite series – it gets better and better with each book. Hope you get to read it soon 🙂

    • Berls

      Thanks Cali! It’s definitely a favorite series of mine, hope you get to read it someday soon-ish 🙂

    • Berls

      Oh yay! I hope you enjoy it. Just remember that it’s a slow starter and it’s worth it to push through – it only gets better from here 🙂

  3. Julie S.

    I really enjoyed Dead Witch Walking when I read it years ago. I’ve been meaning to read the rest of the series, which I’ve been slowly acquiring copies of, but somehow it hasn’t made the top of my tbr. You should do a read a long 🙂 lol
    Julie S. recently posted…Spooktacular Giveaway HopMy Profile

    • Berls

      LOL tomorrow Kim Harrison starts book two of her read-a-long, you should jump in! This series has gotten so incredibly good in the last several books, I really recommend getting back to it as soon as you can 🙂

  4. Maricris Patrimonio Dimla

    Woah! Another action-packed story and a witch for a lead character! Great review! I’m gonna add this to my growing TBR list. Thank you! ^_^

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