Mike (the Paladin)'s Reviews > Dead Witch Walking

Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison
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Mar 03, 2012

did not like it
bookshelves: urban-fantasy, didn-t-finish

First to you who like this, I'm sorry. We can't all like the same books.

I picked this up because it was recommended on the "What to read while you're waiting for the next Dresden book" thread. So:

First I'm not a romance fan to begin with and I can pretty much say that I dislike every PNR (paranormal romance) I've ever "accidentally" picked up. Now, I can hear some of you saying, but this isn't PNR. At least the recommendation I went with said it wasn't. But if it's not, it's close enough for me.

I almost put this book down 3 times before I finally did. I wanted to like it, I wanted to find an urban fantasy I'd like...really, I did. I won't list the points where I almost quit, or the place I finally hit the wall, yelled that's enough and put it straight into the back to the library stack, not until we get below a spoiler warning.

The bottom line is the plot sounded fair to good, a bounty hunting witch who gets on the bad side of her own former agency and has a price placed on her head. Unfortunately the book got bogged down. We start out with Rachel on the "bust" of a leprechaun. She's fed up, it seems to her that her agency (her boss)has been slighting her and wants her to quit...so she does. It doesn't however go the way she planned.

The book tried several times to pick up it's story line and move along, but it kept bogging down in exploration of Rachel's life. Not in the way other books do with their characters, filling in the corners of the world, fleshing out what we need to know about the magic, and the other races... no, we're exploring Rachel's relationship with her vamp (living vamp as opposed to dead vamp) room-mate/partner and her relationship with her other partner a pixie. Yet somehow, the characters remain shallow.

Like I said I finally came to a point where I decided there are only so many hours left for me to read and a lot of books I'd far rather read than this one. So...one star, end of story, not for me. Enjoy if it's your cup of tea.

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Reading Progress

03/03 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-32)

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message 32: by Werner (last edited Jul 15, 2011 05:11PM) (new)

Werner Mike, thanks for helping me cull my huge TBR pile! I'd been intrigued by the premise of this book, and had bought a copy at our local flea market some time ago; but after reading your review and another one on this site, I put my copy in my BookMoch inventory. (Of course, it was on 88 wishlists, and someone's already grabbed it up; hopefully she'll like it better than I probably would have. :-) )

Mike (the Paladin) Note the typo? I'm going to edit it out, but I typed "here" for "hear"... Oh well. :)

message 30: by Sath (new) - added it

Sath I don't think even managed to read as far as you did, and I read all kinds of pnr and urban fantasy! This was a complete non-starter to me after like 5 pages. I think you got a dud recommendation, ask me next time ;) hehe

message 29: by Werner (new)

Werner Mike, I must have missed the typo that time!

Mike (the Paladin) Thanks Sath... I have Ilona Andrews' Magic Bites on my shelf waiting now, and I've seen mixed reviews on it. Oh well, it's already here.

Thanks to you to Werner, I must have typed it unconsciously. I occasionally do that, "know" for "no" and so on, don't know why. Just get in a hurry I guess. I also find I occasionally add a letter or mix letters up when I get too fast. LOL

message 27: by Sath (new) - added it

Sath Hah, and typically I have never read Ilona Andrews :S I too have had mixed reviews, but seeing as the one complaint i saw was that urban fantasy shouldn't be a mystery/detective story.. well then I don't see it negatively myself. Maybe I should read it too :)

message 26: by Werner (new)

Werner One of my Goodreads friends and I are planning to do a buddy read of Magic Bites soon. The premise of it sounds pretty intriguing to me; but then, I haven't read much "urban fantasy," and haven't developed any particular prejudices about what it "should" or "shouldn't" be. :-) (I just think that, whatever direction the author takes it in, it needs to be well- written!)

message 25: by Mike (the Paladin) (last edited Jul 17, 2011 12:02PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Mike (the Paladin) I'm a huge Jim Butcher (Harry Dresden) fan, and since it's sort of the epitome of the mystery/urban fantasy story line (they have the sort of "hard boiled" detective/wizard character going)I obviously don't have a problem with it. Magic Bites is another I had recommended "for those who like Harry Dresden" (most of those recommended so far I've found to be nothing like Butcher's work [by the way]. I wonder sometimes if the "recommenders" read the same books I did LOL).

Amanda Lyons Its too bad you couldn't get into it Mike the series is actually quite good and original. The first book deals with setting up her relationships and such yes but the later books go more into the missions she's doing. Its definitely not PNR and the characters are by no means shallow as you go along. There is a lot of back and forth about what Ivy wants from Rachel but its more about them sorting out Ivy's issues (she is bi by the way) than anything. If you ever feel like taking the time try out the 2nd book and see if it suits you better. If not hey at least you gave it a shot eh?

Mike (the Paladin) I did try to get through this one. I saw early that "I didn't think I was going to like it", so I wanted to be fair. I've said before, it's a matter of taste. Everyone won't like the same books.

I don't know if you've read the Dresden books (I didn't see them under your books), but they rate as some of my favorite reads. So when I run on readers who don't care for them I sort of have to scratch my head, to each their own.

Thanks. I agree with. We can't know about a book or series without trying it.

message 22: by Jim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jim This series is one of our favorites. It's definitely PNR - I don't know who could say otherwise with a straight face - so if you don't like the genre, don't read it. If you do, it's one of the better ones, IMO.

Amanda Lyons I haven't read Dresden yet but it is on my too read list. Darn library doesn't have the first book in the system and I haven't been able to afford buying it yet. i do keep me eye out though.

Wow if its PNR its definitely a lot better than the one's I've read or heard about certainly less relationship/romance centered than most of them are too Jim.Of course isn't Anita Blake thought to be PNR too? Eh I guess I just don't like the series associated with the schlock.

Mike (the Paladin) Pancakemib, I find typos in every review I go back and check. I'm a "self-taught hunt and peck" typist. I'm actually a fairly fast 2 or 4 finger typist now... but I do miss, leave out letters, type wrong words (for example my mind frequently switches know for no, don't know why), hit two letters at once or hit the letter beside the one I wanted. If it happens to make a word ("planed" as opposed to "planned") the computer doesn't tell me, so I often miss it, especially if I'm typing quickly and moving on. It happens. Usually the meaning isn't too badly mangled and I catch them if I end up looking back at the review. :)

Mike (the Paladin) Amanda, it's true, no one seems to trade away their Dresden books and if the library didn't get started with the first it can be frustrating. ABE has it for around $5 but I can see not wanting to buy the first book in series till you've tried it. Hope you find it soon.

Mike (the Paladin) Thought I'd let you know Pancakemib, don't know if I caught them all, but I found another typo, one you missed. I typed "want" for "won't"...oh well.

message 17: by Jim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jim The Anita Blake series is definitely PNR, more R the further into the series you go. Dresden is pretty much just PN* & this series is in between the two in the R department, IMO. There are a lot of PNR series that focus more on the R than this one, although I agree somewhat with Mike that the relationship thing with Ivy (the living vamp) gets a bit old. It continues throughout the series without much change, too. I love Jeeves, the Pixie, though. He grows a lot as a character in later books.

* I've only read the first 6 Dresden books, I think. I almost tossed the last one I read because there were so many errors that just trashed the flow for me. I've still got a few more on the shelf, but just haven't worked up the nerve to read them, yet. I am really enjoying the Codex Alera series by Butcher, though.

Mike (the Paladin) As you probably know I can't agree at all with your take on the Dresden books Jim, some of my favorite books out there.

message 15: by Jim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jim Really? In book 6 or so, his staff was in 2 places in one scene, he put his manual VW into drive, & then there were the elevators! It was horrible, a train wreck.

Mike (the Paladin) The VW thing doesn't bother me that much...(maybe Mike his mechanic installed an automatic LOL). As for the Staff, I didn't catch that and I've read the book multiple times. Where was it?

It probably won't bother me as I enjoy the books greatly, but I'm curious as to it, as I didn't see it.

message 13: by Jim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jim It's been a while, but he was getting attacked in his apartment & had left the staff on one side of the door, used it inside the room & then caught up with it again outside the door. Middle of the book?

No, the VW is always a manual shift. He had just been talking about how hard it was to shift with a bum arm. I remember that clearly because I had broken the end of my elbow & had to drive my car which had a stick years ago. I still remember how tough that was.

As I recall, he also made a big deal of walking up a bunch of stairs in an office building toward the end of the book because there was no electric & then rode the elevator down afterward.

One I could forgive, but the errors just piled up into a real mess. It's like my wife when she reads Jordan's series & he deals with horses. One book gets tossed down every time this archer stashes his bow in the horse's girth. Come to think of it, I think that's in book 6 of that series. Spooky.

Mike (the Paladin) (I was joking about the VW LOL)

Didn't bother me, but to each their own. I don't recall the staff, I'll probably end up re-reading it later as the next is due out next month.

I think it sort of depends on the way we react to a book ans a character in general. I like the Dresden character. I find the way he's written appealing in some ways, as I've said, I think even though I would disagree with the character's take on a lot of things he's the kind of guy I could have a beer with.

You mentioned that you like these books a great deal, but they annoyed me from the get go. The annoying things that jumped out at me (commenting on her lack of cleavage then mentioning that she "leaned forward, showing her cleavage to distract a guy in the bar, etc.) probably didn't jump out at you because you like the character/s.

I'd say mostly, a matter of taste again. We all just don't (can't) like the same things.

message 11: by Jim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jim Actually, I do like Dresden, both the character & the series. I even liked the TV show. I just really hate it when an author & his editors let so many big holes get through. I'm not buying from a mainstream publisher, paying $10 for a paperback, for shoddy workmanship & that's what such errors are.

As for Rachel & her cleavage, she didn't have much comparatively. This is mentioned elsewhere in the series, too. She can still flash what she's got & turn a man's head, though. I don't recall saying these books were perfect, either. There are parts of them that I don't like either.

We're not talking about great novels in either case. Neither of these series are going to be required reading in 50 years. Both series are fun fluff, IMO. A nice break from reality. They're job is to entertain me, so I'm not holding them up to any impossibly high standards, just the basics.

cook777 I think it's a good thing you didn't keep going with the books. You would have liked them even less I think. Some of them are really good noting I rated one of them a five. (the author is good with plot IMO.) Parts I didn't like was fine I hear the audiobooks and it got me through those parts.

Colleen try dd barant the blood hound files if you haven't read.. more similar writing style to Jim butcher than Kim harrison

If it ain't good I don't read it ! Finally someone with a taste in books :)

message 7: by April (new) - added it

April Mike, that was a great review :) I'm still putting this book on my to read list even though some people really didn't like it. That makes it even more fun to form my own opinion :)

Mike (the Paladin) A lot do like it. I'm obviously not the book's target audience. I've noted before that I'm anything but a fan of PNR. While this isn't called that I'd say it meets the definition. LOL.

message 5: by Sparrowlicious (new)

Sparrowlicious Thank you for this review. Someone just recommended this book to me and ... wow. Well, I'm no fan of supernatural romance. Thanks for the warning about the weird sex scenes. /:

message 4: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Thanks for the very useful warning. I don't like books like that, either.

Chris You know, I gave it three stars, but I would never recommend it as a replacement or place holder for Dresden. They are totally different.

Good review.

Mike (the Paladin) It was just the way the vamp love overwhelmed the story for me. I tried...I really tried.


Chris You tried more than I would've.

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