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Reviews of books in a series, with a focus on urban fantasy.
Other genres include mystery, paranormal romance, and crime thrillers.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Full Review: Living with the Dead (Women of the Otherworld, Book 9) by Kelley Armstrong

I've finally finished the book, and... WOW. The last third of the book totally makes up for it being hard to get into at the beginning. A very, very, very, recommended read.

The premise of the book has Robyn Peltier as PR person for what sounds like a Paris Hilton clone. Robyn's husband was killed six months earlier and the young lady is still deep in the throes of grief. She moved to LA to escape, and now she's just surviving day to day, using her PR job to keep her so busy she can't think about much else.

When the Paris Hilton clone gets killed though, Robyn ends up as the number one suspect, and then her best friend Hope Adams has to try to solve the mystery to clear her. But people keep dying, and Robyn keeps getting into more and more trouble. 

Hope and Karl begin solving the mystery, only to discover that (of course) this is another twisted case involved supernaturals and secret societies and Cabals and... yeah. 

But it is very well done. Very. Well. Done.  The plot twists and turns and we see more and more people we know or have heard of and then there is the grand finale. But that's not the end of the book. No, there are still a few more chapters until the end of the book, wrapping things up nicely, not dropping us and making us imagine it for ourselves, but giving us completion. And then setting things up for the next book. Thank you Kelley Armstrong for not making us imagine the stuff after the grand finale, I'm glad we got to see that resolution, too.  

I especially liked being privy to how Hope is dealing with her inner demon. And being half demon, she actually does kind of have an inner demon. She is using some of Karl's tricks to control it, doing it much the way a werewolf controls their inner wolf. Whether you are werewolf or half-demon, it's a trick, getting the human part and non-human part to coexist in the same body. As Hope's powers grow, her control has to grow as well. Kelley Armstrong does an incredible job of showing us how Hope feels, how the chaos feels, drinking it in, and yet dealing with her human side at the same time. It was brilliantly done.

We have to wait another year for the next Women of the Otherworld book, titled Frostbitten, and which is an Elena and Clay story, but which hopefully will give us the answers to what happens to Hope next. The Men of the Otherworld book is due out in January, but I don't believe that will continue this story where it leaves off. I could be wrong, but that's not the impression I've had from what I've read so far.  At the end of this book we are set up so we have a very good idea of where things are going, and we see a larger plot that will probably take several more books to reach as well. But I had expected the next book to be another Hope book, not another Elena book. I wonder if there is a way to get the next book out before next November? Please?

Book Rating: 9 of 10
Series Rating: 9 of 10


1. Bitten (2001)
2. Stolen (2002)
3. Dime Store Magic (2004)
4. Industrial Magic (2004)
5. Haunted (2005)
6. Broken (2006)
7. No Humans Involved (2007)
8. Personal Demon (2008)
9. Living with the Dead (2008)
10. Frostbitten (Nov 2009)

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