Dead Witch Walking (Hollows, #1)

by Kim Harrison

3.79 of 5 stars 19 ratings • 9 reviews • 36 shelved
Book cover for Dead Witch Walking

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Dead Witch Walking (Hollows, #1)

by Kim Harrison

3.79 of 5 stars 19 ratings • 9 reviews • 36 shelved

From New York Times bestselling author, Kim Harrison, comes the first book in an exciting urban fantasy series; packed with the perfect balance of wry humour and thrilling action, which will delight fans of thrillers and fantasy alike.

Rachel Morgan is a white witch and runner working for Inderland Security, in an alternate world where a bioengineered virus wiped out a great deal of the world's human population - exposing the existence of the supernatural communities that had long lived alongside humanity.

For the last five years Rachel has been tracking down law-breaking Inderlanders in modern-day Cincinnati, but now she wants to leave and start her own agency. Her only problem is that no one quits the I.S.

Marked for death, Rachel will have to fend off fairy assassins and homicidal weres armed with an assortment of nasty curses. She's a dead witch walking unless she can appease her former employers by exposing the city's most prominent citizen as a drug lord. But making an enemy of the ambiguous Trent Kalamack is just as deadly as leaving the I.S.

  • ISBN10 0060757051
  • ISBN13 9780060757052
  • Publish Date 27 April 2004
  • Publish Status Unknown
  • Out of Print 11 April 2013
  • Publish Country US
  • Publisher HarperCollins Publishers Inc
  • Imprint HarperCollins
  • Format eBook
  • Pages 432
  • Language English


Avatar for quirkycat

Quirky Cat 5 of 5 stars
Dead Witch Walking is the first novel in The Hollows series by Kim Harrison. It’s a world of magic, with witches, vampires, and werewolves becoming the norm among the normal humans (well, relatively normal).
Naturally, in a world this full of supernatural beings, there must be different organizations to help control and regulate them. Enter Interlander Security. They’re the police department of the supernatural world. Rachel Morgan is one of many employees, and all she wants with her life is to find a way out of it all.
Rachel Morgan is a witch, and a slightly chaotic one at that. Or perhaps it’s her preferred job that is chaotic. She’s decided to become a magical bounty hunter, alongside her two partners, Ivy and Jenks. Ivy is a living vampire, while Jenks is a pixy. And both are essential in regards to getting the job done and keeping Rachel alive.

I should probably mention that I’ve already read The Hollows series (several times), but I recently noticed that I never actually reviewed them. So in preparation for the next Hollows book (so excited!) I’m going to do a reread and review run. But since this is one of my favorite series, I have no problem doing just that. So let’s begin!

“Better to die knowing my enemies then to die sleeping innocently beside them”

Dead Witch Walking is a brilliantly funny and fascinating introduction to a world I’ve come to love. The complicated system of magical beings captivated me from the start, and with good reason. Rachel may be a sassy witch, but she’s our sassy witch, and I adore her.
This novel kicks off the first of the series, quickly introducing us to the world, the characters, and the plot. Since the series is fourteen books long (and counting!) it’s safe to assume that the plot will grow with time. That’s how a series should be.
Perhaps my favorite thing about this novel is all of the quick-witted banter. Rachel in particular, though I’m still laughing about some of Jenks more colorful swears and exclamations. They’re certainly memorable.
Dead Witch Walking was a rapid start to a long-running series. And it sure left its mark. Old fans and new fans are sure to enjoy the chaos contained within these pages.

Rereading Dead Witch Walking, I was quickly reminded of all the reasons why The Hollows became one of my favorite Urban Fantasy series out there. It’s vivid and beautiful, while also not being afraid to get its hands dirty.
Going back to the beginning, I was struck by just how young Rachel and her friends seem here. It may seem weird to put it in those terms, but trust me. These characters have grown so much during their series. And not just those three, but many of the secondary characters as well.

For more reviews check out Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks

Avatar for jesstheaudiobookworm

3.25★⎮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. ♣︎

Avatar for chelssik

Chelsea 3 of 5 stars
I was expecting a lot more from this book. It's been on my TBR the longest so I figured I'd give it a shot. I think Dead Witch Walking could have use some more action and there was parts that probably should have been cut out. It felt like a long book and it dragged on at a lot of parts. I also found that there was a lot of names being thrown around that we didn't know and we got no explanation. We were apparently supposed to know that Trent was some kind of bad guy yet we were never told why. That being said, I did enjoy the action parts and I might continue the series eventually to see if it gets better.

I liked the characters but we could have used some extra development for them. We don't really know much about their backgrounds but the author made it feel like we were expected to know. Jenks was a clear favourite from the start and I found we learned the most about him instead of any other character.

I'm not in any rush to finish this series but I might get around to it some day.

Avatar for minx

Minx 4 of 5 stars
Loved it! Favorite part was hmmmm..everything, lol, no favorite was the shape-shifting. Very cool. I am excited read the rest of this series.

Avatar for nitzan_schwarz

2015 tbr challenge

1.5 stars

Originally published on my blog. Please consider popping by if you like this review ;)

Why is this series so popular?

Normally, I don't rate books I DNF. However, since I DNFed this one because I couldn't really stand it, I felt like I would be forgiven for passing judgment in the form of stars.

I've been really looking forward to reading this book. I heard so many great things about this series, from great sources. I was expecting a kickass witch, in a kickass world, with shipping to be had that will make me want to read sequel after sequel (I guess, in other words, I was expecting nothing less than the Kate Daniels series, or the Charley Davidson, or The Others, or Mercy Thompson. All great series you should read).

Alas, none of my wishes came true.

In retrospect I a) shouldn't have read it straight after a mindblowingly awesome book such Written in Red and b) should've known to lower my expectations when a first attempt to read this book a couple of weeks back resulted in me dropping it after a couple of pages.

I don't know Brit... I honestly don't know. 

Dead Witch Walking is told from the point of view of Rachel Morgan, which means that if you don't like Rachel, you won't like the book. Can you guess what I thought of Rachel? That's right. Hated her.

Seriously, she's just one of those characters that constantly pisses me off.

It's started with how she refused to accept the idea her ex-boss will put a price on her head, even though everyone warned her, and her boss literally told her he will. In no uncertain terms. I frowned at that.

Then, she's supposed to be a witch of some powers (or else, people won't be so interested in her / she wouldn't be the damn good runner she claims she is). And yet she decidedly lacks in powers. By page 90, she's been almost killed about 5 times, and four of those times she was saved by others who happened to be around and she didn't even realize she's been in danger until they nullified it. And you expect me to believe you're capable? You, lady, are no badass. 

Second, she treats her friends awfully. From page one, she is pretty much condescending, judgemental and unforgiving. Her friends help her. Does she thank them? Umm... nope, she complains. She get's angry. She feels justifies at being so.She never shows them any gratitude. And she hurts them constantly, and so callously!

(It's like she thinks Ivy being a vampire means she has no feelings. I'm not a particularly big Ivy fan, and STILL I was just indignant on her account.)

And let's not get me started on Jenks, the only likable character in this whole fiasco. Jenks is awesome. He is by far the most badass of the lot - saving Rachel constantly. He does a lot more than Ivy or anyone else. And yet he is treated as mere comic relief, with Rachel turning decent toward him only when she's turned his size and realizes that, hey, he's pretty hot!

Then, there's the world. For the life of me, I don't understand why the IS operates the way it does. Why can't it just fire people? Why is getting out a death sentence? Seriously, why would they go through all the hassle of hiring assassins of all kinds? It seemed so stupid and over the top to me when you can just fire someone. And considering this is a huge part of the story, it made the whole thing hard to swallow.

But the real reason I put the book down at page 190 instead of braving the rest of it as I already got so far has to do with Trent. Now, I have this thing. When I'm not clicking with a book that's part of a series, I tend to go read spoilers (I know, WHAT?) so I could make an informed decision on whether I want to read of those events, or rather pass. Which is what I did here.

This is why I know Trent is end game. I was on board with that, for a while there. Until he killed that man. The whatever-he-is is a psychotic, murdering SOB. And I honestly don't want to read of him redeemed because, there is no good excuse for that murder and cruelty.

Originally published on my blog. Please consider popping by if you like this review ;)

Avatar for linda_un-conventional-bookworms

Linda 4 of 5 stars
Action-packed, strong female protagonist, cool pixies, scary vamps and one character nobody knows what is - great read!

This and all my other reviews are originally posted on my blog (un)Conventional Bookviews

Dead Witch Walking has been on my kindle for a very long time! I went to check, and I actually bought it in September 2010, so yeah, Rachel Morgan and her friends have been very patient waiting for me to really notice them. Lately, three of my very good blogging friends have been talking about The Hollows series and telling me how good it is, so I decided I should at least start reading Dead Witch Walking and see if I agreed with them or not.

Avatar for tellemonstar

tellemonstar 4 of 5 stars
Full review here

I enjoyed Dead Witch Walking. Rachel is an interesting character and Kim Harrison has created a well-developed world for her characters to live in.

As a fan of this genre, I like the supernatural characters to actually have personalities, my vampires to bit and my were-creatures to exhibit at least some behaviours of the animal they turn into. It was really good to see that in this book – Ivy’s struggles to deal with being a vampire, Rachel’s issues with certain types of magic and so on. I enjoyed that because in a lot of urban fantasy these days there isn’t always much mentioned about the cause and effect of magic or being a supernatural creature on the people who are affected by or using it.

I would definitely recommend this to people who are fans of Charlaine Harris (considering the Southern Vampire Mysteries is now completed) or Laurell K. Hamilton (especially as there is less sex and gore in these than is in the Anita Blake series), or just people who like their supernatural characters to be a little bit interesting.

Avatar for littleread1

littleread1 4 of 5 stars
I liked it better on audio if that can be believed. The narrator had just a frantic enough voice that I had an easier time picturing Rachel and Jenks. She does a great Ivy too. A good solid start to what I've heard is a great Urban Fantasy Series.

Avatar for ibeforem

ibeforem 4 of 5 stars
Now this, I liked. Fun, suspenseful, dangerous, but not vulgar like a lot of books with vampires in them (not that I have an issue with sex and bad language, but it’s nice to have a break from it). The characters are colorful and interesting. I really look forward to continuing this series!