Title: Waking the Witch
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Series: Women of the Otherworld #11
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy, Paranormal fantasy, Strong women
5th sentence, 74th page: Summer was almost here, and I needed a new wardrobe, which meant a trip to New York with my favorite shopping buddy.
When three young women are found dead – apparent victims of ritual murder – the small, fading town of Columbus is shaken to its core. But things are about to turn even more strange and sinister…
Private investigator Savannah Levine can handle ‘strange and sinister’. As the daughter of a black witch, she has a lot of power running through her veins, and she’s not afraid to use it. But her arrival in town has not gone unnoticed. Savannah may think she’s tracking down a murderer, but could she be the killer’s next target?
Every time I read one of the books in the Women of the Otherworld series, I decide that they are my absolute favourite heroines of the series. And then I open the next book and my mind changes all over again. Every single lead in this series has her own amazing prowess and something that makes me feel connected to them. But, they’re all different enough that the storyline never gets boring. The first book featuring a grown Savannah Levine was no different. Her teenage rebellion and attitude have mellowed since her introduction in Stolen, but she still has this sense of sass that none of the other characters possess. And, her infatuation with Adam has blown from a school girl crush to an understanding of love and giving.
From the moment that she was introduced in the series, Savannah possesses a don’t care, self-centred persona. Yet, as she tries to track down a serial killer and befriends some of the locals, it becomes obvious that this is just that – a persona. She has a thick skin and protects herself with her mother’s reputation and her ability to be pithy and rude. But she cares so deeply about the people that surround her. Kayla, the young daughter of one of the victims, helps to add an extra layer of risk and emotion to her actions. Throw in some shady cult leaders, a not-so-nice crime family and the fact that Leah is back haunting earth somewhere… yeah, this story not only shows that Savannah has a soft side, but it also drags it out of her kicking and screaming. Which, of course, leads to a pretty intense and emotional conclusion that had me reaching for Spell Bound as soon as I could.
Throughout our daily lives, my partner and I are constantly forced into gender roles and made fun of when one or the other don’t fit these. The age difference between Adam and Savannah just encourages this assumption throughout the story. The idea that Savannah is unable to lead her own investigation is compounded by the fact that Adam shows up to give her moral support. Yet, he is more than willing to let her have her head. He actually lets her be herself, dominant, pissy, strong… something that is needed in a lot of relationships (or so I believe).