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on 31 January 2013
What's Good About It

I'm a long standing fan of the Women of the Otherworld Series. I think Kelley Armstrong does the perfect realistic heroine and Savannah is a perfect example of that. The super-powerful witch could easily have become the most annoying character in the series - no one likes a character that is all powerful. It's boring. But Savannah is far from boring and that's because, despite being super-powerful, she has a whole load of realistic flaws that make her so very human. Yes, she weilds more magical power than most covens, but she also has huge insecurities, a desperate need to prove herself to Paige and Lucas, her adoptive parents, an unrequited love for half-demon Adam Vasic, and a real aversion to asking for help. She does stupid things, makes mistakes, misses stuff, and people get hurt. But she's also brave, determined and resourceful - things we all wish we would be in a crisis. She's the sort of heroine we believe we would be capable of being, which makes for brilliant escapist reading.

The plot is just the sort of thing you would expect from Armstrong - tense, taught and filled with murder and intrigue. There was never a moment when I thought `Someone please open Savannah's eyes, because this is so obvious' which is my quality control test for mystery novels of any nature. I hate guessing things ages before the character does (if I'm not supposed to) and I didn't once have this problem in Waking the Witch.

The book works well as an addition to the series, but if you are new to it it's a reasonable place to start. It's light on reccurring characters, and though there are a few references to previous events that it would be better to know before reading, it's not the end of the world if you don't, as there are reminders weaved into the prose for the benefit of both schools of reader. Personally, I think you'd be better off starting from the beginning and enjoying the series in its entirety - all the books in it I've read (and I've read most) are fab - but if your library/bank balance does not allow, then you can still enjoy this one.

What's Not So Good

I didn't like the ending. I can't say too much without spoiling it, but while the main thrust of the story was wrapped up, this felt more like `part one of two' than a standalone novel, which most novels in this series are. They feature reccuring characters, and the same narrators are often revisited, but each book stands alone. This one doesn't, so much. While nothing is left so open as to be annoying, it was a bit too cliffhangerish for my taste. Mostly because I don't know when the next book is out, but it will probably be ages too long

Rating: 4.5/5
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on 20 January 2013
WAKING THE WITCH (Women of the Otherworld #11) by Kelley Armstrong

WAKING THE WITCH is the 11th full-length storyline in Kelley Armstrong' s Women of the Otherworld series. The final three books in the WOTO series focuses on the now adult Savannah Levine and the loss of her witch powers, the investigation into the dark arts and the rise of demons that want to take over the world.

Savannah was first introduced in STOLEN-the second storyline in Kelley's WOTO series. A then 12 year old orphaned witch, daughter of Dark Witch Eve Levine and Cabal Sorcerer Kristof Nash, Savannah struggled with her powers, her guardians and her attraction and love for half-demon Adam Vasic. Now a grown woman, Savannah knows who she wants but there are too many road blocks standing in her way.

Savannah is now a beautiful 21year old woman, and in this particular storyline, she agrees to investigate the mysterious deaths of two women, the only problem, the deaths are some-how supernaturally related and Savannah will suffer the consequences in more ways than one. A friend will die, another will seemingly pull away and her powers will become part of a bargain.

WAKING THE WITCH is the beginning of the end for the Women of the Otherworld series. The final three storylines follow Savannah as she must literally prevent the rise of Lucifer and the end of the world. If you are a fan of Kelley's werewolves, the final three stories are a major departure. At one point I thought Kelley was preparing for the spin-off series featuring Savannah as the lead character when the entire focus of the last three books was Savannah.

see all of my reviews at : thereadingcafe(dot)com
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on 4 January 2011
I've been a huge fan of the series for a long time now, and feel that one of the strongest features is that you are constantly introduced to new characters point of views. That way the series hasn't got old or boring, and yet you still get to hear how the rest of the gang are getting on as they are usually floating around in the background.

I thought the book was a really new and fresh addition to the series. The plot was really exciting, and left you guessing to very near the end. I really liked Savannah's character - she's quite sassy, independent and dealing with some emotional baggage. Whilst the book does end on somewhat of a cliffhanger - the general plot is more or less wrapped up, but leaves you waiting to see what will happen to certain characters and how they will develop further.

As much as I love the Otherworld series, it's been along time since I thought "WOW, I really need the next one" immediately after finishing reading one. This one however has left me with a rather large want/need for the next!
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on 3 October 2005
This is the first book of Kelley Armstrongs that i have read but it will not be the last.
I found the story funny and the characters very likable ,though if you do not like Harry potter you may not like this. My 12 year old is reading it now and enjoying it as much as i did.
So if you like fantasy or just want to try something different give it a go
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on 15 September 2012
Savannah Levine is taking on her first case as a private investigator. Three young women have been found dead, apparent victims of a ritualistic murderer, and the small dying town of Columbus has been shaken to its core. Savannah's investigation is hindered by resistance from the locals to her presence in their town, but she quickly discovers that the case is a lot stranger and more sinister than she could have predicted and it's not long before Savannah herself is at risk of becoming the killer's next target.

This is the eleventh book in the Otherworld series (which started with Bitten) and is the first installment of the three book conclusion to the series, told from Savannah's viewpoint. If you are a new reader I'd recommend starting at the beginning as this book builds on the previous storylines.

Savannah is a character who was first introduced as a twelve-year-old orphan in the second book of the series. Now she is twenty-one and working for Cortez-Winterbourne Investigations. Savannah has been gradually growing up in the background of the books since her introduction so it is great to see her as an adult taking a leading role. She is a lot more mature now and focused on creating a life for herself as well as gaining the respect of her adoptive parents. One thing that hasn't changed about her is her crush on half-demon Adam Vasic, although her expectations as an adult are different to those as a child.

The storyline is cleverly plotted and fast paced, packed with twists and turns. I did manage to figure out one twist in advance which was a little disappointing, however it then twisted again into something I didn't see coming at all. The twists are spread throughout both Savannah's investigation and her relationships with her fellow investigators Jesse Aanes, a half-demon PI, and Michael Kennedy, an off-duty cop whose sister was one of the victims. There is less of a romantic focus than in previous installments, possibly because Savannah is narrating the two books directly after this.

As with the other books in the series the world building is expanded, although by a smaller amount in this installment as the focus is on a longer running storyline. Witches are explored a little more, with a focus on darker magics, and a new supernatural race is introduced. For the first time in this series the book ends on a cliffhanger, another sign that the final three Otherworld books are essentially a trilogy within a series.

All in all, this was a great read and I'm looking forward to Spell Bound.

Plot: 9/10
Characters: 10/10
Ending: 10/10
Enjoyment: 10/10
Cover: 9/10

Overall: 48/50
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on 1 September 2012
Eve Levine has been dead for three years and has spent most of that time watching over her daughter Savannah who she is desperate to communicate with. But Eve owes the Fates a favour and they've just called it in. The Nix, an evil spirit who feeds on chaos and tempts mortals to kill for her, has escaped from hell and the Fates want Eve to bring her back. The Nix has driven her previous hunters insane and if that wasn't a big enough obstacle, she can only be captured with an angel's sword...and Eve's no angel.

This is the fifth book in the Otherworld series (after Bitten,Stolen,Dime Store Magic and Industrial Magic) and features a brand new narrator in Eve Levine. Eve is an unusual choice as she has never been seen alive in the books, although her afterlife has seen her help Paige and Lucas in the previous installment thus leading to her debt with the Fates.

I've always been fascinated by Eve as her story so far has been pretty much told in the background. We know she was Savannah's mother and that she was a witch/half-demon who practiced dark magic. Beyond that Eve is a mystery so getting to explore her backstory is brilliant as she is a far more complex character than I originally expected. Kristof Nast (Savannah's father) is also a lead character in this book so we get to see his and Eve's relationship which explains a lot about their characters.

The plot is well-paced and developed and packed with twists and turns. I loved how chapters from the perspective of the Nix where shown, especially as these are set at different time periods and featured familiar sounding references (Abbey Borden is mentioned and one of the Nix's past partners sounds a lot like Myra Hindley). The Nix manages to be both evil and not-so-evil at the same time as she doesn't actually make any of her partners do anything. She just provides them with the resolve to carry out their twisted desires.

The world building gives the series an afterlife like no other, filled with various dimensions and levels. Supernaturals have their own afterlife that somewhat overlaps with our world, but even within that there are different regions including a pirate town. It is as if all earthly locations appear in their heyday so Miami is a swamp while Chicago is stuck in the 1920s. Interestingly different "heavenly" afterlives are contrasted with "hells", two of which are displayed - a grey void where your senses are all useless and a world full of homicidal maniacs forever trapped together with no victims.

A new supernatural species is also introduced with angels shown alongside demons who have previously only been mentioned in the books, unlike their half-demon offspring. As is standard with this series the world building is dense and complex without info-dumping, allowing angels to be introduced with a distinct mythology and varying "waves" of angel referring to their age and how close they are to humanity (the younger the angel, the more human).

All in all, this is a great read and I'm really looking forward to Broken.

Plot: 9/10
Characters: 10/10
Ending: 10/10
Enjoyment: 10/10
Cover: 9/10

Overall: 48/50
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on 12 January 2011
I didn't love it quite as much as the last 3 books but it was still an enjoyable read.

Kristof was portrayed as a basically good character in this story which was way out of context from when he last played a reasonably central role- in Dime Store Magic. I don't think enough thought or explanation went into making that transition from bad guy to good guy believable for me.

Eve is a reasonably likeable character- very pragmatic and pretty kick-ass. I enjoyed seeing things from her POV and would like to see more of her in the series.

There's quite a lot of action in this one, although somehow some of it felt like 'padding'. Particularly the chapter spent in the serial killer hell dimension felt dragged out.

Overall a decent read but compared to the last 3 in the series it was missing the usual wow factor.
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on 20 April 2014
I have to agree with some of the reviews on here already, nice to see Savanah grow and blossom, I enjoyed the book and it did keep me reading, did feel Savannah was quite tame for the power she holds, but at the same time she was on her first solo mission and tried to do everything the proper way without depending to much on her magic more so around humans, I have given it five stars as I feel it is setting up nicely for the final books, and is was a good read maybe not as strong as some of the earlier books, but still worth the read.
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on 1 February 2012
If you followed the Women of the Otherworld series, you will be familiar with the witch Savannah Levine, daughter of a dark witch and ruthless sorcerer. Now at 21 she is eager to prove herself as a supernatural PI, qualified to operate solo. With her bosses (and guardians) Paige and Lucas on vacation, the new job falls to her. Savannah roars into the small, rundown town of Columbas, Washington on her motorcycle, immediately attracting attention. She's there to find out who murdered Claire Kennedy, a young college student who was in town a mere two weeks before her untimely demise. Armed with photographs of the crime scene that hint at a supernatural cause, Savannah sets out to find the killer, putting herself and everyone around her in jeopardy.

Savannah is a bold and confident young woman, brimming with self-assurance that borders on arrogance at times. She has been in love with Adam, her cute, half-demon co-worker since she was 12. There is a bit of an age gap, a little over a decade and this is perhaps why Adam hasn't made a move though it's clear he is crazy about her. This whodunit is skilfully written and I pegged everyone from town and beyond as a suspect. I liked Savannah but I thought her brazen and self-possessed demeanour was over the top. I also found her difficult to relate to and I'm sure a lot of other female readers would too.

Being familiar with Armstrong's other books in the series I was expecting a lot more romance but it didn't happen and this came as something as a disappointment. Savannah goes on a date with Claire's brother Michael and believes there may be something between them but Adam is never far from her mind. This runs the other way too as Adam is constantly checking in on her, just typical concern for a younger co-worker or something more?

Even if you haven't read the other books in the series, Waking the Witch can be enjoyed as a standalone novel but it will spoil storylines and character developments from previous books. Fast-paced and fun, and with an ending that sends the reader (me) out to the local bookshop to pick up the next book in the series, I can easily recommend this to fans of the supernatural genre.
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on 20 September 2010
As per usual, Kelley Armstrong has surpassed herself in this latest book in her Otherworld Series. This time, the story is focused on Savannah - a young witch - who finds herself embroiled in a serial witch-hunt murder. She has the help of her friend Adam (a half demon who can incinerate anything)and a human detective, Michael. The plot is fast, but paced extremely well and is incredibly readable. Anyone who enjoys Modern Fantasy, will enjoy this story. The ending has a big twist, and I can't wait for the next one to come out!
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