Here is this week’s 52 Books in 52 Weeks post…
Waking the Witch
by Kelley Armstrong
First of all, this book is due out for US release today, I believe. Unlike Kelley’s YA series, I did not beta read this one… my local book store got the book I’d put on hold in early, called me, and I went to get it. Who am I to be able to resist a book I want to read when it’s sitting there waiting for me?
Second of all, this is the 11th book in Kelley’s (Women of) The Otherworld series. It is not meant as a place to start into the series. While I suppose it is possible to read this one before the others, I wouldn’t recommend it. There are too many things that would spoil the prior books, and other things that aren’t properly explained in this book because they’re in other books. (Nothing that would prevent a new reader from understanding the book, but the full comprehension does require more than a passing knowledge of the world.)
Third, there is a very minor cliffhanger at the end. Well, others have called it a cliffhanger. I would call it a hook. I mean… this is an ongoing series. Not all loose ends will be tied up at the end of the book. The only difference that I see is that this book leaves it a lot more clear who the narrator of the book that follows it will be than prior books have. (Book #12, Spellbound, will be another Savannah-narrated book.) I personally had no problem at all with the ending of this book. There were things about it that I rather liked, actually.
Now… on to the rest of the review.
I love Paige and Lucas. So a Savannah book without them made me a little nervous even as I knew it was the only way to let Savannah get her feet wet. My worries, however, were unfounded. I now love Savannah, too. Not quite as much, but nearly. She’s a great character, and it’s easy to see (even when we’re not specifically told) which parts of her are her mom and which parts are Paige and Lucas’ influence.
Also, I was nervous about the romance angle. A lot of people on Kelley’s forums want Savannah and Adam (her girlhood crush) to get together in her book(s). I’m not sure. If it works well, then great. If it doesn’t, I don’t want it to feel forced. But I really like the way the romance plays out in this book. If you read the first three chapters on Kelley’s site (PDF here), you’ll see that there are other guys who could end up being Savannah’s love interest. It’s not clear-cut that it will be Adam. And I’m not telling. (I will say that this book, unlike the rest of the series, does not get very steamy. This is appropriate, as Savannah is just now 21 and we first met her as a child. She needs to grow up a bit before the readers will be fully comfortable with her having sex scenes, I think.)
Last thing I’ll say (and forgive the lack of detail, but I’m determined to not give spoilers): I like the conflict Savannah is up against here. The external conflict is well done, and I guessed part of it but by no means all of it by the time it was revealed. However, it is the internal conflict that I like best. (This ties into the hook at the end of the book, too. Savannah resolves the main external conflict in this novel, but not her internal one.)
All told, I really like this book. It’s not my favorite in the series — that honor remains with Industrial Magic — but it is up there among my favorites.