Reviewed by Jennifer J.

In bestselling author Kelley Armstrong’s Otherworld series, half witch/sorcerer Savannah Levine finally gets center stage in the 11th book, entitled Waking the Witch. Savannah was first introduced in Stolen, the second book in the series. She has long been a fan favorite, and one of my own favorites in the series because of her sharp tongue, unpredictable actions, and straddling the line between white and black magic. I was absolutely thrilled to see that Ms. Armstrong was finally writing a book entirely from Savannah’s point of view.

With Paige and Lucas away on vacation, the Cortez-Winterbourne Investigations is left entirely in Savannah’s eager hands. Desiring to make her own mark as an investigator, Savannah travels to Columbus (a small rural town in Washington) to solve the murder of young mother Claire Kennedy, who may have been the victim of a Satanic ritual. Prior to Claire’s slaying, two other women were also murdered in exactly the same way. With the aid of telekenetic half-demon Jesse Aanes, the PI who brought the case to her attention, Savannah investigates handome Cody Radu and the local charismatic cult leader Alistair Koppel as the prime suspects.

When I first started reading Kelley Armstrong many years ago, there were only four books published in the series. I didn’t read them in their published order; each book can be read as a stand-alone, but I’ve found it more enjoyable to read them in their chronological published order because of the character development from one book to the next. But even though I’ve read the previous novels featuring Savannah as a secondary character, I still felt I was missing something when Savannah’s investigation started to wrap up. For any newcomers, enough back story is included to make this an enjoyable and solid read, but I am still a big [amazonify]0525951784[/amazonify]believer in starting any series at its very first novel. You won’t regret taking the opportunity to watch Savannah grow up into a powerful woman with extraordinary capabilities.

I absolutely love that Savannah is not without some serious flaws. She is overly confident and something of a risk taker, which at times compromise her investigation. Although she is not comfortable around humans (she has had anything but a normal childhood), Savannah is also able to feel great compassion toward them. As she comes closer to discovering the identity of the murderer, her romantic feelings for Michael Kennedy, the half-brother of one of the victims, make the case all the more personal to her.

Waking the Witch is just the beginning of future books in the series with Savannah–I hope–at the helm. With such a cliffhanger for an ending, long-time readers will remember exactly why Ms. Armstrong is a “must read” author.

Jennifer graduated from the University of Utah with a BA in English. She occasionally dabbles with her own fiction writing, particularly with the Young Adult and Paranormal genres. She currently resides in Utah with her husband and daughter.

This book was provided free of any obligation by Dutton Adult. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.