Black Magic Sanction is the most recent book in The Hollows series by Kim Harrison. I purchased it from the Sony eBook store. While I have read several reviews of The Hollows’ books that say book 6 was intended to end the series, I have also read on the author’s website that her contract has been extended to do 12-13 books. So, this is book 8, the most recently published (February 23, 2010).
Product Description: Rachel Morgan has fought and hunted vampires, werewolves, banshees, demons, and other supernatural dangers as both witch and bounty hunter–and lived to tell the tale. But she’s never faced off against her own kind . . . until now. Denounced and shunned for dealing with demons and black magic, her best hope is life imprisonment–at worst, a forced lobotomy and genetic slavery. Only her enemies are strong enough to help her win her freedom, but trust comes hard when it hinges on the unscrupulous tycoon Trent Kalamack, the demon Algaliarept, and an ex-boyfriend turned thief.
It takes a witch to catch a witch, but survival bears a heavy price.
The episode in Rachel’s story picks up where the previous left off, which does suggest to readers that it would be hard to begin reading this series with anything but book 1. Rachel has been shunned. Why? She is a “missing link” of sorts between demons and witches. Her children will be demons who can walk on this side of the ever-after. Because of this, Rachel must agree to castration or she will be imprisoned. This book details her journey to fix that because she agrees to neither, and our love of Rachel and belief in her is reinforced when we see “good” witches do “bad” things, things much worse than Rachel and not earn smut. We learn that Rachel’s choices have been limited, and we wonder if the universe is really treating her fairly by exacting such a cost from her for her decisions.
The cast of men in Rachel’s life is resolved a bit in this book, leaving us hating Nick even more and glad that he is not part of Rachel’s life. The issues between Ivy and Rachel appear to have been resolved and are not revisited (thank the goddess; it was getting old). Trent is still a very complicated jerk. Lee is much more interesting than we thought. And, Jenks suffers a tragedy that brings tears to the eye.
This book was not as good as book 6, but it was definitely better than book 7. I look forward to book 9 sometime next year.