Dead Witch Walking

My wallet rues the day I introduced the wife to paranormal romance and urban fantasy books, especially since the local library is in such horrible shape that it carries very little (and not just of these categories, my local library is pitiful, its barely bigger than my house).  But what’s done is done, and now we own dozens and dozens.  I’ve tried reading a few with varying results.  Some I enjoy, some are just alright, some are sappy and girly, and some are just down right awful.  There is one author who decided that in her world people who perform what we would call necromancy and we would refer to as necromancers she would instead call them simply “necromance” as in “I am a necromance.”  I only made it through about eighteen pages of the book when I had to ask, “Does she use ‘necromance’ like this through the entire book?”  To which my wife replied, “Through the whole series.”  I put the book down and will never go back to it.

But that is neither here nor there… this review is for Dead Witch Walking, the first of The Hallows series of books by Kim Harrison.  The simplest way to describe this book is “a female Dresden.”  Considering how much I like the Dresden books by Jim Butcher, that’s high praise indeed.  The book isn’t without flaws.  For one, there is no swearing.  Not real swearing anyway.  There is an event that happened years ago in this world called “The Turn” that has to do with wiping out a large portion of the human race (it has to do with genetics, viruses and tomatoes), and in this world people don’t tell you to “go f*** yourself” they instead say “go Turn yourself” which doesn’t really make sense contextually.  Go genetically engineer a virus that spreads through tomatoes yourself?  To say perhaps she means it to replace “go kill yourself” instead of the F-word, well, if you read the book you’ll see that doesn’t really fit either.  Also, what I’m guessing was an appeal to female romance readers, there are randomly thrown in lines about how some guy looks hot.  Many of them almost feel as if they were added after the fact, like the editor told the author to punch up the romance angles.  The wife tells me later books are not so jarring.

Overall, I look forward to reading more of these books.  The world, its myths and lore, is well crafted and this first book establishes a team of people that I think I will enjoy following.  Thumbs up.

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