Dead Witch Walking (The Hallows book 1) by Kim Harrison.

Stars: 4 out of 5.

Dead Witch Walking is a solid first novel in a brand new series. I loved the characters and the world Kim Harrison has created and I thoroughly enjoyed the story as well. I have only one gripe with this book, but it’s big enough to deduct a whole star out of the score.

Rachel Morgan is a witch and she has a big problem, because until she finds a way to pay off her contract with I.S., she is literally a dead witch walking.  Nobody has breached a contract with this organization and survived long enough to tell the tale. But she has a plan – with the help of Ivy, a living vampire bounty hunter and Jenks, a pixie bodyguard, she will track and shut down the biggest illegal Brimstone operation in Cincinnati.  That ought to get I.S. off her back, no? Either way, it’s not like she has much of a choice…

Welcome to a world where a virus hiding in genetically modified tomatoes wiped out 3/4 of the human population… which made things rather complicated for the supernatural races who turned out to be immune. With the population numbers shrinking, they cannot hide in the shadows anymore and had to make their presence known.

Thus Cincinnati has been split into two very distinct cities – on one side of the river is the “normal” town, where most of the human population lives, and the other side belongs to the Hallows, where everything supernatural gathers and thrives. Oh, humans can take a walk on the wild side and venture into the Hallows, but they are not guaranteed to come back in the same state as they entered, or come back at all.

It’s a rich and interesting world, even if the premise for the apocalypse is rather silly. A tomato responsible for the end of the world as we know it, really? But the new world in which Rachel lives is complex and fascinating, with real problems and engaging characters.

Speaking of characters, a series cannot be popular without a good protagonist, and I absolutely love Rachel Morgan. She is a kick-ass heroine. No matter how many times she is kicked down, she always finds the will to get up and keep going.

I loved Ivy and Jenks. They are just as complex and interesting as Rachel and both have their own sets of problems. I like how those 3 very different people chose to stick together and help each other get through this very difficult situation.

My only complaint is that I didn’t like Rachel’s love interest. I tried, I really did, but he just rubbed me the wrong way almost from the moment he was introduced. He is too nice, too good, too everything to be believable and likable. I kept thinking that he has just assumed this “nice guy” persona to get closer to Rachel and that he will turn out to be somebody awful in the end, because of how unbelievably nice he was. Nope, seems like that’s real. Works for some, I guess, but for me, his character definitely lacks depth, especially compared to the rest of the cast.

But other than that, Dead Witch Walking is an excellent read that I would definitely recommend. I already bought the second book in the series and I can’t wait to dive into it as well.

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