Tuesday, July 13, 2010

WAKING THE WITCH by Kelley Armstrong

Publisher: Dutton/Penguin Books
Date published: July 27, 2010
ISBN: 978-0525951780
Paranormal Suspense
Reviewed by Gina
Review copy provided by publisher

Half witch, half sorcerer, one hundred percent supernatural, Savannah Levine has finally reached her majority. With her mother and father, the witch and the sorcerer dead, she's been raised by Paige and Lucas Cortez, a witch and a sorcerer. Between her own genes and their teaching Savannah is smart, street savvy, beautiful and chomping on the bit to head out on her own. Well, not exactly leave her warm and loving home. She'd just like to have her own case to solve. When Paige and Lucas head off on a much needed vacation, family friend Jesse appears at the family detective agency and drops a case in Savannah's lap. The timing is perfect. Guardians gone, unrequited crush of her life, Adam, is out of town, and she's been ready since forever.

As Savannah's luck would have it, Jesse has brought her not one, but three murders. All with the possibility of a paranormal link. She packs her gear, jumps on her motorcycle and heads off to Columbus, the scene of the crimes where she has to deal with a small town police chief, in a town that's lost its industry and people are barely scraping by. Before she can launch her investigation a police detective, Michael, from out of state arrives and he doesn't particularly care to work with her. He just happens to be related to one of the victims. As soon as Michael realizes Savannah knows her stuff he aims to work with her; and then he starts to fall for her, as she does him. When Savannah is found standing over Michael's body, all bets are off. What is a witch to do?

I wasn't keen on DIME STORE MAGIC and WITCH MAGIC, the books that introduced and told Paige and Lucas' stories as well as introduced Savannah to Kelley Armstrongs's readers. I like what Ms. Armstrong has done with Savannah in WAKING THE WITCH. I like it a whole lot. There is a bit of Nadia in Savannah from the Nadia Stafford series, but Savannah is all her own person. There were a few times I thought she didn't much act like an average twenty-one year old, however Savannah herself speaks to her maturity in reflection of how and with whom she grew up. The ending ties up the story, but leaves you dangling a bit, amping up your eagerness for the next book – I sure hope there's a next book that features Savannah!

Without becoming maudlin or creating a morose atmosphere, Ms. Armstrong paints a well done picture of a small town down on its luck and how the residents are coping. The secondary characters, Cody, his wife Tiffany, Alaistair and Megan add wonderful flavor to the story. Kayla is endearing. She's a unique character, well written and not your standard fare of the precocious child. Ms. Armstrong doesn't fall back on things only a parent would think are cute; rather Kayla is a child you wouldn't mind to have for your own.

WAKING THE WITCH is one of Kelley Armstrong's best yet.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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