Review: The Voodoo Killings by Kristi Charish

The Voodoo Killings by Kristi Charish

The Voodoo Killings: A Kincaid Strange Novel by Kristi Charish

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Vintage Canada on May 10, 2016

Source: Author/Publisher

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Special thanks to Vintage Canada and Kristi Charish  for providing me with a review copy. No compensation was provided for this review, and all opinions are my own.

Kristi Charish’s The Voodoo Killings introduces Kincaid Strange, not your average voodoo practitioner…

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Kincaid Strange is one of the only legit Practitioners in the Seattle area, a region that’s proximity to the Otherside results in an unholy number of ghosts, ghouls, and zombies. Practitioners like Kincaid can channel the mystical energy called Otherside that’s connected to the realm of the dead, using it to contact spirits and raise the dead – for a price. Because let’s face it: the rent isn’t going to pay itself.

Given her familiarity with illegal work and zombies, it’s essentially business as usual when she’s tipped off that there’s an unchaperoned zombie wandering around near the docks. Doing a favour for a friend quickly gets complicated as Kincaid is stuck on babysitting duty for Cameron, a newly raised and unstable zombie. There’s something odd about Cameron’s Otherside bindings though, and Kincaid has a hunch that this isn’t the first weird thing she’s going to see this week.

Three months ago Kincaid was working as a consultant for the Seattle police department’s Paranormal Unit, offering her expertise in working with the dead to help solve crimes. But with the new laws and prohibitions against raising zombies and the increasing crackdowns on Practitioners, Kincaid is persona non grata with the cops. If she wants to make ends meet, she’s going to have to take on some less than legal cases – thankfully she’s got some friends in low places. Literally.

The Underground City, housed in tunnels under the historical district, is home to much of Seattle’s supernatural population. With its dark winding tunnels and impossible to find entrances, the Underground is the perfect place to hide Otherside activity from humans. Presided over by Lee Ling, a business savvy zombie and a personal friend of Kincaid’s, it hits a little too close to home when several individuals from the Underground City turn up murdered via Otherside. The real kicker? As far as Kincaid knows, there are only two people in the Seattle area who could have pulled these killings off: her former mentor and Voodoo Practitioner Maximillion Odu, and Kincaid herself.

Kristi Charish has a gift for creating deeply flawed characters whose poor decisions and self-destructive behaviour somehow come across as lovable rather than aggravating. As her Otherside use increases in her attempts to help Cameron and solve the murders, Kincaid begins exhibiting signs of dependence…and even magic abuse. But as I’m sure you can guess, she doesn’t take kindly to that insinuation. Similarly, her best friend Nate also has a habit he just can’t quite: his cheating ex-girlfriend, whom he plans to haunt for eternity. Add to that mess Cameron and his unstable zombified state, and these Three Musketeers are looking a little worse for the wear. I guess there’s just something about an underdog though, because I loved all of them.

The world building in THE VOODOO KILLINGS is also excellent, introducing a world of zombies unlike any I’ve seen before. Zombies are created by binding a person’s body (and their soul too, if it’s a sophisticated zombie) using Otherside. There are different bindings from cultures all across the globe, and the number of bindings on a zombie will determine how powerful they are – and how permanent, too. Given how unique Cameron’s bindings are, Kinccaid has a lot of sleuthing to do before she can solve the mystery behind his rising. And it is a wild ride, let me tell you.

THE VOODOO KILLINGS will capture your attention and steal your heart. Who cares about The Walking Dead, I want more Kincaid Strange!

What’s your favourite take on zombies? Have you read any of Kristi Charish’s urban fantasy novels? Let me know in the comments!

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  • This book sounds excellent, the world building really draws me in despite the fact that I don’t usually like zombies – I prefer my living dead to be a but more animated. But sophisticated zombies? I’m intrigued. Plus, what a gorgeous cover <3

    • You know, I don’t typically like zombies either! But Charish really does an amazing job of adding complexity and nuance – and an entire culture – to zombies. I totally loved it, haha! Right?? The cover gods smiled upon this one! 😀

  • I’m super excited to read this! I’m glad it’s getting lots of good reviews. And I think Charish really has a knack for writing believable underdog characters. Sounds like I’m gonna like Kincaid:-D

    • I agree, Charish does a really good job with writing underdogs…and leading ladies with more than a few personal problems, haha. Kincaid was frustrating at times but I still loved her – I hope you will too, Tammy!

  • I queued this up yesterday! I didn’t delve too deeply into the specifics of your review because I want to go in with the freshest eyes possible, but I did that your general opinion is very favorable! I am so super excited to start now 🙂

    • I can’t wait to hear what you think of this one, Mogsy! Personally I preferred this one to her Owl books – mostly because of the secondary characters – but I know you really liked those ones. I hope you like/d it! 🙂

  • Ohhh, yes I would totally like to read this one 😀

  • I saw you posting about this on Twitter (I think) I remembering seeing it mentioned and then I immediately searched for it on Amazon and was annoyed I can’t get it in the UK (rude!). I definitely want to check this one out so I will have to scour the internet. I mean, how often do you get a book about voodoo and zombies?

    • Haha yeah, I was giving it love online. 😀 Ahhh that sucks! I think that the ebook rights are being determined by the American publisher rather than the Canadian one (which is how I got my ARC), so hopefully that’ll be sorted internationally soon.

      There are definitely not enough books about zombies and voodoo out there!

      • I am going to continually keep my eyes peeled for this book. Even if I have to get myself a ridiculously expensive copy ordered online then I will. I will travel to Canada if I have to (although, that sounds a bit extreme and very expensive so I would like to avoid such a solution to the problem).

  • Seen this mentioned in a couple of places now, and I’m really looking forward to reading it. Glad that it lives up to the hype!

    • I really hope you enjoy it, Lorraine! If you like urban fantasy then I think this is basically a guaranteed winner. 😀

  • Lisa (@TenaciousReader)

    Sounds interning. May check out the audiobook for it!

    • Ooh, let me know how that is! I think I saw Kristi Charish talking about the potential for an audio version in a few months, but as far as I know it’s not out yet.

  • This sounds really good, I always like unique takes on Zombies, because we have been over saturated with zombie stories for a while!

    • Same, Tori! Normally I steer clear from zombie stories, both books and other media, because I’m just tired of them. But Charish did a great job making them her own!

  • Lynn Williams

    Love the sound of this and especially as you enjoyed it so much. I had my eye on it already but I’m trying to be careful as I swamped myself a little for this month.
    Lynn 😀

    • Becky was saying that she can’t find a copy in the UK yet, so you’ll have a while yet to make it through your current TBR! I’ll be sure to bug you to see if you’ve read this one yet in a few months. 😉

  • Jan

    This sounds unique and interesting. I usually don’t like reading about zombies, but this sounds really different from the usual “walking dead.” I’m going to go looking for it! Good review!

    • Thanks Jan! I recommend giving this one a go if you’re not usually a fan of zombies because Charish’s version is by far the most original take on them that I’ve come across.