Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Living With the Dead by Kelley Armstrong

Author: Kelley Armstrong
Publisher:  Bantam Books
Publication Date:  August 25, 2009
Format:  Mass Market Paperback, 540 pages
Age Group:  Adult
Series:  Women of the Otherworld (Book 9)

Hope's friend, Robyn, stumbles upon the murder of her celebrity client and finds herself on the run as the prime suspect.  Hope and her boyfriend, Karl, try to keep Robyn safe while pursuing the real killer, who has an unnatural ability to find Robyn anywhere.  As the mystery deepens, the body count continues to grow.  Will Hope and Karl be able to save Robyn now that she in in the middle of a supernatural situation she knows nothing about?

I am a big fan of Kelley Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld series.  Armstrong generally writes of strong women with supernatural abilities who must hide their secrets to keep family and friends safe.  Living with the Dead (Women of the Otherworld, Book 9) continues this theme but with a few important differences.  Robyn, a main character, is not a supernatural and knows nothing about the supernatural world.  Finn, the detective assigned to the murder cases, actually is a supernatural but doesn't know there is a community for those like him.  Hope, a half-demon, and Karl, a werewolf, must try to save Robyn from the supernatural murderer without letting her in on what is really happening.

While I enjoyed Living with the Dead (Women of the Otherworld, Book 9) it was not my favorite of this series by far.  It was good but not fantastic.  Armstrong uses very short chapters to focus the action on different characters at different times, which is a great technique for keeping the reader a bit off balance and feeling the chaos that both Robyn and Hope are experiencing.  However, it can also make for a bit of a choppy read at times.  I did actually like Hope's character more in this story than I did in the last book which featured her, Personal Demon (Women of the Otherworld, Book 8).

I also don't feel that the title or the tag line "For a woman on the run from a supernatural killer, it's the one thing even more dangerous than dying... Living With The Dead" fit the story very well.  It is actually the detective who sees and talks to ghosts and, after the first couple bodies, Robyn actually copes very well with the fact that people are dying as the killer tries to reach her.

I'm excited to return to the story of Elana, the female werewolf, in book 10, Frostbitten, and I can't wait to read Savannah's story, Waking the Witch (Women of the Otherworld, Book 11) in 2010.

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  1. Great review. I agree completely. Living with the Dead was good but not one of my favorites. And you're right that the title isn't accurate. I never really thought about it before.

    I am definitely ready to walk away from Hope for a little while and am so excited to read about Savannah (eventually).

  2. Jennifer, I can't wait to read about Savannah! She and Paige are two of my favorite of Armstrong's characters.

    For me the title never really clicked with the description of the book so I kept reading the book thinking I would finally put it together but I never really got it.

  3. This book is where I'm at in the series. I really do need to get caught up! I've heard from several people that it is pretty choppy so I've been putting off reading this one.


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