New Release Review: The Voodoo Killings by Kristi Charish

The Voodoo Killings by Kristi Charish
Book #1 in Kincaid Strange
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publication Date: May 10th 2016
ARC Provided by Vintage Canada and Netgalley

Synopsis from Goodreads: 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 seances 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 neighbourhood 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.

 

Christal’s Review

I am a fan of Kristi Charish and her Adventures of Owl series, but I do think the attention to historical details can slow the pace of the story down at times.  The Voodoo Killings definitely doesn’t have that problem as we are dropped right into a very weird week of Kincaid Strange’s very weird life.  This story was a lot of fun and I am looking forward to learning more about Kincaid and her paranormal world in the coming books.

Kincaid Strange isn’t a necromancer; she’s a practioner, thank you very much… but yeah, she raises the dead.  She used to have a cushy job with the police department, raising zombies to help solve cases, but the new Chief in town has banned all paranormal investigations.  Now Kincaid is having to eke out an existence on séances and summonings for whoever is paying.  Ghosts are her game now; that’s why she’s so surprised when she gets a call from a stranger who thinks he might be a zombie.  This guy, Cameron Wight, isn’t your average zombie and Kincaid soon finds herself neck deep in a murder investigation.

Don’t be fooled by the synopsis… Kincaid Strange is nothing like Anita Blake and the world building bares only a passing resemblance to The HollowsThe Voodoo Killings is it’s own entity and it was one I enjoyed very much.  The world is filled with mediums and practioners, zombies and ghouls, ghosts and poltergeists, and so much more.  It was a deftly balanced introduction to Kincaid’s Seattle and the paranormal world of Otherside without overloading the reader.

Kincaid herself was a pretty fascinating character with a lot of layers.  We don’t really learn much about her past or what drove her to Seattle until the end of the book and I definitely would like to learn a little more.  She could be stubborn and hardheaded a lot of the time, but it never got unbelievable.  In addition to Kincaid, The Voodoo Killings had a very diverse cast of secondary characters.  Of course, zombie Cameron was a big part of this book and learning what happened to him really drove the story, but there was also Kincaid’s ghostly roommate Nate and her zombie informant/Otherside ringleader Lee Ling to round out the Otherside cast.  Planted firmly in the human world, we are also introduced to Kincaid’s ex-boyfriend Aaron, though their relationship feels far from finished.

The pacing throughout The Voodoo Killings was well done, with never a dull moment.  Kincaid always seemed to be on the go, moving from one crisis to the next.  It would be a very tiring life, but it made for a fantastic read.  Though this is an urban fantasy and it incorporated plenty of paranormal elements, it also had a murder mystery element that kept me guessing until close to the end.

The Voodoo Killings was a wonderful debut and I can see plenty of new ground for Kincaid Strange to cover in future novels.  Though this book appears to only be available in Canada at the moment, do yourself a favor and grab a copy from Amazon.ca or pick up the audio version from Audible.

Thank you to Vintage Canada via Netgalley for providing an ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 4 Stars = B

 

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