Kristi Charish's The Voodoo Killings introduces Kincaid Strange, not your average voodoo practitioner.... For starters, she's only 27. Then there's the fact that she lives in rain-soaked Seattle, which is not exactly Haiti. And she's broke.
With raising zombies outlawed throughout the continental USA, Kincaid has to eke out a living running séances for university students with more money than brains who are desperate for guitar lessons with the ghost of a Seattle grunge rocker - who happens to be Kincaid's on-again, off-again roommate.
Then a stray zombie turns up outside her neighborhood bar: Cameron Wight, an up-and-coming visual artist with no recollection of how he died or who raised him. Not only is it dangerous for Kincaid to be caught with an unauthorized zombie, she soon realizes he's tied to a spate of murders: Someone is targeting the zombies and voodoo practitioners in Seattle's infamous Underground City, a paranormal hub. When the police refuse to investigate, the City's oldest and foremost zombie asks Kincaid to help. Raising ghosts and zombies is one thing, but finding a murderer? She's broke, but she's not stupid.
And then she becomes the target.... As the saying goes, when it rains it pours, especially in Seattle.
©2016 Kristi Charish (P)2016 Audible, Inc.
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"I devoured the audio of The Voodoo Killings"
By devoured I mean I listened to all 11 hours and 43 minutes in a single day. Urban fantasy and audio mesh perfectly for me. Charish quickly pulled me into this world and I cannot wait for more.
The Voodoo Killings is the first novel in the Kincaid Strange series set in rain-soaked Seattle. featuring Zombies, ghosts and Voodoo practitioners. Hells yes!
Fans of Georgia Kincaid, Kim Harrison and Ilona Andrews will feel right at home slipping into Kincaid Strange’s world. The setting and world had aspects that I am familiar with making it easy to lose myself in the story. Charish added a nice spin to it with the voodoo, world building, and summoning rituals.
Kincaid is twenty-seven, broke, single and living in Seattle with a ghost. She is a Voodoo Practitioner who aids police by raising the dead to find out who murdered them. She also does odd jobs like resolving will disputes and more. I immediately liked Kincaid. She is quirky, does her own thing and on occasionally loses her cool. I loved Nate, her ghostly roommate and Charish did a fantastic job of sharing their friendship. They worked wonderfully on the case together. Think Rachel Morgan and Jenks. It quickly becomes clear that Kincaid is more comfortable around the deceased than the living.
The world building is solid, and something I have begun to expect from this author. I was surprised this was not set in NOLA, but that also tells you I agreed to review this by the author’s name alone. If you have not read her series, Adventures of Owl I totally recommend them. Back to the review- we are in Seattle, in a world where the paranormal, zombies, ghouls and ghosts exist. Laws are in place regarding the raising of zombies and holding séances but the new Chief of Police wants to ban Voodoo and denies the paranormal exist.
It looks like each novel will surround a case, and in Voodoo Killings a stray zombie turns up in Kincaid’s neighborhood. Cameron Wight has no idea how he died and why he is a zombie. Finding her number at a local bar he calls Kincaid for help. This puts Kincaid in a bit of pickle because being caught with an unauthorized zombie could land her in jail. Kincaid’s problems only escalate as a rash of murders targeting zombies and voodoo practitioners puts her and the entire Underground City (a paranormal hub located under Seattle) in danger. The story was fast paced, filled with snark, danger and relationship tension. I thought the mystery was well done, and even the villains were creepy, bitchy and fleshed out. Charish had me engaged with the characters and even managed to tug at my heartstrings. I am curious about Kincaid’s relationship with a certain detective.
Susannah Jones narrates The Voodoo Killings and I think she is a perfect match for this series. Her voice for Kincaid rocked and reminded me a little of Georgina Kincaid. She had just the right mix of snark and sweet. I liked her pacing, and listened to this at 1.2X. She provided different voices for the characters, even some of the scary paranormal ones, which only enhanced my enjoyment. The story unraveled in vivid 3D for me as I listened. My only issue and it is a small one, was that I kept hearing a noise. At first, I thought it was paper or pages turning. About 50% in I realized it was Jones swallowing. I have heard narrators catch their breath or exhale, but most of the time it is edited. It is silly, but it distracted me a little and I found myself waiting for her to swallow again.
Was kind of afraid it would be an Anita Blake wanna be, but no such thing. Kincaid Strange is a breath of fresh air in the zombie world. Great story that keeps you guessing who the bad guy is till the end. And great supporting characters. Can't wait for the next one. Loved the reader too.
"Dont do it!"
People that are not grossed out by the sound of spit.
Yes, if there is another voice besides Ms. Jones.
God no! Woman swallows like a horse! Heard that more than the book!
"Some good story elements; typical UF heroine"
Previous to read this book I had read Charish’s Adventures of Owl series which I really enjoy. I was excited to see a new urban fantasy series by Charish. This ended up being a well done urban fantasy series; I didn’t like it quite as much as The Adventures of Owl (which has some cool adventuring and neat locations).
I listened to this on audiobook and the audiobook was well done. The narrator did a great job of conveying emotion and giving characters unique voices.
A lot about this series is very typical urban fantasy. The heroine is broke, constantly running herself into the ground; she also likes to run headlong into danger when she should be asking for help. She’s a practitioner (a nice name for necromancer) who is struggling to make ends meet after some new anti-zombie laws were passed in the US. She was just very typical urban fantasy heroine to me and there wasn’t a ton to set her apart from hundreds of other UF heroines out there.
The zombie Cameron (that Kincaid is taking care of) and the ghost Nate (that is Kincaid’s roommate) were actually more interesting to me. Cameron has some serious issues and an interesting back story, as does Nate. Kincaid has an ex-boyfriend who is a cop; he serves as Kincaid’s off again, on again love interest (there isn’t much romance in this book). I also enjoyed Lee Lang who is a mysterious zombie who runs the Underground.
Some of the rune based magic that is used for raising zombies/ghosts is interesting but never all that well explained. I liked the Underground and am curious to see more about it in future books. We get a bit of background on our heroine but not a ton. There is a nice twist at the end of the book that will leave readers wanted more.
The story is fast-paced and I do enjoy how this book wraps up one case but also has a larger story. This is my favorite kind of UF series.
Overall this is a decent start to a new urban fantasy series. I probably would have given this a higher review if I hadn’t read First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones right before this one; that book has many similar themes to this one but had a lot more personality and I ended up enjoying that book a lot more than this one. However, given that...this is a decent UF; I enjoyed the magic around raising the dead and some of the settings like the Underground. I wasn’t a huge fan of the characters and honestly enjoyed Charish’s Adventures of Owl series more. I do plan on reading the next book in this series because sometimes it takes me a couple books to really get into a UF series and I think this one has potential.
"I was hard to simpathize with the main character."
I think the writers interpretation of badassery is someone who never listens. The main character annoyed me and was continuously contradicting herself. if you can get passed that, and that her character is constantly beat up, exausted, and deheudrated while drinking alcohol instead of water... You might like it. The story was interesting enough that I finished the book.
"Great first in a series"
I really liked the characters in this book - they felt like real people - and were mostly pretty likeable. The descriptions of zombies and their reactions to light and smell was a slightly new take on the theme. The story was a good detective story with a bright, sassy female hero - what more could you want? A good performance - the artist was great, with a believable range of voices. I got into the book right away
"Refreshing old-fashioned urban fantasy!"
Wow, this was so refreshing!
I miss simple, action-packed, colourful and to the point urban fantasy I fell in love with ten years ago. And Kristi Charish delivers exactly that. This is so like early Anita Blake, Kelley Armstrong, Kim Harrison and Jim Butcher, I absolutely adored it.
Kincaid is a woman of many secrets and unbeatable tenacity bordering on suicidal recklessness, very much like Rachel Morgan. The reader is thrown right into action and it's presumed that we are supposed to know the basics of otherworldly Seattle and Kincaid's place in it. I quite liked it. It's all matter of fact and nothing needs to be chewed for us specifically. There is absolutely no info-dumping anywhere.
Everything is super vivid and steeped in layers of past history and connections. Kincaid just got out of relationship with a cop, she has an old friend and roommate, ghost of a famous musician Nate, who helps her earn money, she is still in close contact with her mentor, Max, she has a friend who owns a sports bar and helps her out from time to time. Finally she is on friendly terms with an underground zombie queen, Lee Lin.
Charish creates characters and interactions between them as memorable as in the worlds of Ilona Andrews and Rachel Aaron. They are colourful, simpathetic and believable.
There is no romance, this is classic quest journey. Find object A and deliver it to place B. Try not to die in the meantime while everything conspires against you. There are many delicious friends and adversaries. Nate, Cameron and Gideon are fabulous and very different from each other. Lee Lin and the villain, neon girl, Aaron, even the poltergeist, Annabel - all of them leap off the pages, and I found them enormously entertaining.
While everything is localised and tied up to Seattle itself, the reader would not be bored. The narrator herself does a decent job but I wouldn't say that all the characters here are portrayed to their best potential. However, this did not detract in the slightest from my enjoyment, and I wholeheartedly recommend it as a read or listen. Well played, Miss Charish!
"Wow!!!! What entertainment!"
Kincaid Strange. Feisty, charismatic, and fearless.
Great narrator. Voices have real character.
Couldn't stop listening to it. My only regret is that I have to wait for another Kincaid story to come out.
I don't usually go for supernatural stuff......until now. Looking forward to more of the same. Loved it!
What drew me to this book: I’ve been a fan of Kristi Charish’s Adventures of Owl series since I came across it last year. I was pretty excited to hear she had started a new series, and that it was out in audio. Plus, check out the cover and description! I just had to find out how Charish could combine Seattle grunge rock, Haitian Voodoo, and a Japanese geisha.
Why I kept reading: This supernatural murder mystery blew me away! The world building is fantastic, reminding me of The Hollows series by Kim Harrison in the depth of thought put behind it. Magic is out in the open, regulated by the government and policed just like everything else. The development of the rules of magic and the impact of magic on the culture hits my world building sweet spot.
The characters are deep and well-developed. Each one of them feels real and worthy of my attention. Much like Charish’s Owl, I occasionally wanted to smack Kincade upside the head (actually, several of them could use a good smack) as much as I was rooting for her.
The action and mystery were fantastic! I had a horrible time putting the story aside to work or sleep, I was so engaged in finding out who did it. Seriously, I went to bed one night with 4 hours left in the audio. I couldn’t fall asleep until the book was done!
The narrator, Susannah Jones, is absolutely perfect! I had not heard her prior to this book, but you can bet she’s going on my list of favorite narrators.
AND THE ENDING! That was the best “Oh, sh&^t!” ending I’ve read in a long while! It’s going to make the wait for Book 2 a KILLER!
Why I recommend it: The Voodoo Killings is a masterful urban fantasy “whodunit.” It is one of the best, if not THE best, book I’ve read so far this year! If you’re a fan of the genre, it’s going to knock your socks off. And even if you’re not normally an urban fantasy reader, you have got to give this book a try. It’s so exciting and so well written, you really don’t want to miss it!
"A Good Intro to Kincaid Strange"
This was a very enjoyable book
Kincaid was an interesting new urban fantasy hero.
One of the things I like best about urban fantasy books are the secret subculture that the author introduces us to. The Underground City has a lot of promise for future books.
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