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Living with the Dead

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The men and women of the Otherworld – witches, werewolves, demons, vampires – live unseen among us. Only now a reckless killer has torn down the wall, trapping one very human woman in the supernatural crossfire. Robyn moved to LA after her husband died to try to put some distance between herself and the life they had together. And the challenges of her job as the PR consult The men and women of the Otherworld – witches, werewolves, demons, vampires – live unseen among us. Only now a reckless killer has torn down the wall, trapping one very human woman in the supernatural crossfire. Robyn moved to LA after her husband died to try to put some distance between herself and the life they had together. And the challenges of her job as the PR consultant to a Paris Hilton wannabe are pretty distracting. But then her celebutante is gunned down in a night club, and Robyn is suddenly the prime suspect. The two people most determined to clear her are her old friend, the half-demon tabloid reporter Hope Adams, and a homicide detective with an uncanny affinity for the dead. Soon Robyn finds herself in the heart of a world she never even knew existed – and which she was safer knowing nothing about . . .


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The men and women of the Otherworld – witches, werewolves, demons, vampires – live unseen among us. Only now a reckless killer has torn down the wall, trapping one very human woman in the supernatural crossfire. Robyn moved to LA after her husband died to try to put some distance between herself and the life they had together. And the challenges of her job as the PR consult The men and women of the Otherworld – witches, werewolves, demons, vampires – live unseen among us. Only now a reckless killer has torn down the wall, trapping one very human woman in the supernatural crossfire. Robyn moved to LA after her husband died to try to put some distance between herself and the life they had together. And the challenges of her job as the PR consultant to a Paris Hilton wannabe are pretty distracting. But then her celebutante is gunned down in a night club, and Robyn is suddenly the prime suspect. The two people most determined to clear her are her old friend, the half-demon tabloid reporter Hope Adams, and a homicide detective with an uncanny affinity for the dead. Soon Robyn finds herself in the heart of a world she never even knew existed – and which she was safer knowing nothing about . . .

30 review for Living with the Dead

  1. 5 out of 5

    Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*

    Definitely my least enjoyed of the series - it was actually kind of hard to keep reading. Armstrong changed writing styles to third person and shifted points of view a lot. Every chapter changed, and short chapters they were. Not only that, but almost all the points of views were from new characters of the series that don't have impact beyond this book. Her technique made her writing style suffer. When she switched from an intimate point of view to a distant one, the writing technique simplified Definitely my least enjoyed of the series - it was actually kind of hard to keep reading. Armstrong changed writing styles to third person and shifted points of view a lot. Every chapter changed, and short chapters they were. Not only that, but almost all the points of views were from new characters of the series that don't have impact beyond this book. Her technique made her writing style suffer. When she switched from an intimate point of view to a distant one, the writing technique simplified and became a little awkward. It was pretty noticeable. While previous books would introduce new characters before they came into their own books, not so here. There were several brand new characters taking a major role and I didn't know nor care about them. Robyn is simple and rather boring. I didn't care about the new necromancer. Their developed relationship seemed force and just there because a new relationship was supposed to be, not because the chemistry makes sense. Hope and Karl were the best POV but again I'm not crazy about either of them. There's just something off-putting about Hope getting off on people getting hurt and Karl randomly robbing people of their valuables. The story is semi-clever and inventive enough but the way it's told and the characterization? Ugh. There are no series regulars besides mild mention. The Kumpania were intriguing and demented, but this plot is lightweight in comparison to others. Reading this one doesn't advance the story unless you care about Hope and Karl's development into not caring about the council at the end of the book. Can be skipped.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Tatiana

    I can't shrug off the feeling that Kelley Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld books are shifting more and more from urban fantasy to just plain mystery. But maybe I am just too used to her world and it seems too real to me? I don't know. Living with the Dead is another entertaining but ultimately forgettable addition to one of my favorite series. Let me sum it up. The positive: 1) This book is just as page-turning as Armstrong's previous novels. Well-paced and never boring. 2) Kumpania - a commune I can't shrug off the feeling that Kelley Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld books are shifting more and more from urban fantasy to just plain mystery. But maybe I am just too used to her world and it seems too real to me? I don't know. Living with the Dead is another entertaining but ultimately forgettable addition to one of my favorite series. Let me sum it up. The positive: 1) This book is just as page-turning as Armstrong's previous novels. Well-paced and never boring. 2) Kumpania - a commune of clairvoyants - is a fascinating and twisted place, a lot of freaky stuff goes on there. 3) The ending seems to hint at a larger story arc to come, something big that will shake up the entire Otherworld. Has Armstrong been planting seeds throughout the series? I am intrigued. The negative: 1) The format shifts from 1st person narrative in the other books to 3rd person from as many as 5(!) POVs, thus bringing a completely different tone to this story. 2) No hot romance! Women of the Otherworld books have never been paranormal romances, but I do expect some flirting, some steamy hooking-up in these stories. The only romantic aspect in Living with the Dead comes from Hope and Karl and their relationship is not the one I enjoy - Hope continues being totally useless with her passive "power" and Karl is as overprotective as ever. Yawn. 3) In the end, the main conflict turns out to be much ado about nothing. The event that jump-starts the mystery simply doesn't warrant the body count accumulated by the end of the book. I am reading the next book in the series though.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Wren (fablesandwren)

    This is definitely my least favorite of the series, though I never thought to stop reading and it had my attention ENOUGH. I wasn't like dying to know more like most of Kelley Armstrong's books. We have way too many points of views in this one. We are used to having only one, and the last book we got two which was a nice change of pace, but we got.. four or five if I am not mistaken. And only one of them we knew before this book (Hope) and even though I still felt like she was a new character to This is definitely my least favorite of the series, though I never thought to stop reading and it had my attention ENOUGH. I wasn't like dying to know more like most of Kelley Armstrong's books. We have way too many points of views in this one. We are used to having only one, and the last book we got two which was a nice change of pace, but we got.. four or five if I am not mistaken. And only one of them we knew before this book (Hope) and even though I still felt like she was a new character to the series. What I did love about this book is that human's get involved. That's right, a human gets to see what is behind the supernatural curtain. We also meet someone who knew they had special powers (necromancer) but never knew of the community of supernatural beings until he met some of our friends in this series. Hope's best friend Robyn is in some deep crap. Like she is wanted for murder. But she didn't do it. Enter best friend, chaos-loving-half-demon Hope and her boyfriend werewolf-jewel-thief Karl and a detective that can see dead people. What I really REALLY enjoyed was exploring clairvoyance powers in Armstrong's world. We have seen and learned about werewolves, witches, necromancers, warlocks, half-demons (even though there are a lot more types to discover!) and even magicians, but not enough on the rare supernatural-beings that are called clairvoyant. They are a necessity in this book and I absolutely loved it. All in all, I am ready to get back to werewolves in the next book. Elena and Clay are my first love.

  4. 5 out of 5

    ~Sofia~

    Oh boy, there is a tonne going on in this one! I love this series, at first I was hesitant but actually they are all really good books. Mainly being the characters and the way that Armstrong makes everything comprehensive. So, focusing on this one, we follow Hope and Robyn into the insane world of clairvoyants. At first I did not enjoy reading this. This one in the series is taken from the view of so many people. Lots of characters to adjust to, the only one familiar being Hope. I found it all t Oh boy, there is a tonne going on in this one! I love this series, at first I was hesitant but actually they are all really good books. Mainly being the characters and the way that Armstrong makes everything comprehensive. So, focusing on this one, we follow Hope and Robyn into the insane world of clairvoyants. At first I did not enjoy reading this. This one in the series is taken from the view of so many people. Lots of characters to adjust to, the only one familiar being Hope. I found it all too confusing, learning character traits and thought processes when you only have a page and a half between each one just got a bit tedious. The chapters are ridiculously short in this one, but you do get used to it. Just try not to get put off in the beginning. If you like action this one is perfect for you! If you thought the last few were on the tame side this one is packed! Action scenes, fights, gunshots, murders, chases, manipulation, even SWAT teams, this has it all! It is all in there, so action lovers this one is for you. The book does have a more softer, sentimental side also, so softies you will also enjoy. Hope as a character for me is interesting. Battling the demon inside with her conflicting thoughts makes good reading, and also the development between her and Karl. I am not sure if she does have another book centered around her as I think this one wraps things up for her but I am interested in where she does go onto. So 3 stars from me. It was good but not the best in the series. I'm interested to see who's up next in the series, they are getting so so good! I am thoroughly enjoying these books. I recommend for any of you fantasy lovers! Make sure you start at the beginning though!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Briar's Reviews

    Kelley Armstrong has always been one of my fave authors - Bitten, Canadian, Virals - she's just the best! I've yet to read a book by her that I didn't enjoy, and then I picked up Living with the Dead. Robyn comes to LA (her husband has recently passed away), and she gets herself into a pickle. She's a PR consultant for a Paris Hilton like celebrity, and suddenly her employer is murdered. And then someone else is murdered. You'd think that's fine and dandy, right? Nope. Because she fled the scene Kelley Armstrong has always been one of my fave authors - Bitten, Canadian, Virals - she's just the best! I've yet to read a book by her that I didn't enjoy, and then I picked up Living with the Dead. Robyn comes to LA (her husband has recently passed away), and she gets herself into a pickle. She's a PR consultant for a Paris Hilton like celebrity, and suddenly her employer is murdered. And then someone else is murdered. You'd think that's fine and dandy, right? Nope. Because she fled the scene both times. Robyn works with Hope Adams (who we've seen before, if you've read this series) and this crime may get solved! To start off, the book isn't bad by any means. I am in love with Clayton and Elena, and Paige and Lucas, and Jaime and Jeremy. Those are my Otherworld couples! Especially the latter, seriously - super hot. I highly recommend their books! I never cared much for Hope and Karl, and I didn't really care for Robyn. I felt like I didn't have a real connection with them so I just didn't want to read it. I wanted to see my faves! That's the problem with these types of series when there's a large array of characters with their own books - we won't enjoy all of them. The story itself is super engaging and really fun to watch. Hope has such an interesting personality with her demon present, so she's a unique character to follow. I also thought the entire murder mystery was cool as well. Story wise, I think this book is amazing! It has Kelley's amazing writing and an awesome plot. This story had my attention the whole time and I devoured the book in a night. It is VERY VERY VERY good. This book is more action, thriller and mystery than romance. I miss the sexy romance of the other Women of the Otherworld books, but maybe Kelley is taking this series in a different direction. I'm very curious as to how this series is going to play out... Overall, this wasn't my favourite Women of the Otherworld book. I hope the next books pick up and I see more of my faves about! It's still a great book, but is more for thriller lovers than the fans of the romance in this series. Two out of five stars.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Steven

    Wow, Adele, you're a seriously disturbed individual. Sociopath, murderer, schemer, stalker, sexual molester, manipulator, disgusting all around person. Gross. Interesting "mystery" but it felt more like a lot of run-around and not a lot of development or plot. Still love the series, but wasn't thrilled with this one. I do like Finn, and I like Robyn as well. I'd be okay if they popped up in a later book. Guess since I'm reading the rest of the series, I'll see if they do or not, eh? :)

  7. 4 out of 5

    MissM

    I really like this series overall and look forward to them, but this one was just a miss for me. The main character of the book really wasn't a supernatural at all. And the jumpy POV changes made the book feel choppy and lacked cohesion. I liked the Detective character that was introduced but overall, it just really wasn't the high point of the series for me. I'm kinda bored with Hope at this point and I'm ready to get back to more interesting characters in the series. Because Hope's power is so I really like this series overall and look forward to them, but this one was just a miss for me. The main character of the book really wasn't a supernatural at all. And the jumpy POV changes made the book feel choppy and lacked cohesion. I liked the Detective character that was introduced but overall, it just really wasn't the high point of the series for me. I'm kinda bored with Hope at this point and I'm ready to get back to more interesting characters in the series. Because Hope's power is so passive, it's just not as exciting to read. And because the normal, non-supe woman, Robyn, was really the central character, it was even less exciting on top of it. Not an awful book, but one I really just didn't enjoy like I've done with the others.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Mel

    In this ninth book in Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld series the author brings us something different: the protagonist is a non-supernatural. Robyn Peltier is a PR consultant with no special powers or abilities what so ever, well… except maybe attracting bad luck. She does know how to pick her friends though, as Hope Adams and Karl Marsten come to her rescue when Robyn's problems evolve from bad to worse. This is another solid read by Kelley Armstrong. It read like a suspense novel, packed w In this ninth book in Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld series the author brings us something different: the protagonist is a non-supernatural. Robyn Peltier is a PR consultant with no special powers or abilities what so ever, well… except maybe attracting bad luck. She does know how to pick her friends though, as Hope Adams and Karl Marsten come to her rescue when Robyn's problems evolve from bad to worse. This is another solid read by Kelley Armstrong. It read like a suspense novel, packed with action and a high pace. Armstrong crafts the story wonderfully and she has made up an amazing world of supernatural groups, some with very disturbing rules and morals. In several reviews I've read that others find Robyn and Hope to be boring because of their limited powers. To me that isn't an issue. The struggle is even bigger for these heroines and they do deliver as they outsmart everyone and come up with good solutions. Also: they learn from their mistakes. Even though there was very little romance in this book, this book was about love and trust: losing it, finding it and being to able to let go. It had quite some touching moments as we get to see Robyn's dead husband in his desperate quest to help his wife and we see Hope worry about her capability to stand on her own two feet. This book introduces some interesting characters who we hopefully get to see in further books: the mercenary clairvoyant Rhyse and the wonderful Finn; the necromancer cop. My two favorite people of this book however were Adelle, the deliciously wicked bitch of an antagonist, and Karl Marsten. Karl Marsten... Karl. Marsten. *Sigh.* I want one.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jay

    I have never in my life been this disgusted by a heroine. No wait, this is way past disgust. I am sickened and absolutely repulsed by her. First, a little background info for those who are unfamiliar with this series: Hope is a half demon. In this series, half demons are the offspring of a full demon and a human. A full demon has craving for "chaos" (the negative and/or violent motivations/thoughts/emotions/experiences of people), as well as a "superpower" like fire, telekinesis, teleportation I have never in my life been this disgusted by a heroine. No wait, this is way past disgust. I am sickened and absolutely repulsed by her. First, a little background info for those who are unfamiliar with this series: Hope is a half demon. In this series, half demons are the offspring of a full demon and a human. A full demon has craving for "chaos" (the negative and/or violent motivations/thoughts/emotions/experiences of people), as well as a "superpower" like fire, telekinesis, teleportation... etc. Half demons only inherit the superpower of their demon parent, so they could be your friendly neighbour, best friend or your favourite barista with an extra sprinkle of X-Men in them. Based on this, Hope is an anomaly - instead of a cool superpower, she ended up with the chaos craves. But they're not just craves, she gets high on them as well as turned on, and the more she crosses path with evil, the more she wants it. She basically has visions of murders and treats it as porn, a memory which she then uses to fuel her nightly activities with her boyfriend. So imagine this. You've been kidnapped, raped and murdered by some psycho. Your soul is sort of floating around, waiting for someone to bring your murderer to justice. Suddenly, this random woman bumps into him and she has a vision of your entire ordeal, as well as evidence that could get him convicted. Maybe even dig up your decomposing body for a proper burial, you know, #JustGirlyThings. But instead of the eternal peace you're hoping for, this chick keeps replaying your murder in her mind for the sole purpose of using the "thrill" to spice up her sex life. Now imagine she bumped into a paedophile. Or for your own sanity, don't. After every vision (where she was sipping/lapping up/drinking/absorbing the chaos), her eyes would glaze over in ecstasy, or her face would be "twisted in euphoria/bliss". HOW. FUCKING. SICK. Getting high on horrible and heinous crimes, Hope came across as perverted and sexually deprived, something you'd expect from the villain of a murder mystery, not the main character who was adored by literally everyone she met. Maybe if she had a darker, stronger personality, then it would have worked better. I could get behind a kick-ass heroine trying to fight her nature and cleverly using it to her advantage until she made this ability her bitch. But the whole Little Miss Sunshine, head in the sand bullshit Hope was doing instead got on my fucking nerves. Her sole focus was her relationship with Karl instead of the 1000 actually serious problems around her. Any other heroine in this series would have quarantined herself or at least supplied the police with anonymous tip-offs, while working her ass off to fix herself. Hope didn't, she was mildly uncomfortable with it all but not nearly as disturbed as she should've been. She relied on Karl (boyfriend) to "pull her back from the edge", which is actually just Karl shouting her name until she was able to snap out of her trance. I hated this ability in Book #8 (where Hope was the main character) and I even abandoned the story at 50%. Moving on to Book #9, the blurb made it seem like it was Robyn's book - a little weird since every heroine has been introduced before taking the main stage in their own book and Robyn was a complete stranger to us, but I wanted to see what Kelley Armstrong's world would look like from the POV of a human for a change. To my absolute disappointment, I adored Robyn (+Finn) yet we ended up in Hope's head for the majority of the time. Hence my rant ^^^ DEEP BREATHS, JAY. DEEP BREATHS. It's sad because I would have rated this book at least 4 stars if Robyn and Finn were its sole focus, their story was interesting and I wanted to see way more of them. Kelley Armstrong is an excellent author but she really tanked it with Hope. I just hope (heh) I never have to see her again but we're nearing the end of the series and this book really hinted at (view spoiler)[her playing quite a big role in the oncoming final shitstorm (hide spoiler)]

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁

    I don't know who first told me that "assuming makes an ASS out of U and ME," but I do know that I was young enough to be shocked that someone said ass. I think it was my mom. The point is, that I (and probably you too) have been aware of this idea for as long as I (and you) can remember. Living with the Dead is a perfect illustration of that. One assumption leads to a bad decision leads to another assumption lead to another bad decision, etc. That's basically what the entire book is--assumptions I don't know who first told me that "assuming makes an ASS out of U and ME," but I do know that I was young enough to be shocked that someone said ass. I think it was my mom. The point is, that I (and probably you too) have been aware of this idea for as long as I (and you) can remember. Living with the Dead is a perfect illustration of that. One assumption leads to a bad decision leads to another assumption lead to another bad decision, etc. That's basically what the entire book is--assumptions and reactions. With terrible consequences. That and a bad guy who is an incredible narcissist with borderline sociopathic tendencies. Adele definitely makes my Top 10 All-Time Most Hateful Villains. She's right up there with Iago.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Donna

    The beginning of the book was great, but then the characters basically chased each other around for a two hundred pages. There were too many viewpoint characters and perspective shifts, and Hope is probably my least favorite Armstrong heroine. I hope this series picks back up, this is the second one in a row that I've been a bit disappointed in. Here's my full review. The beginning of the book was great, but then the characters basically chased each other around for a two hundred pages. There were too many viewpoint characters and perspective shifts, and Hope is probably my least favorite Armstrong heroine. I hope this series picks back up, this is the second one in a row that I've been a bit disappointed in. Here's my full review.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    Unfortunately, this one was not up to par with the rest of the Women of the Underworld Series, but an overall worthwhile read.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Carmel (Rabid Reads)

    Reviewed by: Rabid Reads This book is the least Otherworld-ly out of the bunch and, as a result, also the one that I only passably enjoyed. Kelley Armstrong switches up her tried and true format in Living with the Dead and that was a big mistake in my opinion. Instead of sticking with her enthralling first person point of views she opts for that of the third person and gives the lead role to a previously unknown, human character. This installment also focuses on clairvoyants which are not a breed Reviewed by: Rabid Reads This book is the least Otherworld-ly out of the bunch and, as a result, also the one that I only passably enjoyed. Kelley Armstrong switches up her tried and true format in Living with the Dead and that was a big mistake in my opinion. Instead of sticking with her enthralling first person point of views she opts for that of the third person and gives the lead role to a previously unknown, human character. This installment also focuses on clairvoyants which are not a breed of supernaturals that readers have seen overly much up until this point and the story casts them in a pretty unfavourable light. I didn't particularly enjoy this book the first time around and I liked it even less upon the second read. I guess that after 9 novels even someone as talented as Kelley Armstrong can struggle with writing an amazing story. Living with the Dead is very, very dark and not in a good way. Adele, the main villain, is beyond nasty. She's a sociopath and a cold blooded killer. Clairvoyants' abilities are as much a curse as they are a gift because they pretty much have a 99.99% chance of eventually going insane. Definitely not good odds. I think that Adele has been a wackjob since birth; her upbringing and powers are contributing factors but there's just something inherently wrong with her. She doesn't just kill people; she toys with them and does things that are beyond twisted. Adele has sex with a mentally disabled boy in order to manipulate him into using his powers to her benefit and then gets pregnant and uses her baby to barter her way into a cabal. She then seduces his teenage brother in an attempt to hide her child's paternity. This is just one example of what lengths she's willing to go to; everything's just a means to an end to Adele. She's truly one of the most heinous characters that I've ever encountered which made this book very difficult to read. I was confused as to why Robyn, a human PR rep, was cast as the lead character. There's been no mention of her up until this point and, correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that this is her one and only appearance in this entire series. One of the reasons why I enjoy the Women of the Otherworld series so much is because it follows the same characters over a twelve year span. I've grown to love all of Armstrong's creations and have a vested interest in their well-being while as Robyn came out of left field only to never be heard from again. I didn't dislike her, she's a grieving widower trying to move on with her life and I felt sorry for her, but I just didn't understand why the heck she was in this novel to begin with. Finn's another new character who's introduced in this installment; at least he's a supernatural but he too all but disappears after this book. Other than Hope and Karl, the overall story, writing style and protagonists just didn't fit in the Otherworld universe. Living with the Dead wasn't what I expected and I'd even go so far as to say that I was disappointed with this book which is a first for me where Kelley Armstrong is concerned. The story did nothing to advance the overall plot line of this series, most of the characters are strangers and I was beyond disgusted by Adele. Reading this novel a second time actually made me like it even less; I'm glad that the other 12 installments are phenomenal because if this book would have been one of the earlier ones I might not have continued with this series.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller

    Even though the magic of the series has evaporated, Living with the Dead was just entertaining enough to keep me reading to the end. But I now find myself contemplating abandoning the series. No Humans Involved (book #7) was a golden nugget in a series I thought had died, and the main reason I continued to this point, but now I have to weigh the risk of slogging through another novel like this against the possibility of striking gold again. I’ve been working on this series for so long, I just do Even though the magic of the series has evaporated, Living with the Dead was just entertaining enough to keep me reading to the end. But I now find myself contemplating abandoning the series. No Humans Involved (book #7) was a golden nugget in a series I thought had died, and the main reason I continued to this point, but now I have to weigh the risk of slogging through another novel like this against the possibility of striking gold again. I’ve been working on this series for so long, I just don’t think I have the patience. Okay, the book wasn’t as horrible as I’m making it out to be. But when compared to other urban fantasies (and early books in this series), it doesn’t really hold a candle. It’s a little better when compared to paranormal romances, but not by much. And there wasn’t even a romance in this one! Which brings me to my next rant… I craved at least a little romance in this book. After all, it’s one of the main reasons I got hooked on the series in the first place (my friend referred to it once saying “I want more of that hot werewolf sex.” Which I laughed at because I couldn’t disagree). Then to add insult to the lack of steamy scenes, the sexual encounters that did make an appearance were fucking weird. Weird like very uncomfortable and icky, not weird like kinky. It left me feeling like I could’ve been very happy living my life never having read about it. I’ll leave it at that. Overall, the basic writing was still quality, the characters were good, the storyline was meh, and the romance was nonexistent. Part of me wants to see how everything converges at the end of the series, but at this point it might be a long while before I get there, if I do at all. Recommendations: if you like urban fantasy, definitely check out the first two books – amazing! The rest of the series to this point has some merit, with a hit or miss ratio at about 50/50. This installment was my least favorite so far. I think I’m at the point where I’M the one who needs the recommendation on whether or not to finish out the series. Via The Obsessive Bookseller at www.NikiHawkes.com Other books you might like:

  15. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I should say I really dislike the character of Hope in this series. It must say something good about Armstrong's talent for creating characters that I have this reaction. I can't stand Hope and that made it impossible for me to finish this book. Mostly because Hope is mentally worrying all the time about how she would react if Karl leaves her, instead of, say, how she would react if Karl got killed by a mutt. Which just goes to show what type of person Hope is. Honestly, maybe you, Hope dear, sh I should say I really dislike the character of Hope in this series. It must say something good about Armstrong's talent for creating characters that I have this reaction. I can't stand Hope and that made it impossible for me to finish this book. Mostly because Hope is mentally worrying all the time about how she would react if Karl leaves her, instead of, say, how she would react if Karl got killed by a mutt. Which just goes to show what type of person Hope is. Honestly, maybe you, Hope dear, should really worry about your friend. Additionally, the shifts in viewpoint are good in terms of breaking with the standard but too often the reader is told the same thing more than once by different characters. Still I made it over half way, and Armstrong's writing is a cut above much of the rest of slush pile that is UF these days. This book hasn't turned me off her, not by a long shot, but I just don't like Hope.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Julie (jjmachshev)

    Now how do I rate Kelley Armstrong's latest in her 'Women of the Otherworld' series? "Living with the Dead" isn't about just one woman. In a lot of ways it's not even about one couple, it's really about two men, two women, a ghost, and the question of what is love. Robyn is a woman who recently lost her love, her soulmate, to a senseless and stupid crime. She spends her time now just going through the motions of living and keeping a scrapbook about good samaritans who are killed for their deeds, Now how do I rate Kelley Armstrong's latest in her 'Women of the Otherworld' series? "Living with the Dead" isn't about just one woman. In a lot of ways it's not even about one couple, it's really about two men, two women, a ghost, and the question of what is love. Robyn is a woman who recently lost her love, her soulmate, to a senseless and stupid crime. She spends her time now just going through the motions of living and keeping a scrapbook about good samaritans who are killed for their deeds, furthering reinforcing the futility and stupidity of her husband's death. When, through no real fault of her own, she becomes embroiled in a battle between two supernatural factions in LA, she ends up running for her life with no idea of why she's become a target. Hope is Robyn's best friend and she and her werewolf boyfriend Karl have come to LA to do a story, but really to check on Robyn. These two will have to use all their abilities (she's half demon) to keep Robyn alive long enough to figure out who's after her and why! Then we also have a cop necromancer thrown into the mix. And with Robyn's dead husband joining the search for Robyn and her pursuers, the mix is set. If you're looking for a pure romance, don't look here. If you're looking for a mystery with paranormal elements, an unusual love story that will make you ponder what love is and is not, a story about when and how grief affects different people, and a story about just how whacked out some fringe groups can get...then really pick up "Living With the Dead". You may not exactly be smiling at the end of the book, but you will be panting for the next one.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn F.

    Audiobook Am I the only one who didn't like the ending? (view spoiler)[Why is Robyn's husband still going to hang around if she feels there's been closure? And what is going on with Hope and Karl? Are they broke-up or engaged? (hide spoiler)] So, I've left this book dazed and confused. I'm still going to read/listen to the next book in the series but this was not my favorite of the bunch. Audiobook Am I the only one who didn't like the ending? (view spoiler)[Why is Robyn's husband still going to hang around if she feels there's been closure? And what is going on with Hope and Karl? Are they broke-up or engaged? (hide spoiler)] So, I've left this book dazed and confused. I'm still going to read/listen to the next book in the series but this was not my favorite of the bunch.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Beth The Vampire

    ACTUAL RATING 3.5 I’ve been grappling with this book overnight, trying to assess the story and the ending, trying to decide whether I liked it. And instead of my decision being black and white, it has turned out more a shade of grey. Robyn, PR to a popular LA socialite, finds herself the main suspect in her clients murder. Chased by the police, and being followed by a mysterious young woman looking to harm her, Robyn does what any normal human person would do, and freaks out. Thankfully Robyn has ACTUAL RATING 3.5 I’ve been grappling with this book overnight, trying to assess the story and the ending, trying to decide whether I liked it. And instead of my decision being black and white, it has turned out more a shade of grey. Robyn, PR to a popular LA socialite, finds herself the main suspect in her clients murder. Chased by the police, and being followed by a mysterious young woman looking to harm her, Robyn does what any normal human person would do, and freaks out. Thankfully Robyn has two powerful friends, Hope (a half demon who can sense chaos), and her boyfriend Karl (a pack werewolf), who are able to untangle the web she has been caught in, and assist from a more supernatural point of view. The situation turns out to be a lot deeper than the death of Robyn’s employer, and involved the Nasts and Cabals, as well as a secret commune of clairvoyants. The detective in charge, who is able to speak to ghosts, is assigned the case, but the matter becomes more complicated when the ghost helping him just happens to be that of Robyn’s recently murdered husband. It’s not a bad story, it’s just….convoluted. There is no way this situation had to become this complicated. I feel that Hope and Karl actually made the whole situation about 10 times worse by becoming involved and trying to control everything. Then when it all came to a climax, it didn’t seem to wrap itself up. Robyn was still suspected of three murders, including one of a cop, and it just said the Cabals were going to bribe and divert all further attention until the matter just went away. I’m sorry, but no. How is the detective, Finn, supposed to explain all of it? Half a dozen people died on his case, there was an ambush involving a private tactical unit on the clairvoyant compound, and again a COP has been gunned down in the street, and all of this is just going to be pushed under the rug? In a story where there are numerous supernaturals, that part just goes beyond all belief. What I do love about this book, and what I have loved about all the previous entries into the series, is the characterisation. Hope is a really interesting young women, who is just coming to terms with her power and what that means. By the end she realises that she needs to make a decision by herself, even if it means sending Karl away, which she does. She does it for her, so she can make her own decisions without him making them on her behalf so she doesn’t have to make the hard choices, keeping her closeted and protected. It’s a great step forward for her, and I’m proud of her for that. Robyn was pretty throwaway for me, Karl was his usual….manish….self. Finn was the most interesting addition, but I didn’t get much of his backstory or even where his future is headed. I get the feeling that we won’t be seeing him again though. The first two books in the Women of the Otherworld series were excellent, with Bitten still being one of my favourites. The third book was a major downer that made me want to throw the paperback across the room, but then it started to pick up again, although never really meeting the same heights of the beginning. We’re in the tail end of the series now, and there were hints in Living with the Dead of something larger on the horizon. There have been a number of mysterious happenings in the supernatural world recently, and taken together they cannot mean anything good. I’m interested to see where it all ends up.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jen Davis

    This didn't feel like an Otherworld book. At all. It was deeply disturbing and dark. It featured some characters we know: primarily Hope and Karl, but unlike any of the previous books, this was written in the third person and the real main character was a regular human we've never met before. It's been six months since Robyn's husband Damon died. Since then, she's moved to LA to start a new life for herself. She's a PR rep for a celebutante, but she's really just going through the motions. Hope i This didn't feel like an Otherworld book. At all. It was deeply disturbing and dark. It featured some characters we know: primarily Hope and Karl, but unlike any of the previous books, this was written in the third person and the real main character was a regular human we've never met before. It's been six months since Robyn's husband Damon died. Since then, she's moved to LA to start a new life for herself. She's a PR rep for a celebutante, but she's really just going through the motions. Hope is worried about her --the two are longtime friends-- so she and Karl come to visit. Shortly after they arrive, Robyn's client is killed and thanks to a string of unlikely events, Robyn becomes the prime suspect. Then Karl and Hope must figure out who really killed the woman and why, while protecting Robyn from the real killer. Investigating the case is Detective John Finnley. Finn's a necromancer, though he doesn't even really know what that means. He only knows that he occasionally sees ghosts... a skill that helps him believe Robyn is innocent, not only of her client's murder but other deaths that are piling up in her wake. The ghosts of the victims help lead his way, and so does (eventually) the ghost of Robyn's husband. Earlier, I mentioned that this story is disturbing. That's due almost entirely to our villain, a sociopathic clairvoyant named Adele. She is the real killer. It's not because she enjoys killing; she's just looking out for number one. You see, Robyn's client had the misfortune of accidentally taking an incriminating photo of Adele. That leads to her death. And the deaths that follow are also to keep Adele's secret -- that she is trying to escape from her commune of clairvoyants to join the Nast cabal. That doesn't sound that bad... standard bad-guy stuff. But there's more to her schemes. She slips birth control pills to one of her commune sisters, knowing it will eventually force the girl into what's essentially gang rape when she can't conceive a child by her husband. The husband Adele wanted for her own. She has sex with a mentally disabled boy to manipulate him into sharing his powers with her, and gets pregnant with his child. Then she seduces his younger brother, a 15 year-old, to hide the baby's paternity. She doesn't care what she has to do or who she has to do it to, to get what she wants. Adele is really a product of the environment she has grown up in... although undoubtedly, she is the worst case scenario. The commune beats its children to instill fear of the cabals; it inbreeds; uses the disabled for their powers; and we've already talked about the forced sex. It even kills those whose powers are too weak to make them useful. And even as I try to describe all this, I know it doesn't do it justice. There's a lot going on here. In addition to all the stuff with Robyn, Finn & Adele, we can't forget about Hope and Karl. Their relationship is at a crossroads. And Hope has a lot of uncertainty about her future. And in the end, we see that the major developments in this book and the previous ones are intertwined, perhaps in some greater purpose, or bigger picture. I find that very intriguing. It was a solid installment... it just felt... off. And I missed the romance. 4 stars.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This review was originally posted on my review blog : Falling Off The Shelf. Robyn Peltier never knew that moving to Los Angelas would be such a eye-opening experience. It's one thing following around a famous celebutante like Portia Kane, clearly another when your being chased down by psychotic murderers. All she ever wanted to do was move away from the horrible memories of her husbands death, not walk straight into more. When her client is gunned down in the back room of a local night club, Rob This review was originally posted on my review blog : Falling Off The Shelf. Robyn Peltier never knew that moving to Los Angelas would be such a eye-opening experience. It's one thing following around a famous celebutante like Portia Kane, clearly another when your being chased down by psychotic murderers. All she ever wanted to do was move away from the horrible memories of her husbands death, not walk straight into more. When her client is gunned down in the back room of a local night club, Robyn is the prime suspect for murder. Hope Adams is Robyn's best friend, and she will do anything to clear her good friend's name. It's crazy enough that Robyn is being hunted down by the police for a murder she didn't commit, but now they have to worry about being stuck in the middle of a turf war between Otherworld Cabals. Hope wants to keep the secrets of the Otherworld as far from her friend's ears as possible, but it may be the only way to save her. It's going to take a lot of help to clear her of this one, and Hope knows just the people who can get the job done. I've been a big fan of Kelley Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld Series, and it's no surprise that I would love this book. I read a lot of reviews on Amazon before reading this book, and I was a bit skeptical. A lot of people said they got confused with the constant point-of-view change, but personally I didn't have a problem with it at all. Don't get me wrong, there were a lot of different point-of-views in this installment, from Robyn, to Hope, to Karl, and even the murderer. It was a real brain boggler in the beginning. As soon as I got my bearings, which didn't take long, just a few short chapters, I was able to enjoy this book as much as I have enjoyed every other installment in this fabulous series. I loved how Robyn was determined to do her part in helping to find the murderer of her client, while not really knowing the full scheme of things. She put herself in danger quite a few times, and on many occasions needed the help of her friends to get out of it, but she did it in stride. I honestly don't know how I would react in her situation, being hunted by both the police and a psychotic killer. I'd probably end up climbing under my bed and hoping for the best. I was super excited to finally learn more about Hope Adams, and her lover Karl Marsten. They've shown their faces in previous installments in this series, but I've been wondering when they would surface as main characters. They had always had an on and off again romance brewing, and it was nice to see how things turned out between them here. I'm worried about what will occur in the coming novels with Hope though, because she has some big choices to make, and I hope she will make the right ones. It makes me want to pick up the next installment right now and read it, but unfortunately I'll have to find a way to get my hands on it first. I can't wait to see where things will go with the Otherworld in the next installment, Frostbitten.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Celine

    In Living with the Dead we continue with the Hope and Karl storyline, this time adding Hope's best friend Robyn. On many points Living with the Dead is very different from its eight predecessors, and in my opinion this is not a good thing. After being widowed at twenty-eight, Robyn takes the job of being Portia's PR person. When Portia is murdered in a club and Robyn flights the scene to chase after the killer, she is number one suspect on the police's list. Together with her friend Hope and Hop In Living with the Dead we continue with the Hope and Karl storyline, this time adding Hope's best friend Robyn. On many points Living with the Dead is very different from its eight predecessors, and in my opinion this is not a good thing. After being widowed at twenty-eight, Robyn takes the job of being Portia's PR person. When Portia is murdered in a club and Robyn flights the scene to chase after the killer, she is number one suspect on the police's list. Together with her friend Hope and Hope's boyfriend Karl, she gets caught up in several plots to kill her. Overall I think Living with the Dead's main problem is the severe lack of focus. The story is all over the place, with tons of characters each having their own motivation for their actions. Living with the Dead is written from multiple points of view in third person, creating a whole chorus of voices instead of the steady, personal first person view we're used to. One of Ms Armstrong's forte's is usually creating a mystery. I'm always fully engaged into the plot, trying to figure everything out along with the characters. Because we have so many POVs here, the reader is privy to more information than the characters. For example, the reader knows Detective Finn is actually a good guy trying to help, while Robyn and Hope are constantly trying to stay away from him. I absolutely hate having to see characters making prejudices about each other while all I want to do is bump their heads together and scream "YOU'RE ON THE SAME SIDE HERE!". This all makes for a frustrating, and in the end unsatisfying read. It saddened me to see Hope and Karl's relationship to be reduced to a standard male-dominated one. I don't think Hope stood her ground enough, and most of the story she felt more like a needy puppy than an adult woman. I love the couples in the Women of the Otherworld series that are equals, like Paige and Lucas. Hope and Karl were okay in the previous book, Personal Demon, but I don't think Living with the Dead did them justice. In Personal Demon I loved how they were sweet to each other, how they had a healthy and loving relationship>. I didn't see any of that in Living with the Dead. There are no romantic moments, most of the time it's just Karl ordering Hope around. In the end I did enjoy the story, even though at times it is overly gruesome (it features a commune that celebrates inbreeding and torture of children). Ms Armstrong knows how to write an engaging story. Sadly Living with the Dead was my least favourite book of her so far.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Alyssa Nelson

    This was the weakest book of this series that I’ve read so far. My guess is that it’s because it’s mainly told from the perspectives of people who don’t know about the supernatural community, but that information has to be present somehow; I also felt as though the story itself dragged. I was about a quarter of the way in when I thought: wow, that’s short, it’s going to end soon! And then I kept having that same thought the rest of the way through. It’s not a bad book, however, it’s just that the This was the weakest book of this series that I’ve read so far. My guess is that it’s because it’s mainly told from the perspectives of people who don’t know about the supernatural community, but that information has to be present somehow; I also felt as though the story itself dragged. I was about a quarter of the way in when I thought: wow, that’s short, it’s going to end soon! And then I kept having that same thought the rest of the way through. It’s not a bad book, however, it’s just that the other books of the series are amazing, so this pretty good one fell flat. It follows typical Women of the Otherworld style, where it has a little bit of romance going on, but that’s a side note to the main thriller aspect of the book. The antagonist of this book is truly crazy, which led to a lot of intense, very sad situations. I like that we get to see a couple of outsiders being brought into the fold and see what it’s like when they realize that the world isn’t as straightforward as they thought it was. My favorite part was all of the misunderstandings that arise when the characters tried the theorize as to what was going on — everyone kept overthinking the series of events and were so mistrustful of everyone else so that it took a really long time for the characters to work out who was actually on whose side and who they could work with. I liked reading about more of Hope and Karl, and it was nice to see Hope taking charge. Their relationship is develops a bit more in this series, but what’s important is that Hope is starting to figure out who she is and what she wants, so in order to make room for that, their relationship is left dangling at the end, so I’m hoping to get some resolution on that in the next book. Basically, this is an amazing series, and this was a pretty-okay installment of it. I’m hoping this book was just a hiccup for the series overall and it doesn’t signal a decline to one of my favorite all-time series, but I’ll have to read the others to find out! Also posted on Purple People Readers.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Melindeeloo

    Pleasant enough visit to Armstrong's Otherworld Living with the Dead is not quite what I expected coming on the heels of Personal Demon (Women of the Otherworld, Book 8), which left Lucas in a quandry that I had thought would lead to some interesting upheaval in the overall story arc of the series. Instead Lucas is a minor off-screen character here and we continue on with half choas demon Hope and her werewolf mate Karl. But Living with the dead is more multithreaded than Armstrong's previous b Pleasant enough visit to Armstrong's Otherworld Living with the Dead is not quite what I expected coming on the heels of Personal Demon (Women of the Otherworld, Book 8), which left Lucas in a quandry that I had thought would lead to some interesting upheaval in the overall story arc of the series. Instead Lucas is a minor off-screen character here and we continue on with half choas demon Hope and her werewolf mate Karl. But Living with the dead is more multithreaded than Armstrong's previous books and Hope and Karl share the screen time with: 1) Hope's best friend and grieving widow, human Robyn, who muddles into a murder scene and is accused of killing her Paris Hilton-like boss 2) the actual murderer (it's not a spoiler, we're 'in the know' all along) a clarvoiyant who is willing to rack up the body count to keep a secret and 3) the ghost whispering Police detective, Finn, who is aided in his investigation of the murder by a ghost who has a personal interest in seeing Robin cleared. Out of all of the characters in the book I think that I enjoyed Finn and his ghostly assistant the most. While Living with the Dead was a pleasant enough read, and I am now officially tired of Hope. In the last book I was happy to see more of her and Karl, and glad to see them back together but now -- even though I've always loved the werewolf jewel thief -- I'm ready to move on to more Nast/Cortez cabal intrigue or to check-in with some of the other Otherworld council members. I don't know what's up next for the women of the Otherworld, but if you want to see more of the men, Armstrong is releasing an anthology of stories (some were originally available on her website), The Living with the Dead (Women of the Otherworld, Book 9), so you can find out the scoop on Jeremy and Clay while having the satisfaction of knowing that Armstrong is donating profits from the book to charity.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Shelley

    Hope and Karl return to the next addition to the women of the otherworld. This time they are trying to save Hope's friend Robyn. Robyn, who has no supernatural abilites at all, and who is mourning the recent murder of her good Samaritan husband, Damon, and trying to tolerate her job as a PR representative for Portia Kane, a tabloid celebutante. But when Portia is shot and Robyn becomes the prime suspect, she flees, only to find herself inexplicably in the middle of the supernatural world Hope ha Hope and Karl return to the next addition to the women of the otherworld. This time they are trying to save Hope's friend Robyn. Robyn, who has no supernatural abilites at all, and who is mourning the recent murder of her good Samaritan husband, Damon, and trying to tolerate her job as a PR representative for Portia Kane, a tabloid celebutante. But when Portia is shot and Robyn becomes the prime suspect, she flees, only to find herself inexplicably in the middle of the supernatural world Hope has been trying to shield her from. Stalked by a psychopathic clairvoyant and tracked by the cop, John Findley, who happens to see dead people, Robyn is way out of her league. John is a necromancer by trade, and would have been a great storyline had they added Jaime Vargas to the mix. I mean c'mon, think of the possibilities! Warning to all those attempting to read this as a standalone. Don't! Yes, it could be read as a stand-alone, but then you are missing out on key parts of the storyline. It helps if you're familiar with the series, and things such as the interracial council, vampires, Hope Adams, Karl Marsten, the Nast cabal, Savannah, Eve, Lucas Cortez, Paige Winterbourne, Kristof Nast, Sean Nast, Jaime Vegas, Clay and Elena, Jeremy. All of them turn up, either in person or by reference. The only problem, in my humble opinion, is that the story is told from various characters prospectives, and you have to really pay attent or your lost.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Francesca the Fierce (Under the Covers Book Blog)

    This was a nice, refreshing installment in the Women of the Otherworld series. I really liked the twists and turns in this story, and there was sure lots of that and lots of action. In my opinion a very well put together story into an elaborate world. My only complaint was the fact that we didn't know most of the characters involved, so this could "almost" be a stand-alone story (you wouldn't need a lot of background story to understand it). I did come to like Robyn and Finn. Even though Damon, h This was a nice, refreshing installment in the Women of the Otherworld series. I really liked the twists and turns in this story, and there was sure lots of that and lots of action. In my opinion a very well put together story into an elaborate world. My only complaint was the fact that we didn't know most of the characters involved, so this could "almost" be a stand-alone story (you wouldn't need a lot of background story to understand it). I did come to like Robyn and Finn. Even though Damon, her husband's ghost was still around, and I knew they would get a moments reunion, I was rooting for Robyn and Finn to get together, which is why at the end of the book I was still a bit frustrated. But I guess there's always hope for the next book. And if I must add one more thing.... How hard could it possibly be to turn yourself in to the cops! LOL I really enjoyed the Hope and Karl moments we got throughout the book. And, of course, I wanted to cry at the end of the book, which is why I'm dying to get my hands on the next book already and see how it all unfolds. I also enjoyed getting to see different viewpoints, I think that gives the readers a complete understanding of everything going on. If you are looking for romance, this is not the book for you. It's more of a mystery with a taste of paranormal, but I like mysteries, so I enjoyed this one a lot!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sue Shepherd

    Still really enjoying this series but this book was a little, I don’t know, calm? I loved the characters and the trying to figure out what the hell was going on. Character development was good but I felt there was something missing. Will keep going as nearly to the end of the series.

  27. 4 out of 5

    jeliy

    Stars 3.5

  28. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    Unfortunately my least favorite of the series so far. I didn't grow any feelings for the characters or the storyline.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Wolf (Alpha)

    I liked this book. This was my least favorite one by far. Kelley Armstrong tried to fit too many points of view in this. Pretty much every chapter was a different POV. I enjoyed seeing Hope again but I hate the circumstances under which they met. I thought it was interesting that we now have a human in the midst of this. I love Robyn and how she is so brave even though she gets accused of murder and other things. I love how her friends do everything to help her. Overall the story was great, I ju I liked this book. This was my least favorite one by far. Kelley Armstrong tried to fit too many points of view in this. Pretty much every chapter was a different POV. I enjoyed seeing Hope again but I hate the circumstances under which they met. I thought it was interesting that we now have a human in the midst of this. I love Robyn and how she is so brave even though she gets accused of murder and other things. I love how her friends do everything to help her. Overall the story was great, I just didn’t enjoy so many POVs. 4 stars.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Pam Nelson

    If you read my last review in this series you know Hope isn’t my favorite character because she is just trying so hard to deny who and what she is. It just doesn’t work for me but this book I will say she grew on me a lot more. I would even say I liked her in this book. Robyn, though she stole the show for me at least I don’t know if it was her resolve to make everyone think she is fine or what but I liked that she wanted to move on only moving on doesn’t happen on a timetable. Fin oh Fin I hope If you read my last review in this series you know Hope isn’t my favorite character because she is just trying so hard to deny who and what she is. It just doesn’t work for me but this book I will say she grew on me a lot more. I would even say I liked her in this book. Robyn, though she stole the show for me at least I don’t know if it was her resolve to make everyone think she is fine or what but I liked that she wanted to move on only moving on doesn’t happen on a timetable. Fin oh Fin I hope he and Robyn become something more he just has to trust that Robyn isn’t always going to see him as someone who can connect with her dead husband. If they can get pasted that then I bet they will be perfect. Hope and her man, I love that he gets her. Even if it will make things hard for a while he is willing to do what it takes. Jen Taylor as the narrator, I really enjoyed her narration the only weird thing was how she pronounces Jamie like Hi me, it’s a little weird but nothing too crazy.

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