Set in Cincinnati, Dead Witch Walking creates an interesting alternative reality which is quite different from what we see in many other fantasy books. Whenever a book mixes witches and vampires together, like Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse series, for example, it always seems as though vampires are more important. They take over all the action and witches are given a secondary role. However, Kim Harrison's witch, Rachel Morgan, is at the forefront of her books.
In this version of Cincinnati, something went wrong in the 1950's when human beings started experimenting on DNA and ended up creating a virus that spread through tomatoes and killed a great deal of the human population. The supernatural creatures who were living side by side with humans then came into the open. The Inderlanders, as they now call themselves, were immune to the virus and, with the human population declining, they didn't have anything to fear. Occasionally, we see Rachel proudly setting out tomatoes, a practice which makes humans blench.
Now that humans and Inderlanders are living in the same society, they must maintain peace and they do this with the help of two law enforcement agencies—the human police and Inderlander Security or I.S. which Rachel works for at the beginning. However, Rachel keeps getting all the bad jobs and she's really sick of this kind of work. So she decides to strike out on her own and Ivy, a vampire who works with I.S. too, decides to go with her, as does Jenks, the pixie. However, I.S. is not just willing to let Rachel go that fast; they put a price on her head and she ends up spending a lot of time avoiding assassins. Finally, she decides that the best thing to do is go after Trent Kalamack who is suspected of many crimes. She wants to persuade I.S. to let her go in exchange for the goods on Kalamack.
Overall, Rachel is a likable protagonist who tends to act before she thinks. Over the course of the book and the series, we see her learning more impulse control. In one funny scene, she tries to learn how to avoid provoking her vampire roommate by reading a vampire dating guide that she's embarrassed to be seen with. She also dresses sassily and has an in-your-face sexuality which, combined with her self-deprecating humor, makes her easy to identify with.
Kim Harrison is a self-proclaimed "tomboy" who grew up in a family full of boys. Although she always wanted to be a writer, she avoided English and writing classes, preferring to work on her writing by herself. She started out with the idea of writing science fiction but then switched to contemporary fantasy. Her real name is Dawn Cook and she has published two series, the Hollows series, starring Rachel Morgan, under the name Kim Harrison, and the Princess and Truth series under her real name. She splits her time between South Carolina and Michigan and is currently a full-time writer.
All the creatures of the night gather in “the
Hollows” of Cincinnati, to hide, to prowl, to party… and to feed.
Vampires rule the darkness in a predator-eat-predator
world rife with dangers beyond imagining—and it’s Rachel Morgan’s job to keep
that world civilized.
Rachel Morgan is on the run with a contract on
her head. To clear her name, Rachel must evade shape-changing assassins, outwit
a powerful businessman/crimelord, and survive a vicious underground
fight-to-the-death. A bounty hunter and witch
with serious sex appeal and an attitude, she’ll bring ‘em back alive, dead… or undead. Dead Witch Walking is fun,
sassy, filled with action, humor, and romance. Download and start listening now!