Kelley Armstrong has been one of my favorite authors ever since I picked up Dimestore Magic. After I read that novel, the next time I went to the bookstore I looked for other novels by her. I had seen the phrase "Women of the Otherworld" on the cover, and that gave me a clue that there might be other books....that, and the page with the other book titles lists. LOL. I found Stolen, Bitten and Industrial Magic. I believe I read them out of order, but since two out of the first four books were about Clay and Elena, and the other two were of Paige and Lucas, it didn't seem to matter too much if I read one before the other. It all seemed to work out.
Because of all of this out of order reading, I first read about Savannah, this novel's main character in Dimestore Magic. I enjoyed the rather smartassed character of the teen-aged, very powerful young witch. Throughout a lot of the coming books we get to read about Savannah, but Waking the Witch is told from Savannah's point of view.Savannah is now 21 years old, and is trying to remain a good person, but it's evident that she doesn't quite think like Paige (her guardian). In fact, one of the things I like about this series is that Ms Armstrong seems to be able to write first person from a variety of character's POV, and each star of each book has her own "voice". Savannah's voice is sarcastic, young and assertive. She's not quite human either, and therefore doesn't have quite the same ethics or morals that humans are supposed to have, though she does work at maintaining some ethics.
In Waking the Witch, Paige and Lucas have finally taken a long vacation. They own an investigations company (Cortez-Winterbourne Investigations) and Savannah has worked as "executive assistant slave" to them for a few years. She's been more than ready to take on a case on her own and finally gets a chance when a half-demon PI named Jesse brings a case for Lucas to look over. Savannah ends up taking the case, agreeing to do the "legwork" while Jesse finishes up another case he's been working on. Savannah goes to a small town, driving there on her hog (a motorcycle, not a bespelled pig - LOL) which of course, brings her to the attention of the town sheriff, as well as a few other townspeople.
What follows is an interesting mix of urban fantasy and an old-fashioned detective novel. Three women have been murdered in two separate incidents. There are questions about whether the murders are connected, though some are trying to make it seem that they aren't similar at all - though the women were all found in the same spot. There is no lack of suspects either. Suddenly, Savannah meets another man who is also trying to investigate, and the police chief at first wants nothing to do with either PIs. Someone also starts taking shots at Savannah - dangerous things keep happening to her. There are the beginnings of romantic feelings, without overwhelming the story - nicely handled. I find that I still enjoy Savannah's personality - both the grown-up personality in this book, and the previous books' teen-age Savannah.
The story is entertaining. There are some very colorful characters, a commune, a small girl that is more mature than some of the townspeople, some intense situations and some comical situations. The dialogue is good, with snarky bits between some of the characters and some touching dialogue with the youngest character in the book. It's been a while since I read a detective style novel - every urban fantasy always has a bit of mystery to them, but this one focused on the detecting of a mystery, with Savannah working out clues, motives, etc. Kind of reminded me of an up-to-date, rather dangerous magical Nancy Drew, but with edge. I liked the mix of urban fantasy and detective novel vibe.
As with most of the novels in this series, this can be read as a standalone novel - but there are 10 other books with differing main characters and narration styles. I have enjoyed all of Kelley Armstrong's books - some better than others, yet all of them are interesting and entertaining.show more