Title: Dead Witch Walking (The Hollows #1)
Author: Kim Harrison
Version Read: paperback (library)
Publication Date: January 5th, 2012
Categories: crime, demons, fantasy, magic, paranormal, pixies, urban-fantasy, vampires, witches
Summary (Goodreads): The underground population of witches, vampires, werewolves–creatures of dreams and nightmares–has lived beside humans for centuries, hiding their powers. But after a genetically engineered virus wipes out a large part of humanity, many of the “Inderlanders” reveal themselves, changing everything.
Rachel Morgan, witch and bounty hunter with the Inderland Runner Services, is one of the best at apprehending supernatural lawbreakers throughout Cincinnati, but when it comes to following the rules, she falls desperately short. Determined to buck the system, she quits and takes off on the run with an I.S. contract on her head and is reluctantly forced to team 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/crime lord, and survive a vicious underground fight-to-the-death . . . not to mention her own roommate.
I enjoyed Dead Witch Walking. Rachel is an interesting character and Kim Harrison has created a well-developed world for her characters to live in.
As a fan of this genre, I like the supernatural characters to actually have personalities, my vampires to bit and my were-creatures to exhibit at least some behaviours of the animal they turn into. It was really good to see that in this book – Ivy’s struggles to deal with being a vampire, Rachel’s issues with certain types of magic and so on. I enjoyed that because in a lot of urban fantasy these days there isn’t always much mentioned about the cause and effect of magic or being a supernatural creature on the people who are affected by or using it.
An interesting subplot/world building device was the Inderland Security (the I.S.) and the Federal Inderlander Bureau (the F.I.B ). The I.S. is totally supernatural, and the main source of authority/law enforcement for the Inderlanders. The F.I.B. is completely human-run and is essentially the human equivalent of the I.S. I thought this was quite an interesting set-up, especially once Rachel has to get involved with the F.I.B. in the latter part of the book.
The main plot of Dead Witch Walking was for the most part well done. There were a few minor issues – particularly the part where Nick, as a human, was able to use a spell, which seems to defy the magic laws set out in the first part of the book. I thought the whole mink thing was quite funny, execpt obviously when she was stuck in a cage and then sent to fight a rat. That wouldn’t have been pleasant. Trent Kalamack is an intriguing creature and I really hope Rachel learns what his secret is, because I really want to know.
I would definitely recommend this to people who are fans of Charlaine Harris (considering the Southern Vampire Mysteries is now completed) or Laurell K. Hamilton (especially as there is less sex and gore in these than is in the Anita Blake series), or just people who like their supernatural characters to be a little bit interesting.