Thursday, 7 July 2011

Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison

Rachel Morgan is a witch and bounty hunter with the Inderland Services, or IS. She's either great at her job or terrible, depending on who's talking. She doesn't follow rules and is trying to get fired. When she is unsuccessful at this, she finally quits, unfortunately for her, the Inderland Service's best bounty hunter, or "runner", living vampire Ivy Tamwood decides to leave with her, thus causing the entire IS to put out a death warrant out on Rachel. Yup, Rachel must die because this vampire quit with her, why does Ivy choose right then to quit? Who cares? Everyone are after this witch, and that's what's important. Danger is around every corner, and after moving in with Ivy, no where is safe for Rachel. Now she must fight to pay off her contract with the IS, survive life with Ivy, and catch a mob boss who deals in illegal goods.

Review: Where to start... The protagonist and narrator of this book, Rachel. Rachel is the stupidest protagonist I've ever read about. She's wrong about almost everything, she's so sure no one will care when she leaves her job, after all she's terrible at it and they hate her, everyone she knows and even a random cab driver tell her the IS will put a death warrant out on her, she is convinced they won't and guess what? She's wrong. She's so convinced her brilliant "plans" are fool-proof, and almost every time she's caught. Rachel is described as being a good witch and yet even her simple "disguise potions" fool no one, she walks in in her "old lady disguise" and people are like "oh, hi Rachel". Rachel is flabbergasted, how can this be happening?? The fact that she is shocked is in and of it's self proof she's daft, it's what happens every time.

Then there's Ivy, living vampire and described as a frightening badass. You wouldn't know this of course because after the first couple of chapters she seldom leaves the house and never does anything remotely "badass". She does however, come on to her new roommate Rachel and act super creepy almost all the time. She tells Rachel that, she (Rachel) has to stop feeling any type of emotion (sadness, stress, anger, etc.) because it makes Ivy almost unable to control the urge to bite her (how Ivy managed to live in the world without biting anyone for 3 years is unexplained). Rachel must live with Ivy to be protected from the creatures hired to kill her, but we never see Ivy protecting her, in fact Ivy makes other dangerous vampires come around who want to kill Rachel, and Ivy is constantly tempted to kill Rachel. This makes no sense.

I can suspend disbelief as much as the next person, but this book was over the edge. Repeatedly we're told how pixies are the lowest on the pay roll and unimportant and people see them as a nuisance, when Rachel and her band of misfits are constantly being saved by a couple of pixies. The pixies are the smartest and most powerful over and over despite the author's attempts to tell you otherwise, but that inconsistency is far from the worst. Not only did I have to believe the world's stupidest person is an all powerful witch, but I'm supposed to believe that the rich and powerful in Cincinnati go to an underground RAT FIGHTING RING! Yes, that's exactly what it sounds like. A warehouse where rats and other rodents are brought to fight to the death, like dog fighting or cock fighting, but with RATS! And the circumstances surrounding this is even worse, but I don't want to ruin the um, surprise.

I'll give you one last complaint, though you know I could go on. This book was like Narcoleptic Kryptonite, I swear every time I'd start to read it I would fall asleep, even if I wasn't tired, even if I was sitting straight up in a wooden chair at my kitchen table. The only time I could get through more then a couple of pages without nodding off I was at the doctor's office. I seriously considered just going there so I could actually get this damned thing read.

This cloud does have a "silver lining", the world that Rachel lives in, one in which 1/4 of the world's human population was killed off from bioengineering tomatoes, and supernatural creatures now outnumber the humans, is rich and full of possibilities. It's unique and interesting, sadly the main two characters were ridiculous and stupid. It's sad, really to see the bit of potential being wasted.

Bottom Line: Boring and stupid. I wouldn't waste my time if I were you. Rating: D.