Dead Witch Walking

Last night, I finished reading Kim Harrison’s Dead Witch Walking, book 1 of the Rachel Morgan series (also called the Hollows series). I picked the book up at the store because it sounded vaguely interesting, and I was wanting something with a similar feel to the Dresden Files series. For some reason, I did not expect to enjoy this book. Sometimes, I’m happy when I’m wrong!

I found Dead Witch Walking to be a well-written work of fiction with some very creative ideas. It did not take long for me to become hooked on this intriguing version of Earth, where supernatural and the mundane walk side-by-side. The write-ups about the book had not done it justice and even came across as a bit cheesy. I found the ideas remarkably original and exciting, every bit as fresh and new as what the Dresden Files series was delivering.

In a quick summary to not reveal major details, Dead Witch Walking explores the first few days of Vampiric Charms, a “detective” agency run by witch, Rachel Morgan, and living vampire, Ivy Tamwood. They have a rocky start with assassins in the shadows and a corrupt councilman causing trouble. The book sets the stage for an entire series of books by developing the personalities of the main characters, establishing a business and relationships for them, and revealing how Harrison’s version of Earth works. While certainly a solid standalone novel, Dead Witch Walking makes a perfect introduction into this exciting new world.

I particularly like contrasting the writing styles of Kim Harrison and Jim Butcher (author of the Dresden Files). Harry Dresden is a snarky hero from an obviously male author. Harrison’s Rachel Morgan is just as intriguing and just as obviously written by a female author. I really believe a fan of either series would greatly enjoy the other; therefore, there are numerous books to keep the most avid reader occupied for a time between them.

Dead Witch Walking is an easy read that goes quickly due to all the action. I highly recommend giving it a try. It’s a good story on its own, and if you like it, it opens the door to a whole series about these exciting characters.


Age of Worms Adventure Path – Game Session 78

Game summary for April 10, 2008; present characters included Eolas Windmaster (moon elf duskblade), Lyrin Sinbal (simian incantatrix/ring sage/warmage), Morak Beardfist (shield dwarf fighter/rage cleric), Ranulph Wathbater (human berserker/fighter/hellreaver/paladin of freedom/rogue), and Syvarius Strongbow (moon elf archer-ranger/peerless archer).

Once in Longsaddle, the troupe went about re-equipping themselves with new magical weapons and charms. After a while, they arranged an audience with Malchor Harpell through his associate, Cymria. The Mercenaries summoned forth Balakarde and reunited him with his old ally, Malchor. The group discussed tactics and the implications of Lashonna’s involvement with the cult of Kyuss. Eventually they decided that killing Dragotha was still a priority and returned to the Wormcrawl Fissure near the Tabernacle of Worms.

The team crept forward in the oppressive darkness of the chasm and found themselves attacked by a gaggle of Kyuss chimeras. The four monsters tore into the Mercenaries and flung worms about, trying to infest them with the taint of the Wormgod. Syvarius wasted no time unleashing a hail of arrows upon the beasts, while Ranulph brought the fight in close. Lyrin and Morak released a barrage of spells, and Eolas strode into the midst of the undead to flail about with blade and spell. In short order, the creatures were cut down.

Continuing onward, the team found a faintly glowing cave opening with tracks of slithering creatures and chimeras all about. Standing in the opening, Lyrin began summoning forth a small army of elementals to assist in the assault; however, another gaggle of Kyuss chimeras came upon the group and attacked. Lyrin stopped his summoning and engaged the creatures along with his allies. Ranulph wasted no time getting into the fray, charging through the air with his fly effect to meet a chimera head-on. He, and the chimera, discovered milliseconds later that a chimera cannot easily stop during a sweeping dive. The two crashed into one another and felling into a heap on the ground.

Again, the Mercenaries brutally slaughtered the Kyuss spawn, leaving great rotting corpses of worm-writhing hide littering the ground. Ranulph suffered from a burrowing worm but was rescued by Morak. The worm was destroyed by yet another magic missile blast from Lyrin.

With the monsters destroyed, the team prepares once again to consider entering the cave. What causes the green glow? Can Lyrin summon an elemental platoon for assistance? Is Dragotha waiting?