Waking the Witch by K. Armstrong

Kelley Armstrong is definitely one of my fave authors and I’m sad to admit that I’m not totally caught up with her Women of the Otherworld series. However, that so didn’t matter while I was reading Waking the Witch, the eleventh novel in the series.

At twenty-one, Savannah Levine-orphaned daughter of a notorious dark witch and an equally notorious cutthroat sorcerer-considers herself a full-fledged member of the otherworld. The once rebellious teen has grown into a six-foot-tall, motorcycle-riding jaw-dropper, with an impressive knowledge of and ability to perform spells. The only problem is, she’s having a hard time convincing her adoptive parents, Paige and Lucas, to take her seriously as an adult. She’s working as the research assistant at the detective agency they founded, and when they take off on a romantic vacation alone, leaving her in charge, Savannah finds herself itching for a case to call her own. (She’s also itching for Adam, her longtime friend and colleague, to see her as more than just a little girl, but that’s another matter.)

Suddenly, Savannah gets the chance she’s been waiting for: Recruited by another supernatural detective, she travels to Columbus, Washington, a small, dying town. Two troubled young women have been found in an abandoned warehouse, murdered. Now a third woman’s dead, and on closer inspection small details point to darker forces at play. Savannah feels certain she can handle the case, but with signs of supernatural activity appearing at every turn, things quickly become more serious- and far more dangerous-than she realizes.

It is weird though – the last Otherworld novel I read was No Humans Involved and Savannah was still a teenager causing trouble.  In Waking the Witch, Savannah is now 21 years old and out to prove herself to Paige and Lucas.  I’ll be honest, of the entire series, I am totally a werewolf girl.  I’ve never connected with any of the magic users and the demons/vampires just haven’t been the focus yet (or I’m missing out since I’m not caught up).  However, with Savannah, I totally enjoyed reading about her.  She isn’t as naive or innocent as Paige comes off and she knows that there is always a gray area to explore, especially when it comes to magic.  You can also tell she had to grow up fast, but she’s still very much the little girl when it comes to those she loves.  I love the duality of her personality.

One of the reasons Armstrong is a favorite author of mine is you never know what is going to happen.  I was totally engulfed in Waking the Witch and it was such a good thing that the monkey had friends over today so I could read because I seriously did not want to put this book down.  Every time I thought I knew where the story was heading, the next event would totally screw with whatever I was thinking.  The plot was perfect for Savannah.  Nothing to hardcore that a novice working her first solo case couldn’t handle, but enough dangerous situations that had her being cautious and thinking things through instead of rushing headfirst into multiple situations.  You can definitely see Savannah growing up and for anyone who’s been a fan of hers since Stolen, I seriously think you’ll love what she goes through.

I will be honest, the ending threw me. I wasn’t expecting the villain to be who it was and the fact that s/he was still around surprised me a little. I’m not going to say who the villain ends up being, and if you’re caught up, you may catch on to who it could be, but it totally came out of left field for me.  However, the one aspect that completely caught me off guard was what ended up happening after the big fight.  Waking the Witch is definitely a stepping stone for something much larger involving Savannah.  We get to see her grow up a little, but I don’t think it will be anything compared to what she will be going through in book twelve.  While you don’t have to read the previous novels in the Otherworld series to read Waking the Witch, you will need to read this one before book twelve.

Yes, if you’re familiar with the series, then you’re going to see a lot of new faces.  However, if you’re not, you won’t be lost if you start with Waking the Witch.  If anything, Armstrong gives us enough information to give a clue as to what has happened in the past, but nothing that is detrimental to the story.  However, I will say that anyone reading Waking the Witch before any of the others will probably end up more than a little curious and will want to pick up the previous novels.

Overall, Kelley Armstrong has delivered another fabulous story with Waking the Witch.  We’re given some great character development with Savannah; a twisting plotline that kept me guessing and re-evaluating the entire time; and a setup for a fabulous new conflict with a new breed of supernaturals.  Honestly, why hasn’t someone thought of this particular breed before.  Where you have witches, they should be obvious.  Seriously, whether you’re a fan of Armstrongs or not, you should totally be picking up Waking the Witch.  Who cares if you haven’t read the series, you’ll be wanting to by the end.

Read Order:
Bitten at Amazon or the Book Depository
Stolen at Amazon or the Book Depository
Dime Store Magic at Amazon or the Book Depository
Industrial Magic at Amazon or the Book Depository
Haunted at Amazon or the Book Depository
Broken at Amazon or the Book Depository
No Humans Involved at Amazon or the Book Depository
Personal Demon at Amazon or the Book Depository
Living with the Dead at Amazon or the Book Depository
Frost Bitten at Amazon or the Book Depository
Waking the Witch at Amazon or the Book Depository

Also reviewed by:
Darkeva’s Blog
Paranormal Haven
The Book Pushers
Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review
Dear Author

About Jackie 3282 Articles
I am a 30-something SAHM with two adorable boys and a supportive husband who is very tolerant of my reading addiction. I love to read and easily go through about a dozen books a month – well I did before I had kids. Now, not so much. After my first son was born, I began to take my hobby of reviewing a little more serious and started Literary Escapism to help with my sanity. I love to discuss the fabulous novels I’ve read and meeting all the wonderful people in the book blogging community has been amazing.


  1. I didn’t particularly like No Humans Involved or Personal Demon, so I stopped reading the series. But I always liked Savannah and this book looks good, so I might have to pick it up.

    • @Chotti – I wasn’t a fan of NO HUMANS INVOLVED either. It was okay, but that’s the last book I ended on too. I haven’t been too into the magic users, so I generally lose steam when they are the focus. However, isn’t Karl in PERSONAL DEMONS? There hasn’t been too much on the demons until PD, so I’m not sure how I feel about that though.

      @Sheila – Thankfully, you really don’t have to read the previous ten books to get to WAKING THE WITCH. Granted, I will say that the previous books are equally amazing (my preference is the werewolves), so I wouldn’t say never to go back and read them. *grin*

      @heidenkind – the werewolves are my personal favorites. The only reason I haven’t read FROSTBITTEN yet is I haven’t gotten to it in the order and I’m not a fan of reading out of order (unless I’m given a really good incentive like an ARC *grin*). Definitely read BITTEN and STOLEN. They are fabulous. The following three are okay and introduce a lot of characters the wovles run into, but then the wolves show back up. *grin*

      @Vicki – Savannah is definitely not Lucas or Paige. I’m fairly sure it’s those two characters that make me not like the magic users as much.

    • Thankfully Sheila, you really don’t have to read the previous ten books to get to WAKING THE WITCH. Granted, I will say that the previous books are equally amazing (my preference is the werewolves), so I wouldn’t say never to go back and read them. *grin*

  2. I am a huge fan of Kelley Armstrong. I began with DIMESTORE MAGIC, but when I read BITTEN, it became all about the werewolves, too. I do like the witch stories and the blending of the two in the books, but I especially love the werewolf stories best of all.
    Thanks for the review and I really look forward to reading this one even more now.

  3. All we are hearing is rave reviews on Armstrong’s latest release. We feel the unexpected twists and turns and the in depth character development are truly what sets her series apart. As much as your review entices us to want to jump to Waking the Witch, we confess here and now and forever, that we are sticklers for reading a book series in order. Our main reasons is to see the progression of each character as they grow, and the unfolding and expanding of the author’s world in chronological order. This way it keeps us within the author’s vision. As difficult as it will be to wait to experience Savannah’s journey, especially with the book staring at us from our shelf, we will valiantly struggle through and persevere! We can’t be the only ones who feel this way? We hope ;O.

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