Waking the Witch, the 11th book in the Women of the Otherworld series, is a novel of gritty suspense and tingling build-up, culminating in a fast-paced and revelatory conclusion that is not to be missed.
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BOOKS BY KELLEY ARMSTRONG
The Otherworld Series
The Nadia Stafford Series
The Darkest Powers Series
Men of the Otherworld
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First printing, August 2010
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LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOGING-IN-PUBLICATION DATA Armstrong, Kelley.
1. Witches—Fiction. I. Title.
Set in Sabon
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
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I had a new editor on this one, so I’d like to give a huge thanks to Carrie Thornton at Dutton for all her help. And, of course, thanks to those who’ve been with me from the start: my agent, Helen Heller, and editors Anne Collins of Random House Canada and Antonia Hodgson of Warner Orbit. As always, I’m indebted to my beta readers: Ang Yan Ming, Xaviere Daumarie, Terri Giesbrecht, Laura Stutts, Raina Toomey, Lesley W., and Danielle Wegner. Thanks, guys!
For the first time since Claire Kennedy died last week, there wasn’t a police officer guarding the site of her murder.
Kayla peered out from behind the boarded-up beauty salon. Seeing no one, she hoisted her backpack and set out, kicking stones, her gaze fixed on the ground. She was careful to walk slowly. If you ran, grown-ups paid attention. Kayla hated it when they paid attention. She liked being invisible.
Until her mom was murdered last year, Kayla had always been invisible. But now it wasn’t just the other kids who whispered behind her back, calling her weird or—in grown-up language—“an odd little thing.” Adults did, too. It wouldn’t help if they found her sneaking into the place where her mom had been murdered.
Kayla knew the rear door would be locked. She had lock picks from her Junior Detective kit, but they were just toys. She knew a way in, though. A boarded-up window on the first floor with a gap big enough for a nine-year-old to squeeze through. Concrete blocks scattered behind the building made a good stepladder.
She pushed her backpack in first. It hit the floor with a thump.
As she hoisted herself through the window, she avoided the broken glass she’d cut herself on last time. Grandma had flipped out and taken her to the clinic. Grandma was like that. She worried a lot. After Mom died, Kayla thought Grandma would have less to worry about. No such luck.
She dropped to the floor and rummaged in her backpack for her flashlight. Plastic, of course. She’d considered asking Grandma for a real one for her birthday, but hadn’t figured out yet how to explain why she needed it.
Kayla shone the flashlight around. Empty. No, that was the wrong word. The building was only empty of people. Abandoned.
There was tons of crap here, all of it dirty and old and broken, but Kayla barely needed the flashlight to get where she was going. She’d been here five times since her mom had died. She’d recorded every visit in her notebook. There hadn’t been much to see, though. By the time she thought of coming, the police had cleared the place out.
This time it would be different. If Claire Kennedy had been killed here just over a week ago, there had to be a connection to the murder of her mother and her mother’s best friend. There just had to be.
She opened the basement door and shone her light into blackness. She went down one step, then stopped, working up her nerve as she always did, before shutting the door and letting the darkness of the basement envelop her, her plastic flashlight barely strong enough to cast a pale, distant circle.
Halfway down the stairs, she heard the thump of a door shutting above. An officer back on duty? That was okay. He’d peek inside the main floor, assure himself all was clear, then sit outside in his pickup. Kayla knew the routine.
Still she listened for a minute. When no more noises came, she resumed her descent. Down into the basement, where the chill was enough to make her wish she’d brought her jacket. Lissa would say it was the chill of death.
Lissa talked like that. When Kayla confided that she came here, her friend’s eyes had gone round and she’d said, “Are you trying to contact her ghost?”
“Your mother’s, dummy. If you could talk to her, she could tell you who killed her.”
Kayla thought that was silly, but she didn’t say so. Lissa was the only friend she had.
It was just a dark, cold, smelly basement. Where her mom had died. And no one knew who’d done it or why. That’s why Kayla kept coming back. To find out what had happened to her mom. And to Brandi, though really she didn’t much care what had happened to Brandi. But Grandma would say she shouldn’t think like that. She did want to find out what happened to Claire Kennedy, though. She hadn’t really known Claire—she was one of the girls from the cookie place—but she’d seen her around town a few times, and she’d seemed nice, always smiling and waving, even though they’d never met.
From the bottom of the basement stairs, Kayla picked her way around piles of junk until she saw the yellow crime-scene tape wrapped around a pillar, the broken end trailing across the floor.
She stopped. It was exactly the same spot where her mother’s and Brandi’s bodies had been found. She shivered and maybe it wasn’t the cold this time, but she told herself it was.
She crept forward. There was blood on the cement floor. The spot wasn’t very big, not like the big stains she could still see, almost hidden under a layer of dust.
She shone the flashlight on those old blood stains and, for a second, she could see her mother lying there, her eyes open, her—
Kayla shook her head sharply and swung the beam away. She wasn’t here to think about her mother. She was here to find out who killed her. And she didn’t need ghosts for that. She needed science.
She took her backpack off and unzipped it. Inside was her Junior Detective kit. She had a camera, too. A real one. It was on her mom’s old cell phone, which Grandma let her keep for emergencies. She took it out for a picture of the blood. Blood stains were important. They could tell you—
A creak overhead. Kayla froze. Then she shook her head. Just a noisy old building. She aimed the flashlight with one hand, holding the cell with the other—
This time footsteps sounded above her, crossing the first floor, the distinct thump-thump of someone walking.
Just the police officer. Or maybe Chief Bruyn, come back to check something. Or someone from town, also trying to sneak a peek at the crime scene.
But what if it was someone else?
Kayla had read every book in the library on murder investigations. One line came back to her now. The killer may return to the scene of the crime.
It seemed crazy to come back after you’d gotten away, but Kayla trusted the books and, listening to those footsteps, her heart hammered.
Then it hit her. If this was the killer, maybe she really could solve her mother’s death. All she had to do was hide and see who showed up.
A click from upstairs—the basement door opening.
Kayla turned off her flashlight and tucked herself into the shadows beside the old furnace.
For five years, I’d toiled as executive assistant slave to Lucas and Paige and now, finally, I was in charge. For the next week anyway.
The plaque still read Cortez-Winterbourne Investigations, but that could be easily changed with the deft use of an energy bolt spell. Levine Investigations rolled off the tongue so much more easily. At one time, I would have done it, if only as a joke, but there are things you can get away with at sixteen that just don’t fly at twenty-one.
I used my key card, then crept through the lobby, trying to squelch the click of my heels.
“Savannah!” a voice chirped behind me. “I thought I heard you come in.”
I started a cover spell, but Tina had already spotted me. I considered a knockback spell—make her trip and give me time to escape. But that would, sadly, not be a good way to launch my week playing a responsible adult.
When Paige said we were getting an accountant for a tenant, I’d thought, Great, someone nice and quiet. That was the stereotype, but apparently, no one had told Tina.
“I’m so glad I caught you,” she said. “It’s almost ten and no one’s in the office yet.”
It was 9:14.
“There was a man here looking for Lucas,” she continued. “I called upstairs and the phone rang and rang. Did he and Paige leave on vacation already? I know Adam is at a conference. In Spokane, isn’t he?”
I made a noncommittal noise. Tina might be human, but she had a supernatural sense for snooping. Adam said we should hire her. I threatened to give her his home address and that shut him up.
“I hate to tell you kids how to run your business, but you really need to have someone up there during business hours. It’s no wonder you have hardly any clients. You need a full-time receptionist.” She patted my arm. “Yes, I know, dear, you’re the receptionist, but you’re always flitting off, doing god-knows-what. I could—”
“Oh, my cell phone’s vibrating,” I lied. “Could be a client. I’ll talk to Paige about drop-ins.”
“It’s no bother, dear. I wanted to speak to you anyway. I think I have a job for you.” Tina lowered her voice, though we were the only ones in the lobby. “I started dating this man. A widower I met online.”
“And you want me to run a background check? Good idea.”
“Oh, no. A man has the right to his privacy. It’s just ... Well, I was watching this show on private investigators, about a firm of women hired by other women to test their mate’s loyalty.”
It took me a second to catch her drift. “You want me to try to seduce your boyfriend?”
Her lips pursed. “Certainly not. Just get dolled up, talk to him, flirt with him, and see whether he’ll flirt back.”
“I’m probably half his age. I’d be worried if he didn’t flirt back.”
A muffled snort made me glance down the hall. A guy a couple of years older than me leaned out of the stairwell doorway. Light hair just past his collar, denim jacket, boots, and a pair of snug-fitting worn blue jeans. He lifted a finger to his lips, shushing me, and I tried not to stare even if he was definitely stare-worthy.
I turned back to Tina. “That guy who wanted to speak to Lucas. Did you let him in?”
“Certainly not.” She lowered her voice. “He looked a little dodgy.”
“Was he in his midtwenties? Dark blond hair? Looks like he lost contact with his razor a few days ago?”
The guy arched his brows, mock-indignant.
“Yes, that’s him,” Tina said. “Now about my job offer ...”
“Spend the money on a shopping spree at Victoria’s Secret and make sure he’s too exhausted to look at twenty-year-olds.”
Before she recovered from that suggestion, I took off.
The guy waited until she was safely in her office, then strolled to meet me.
“Dodgy?” he said. “I’m not the one wanting a hot chick to try seducing my new boyfriend.” He extended his hand. “Jesse Aanes.”
I’d heard of him. A half-demon PI out of Seattle who’d worked with Lucas a few times. Lucas said he was a good guy, which was the only seal of approval I needed.
“What brings you to Portland?” I asked.
“Cases. One that I’m working now and a new one I wanted to run past Lucas. Two birds, one stone. I left him a message, but he hasn’t returned it, which isn’t like him.”
“He’s on vacation with Paige. I confiscated their cell phones and the only messages I’m passing on are well wishes and death notices.”
He laughed. “Good idea. They can use the break. Did that woman say Adam isn’t around either?”
“He’s at a conference. It’s just me for the rest of the week.”
Jesse hesitated and I knew what he was thinking—he needed help, but I wasn’t what he had in mind.
“Why don’t you come up to the office,” I said. “Tell me what you’ve got.”
I used my key card to unlock the stairwell door. Yes, we have key card entry everywhere, plus a shitload of protective spells for the second floor. I undid them under my breath as we walked.
As Tina said, we don’t get a lot of drop-in clients. We don’t want to. While we rarely turn away paying human customers, our clientele is almost exclusively supernatural and they don’t need an ad in the Yellow Pages to find us. Given that Lucas is heir to the Cortez Cabal, though, not everyone who finds us wants to hire us. Hence the heavy security.
Jesse followed me up the stairs. “I guess the daughter of Eve Levine and Kristof Nast doesn’t need to worry about strangers attacking her in an empty office.”
“If they do, I can always use them for my next ritual sacrifice. Volunteers are so hard to come by.”
It’s not the sort of crack you should make when you have a notorious dark witch for a mother and an equally notorious cutthroat sorcerer for a father. It was a test of sorts, and Jesse passed, just laughing and saying, “I’ll watch my step then.”
“So what’s your power? I know you’re a half-demon.”
Telekinesis, then. Agito was the second of the three levels, meaning he had mediocre abilities. Having dealt with a high-level Volo before, I was much more comfortable with an Agito.
His powers explained how he’d snuck past Tina. Using telekinesis, he’d caught the door before it closed. I’d have to talk to Lucas about that. Yet another argument against human tenants.
I led Jesse into the meeting room. He didn’t sit down—didn’t even take off his jacket—just strode straight to the table and pulled files from his satchel.
He set a crime-scene photo on the table. “Six months ago, two young women were murdered in Columbus, Washington, about an hour over the Oregon border. I doubt it made the Portland news. Nothing all that hinky about the killings. No sign of a serial killer or sexual sadism. Just the shooting death of two twenty-four-year-olds who led the kind of lives where you sort of figure, sooner or later”—he gestured at the photo of the two women—“this is how they’re going to end up.”
He shook his head. “Just not exactly sterling members of society.”
“Drugs?” I said. “Booze? Petty crime? All of the above?”
“You got it. Nothing you haven’t seen a million times before. I was on that path myself until Lucas got me out of some trouble and persuaded me there were legal ways to use my skills. Anyway, these girls didn’t run into a Lucas. They were high school dropouts. Never held a job more than a few months. One had a kid at sixteen. Both had short rap sheets and a string of boyfriends with longer ones.”
I lifted the photo to take a closer look. The two bodies lay on a floor. Both were fully dressed, T-shirts covered in blood, each bearing a hole. Single gunshot wounds to the chest. One was on her back, eyes open, arms akimbo, legs twisted, a pool of blood under her. The other was stretched out, arms and legs only slightly bent, eyes closed. The blood under her was smeared.
“Both shot, as you see,” Jesse said. “A through-and-through for the first, the bullet apparently lodging in the wall over there.” He pointed to the edge of the photo. “They recovered another bullet from inside the second victim. The first one died immediately. The second didn’t.”
“Doesn’t look like she tried to get away, though. Drugged?”
“I don’t have tox screens.”
“No sign of rape or torture, like you said. Looks execution style. A classic case of ‘Hey, bitch, you gonna pay for that dope or what?’ The answer, apparently, being ‘or what.’ ”
“Yep, that’s what it looks like.”
When he didn’t go on, I glanced at him. “So what’s your interest? Is one of these girls a supernatural?”
“Not as far as I know.”
He set a second photo on the table. It was another murdered young woman, also early twenties, though one glance told me this girl didn’t sell herself for dime bags.
I put the two photos side by side. All three bodies had been left in the same place.
“Basement?” I asked.
“Of an abandoned building.”
I could hear Lucas’s voice. The fact that the deceased are found in a common location may speak less to a connection than to a simple matter of convenience. Yes, Lucas really did talk that way. Drove me nuts, especially when I found myself slipping into the same speech patterns. On the plus side, I may not be an A student, but I sure as hell can sound like one.
When I told Jesse my theory—small town, not a lot of places to put a body, someone had already used this one, so the second killer followed suit—he shrugged. “Possible, but in this particular small town, there’s no shortage of abandoned buildings.”
“What’s the local murder rate?”
“You’re looking at it. This double killing last fall, then the single one ten days ago. Before that, the last homicide was a domestic incident in 1999.”
“Lot of drug activity in town?”
“It has its share, maybe a little more. You can blame that on a depressed economy, though. It’s not exactly a hotbed of gangsta activity. Mostly kids selling pot from their lockers, the laid-off guy down the road dealing out of his garage, that sort of thing.”
“Do the police think it’s the same killer for all three?”
“Yep, but only because otherwise they’d need to catch two murderers, and that’s more work than they care to contemplate.”
“You’re going to make me guess what the supernatural connection is, aren’t you?”
“I was just seeing if you’d pick it up. It’s—”
I lifted a hand to cut him off. “Is the answer here?” I asked, pointing at the photos.
“Give me a minute.”
I studied the victims for some sign they’d been killed by a supernatural—puncture wounds, gnaw marks, weird burn patterns. But the only sign of trauma was the bullet holes.
Next I looked at the background for evidence that the victims had been used ritualistically. If so, then we probably weren’t dealing with a supernatural killer. There were black art rituals involving human sacrifice—usually high-level protection spells that required a life in forfeit for a life protected—but that’s a lot more rare among witches and sorcerers than Hollywood would have people believe.
If these were indeed ritual murders, then the most likely culprit was Hollywood itself, for suggesting that it’s possible to harness the forces of darkness through sacrifice. As if a demon really gives a rat’s ass about a dead human or two.
When humans ritually kill, though, they’re rarely subtle. Pentacles in blood are a particular favorite. Apparently, if you’re going to the trouble of proving what a badass occultist you are, you want to make sure the whole world gets it.
Excerpted from "Waking the Witch"
Copyright © 2011 Kelley Armstrong.
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There is never a false line in Armstrong's writing. (Charlaine Harris, New York Times bestselling author of the Sookie Stackhouse series)
"Sexy, smart, and action-packed! Kelley Armstrong is truly one of the greats in this genre."
-Richelle Mead, New York Times bestselling author of the "Vampire Academy" series
"There is never a false line in Armstrong's writing."
-Charlaine Harris, New York Times bestselling author of the Sookie Stackhouse series
"Armstrong is up with the big girls of the genre like Laurel K. Hamilton."
-Kansas City Star
"Kelly Armstron is one of my favorite writers."
-Karin Slaughter, New York Times bestselling author of Indelible
Kelly Armstron is one of my favorite writers. (Karin Slaughter, New York Times bestselling author of Indelible)
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
We first met Savannah back in book 2 of the Women of the Otherworld series. She was a smart-mouthed teen with razor sharp wit, and a screw-it-all attitude. Now, Savannah is 21, and although she has matured, not much else has changed. She's still just as smart-mouthed and smart, although she does try to reign in the attitude when she can. Of course, all of these things are the reason I love her! I've been dying for a Savannah book, and I was definitely not disappointed with it. Savannah is on her first solo assignment and things keep going from bad to worse. There was a great amount of mystery in this book. You never know who the bad guy is from beginning until the big reveal. Every time I thought I had it figured out, it threw me for a loop and changed it all up again. This book was action packed and kept me turning pages until way late into the night! There was some great scenes with sexual tension, but this is just a small part of the story, not the overlying storyline. All of the characters in this quirky little town were a lot of fun. Each had a their own unique personality, and their own secret to keep hidden. I love Kelley's writing and all the characters that are weaved in and out of this series. We get to see another side of fun-loving Adam, which was great. Not much Lucas and Paige, but you get to see a great deal how they have affected Savannah's life, which was wonderful. I definitely recommend this book it to all of the Kelley fans out there! If you haven't read her books yet, then what are you waiting for???
OK. Let me start off by saying this.. I was completely disappointed with Armstrong's last couple of books (Personal Demon, Living with the Dead) and was welcoming her new installment. Waking the Witch took me about a day to read and I devoured it without stopping. Savannah is the new addition to my favorites in the series. I can really relate to her being her age and in her shoes; desperate to prove herself. I love her attitude, but I must say her reliance on her magic was an irritating fact and I was very glad when she was left without them. I'm all about main characters learning a lesson. This book does have a major cliffhanger at the end, but that's ok. Some aspects of the storyline are easily figured out, but so are most other books, too. One of my favorite aspects of Armstrong's newer books, is that she is introducing new races, or making ones mentioned occasionally step into the spotlight. (Ex: the shape changers in PD, the clairvoyants in LVTD, and the pre-historic werewolves in Frostbitten.) I can't wait to see where the story goes, and eager to tag along with Savannah's adventures.
Waking the Witch is book eleven in Kelley Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld series. Savannah Levine whom readers of this series first met as an unruly teenager and a very powerful witch in the second book Stolen. Savannah is all grown up now and has the opportunity to be a lead investigator on an important case while her guardians and employers, Lucas and Paige are off on a much needed vacation. Not wanting to bother Lucas and Paige, Savannah heads to the small town of Columbus to investigate the murders of three young women. It's no secret that I am a huge fan of Kelley Armstrong and really enjoy her Women of the Otherworld series. Unfortunately, Waking the Witch is probably my least favorite book in this series. I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that this book seems very transitional. Kelley Armstrong seems to be taking her series in a new direction with Savannah as a lead character. She needed this book to set up new storylines and new characters for future books in the series. Plus, it was a way to show how Savannah is changing and growing into womanhood. I have trouble with Savannah as a lead heroine. Since Savannah was introduced as a character early on in the series, I never really liked her. Savannah has always come across as selfish and her moral compass is slightly skewed. She is not afraid to use her powers and does not shy away from dark magic. By the end of Waking the Witch I felt much more sympathetic to the choices she makes. In this story she gets a rude awakening and I think it is the beginning of a new Savannah. She has a lot of growth to make and I think the upcoming books will reflect that. Another reason why Waking the Witch wasn't my favorite is because there is almost no romance. Savannah has had a crush on Adam, a half demon who works for Paige and Lucas, since she was a teenager. Their relationship or the one sided feelings Savannah has for Adam was the extent of the romance. Again, I believe that Adam might have feelings for Savannah but won't act on them because he feels she is too young, as he is eleven years her senior. Plus, the story is told from Savannah's point of view and the reader only gets the romance from Savannah's perspective. But I am definitely intrigued as to how things are going to play out in future books.
Nine year old Kayla is sneaking into the guarded building her mother was killed in. She had done this a hand full of times before, but this time would be different. Claire Kennedy was killed here a week ago and there had to be a connection between Claire's death and her mothers murder. Lucas and Paige are out of town for the week on a vacation - in which Savannah smuggled their cell phones away from them - and now twenty-one year old Savannah is trusted to be in charge of the PI office in their absence. Jesse Aanes, a half demon PI from Seattle who has worked with Lucas before, shows up wanting to run a few cases past Lucas. Jesse is investigating the murder of 3 twenty-something year old girls - two from last fall, one from 10 days ago - abandoned in the same vacant building appearing similar, in a quite small depressed town - Columbus Washington. This poor little town hasn't seen a murder in ten years. Jesse believes there is a supernatural connection to these cases from the crime photos he has. Savannah is excited. This would be her first solo case after five years of working under Lucas and Paige. She offers to take this case for Jesse while he finishes up the current case he's on. This book was a great quick read for me. The pacing was constantly moving forward and it wasn't diluted with heavy unneeded material, and the mystery kept growing in suspense for me driving me forward to read more and faster. This is a great book to jump in the series at even though it's the eleventh book. I learned a lot of history of Savannah and start off with her on her own adventures. Through the book you learn of the additional characters around Savannah; Page, Lucas, Adam, and a few others. In meeting a few of the characters in this deprived town there was one I hope to see more of as I just fell in love with, Kayla. I liked how Kelley answered my thoughts when I had a question. Like when Savannah easily uses several spells in a row in a short time frame, Kelley acknowledges this and explains it. A great style I enjoyed here is in reading this book from Savannah's view, you get glimpses of her history and heritage. I am very curious to learn more about her and when Paige and Lucas became her guardians. Savannah has moments where she compares what she is doing to what Lucas or Paige would do or what they would say to her. I felt I got to know them through Savannah. Kelley's writing style is easy to visualize and follow. The story starts off easy, but pulled me in to Savannah quickly. She really felt like a relatable character and one that was personable. I wanted to read more about her. The further I went the more in depth the mystery got. I enjoyed how the mystery turned around in the book. I found myself flipping back through the pages to reread sections to try and piece it together myself. This book could be read by some mature Young Adults. Savannah is responsible with alcohol even though she is old enough to drink. There is mention of sexual activity and acts, but no details. Savannah does have a moment in the book where she is kissing, but she does not let it go further - she has her limits. I really enjoyed the case with Savannah and look forward to reading more with Savannah, as the way this book ended Kelley has to come back to write more on Savannah and I will be waiting. But I am also ready to go buy the other books in the series as I loved what I learned of all the characters.
Having loved many of the other Tales from the Otherworld, I just finished Waking the Witch Savannah's story. The writing flowed so smoothly for me in this book. It was a nice fluid tale that had a few turns I was not expecting, but were surprising and yet were well woven in the story that I found them very appealing. This story follows along with several of the Otherworld characters, but mainly it is Savannah staking out a place in life by solving a case on her own with her PI skills ...more Having loved many of the other Tales from the Otherworld, I just finished Waking the Witch Savannah's story. The writing flowed so smoothly for me in this book. It was a nice fluid tale that had a few turns I was not expecting, but were surprising and yet were well woven in the story that I found them very appealing. This story follows along with several of the Otherworld characters, but mainly it is Savannah staking out a place in life by solving a case on her own with her PI skills. A lot happens, there are several deaths, and what was surprising for me is that even though the dead characters had only little parts in the book, the feelings of impact that I was having alongside the main character was pretty interesting. Mayhaps it was just an emotional day for me, but I really enjoyed this story.
If it wasn't for 10 other books of tidbits about savannah and adam this book would be a 1 star. I didn't connect with this one as well as I did with all the others. I feel that savannah's personality isn't very original and wasn't well developed. I was really excited to get into the mind of this girl [especially since her mom was so exciting], but was a bit disappointed with what i found. And it seems the romance aspect of this series went out the window, except for a few cheesy moments at the end. All the characters besides the 2 just seemed thrown in without any real thought, no depth to any of them. I think the only character that was remotely interesting was kayla. Especially since she set up such a malleable setting, but it ended up being restricting to the plot and the characters. I kind of expected a cliff hanger, but the ending seemed more like a cut off. As in "this is part 1" and april will be "part 2". Not much suspense. Off to a rough start, but it can definitely be a good set up for the next one. should will one bad book stop you from continuing the series? no, just a down that can only go up.
Whoa! When did little Savannah grow up? I've been reading Kelley's books for awhile now, and I've always liked Eve and her daughter Savannah. So-called "bad girls" are just more interesting for some reason. But suddenly Savannah is grown up and going out on her own while Paige and Lucus are on vacation? Boy, I feel old.... *L* This is a good addition to the Women of the Otherworld series. Savannah is a powerful witch who, while still relatively young, has a good head on her shoulders and will make a great investigator some day. Not wanting to "bother" her guardians while they're on a well-deserved vacation (okay, not wanting to tell them what she was up to!), Savannah heads off on her first solo investigation. Crush-worthy Adam is just a phone call away as her back-up, and she knows that he'll be there in as fast as he can should she need help, but Savannah wants to prove herself. There are unexpected developments, but Savannah doesn't do too badly and shows that she's able to handle herself okay. Gave this one a 4/5 rating as I really enjoyed it! Savannah is a great character, and it's been fun watching her grow up. Kelley is an awesome writer, love all of her books, and I can highly recommend this if you like urban fantasy with strong women characters. Already looking forward to seeing what Savannah gets up to next!
Bought the hardback in store with high expectations. I've ready all of Kelly Armstrongs previous books and was looking forward to Savannah's storyline. The story is thin and predictable. Then I get to pg 248, what's suppose to be page 249 has no page number and then the book repeats for like a chapter, skipping pages 249-282, starts up again, with me having no idea how its gotten to the point where Leah? is in Jesse's body? It's freaking confusing and I'm missing plot connections so now I dont even want to finish the book...heading back to the local B&N tomorrow to return..
Over all I enjoyed the book, but it seemed much shorter than the others to me. The over all plot was okay, not Mrs. Armstrong's best, but still engaging. Half way through I could tell who I thought the bad guy was, even so there was a neat twist to the ending of it. I hate cliffies, so I wasn't to thrilled with the ending - I kept hitting my 'next page' button trying to get to the next page thinking 'Surely it doesn't end like this!' only to find out that yes, indeed it did! I feel like I've only read half the story, partly because of the ending and partly because it seemed so short. I'll just have to wait until Spell Bound comes out in April to continue this one I guess. I'm assuming that Spell Bound will also have a cliff hanger though since the book after it is also to be narrated by Savannah. >.< Reminds me a bit of how her Darkest Powers trilogy books always end - she sure has mastered the cliffhangers!
I have been following Kelly Armstrong (in the hardback) since Bitten. I love her and enjoy immersing myself in both her characters and her plot. It is with great sadness that I report this latest book was a HUGE dissappointment. About 1/2 through it started reading like a 'B-grade' Agatha Christie mystery. To make matters worse it ended with a soap opera worthy to be continued... I am going to hold off on immediately buying her next book until I read the reviews.
Though I don't think any of Kelley Armstrong's later books have been as great as Bitten and Stolen - this one kept me reading without stopping. I picked up Spell Bound right after I finished Waking the Witch and was glad to find it pick ups exactly where WTW stopped. I'm glad I held off reading WTW until now - I'm not feeling the frustration other readers have felt by the chopped ending of the previous book. I would recommend this book and this author.
The first book I read by Kelley Armstrong was BITTEN back in 2001. I remember being so into that book that I couldn't put it down. It was the first time I read a book that size in one day. I am happy to say that Kelley still keeps me entertained and I am so glad that I picked up her book ten years ago. WAKING THE WITCH renewed my love for this author's writing. She never lets me down and I'm looking forward to the next installment in the Women of the Underworld series. If you are a paranormal fan, you have to read this book. It's fast-paced, intriguing and a fun way to spend your day.
Unfortunately, who ever works their magic for the ebooks some how made it impossible to receive the last two pages on NOOK. I will find a hardback copy to know how this book ends or leaves a cliffhanger for the next book. Hopefully in a future book the love interest between Savannah and Adam will be explored. You do get a tease at the hospital that Adams feels more than a big brother or friend towards Savannah. With a witch killer exposed and is still on the loose, Savannah, Paige, Lucas and Adam will have their hands full in a future installment. Leah escaping and causing pain and angst was a big surprise, did not see that coming. Looking for the next wonderful installment from Kelly Armstrong
For any readers who enjoy mystery with a SyFi twist - I recommend you order a copy of this last installment from Kelley Armstrong!
Loved It! This is why I read series novels more than stand-alones. A character like Savannah can be developed from the precocious teen to maturing adult. I wasn't sure how the Michael character was going to play into the whole plot and I felt he was stepping in where he didn't belong (i.e. on Adam's girl), but in the end it was a great plot move. I cannot wait for the next book to see how Savannah deals with everything. Secretly, I will admit I wanted Benicio to swoop in a save his "granddaughter" from the people being mean to her. but that's just me.
The three homicides in Columbus, Washington imply that a supernatural serial killer is on the loose. Portland, Oregon twenty-something witch Savannah Levine of Cortez-Winterbourne Investigations (one bolt would change the name to Levine Investigations) and hybrid human-demon investigator Jesse Aanes make inquiries. Savannah wants to prove that she has the mental and physical toughness to go it alone. She believes her witch powers will enable her to obtain the information needed to determine who the culprit is. However, to her chagrin when she casts a spell,her powers fail her. Meanwhile their unknown adversary continues the killing spree with no end in sight unless Savannah and Jesse find the serial killer. This is an entertaining twist to Savannah's saga as her traits as the tough sassy child of Stolen remain in the adult though more under control. Making matters difficult for her is when she most needs her bewitching skills they seem to vanish. Filled with wonderful spins and a horde of corpses, Waking the Witch is a wonderful Otherworld urban fantasy mystery as unlike her heroine Kelly Armstrong's bewitching ability to entertain remains as strong as ever. Harriet Klausner
The storyline was well written and I enjoyed the surprise ending.
Two words for you: cliffhanger ending.Other than that, it was fine. I guess. I wasn't really expecting a young adult novel to pop up in the middle of this (not YA) series. I can understand why, in that Savannah is transitioning from her role as a kid in the series to becoming an adult. And I like Adam a lot, so hurrah for his being included. But this really wasn't what I was hoping for in terms of character movement and story lines. Paige and Lucas are completely absent, and Jaime only appears briefly. The clues scattered through like breadcrumbs also made me remember why I don't like mysteries. If you like YA novels or are a die-hard fan of the series, it's worth the read. I wish I hadn't paid hardcover price for it, though.
Eleventh in Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld series, which is one of my favorite paranormal series. Each book stars a different set of characters from Armstrong's universe. This time the main character is Savannah, a 21 year-old witch, who is the foster daughter of Lucas, a sorcerer, and Paige, a witch. Savannah is a powerful witch, and has been working at Paige and Lucas' private detective agency, which deals with cases involving supernaturals.Paige and Lucas have finally gone on a well-deserved vacation. Another investigator, Jesse, wants their help investigating the murders of three young women that might have a supernatural angle. Savannah decides to take the case on her own.Savannah has been a character in other books, but this is the first one in which she is the main character. She is a welcome addition to the other strong women characters in an excellent series.
Savannah Levine has been waiting for her chance to prove herself a capable private investigator, so when a job presents itself while her guardians are on vacation, she leaps at the opportunity. Three murders, months apart, all young women in a small town seems an easy job at first, but as Savannah uncovers links to the supernatural, she realizes she may be in over her head.Savannah showed up in the Women of the Otherworld series early on, as a young, trapped and vulnerable witch, and despite growing up strong and capable, she still bears the emotional scars from those days. She's a complex character, and the stresses she undergoes during the course of the investigation pushes her to her limit, and it's an exciting and intriguing journey. Savannah is a temperamental, foul-mouthed bad-ass (despite the obviousness of her motorcycle riding and probable tattoo collection), yet still manages to be sympathetic. I look forward to more of her!Highly recommended.
I've got to admit, Savannah isn't my favourite Woman of the Otherworld, but I really enjoyed discovering what she's gotten up to. It's great seeing her mature into her powers a little more, rather than running around wreaking havoc (though she does get up to some of that too in this book). I can't wait for "Spell Bound" to find out what happens to her! A quick yet enjoyable read.
This was another great book from Kelley Armstrong. This book is from the point of view of Savannah. Savannah is left alone to take care of Paige and Lucas¿s PI business while they are on vacation. It is her turn to prove that she able to take care of herself in there dangerous supernatural world. However things are not what they seem to be when Savannah goes to work three related murders that have a supernatural angle. She needs to prove to herself that she can go solo from Paige and Lucas. Will Savannah be able to prove to everyone that she can be trusted to work on her own or will it all blow up in her face in a deadly way. Savannah¿s character is another great strong supernatural female lead. Savannah is smart, funny, and extremely motivated to make her life work. I can¿t wait to hear more from savannah and she if she will untimely end up with Adam or some other supernatural hunk. ETA: After reading other reviews: I love the fact that Savannah is portrayed a little more timid than she has been in other books. She is just coming into her own and is not sure what her next move is. Her life so far has not been an easy one and she still has many things that she needs to work through. With everything that she has been through in her other books one would not expect to find a fully happy well rounded functioning adult. You would expect to find exactly what the author writes. Savannah is working though her phobias and her fears through this book while trying to get a better handle on whom she is exactly. Armstrong always writes great female characters most of the time though her characters are greatly damaged individuals. It is her forte and she will cling to it which is great that she continued this with Savannah. I would not have enjoyed this book as much had savannah been the happy bubbly self assured individual everyone else seemed to what to see
Kelley Armstrong departs from her formula a bit on this one. Usually her books are individually complete, but Waking the Witch has a "tune in next time for more adventures" ending. It is also short on the romance angle, and has no "adult content."I enjoyed this book. At the start of the Women of the Otherworld series, I wasn't a huge fan of Armstrong's writing. It felt a little generic/airport book in style. But now I always enjoy her characters. She creates people you really feel like you know, and it makes for great escapist books.
In my opinion, this is one of the most (if not THE most) highly anticipated novels of the series. Faithful Women of the Underworld readers have known Savannah for around ten books now, and I have been very anxious to finally get her story!I am happy to say I was not at all let down. The way things end make it clear there will be another book featuring Savannah (and Adam! *swoon*)...and I can't wait for it either. Don't worry, it is not an annoying cliffhanger that will either make you mad or make you want to break in to Kelley Armstrong's house for an unfinished manuscript...it just leaves you wanting more.The book moves quickly, and the mystery is fascinating. I definitely didn't get it all figured out before the end. It is a nice mixture of the supernatural and good old fashioned suspense: the combination makes the book a very fast read because you won't want to put it down.If you haven't read the series, I would definitely recommend starting from the beginning (with Bitten) and reading them all...but you can pick this book up and read it as a stand-alone without a problem. Reading the rest of the series just gives you a bigger frame of reference for the world the characters live in and makes you more invested in what is happening with Savannah.The world Kelley Armstrong has created for this series (and the young adult Darkest Powers trilogy) is fascinating. The magical characters and witchcraft all work together and make the world so complex and thrilling. I love all these books! This particular book features witchcraft mainly, but other characters featured in the books include werewolves, ghosts, physics and vampires.
This is the 11th book in Kelley¿s (Women of) The Otherworld series. It is not meant as a place to start into the series. While I suppose it is possible to read this one before the others, I wouldn¿t recommend it. There are too many things that would spoil the prior books, and other things that aren¿t properly explained in this book because they¿re in other books. (Nothing that would prevent a new reader from understanding the book, but the full comprehension does require more than a passing knowledge of the world.)Also, there is a very minor cliffhanger at the end. Well, others have called it a cliffhanger. I would call it a hook. I mean¿ this is an ongoing series. Not all loose ends will be tied up at the end of the book. The only difference that I see is that this book leaves it a lot more clear who the narrator of the book that follows it will be than prior books have. (Book #12, Spellbound, will be another Savannah-narrated book.) I personally had no problem at all with the ending of this book. There were things about it that I rather liked, actually.Now¿ on to the rest of the review.I love Paige and Lucas. So a Savannah book without them made me a little nervous even as I knew it was the only way to let Savannah get her feet wet. My worries, however, were unfounded. I now love Savannah, too. Not quite as much, but nearly. She¿s a great character, and it¿s easy to see (even when we¿re not specifically told) which parts of her are her mom and which parts are Paige and Lucas¿ influence.Also, I was nervous about the romance angle. A lot of people on Kelley¿s forums want Savannah and Adam (her girlhood crush) to get together in her book(s). I¿m not sure. If it works well, then great. If it doesn¿t, I don¿t want it to feel forced. But I really like the way the romance plays out in this book. If you read the first three chapters on Kelley¿s site, you¿ll see that there are other guys who could end up being Savannah¿s love interest. It¿s not clear-cut that it will be Adam. And I¿m not telling. (I will say that this book, unlike the rest of the series, does not get very steamy. This is appropriate, as Savannah is just now 21 and we first met her as a child. She needs to grow up in our heads a bit before the readers will be fully comfortable with her having sex scenes, I think.)Last thing I¿ll say (and forgive the lack of detail, but I¿m determined to not give spoilers): I like the conflict Savannah is up against here. The external conflict is well done, and I guessed part of it but by no means all of it by the time it was revealed. However, it is the internal conflict that I like best. (This ties into the hook at the end of the book, too. Savannah resolves the main external conflict in this novel, but not her internal one.)All told, I really like this book. It¿s not my favorite in the series ¿ that honor remains with Industrial Magic ¿ but it is up there among my favorites.