Monday, September 14, 2009

Review: This Witch for Hire by Kim Harrison

I spent last week in bed with the flu; an annoying situation made tolerable by my latest book club delivery. It was a hardcover 2fer, This Witch for Hire (Dead Witch Walking - The Good, the Bad, and the Undead) which is the first two books in the Hollows series by Kim Harrison.

These stories take place in modern day Ohio, in a parallel world where humans and supernatural people live side by side. There is some hostility between the various groups and, of course, there are various law enforcement agencies to deal with their interactions. Our main character, Rachel Morgan, is a Witch (not a human, a different species) and the product of one of these agencies, but she's gone and quit- sure she can do better as an independent bounty hunter/detective- and set up her own agency. And that, boys and girls, is where we our story begins.

While I was thoroughly entertained, I spent a lot of time rolling my eyes while reading these books. They contain all the things that annoy the hell out of me. Supernatural witches annoy me, but the author at least allows humans to be magic-users too, if sub par ones. Friendly vampires are a major turn off, but at least it's not easy for them. Lack of research is my biggest pet peeve, and the character spends half of the first book in the shape of a mink... which the author apparently believes is rodent considerably smaller than a six-inch pixie... a gnawing creature with big incisors... that eats carrots. Come on. Five minutes on Wikipedia could have remedied that. The most annoying thing is the main character. She likes to spend her time whining about her luck and about how she gets no respect while she runs around acting like a fool and treating others like garbage. She is particularly susceptible to vampire charm due to an unusual incident I won't spoil for you. This is an interesting character trait which would have a much bigger impact if she wasn't a total sex pot who seems to view every man she sees as a mindless walking dildo. Even the ones who want to kill her.

I don't like the main character. She's stupid, reckless, disrespectful and way too much of a hardass to feel any sympathy for. Her priorities are also totally twisted. She is so understanding when her friend tries to EAT her, and she finds out she's been lying to her for years, but she's dead set on bringing down the guy who is smuggling drugs that are outlawed because of reasons she herself thinks are stupid and funding (illegal) research that saves peoples' lives??? She causes ridiculous amounts of problems for the people around her and I don't understand why they like her. I wouldn't give her the time of day.

Most books I keep reading because I'm interested to find out what happened to the character. I make a personal connection. These books are like a train wreck. I can't turn away because I have to find out the details I have to know more. I want to know what happened and how it happened and if there are any body parts scattered about. It's morbid, I know, but I'm going to keep reading this series just because. At least when I have nothing better to read. Assuming I can get them cheap.

This isn't literature- it's total fluff. It's like the Harlequin novels I used to snitch from my mom's headboard, except not quite as smutty. (There is some gratuitous sex, just not as much.) It's not quality but it is entertainment. And bonus: it's got funny bits.