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on 18 October 2006
I actually would like to award this book four and a half stars - it's not quite up to five stars, for me, but then four is underselling it. Still, it's a really good book to while away a long afternoon.

Rachel Morgan is a white witch in a world where supernatural people mix with humans. Vampires, witches, werewolves, pixies, fairies... they are all part of the `modern' world in Cincinnati where Rachel lives. Her job in Inderland Security (Inderlander being the name for non-humans) is as a kind of police officer for the supernaturals but for some reason she's getting the worst possible jobs assigned to her. When she arrests a leprechaun she is offered a way out - the leprechaun wants her freedom and will, in return, grant three wishes. Rachel decides to take her up on this offer to gain freedom from Interland Security and a new life for herself.

On the way she has to give two of her three wishes to her companions of the moment - Jenks the pixie and Ivy the Alive Vampire. These two characters are excellent - Ivy is spooky with her vampiric nature, although as she's not yet dead she doesn't have to exist on blood; and Jenks is just brilliant as the annoying yet fun pixie with a huge family.

Ivy and Rachel find themselves living in a church and trying to settle down in some kind of domestic situation with all the difficulties of vampire and witch living together - and then Rachel realises that she's got a price on her head and is a Dead Witch Walking.

Rachel, Ivy and Jenks need to pull off a huge coup for Inderland Security to remove the death threat from Rachel so they start investigating an important local businessman who they believe is running drugs. Things get more and more complicated, they run into danger and hook up with new colleagues. But is everyone as they seem?

This book is obviously the first in a series - there are a lot of loose ends at the close of the book. They're not annoying loose ends, just hint at future explanations. There's a lot of mystery about Ivy - what did she use her wish for, for example - and about some of the other people that they meet in the course of their investigations. I certainly look forward to the next book in the series and hope that it will answer some of these questions, as well as setting more.
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on 24 July 2011
So, I bought this book because I really wanted a lengthy series to get my teeth into, and after many many books that cost a fiver and were finished in a day, I looked forward to something a bit more substantial!

After about 10 pages, I was hooked!

I won't go on and on about the plot or give away any spoilers:-
Rachel, a witch working for Inderland Security, quits her job after being down-trodden for the last time to start her own business. After quitting her job (and noone in their right mind quits Inderland Security), she becomes a "Dead Witch Walking". The only way she can stop death threats and the like from her former employer is to try to expose a prominent drug lord to appease them, all whilst making powerful allies, and enemies along the way.

Rachel is funny, brave, a bit sassy and addictive. I love her attitude, sarcasm, I just find her so amusing. Of her friends, I fell in love with Jenks, and you can feel the tension leaking off the page during any encounter with Ivy.

I highly reccommend this book to anyone who loves a long story, where the plots twists, bends back on itself and bites you on the bum! I read them all on kindle, then ended up buying them all in paperback too! It's just brilliant, and I guarantee that you're going to need at least the first 3, because as soon as you finish the first, you'll be staring at your letterbox waiting for the next to arrive!
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HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERon 12 March 2007
It's wonderful when you find a first in a series which is this well thought out, well written and so much fun to read. It means there's plenty more good things on the way!

The werewolf/vampire/supernatural novel business is obviously booming, but I have found some other series which are simply poor excuses for soft porn, and yet others which are blood-and-guts shockohorror.

Dead Witch is way better than these. It's not X-rated (although there's an entertaining sensuous undercurrent which keeps the characters on their toes), and it's not full of gratuitous sadistic violence (although there is threat and there is justifiable action and there's plenty of risk and thrills). It's very well balanced, in fact.

The imaginary universe hangs together too; Kim Harrison provides a believable set up to explain how pixies and vampires and fairies and warlocks can be rubbing shoulders with normal humans. The heroine is the right mix of feisty and fragile -- she can kick ass but she's also vulnerable to the bad guys. And her supporting cast look great. We get to meet them in this novel but plenty in their past remains undiscovered, so there's lots of intrigue for future episodes.

And I'm really looking foward to them -- I've ordered the next four and will probably read them back-to-back. It all looks good so far; white witch shares an old church with a vampish (mainly good but who knows) vampire, a pixy sidekick and a human dabbler who might be more than he seems -- with a resident bad guy lurking and tonnes of scope for great adventurers.

The only niggles are that the first part of the novel takes a while to settle down, and you might consider not finishing the first couple of chapters which are mainly about establishing the characters. Hang in there -- the action really speeds up and the plot cracks on from a quarter-through to the final page. It might have been better to hold back some of the four central characters until the second book in the series, to avoid this problem, but it really doesn't spoil the overall adventure.

There are also some weird typos which can be distracting ('were' for 'where'), but that's nit-picking in the extreme!

So the scenario is all set up for book two, and I'm gungho to get reading it. I do recommend starting with Dead Witch, cos although I'm sure there will be some explanation, there is a lot of back story in this novel and the actions of the characters will make more sense if you know what happened here.
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on 3 July 2004
Some one described this book as Stefanie Plum meets Buffy and so liking both I thought I would give it a try.
It has new ideas about vampires/witches/fairies/demons etc and is set in a world that explains how they and humans are co-existing.
It is not too dark and has a good sense of humour that does not spoil the seriousness of the plot.
My favourite bit is when she is reading a book on the bus and everyone looks over her shoulder and tells her their favourtie bits.
The ending does have a nice twist and I am looking forward to the next book.
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on 11 August 2013
Excellent book, entertaining and funny.
Rachel, a special witch, reminds me of a supernatural Stephanie Plum. With her two side kicks; Jenks the 4 inch pixie and Ivy her best friend,room mate and wannabe lover.
The adventure is fun, fast and totally absorbing!
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on 9 February 2010
I read this book when it first came out and thought it is about time I wrote a review about it! I loved it! So far I am upto date with the series and would say this is a series that you want to read from the start! Great characters,funny and orginal, this series really grabs your attention and gets your imagination going from the start. One of my favourite fantasy authors now, Kim Harrison has created a world that is full of many 'monsters' and fantasy creatures! Well recomended!FANGTASTIC!
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on 29 June 2004
I found this book recommended on Kelley Armstrongs site. So yes, if you like her and Laurell K hamilton and Jim Butcher, you will like this book. Some really interesting new characters, Ivy (vampire but not dead) and Jenks (henpecked pixy with a large brood of kids)and of course Rachel Morgan, the witch in the title. The plot is fast paced and has some good twists and turns. There's also some teasers for the next book, just enough to intrigue but not frustrat. If you like the authors above then buy this book, you wont be disappointed. Also there's and interesting take on tomatoes.
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on 17 March 2007
Rachel Morgan is a young earth witch working with the Cincinnati division of the I.S., an agency that specializes in catching supernatural criminals. Still, the red-haired, temperamental witch is unhappy with her job: things haven't been going smoothly and her boss hates her. So she decides to leave the I.S. dragging with her Ivy, a 'living vampire' who was her former partner and Jenks (a male pixie), her current back-up. Trouble is... you don't leave the I.S.; it's a contract for life.

This novel is the first for author Kim Harrison and also the first in her 'Rachel Morgan' series (currently at five books). While it doesn't have a very complex plot (it's your standard story of the heroine running for her life), it sets the stage for future books as it introduces the major characters and the world they move in. Strangely, the central figure of the story, Rachel, is not the most developed character in this book. Ivy, the vampire roommate and Jenks, the pixy are much more complex and tri-dimensional.

The book starts out slow and is even boring for the first five or six chapters, but the pace picks up and it becomes interesting enough. The writing style contributes to this; you can see a positive evolution throughout the book.

In the end, this book is worth more as a prequel for the novels to come than for it's story. If it was a stand-alone, it wouldn't be very good, as it has no complex plot and the heroine is quite weak, as if the author merely sketched her instead of fully drawing her. Rachel Morgan comes to life in future books as does the story. Dead Witch Walking is certainly not meant to be read by itself.
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on 14 December 2010
I have to start off by saying that I felt this book took forever to read. I really couldn't get into it until the final stages. That's why this review will probably seem more like a rant than anything; I'm trying not to focus on what I didn't like but rather what I did. Clearly, I'm finding it somewhat difficult.

I liked the idea behind the story; the world the characters were set in. Supernatural creatures such as witches, pixies, vampires and shape-shifters lived among the humans (with the human's knowledge that they exist) after a deadly virus genetically engineered by the humans wiped out most of their population. The virus didn't have any effect on the Supernatural, leaving them able to reveal their existence to the humans. A relatively cool idea right?

The big problem was; I didn't like the protagonist set in this wonderful world; I thought she was stupid at times and that she didn't think things through.

I actually loved reading about Ivy (the vampire roommate) and Jenks (the pixy) more than Rachel. Ivy's history was intriguing, original and very well thought out while Jenks was absolutely hilarious and refreshing to read about.

Also, the main villain in the story, Trent Kalamack, was a genius. I was half-expecting him to repent for his ways and for Rachel to eagerly fall into his open arms. But, alas, that did not happen. Maybe if it did, I would have liked Rachel just a tad more!

All in all, Dead Witch Walking was a slow read that I almost didn't finish. It had it's moments but they were certainly not due to Rachel Morgan and her quick wits (notice the sarcasm?).
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on 27 March 2010
Dead Witch Walking is the first book in The Hollows urban fantasy series, and lucky for me and all new joiners, Kim Harrison has since published her 8th book in the series, so we have quite a few book to munch on to catch up :-)

In Kim Harrison's urban fantasy universe magic and all paranormal creatures are out in the open and known by the humas, trying to coexist peacefully.

I really enjoyed reading this book, because the writing is fantastic: it is detailed enough, just as I like it, but still moves at a fast pace. The story is always on the go, which made it very frustrating to me - who mostly reads on my way to work - to have to stop at exciting parts when I arrived at my destination, so I would recommend you read this book when you can read at your leisure, this is no book to read 20 pages and then stop. Kim Harrison is great at storytelling, Rachel's narrative is sarcastic and humourous, her dry wit and personal touch making the story even more real.

Kim Harrison's characterization is layered, interesting and deep. Her characters step off the pages and Rachel, Ivy and Jenks feel as real as if you knew them personally. Each of the characters, minor and major, are well developed, with their unique quirks and flairs (I especially love the pixy family: though in size Jenks is the smallest, he is one of the best charcters!). I love all the details Kim Harrison put into her characters giving them depth and more flesh.

Several issues weren't closed at the end of the book, so I hope the second book will address them.

Plot: 9/10
Characters: 10/10
Ending: 8/10
Writing: 9/10
Cover: 8/10

Verdict: All in all a great read, fantastic debut to a series, and I can't wait to read more! Kim Harrison is another author to watch and add to your urban fantasy to-read-list.

Dead Witch Walking only gets 4 stars because I feel this series will become even better, and I will need those 5 stars for the later books.
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