One of my new favorite things to do is to revisit previous favorites by listening to them as audiobooks. Kim Harrison’s Hollows series has been one of my favorite urban fantasy series and recently when she came out with a surprise novel in what was a completed series I decided to take a look back and listen to the first novel, Dead Witch Walking. Narrated by Marguerite Gavin, I was pleasantly surprised at how much the main character Rachel Morgan, still resonated with a much older me.
The Hollows series is set in a world just like ours, but where magic and paranormal beings are commonplace ever since “The Turn” when a genetically altered tomato killed a good portion of the human race. Rachel Morgan is a witch, but she’s also an investigator, and Dead Witch Walking is the start of her story and her investigative team of Ivy, a living vampire, and Jenks, a pixy. The three of them live and work out of an old church in the Hollows, the more magical part of Cincinnati. Rachel has a price on her head and in order to pay it off she tries to bring in evidence against mysterious millionaire Trent Kalamack, that shows he’s dealing in Brimstone a street drug. In Dead Witch Walking you get a lot of set up, not only to the world, but also to the characters and Marguerite Gavin does a great job at voicing all of them. My favorite voice being Jenks, who’s a small pixy (picture tinkerbell sized) and his voice somewhat matches that size. It’s too cute.
Rachel Morgan, despite her witchiness, attracts trouble. She’s somewhat of a blunderer but she has great instincts and in this case she’s taken on a bit more than she can chew in Trent Kalamack who exhibits supreme bad guy vibes in this first novel. In the end, Rachel gets what she wants by paying off her debt and getting rid of the price on her head, but it’s not exactly done in the way that she hoped. Dead Witch Walking is a mad-cap adventure story with great characters that develop into true friends and a great investigative team, and also sets the story for many of the things that happen to and for Rachel in the next 15 novels. If you love well done urban fantasy novels and have the patience to see your character grow into the kick a&$ she becomes, please pick this up, listen to it, or plug it directly into your brain in whatever means possible. This book is good, but the series is even better and I’m excited that Marguerite Gavin does such a great job with the narration because I’ll be listening to them for a while to come. (15 books! Sixteen if you count the flashback, The Turn.)
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