Dead Witch Walking (The Hollows 01) by Kim Harrison

I got this one from my lovely Twitter friend, Melfka –  a very industrious writer. Thanks a lot!

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

All the creatures of the night gather in “the Hollows” of Cincinnati, to hide, to prowl, to party… and to feed.

Vampires rule the darkness in a predator-eat-predator world rife with dangers beyond imagining – and it’s Rachel Morgan’s job to keep that world civilized.

A bounty hunter and witch with serious sex appeal and an attitude, she’ll bring ’em back alive, dead… or undead

My impressions:

At first everything seemed to be in perfect order: a spunky heroine witch, her living vampire sidekick and house mate, Ivy (meaning the Bechdel test was passed with flying colours), Jenks the pixie stud and his large family. Rachel was being chased by her former employer, I.S. and it would be hard not to root for her (or not understand her wish to break free) as she gets on the bad side of her own former agency and has a price placed on her head. The mythology/world building supporting the story was interesting as well.

However, as the plot progressed it seemed I knew less and less of Rachel – yes, it was one of those plot-driven urban fantasies which can make you tired with their hectic pacing – and I wasn’t that interested anymore. After a while the main lead felt like just a bland copy of 1000 other urban fantasy heroines, without any single characteristic of her own. Yes, there were some deliciously funny scenes which warmed me and made me smile, like Rachel perusing a how-to book for vampire lovers in a public bus, but they were too few and far between.

The appearance of Nick, another potential love interest of Rachel (apart from Ivy) did nothing to alleviate my boredom, quite the opposite. I could clearly imagine the author building and building the tension between those two for three-four parts without any denouement and frankly I got sick.  I am not sure whether I would continue the series.

The cover art: cheesy but fitting.

Final verdict:

Good ideas, bad execution. Without a likeable heroine and at least hints of character development it is impossible for me to like any UF book, even with an interesting world build and some flashes of humour. Sorry, Rachel Morgan – despite many questions your creator hinted at and then left deliberately unanswered we most probably won’t meet again.

Rating icon. A hairless cat is wearing a santa hat and a sour expression. On the hat reads: meh.

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10 Responses to Dead Witch Walking (The Hollows 01) by Kim Harrison

  1. Melfka says:

    Well, as you know… “My thoughts exactly”.
    I was checking this book out for months in the bookstore, because it had such a promise, but l always put it back on the shelf for some reason. And then, when I finally broke (and got an ebook), I felt it didn’t deliver on that promise. But I guess I’m just super-picky about urban/contemp fantasy.

    • It seems few authors of UF manage to present well-rounded characters along with the action-packed plot. I really wonder why. Maybe it is caused by the fact that nobody demands it from them? Still such a limitation makes the whole genre rather too schematic for my liking and I believe it is also one of the reasons why people get tired of it pretty quickly.

  2. blodeuedd says:

    Meh you say, Meh I believe

  3. heidenkind says:

    I know I read this but I honestly don’t know if I DNF’d it or not. Either way, it didn’t make me want to keep reading the series.

  4. Carole Rae says:

    This genre can get boring…but there are few glimmers of hope out there. 😀 Sadly…this is not one of them 0_0

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