Waking the Witch (Otherworld # 11) by Kelley Armstrong

Released: August 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 325
Publisher: Random House Canada
ISBN-13: 978-0-307-35759-5

I won three copies of Waking the Witch from Random House Canada last month (thank you thank you thank you, Random House Canada!) and I was so pleased that they finally arrived. (As was my cousin and one other person, who will be receiving their free copies the next time we meet up.) I say “finally” but it was less than two weeks – I was just impatient to get started since Kelley Armstrong is one of my favourite authors.

Waking the Witch is Savannah Levine’s story. Savannah’s been a supporting character in several other Otherworld books but this is her first time up as narrator, and the first time we see her as an adult. This time around, Savannah’s 21 and looking to show Paige and Lucas, her guardians and magical private investigators, that she can handle an investigation on her own. She’s got a lot to deal with – she’s an orphan whose mother was a notorious dark witch (turned angel) and whose father was a Cabal sorceror – but she’s been working for her adoptive parents for a few years and is eager to prover herself. She gets her chance when another supernatural investigator comes to the agency looking for help with a case he’s working in Columbus, Washington. Tgree women are dead and it looks like there’s a supernatural explanation. Although Savannah is confident she can handle the investigation, things keep heading in unexpected directions, placing her in jeopardy.

Generally, when it comes to the Otherworld, I prefer the werewolf stories. Elena is by far my favourite narrator and the other members of the Pack, particularly Clay, Jeremy, and the kids, are just fantastic characters. In contrast, I find Paige and Lucas to be rather dull. I enjoy the stories that Paige has narrated but I never enjoy them as much as the werewolf stories. The highlight of the Paige and Lucas stories has always been, for me, Savannah. She’s a much more dynamic character–more outgoing and less cautious than Paige–and I think fans of the Otherworld have been waiting for Savannah to get a starring role. I know I have. And now that I’ve finished reading Waking the Witch, I can safely say that Kelley Armstrong has written a fantastic book. (And it’s a return to the single narrator, which I really appreciate.)

Seeing Savannah as a grownup was so much fun. She’s retained a lot of the personality traits that we’ve seen in other stories in the series but is now a bit more seasoned and mature. Waking the Witch also features Adam, one of my favourite supporting characters, as well as some other new and old faces, so it made for a fun and fast-paced read. I think Kelley Armstrong’s really returned to form with this book: it’s got a great plot, interesting character development, fantastic dialogue, and the perfect tease at the end. And by perfect tease, I mean that Waking the Witch ends on a slightly different note than the other books in the Otherworld series. This time around, you get resolution for the main storyline but it immediately segues into a new plot, which will hopefully (and logically) be addressed in next year’s book, Spell Bound, also narrated by Savannah. It can’t come too soon for me. Thankfully, there’s a Paige novella coming out later on this year, which should help me get my Otherworld fix for the next little while.

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