In preparation for the February 22, 2011 release of Kim Harrison’s Pale Demon, book #9 in her popular Hollows Series, I’m doing a re-listen of the entire series and I’ve just finished listening to book #1, Dead Witch Walking. The books are quick, fun reads and feature many colorful characters including the main protagonist, sassy witch Rachel Morgan and her new business partners, Ivy (a living vampire) and the ever snarky pixy, Jenks. Marguerite Gavin is the reader (of this book and most of the other Hollows books, though not all) and she’s quite good, despite a habit of tending to pause in the middle of a sentence now and again. Still, I enjoy her reading quite a lot and she’s great at giving each of the characters their own voice. I especially love listening to her read Jenks.
Synopsis of Book #1:
The underground population of witches, vampires, werewolves—creatures of dreams and nightmares—has lived beside humans for centuries, hiding their powers. But after a genetically engineered virus wipes out a large part of humanity, many of the “Inderlanders” reveal themselves, changing everything.
Rachel Morgan, witch and bounty hunter with the Inderland Runner Services, is one of the best at apprehending supernatural lawbreakers throughout Cincinnati, but when it comes to following the rules, she falls desperately short. Determined to buck the system, she quits and takes off on the run with an I.S. contract on her head and is reluctantly forced to team up with Ivy, Inderland’s best runner . . . and a living vampire. But this witch is way out of her league, and to clear her name, Rachel must evade shape-changing assassins, outwit a powerful businessman/crime lord, and survive a vicious underground fight-to-the-death . . . not to mention her own roommate.
I found a less than stellar listener review on Audible.com somewhat amusing when it said that women who read Harlequin books would enjoy this book but that he, a reader of Heinlein, certainly did not. I, for one, have never read a Harlequin romance and most likely never will and I enjoyed this book immensely. This listen was my second, after reading the actual book once and I still had a good time and got a lot of laughs out of the story.
Of course, as the series progresses, things get darker and there are many a tear-inducing scene but this first book was fro the most part, light-hearted and fun and definitely a quick and enjoyable listen/read. Also, despite other reader/listener reviews I’ve seen that criticize the main character, Rachel Morgan, I quite like her and find her self-doubt and occasional missteps endearing and believable. Also, to those who would criticize her internal dialogue when looking at a man, of course she checks out the guys! What single twenty-something -be they female or male- doesn’t check out members of the opposite sex and ponder the possibilities in their head? Criticism of this nature is silly, in my opinion; if I like a story, I like it. And I like this one. On to book #2!