Waking the Witch: Contrived setting, but enjoyable series

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fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsfantasy book reviews Kelley Armstrong Women of the Otherworld Waking the WitchWaking the Witch by Kelley Armstrong

Waking the Witch by Kelley Armstrong is a fine addition to the Women of the Otherworld series. It relays the adventures of Savannah Levine, whom we met as a precocious orphan in earlier novels and who is now a grown woman. The mystery is strong, compelling, and reasonably twisted; the plot is well paced and packed with action; and the characters and their stories are, as always, strong. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the novel.

What’s not to like? Well, to be brutally honest, while I enjoy reading the novels of Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld series, the world setting has always struck me as a bit contrived. For instance, when female witches have children with male sorcerers (protagonist Savannah is unique as the only such offspring we know of), their offspring clearly have a huge power advantage over witch-only or sorcerer-only babies. And yet witches and sorcerers do not procreate, supposedly because of a history of enmity and war. And this is true despite the fact that sorcerers (always male) are cruel and powerful enough to force themselves on the less powerful witches. Too, I don’t really buy into Armstrong’s explanation of why there is only one female werewolf in this world.

If these types of small issues with world setting distract you as a reader, then this may not be the series for you. But if you enjoy good stories about memorable characters, then I would recommend this series and this book. Waking the Witch is self contained enough that you can enjoy it even if it is your first introduction to Armstrong’s Otherworld.

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STEPHEN (S.B.) FRANK, one of our guest contributors, earned a Ph.D. at Duke University and works in the field of education reform. When he needs a break from real life, he likes to indulge in urban fantasy. He has a particular love for humor, so some of his favorite authors are Dakota Cassidy, Mary Janice Davidson, Mark Henry, Julie Kenner, Katie MacAlister, Richelle Mead and Christopher Moore.

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