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650 of 693 people found the following review helpful
on June 3, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Dead Witch Walking is a fantastically fun, first novel by Kim Harrison. The world Kim Harrison has created is marred by tomatoes. In our search for genetically engineered food and medicine, we created a nasty virus in tomatoes that has nearly wiped out mankind. This virus has exposed paranormal races to the world as they are immune. Society has splintered with all the upheaval and paranormal races have set-up residence in the Hallows. The Hallows can be compared to a Las Vegas for the paranormal. `Day-trippers' frequently take a walk-on-the-wild side to meet and mingle in the Hallows with werewolves, vampires, witches, and so on.

Rachel Morgan is a witch and an I.S. runner - similar to an FBI agent but for the paranormal world. Her career is going nowhere. It seems as though she can do nothing right and is given the lowest assignments available. Each day and night of work has become drudgery and Rachel is looking for a way out.

Dead Witch Walking quickly immerses the reader in a vibrant cast of characters. We meet Ivy, a living vampire; Jenks, a pixie with a lot of children; Trent, a businessman who may or may not be human and is believed to be dealing in Brimstone, a nasty drug, and so on.

Dead Witch Walking is a paranormal mystery that can easily be compared to Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden series or Laurell K. Hamilton's early Anita Blake novels. Rachel Morgan is a charming character that is very easy to like. She certainly has her issues, but she has none of the angst or brutality of Anita Blake.

Kim Harrison has created a fun book with laughs that are unexpected. The story line is not completely predictable and has many different twists and turns. I hope this is the beginning of a new series.

Kim Harrison describes herself as born in the Midwest. She has been called a witch, among other things, but has never seen a vampire (that she knows of). She loves graveyards and midnight jazz, and wears too much black. Please be sure to visit her website at: [...]
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226 of 250 people found the following review helpful
on May 12, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
White witch Rachel Morgan has been a bounty hunter for Inderland Security for the last three years and it's been a constant bumbling battle for good assignments to prove her worth. She's become bored and disillusioned with the job and she wants out. Problem is, retiring from I.S. means a swift and sure retirement from life. The I.S. doesn't take kindly to broken contracts.
She's got a risky idea that may get her around that, though...if she lives long enough to see it through. Rachel figures that if she can tag the largest brimstone dealer in the Hollows and Cincinnati area, she'll be able to get her contract paid off. However, getting the evidence to bring him down will be far from easy.
With the help of her pixy bodyguard and her living vampire roommate, she may just succeed. If she can quit getting caught.
Enter Kim Harrison's gripping debut novel and step into a world unlike any other. A world of vampires, pixies and fairies, witches and werewolves. A place where humans not only can no longer deny such beings exist, but in some cases, embrace the fact.
Harrison is sure to find success with this preternatural tale of intrigue. The individual characteristics of the bounty-hunting trio entwine to form a bewitching and mysteriously endearing partnership and add further depth to an already captivating tome. Welcome to The Hollows. Watch your back.
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85 of 94 people found the following review helpful
on October 3, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book was one of the most enjoyable reads imaginable, an absolute delight. I positively cannot wait for the sequel. I'm shocked not to have found anything else by Kim Harrison out already, considering just how great this was. Amazing first effort. Amazing effort, period.

I was a huge Laurell K. Hamilton fan on the Anita Blake series, though recent efforts have been a disappointment. This was, for me, as much fun as early LKH. Similarly, it was a strong, funny, female character, in a supernatural alternate modern reality with fangs, and fur, and fey.

That, however, is where the similarities end, as this actually managed to be unique, with its own wonderful voice and style, and a whole new alternate world, like no other I've seen.

The book was strong on plot, with lots of nice twists and turns, had wonderful, enjoyable, well thought out and developed characters, well described scenes, and plenty of action.

The magic and magical beings were both impressive, and at times, hysterically amusing. (I will not post a spoiler, of course, on what her shape changing spell does, but suffice to say, it's original, and it's pretty darned funny!)

The Pixie that the main character, Rachel Morgan, partners with is a blast, and at the same time, sympathetic. I loved the blend. She gave the characters, even those other than Rachel, some real dimension. She also made the character Rachel come across as someone whose fate you could care about.

Overall, a terrific, fun read, that kept me up until done. I'm a pretty voracious reader, and I don't say that about too many of late.
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42 of 48 people found the following review helpful
on July 3, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I like the world that Harrison writes in. I like the people that parade around in it. I like Rachel a tough head strong woman. Ivy, Jenks, Trent are all good characters to base a series with.
I like the Ivy/Rachel relationship in the story but that falls flat, it's a tease, it's like the author just dropped it all together for a more conventional romance.
The biggest problem I had with this book is the last part of the book. I felt that the author brought in a character, Nick, just to bring in a typical romance hero good, appearing, guy, who Rachel falls for instantly and trusts without reservation. I just felt that introduction of the character brought strong confident Rachel to be a weak kneed romance heroine. I believe that Harrison can remedy that in the next book, and I'm looking forward to it.
I would strongly recommend this book because it will be a part of a series and the world is solid, the characters with the exception of Nick, are all strong and worth the time to get invested in them.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In Kim Harrison's debut novel, Dead Witch Walking, she has created an alternate reality where a terrible bioengineering accident in the 1950's killed most of mankind. When the survivors began taking tally of the living, humans were surprised to find themselves evenly numbered with creatures they hadn't known existed. Vampires, wares, witches, and all other sort of Inderlands were not only real, but they were also tired of hiding. Unable to beat them and not willing to join them, humans and Inderlands created laws governing all of society and established two agencies to police them - the human run Federal Inderland Bureau (FIB) and Inderland Security (IS).

Rachel Morgan is an earth witch and a disgruntled runner for the IS. Her cases haven't gone right for months and her ghoul of a boss, Denon, won't give her any slack. While on a run to tag a tax-evading leprechaun with her trusty pixie backup, Jenks, Rachel decides she's had it and convinced the leprechaun's three wishes can protect her from the IS death squad, Rachel breaks her contract. Before she can make wish number two, Ivy, a living vampire and one of IS's best runners decides she wants to partner up with Rachel and for a wish she'll protect her from any vampire assassins. And of course, Jenks the pixie wants a piece of the action too.

With two new partners and no more wishes, Rachel has to figure out a way to pay off her IS contract without getting herself killed. A corrupt and mysterious man, Councilman Trent, catches Rachel's attention when she discovers he heads an elaborate drug-running operation. Knowing the bounty from his head will pay off her contract, Rachel and her friends are on the hunt.

Kim Harrison weaves a story with plenty of humor, magic, adventure, and steam to delight any reader. If you like Charlene Harris or Laurell K. Hamilton, you'll love Kim Harrison! I thoroughly enjoyed this book (read it in one sitting) and can't wait for the sequel.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on October 22, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
All the recent hype about vampire novels is mostly wasted on me. I can't get into most of it. All the pseudo-romance-novel sensuality and the melding of sex/violence themes is quite often just too disturbing. But I LOVED this book. The only disappointing thing for me? It's obvious this is the start of a series and I now have to wait for future installments. The main character is gritty, pragmatic and all-too-human. She is forced into her "heroic" role by circumstance and ends up demonstrating a courage and strong sense of right and wrongness that is ultimately believable. Her pixie sidekick Jenks adds just the right touch of comedic relief to the typically gothic subject matter. And I found the side-plot surrounding her fear and frequent unwitting attraction to her vampiric business partner very well done. The story never bogs down and the world of post-genetic-apocalypse is intriguing and logical. I'm really looking forward to future installments in this series. It's not just a Buffy rip-off with lots of sexuality. It's a well-written story of a character searching for personal vindication, learning to trust and facing adversity. Highly recommended.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on July 23, 2004
Format: Mass Market PaperbackVerified Purchase
Rachel Morgan works as a runner for IS, Inderland Security, the police agency for the supernatural beings of Cincinnati. Lately, she seems to be having a huge run of bad luck and only gets cases that beginners are assigned. As luck would have it, she is assigned to execute a warrant on a leprechaun. A pixie named Jenks is her backup, the fairies won't work with her anymore. She runs into a vampire colleague at the leprechaun's place of business and somehow at the end of it, they all quit IS, and each have a wish. Ivy, the vampire, and Jenks are free and clear of their contracts, but Rachel has a death threat issued on her until she pays off her IS contract.

She sees a way to make this happen. All she has to do is prove that a prominent councilman is running illegal brimstone, easier said than done. The adventures that the trio have during the case make this book very hard to put down. The next one should be even better since all the major characters have been introduced and described. This is a great read, I started it and didn't put it down until I got to the last page.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on May 25, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Who knew that a book about a bounty-hunting witch running from her own bounty would have such a sweet soul?
On alternate Earth where half the human population has been wiped out from a vegetable-borne virus, all the creatures from the fairy tales, (ie, witches, vampires, pixies, fairies, "Weres," etc), dubbed "Inderlanders," have live a "seperate but equal" existance with humans, complete with their own police force, "Inderland Security." When Rachel, an down-on-her-luck bounty hunter quits the I.S. and takes one of the agency's best operatives with her, a bounty is put on her head by her boss. She has to fight off advances from her hormonally-challenged roommate, and THEN she discovers that one of the city's leading human citizens is growing and smuggling drugs. Things spiral out of control from there.
After a strong set up, Harrison takes time to develop her characters fully. The main plot of the book takes a backseat to several of the subplots involving secondary characters. And that's a GOOD thing. The book comes to a satisfying conclusion (not a cliffhanger), but there are enough mysteries and unanswered questions to fill the next several volumes.
This is a very strong early novel. Harrison really spends time letting the reader get to know the characters. Her style is descriptive, yet tight and well-paced. More importantly, this ostensively neo-goth story has a real heart behind the fangs and there's a sweetness to all the characters that surprised me but also entertained me. The tone is not nearly as dark as the cover would indicate. This is a good title for most anyone who wants a little adventure.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon November 16, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A while back, I picked up Dead Witch Walking, started it, put it down, and walked away. It's so complicated. It's not candy. But after a while, I ran through most of the other paranormal series out there right now and I thought, well, everybody loves Kim Harrison, I might as well give her another shot. And boy am I glad that I did. I devoured all the books through A Fistful of Charms in the space of a week and I can't wait for the next installment of the series.

What makes the Hollows so great is exactly that it IS so complicated - all of the characters are multi-dimensional, all the plotlines have layers and then layers and even more layers. Harrison's personal badge is a burning bunny - she says that ideas are like cute little bunny rabbits, they seem so cute and snuggly and then just when you least expect it they catch on fire and become powerful and dangerous. And that's what you get when you read.

So Rachel Morgan has a problem - she quit her job, and that's not allowed, and now her old boss has put out a contract on her life. When she's not dodging assassins, she's trying to find a way to buy out her own contract and getting messed up in local politics, which are shadowy at best. But for all the darkness outside, she finds warmth and friendship at home, a motley little family. It's great.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on October 30, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A friend recommended this book after I complained that all of my favorite authors were between books.

Oh boy! This book is one wild ride. I won't even compare Ms Harrison to Ms Hamilton, as some are doing. Ms Harrison has a style of her own and thank goodness.

Ms Harrison's universe is populated with humans as well as other creatures. It's Rachel Morgan's job as runner for Inderland Security to bring in the bad guys--witches who practice the black arts, pixies gone wrong, weres on the prowl, etc.

Because of a set of inauspicious circumstances, Rachel decides to quit I.S. Unfortunately for Rachel, no one quits I.S.

In a short time, Rachel has a price on her head, two new partners--a non practicing vampire and a pixie--and her own bounty hunting service.

Oh and I'll let the reader be surprised by Trent. I keep telling friends that there's more to this guy than we know. And maybe he and Rachel... Yeah, yeah, I know he's bad but...

I loved this book. Ms Harrison has written a well thought-out and well- written first book and I cannot wait for her second in the series--THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UNDEAD.
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