Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison (review)

I recently completed reviews of four of Kim Harrison’s fantasy novels for the Chronicles Network. I’ll repost those reviews here.

Dead Witch Walking
Kim Harrison

Review by Carolyn Hill

Set in an alternate modern-day Cincinnati where humans coexist uneasily with supernatural residents of the Hallows, Kim Harrison’s Dead Witch Walking delivers refreshing, lively, and tension-packed entertainment.

When Rachel Morgan, a white witch, quits her job catching criminals for the government and starts her own agency, her former employer marks her for death. Rachel and her new partners—a control-freak, living vampire and an irreverent, temperamental pixy—set up shop and home in an old church, learning to cope with one another’s idiosyncrasies as they fend off assassins and pursue a case against a mysterious biodrug runner.

The three main characters—Rachel the witch, Ivy the vampire, and Jenks the pixy—are intriguing. All three are loyal, courageous, and likeable, but each has flaws that make for interesting reading. Rachel is principled, determined, and quick to adapt, but despite her fear of the black magic that killed her father, she’s too drawn toward danger for her own good. Ivy has dark secrets in her past, and although she longs for Rachel’s trust and hasn’t drunk blood in three years, she’s on edge and close to sinking her teeth in Rachel’s neck. Jenks is a family man with a loving wife and a swarm of cheerful, battle-savvy children, but his pride and his temper are quick to flare, and his tongue cuts as sharply as his sword.

Add a host of entertaining secondary characters, physical action, quiet humor, supernatural confrontation, sexual tension, a deadly demon, murderous fairies, and liberal use of spells and ley line magic. Stir well, and you have a thoroughly enchanting and clever novel.

Dead Witch Walking not only completely satisfies as a standalone read, but also simultaneously sets up characters and tension that will develop in ever more surprising ways as Rachel Morgan’s story continues in the next three novels in the series: The Good, the Bad, and the Undead; Every Which Way But Dead; and A Fistful of Charms.

What do you think?