📚 Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison

The Hollows, Book 1

Reviewed Feb. 2019

Narrator: Marguerite Gavin
Length: 13 hours 15 minutes
Publisher: Tantor Audio⎮2008

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Summary

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.

The Audiobookworm's Review

Rating: 3.25 Stars

Dead Witch Walking was a big, flat disappointment for me. It took me several months and even more energy to get through it. I should have DNF'd it before the 50% mark when I already knew I wasn't enjoying it, but the plethora of glowing reviews on Goodreads made me think that this was a "me" problem, so I would table it for a while before returning to it. This "tabling" method has worked for me in the past, but each time I returned to Dead Witch Walking, I was more apathetic towards it than before. By the end, that apathy had nearly turned to contempt.

Honestly, the apathy was almost worse than out right hating it. I can't put my finger on the exact reasons I didn't connect with Dead Witch Walking and that's a big part of why I kept returning to it. There was solid world building, some character development, and an action-filled plot, but none of it was good enough for me. I think it boils down to the writing itself. Something about it fell flat. The characters were interesting on paper, but were poorly fleshed out within the story and that's why I failed to connect with them, so by the end of the story, I was merely going through the motions without caring at all. I started Dead Witch Walking during a paranormal phase in which I heard several successive paranormal titles. Some were hit and others misses, but Dead Witch Walking was the biggest miss by far.

Animal fight scenes and abuse play significant part in Dead Witch Walking. I realize that I am extremely sensitive to this topic, so it's not surprising how much of a turn off it was to me. It really turned my stomach and I did have to stop listening for a while after that. In retrospect, I should have stopped listening altogether at the first sign of it, but because it happens so far into the story, I felt that I was too far in to stop.

The most frustrating thing about Dead Witch Walking was its potential. All of my major boxes were checked. There were even some extras teased, such as the female/female witch/vampire flirtation, but nothing came of it. There was a lot going on, yet the story still seemed to drag on forever. The last hour seemed so excruciatingly slow that it was almost painful to finish. That's baffling considering the amount of action involved around the plot's resolution.

I had no problem following the action. There were a few, but not many, "What the hell is going on?!" moments- mostly because this audiobook failed to hold my attention and I was constantly spacing out. The worst part is that, after having just finished this audiobook minutes ago, I've already forgotten the main character's name (Ivy?). I think that says it all. Dead Witch Walking was an audiobook that I couldn't wait to finish and one that I will probably never give a second thought.

Narration review: Unfortunately, Marguerite Gavin's dry narration did nothing to enliven Dead Witch Walking for me. I do not fully hold her to blame for this, however. Separate from this particular story, Gavin's performance would be much more appealing. She gave distinctive performances for the many secondary characters, which helped in the understanding of the tangled web of a plot. I would not be opposed to hearing Gavin perform again in the future, but I'm fairly certain I will be steering clear of anything else from Kim Harrison. ♣︎

Let me know what you think!

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