Tag Archives: Kim Harrison

Pale Demon by Kim Harrison

Pale Demon is the newest installment in The Hollows series by Kim Harrison. I have written about Harrison many times on this blog, and I am happy to give her books another plug as I have just finished Pale Demon and loved it.

Book Description: Banned from the flight lists, Rachel teams up with tycoon Trent Kalamack, headed for the West Coast for his own mysterious business. Can a witch, an elf, a living vampire, and a pixy in one car survive for over 2,300 miles?  And that’s not counting the assassin on their tail.

This video is from the author’s website and explains The Hollows!

http://bcove.me/dewoeguq

Happy Reading!

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Black Magic Sanction by Kim Harrison

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.

Happy Reading!

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White Witch, Black Curse by Kim Harrison

Because I liked the last book in the Hollows series by Kim Harrison (see yesterday’s post /review), I purchased the final two (to this point) from the Sony eReader Bookstore. Book 7 is White Witch, Black Curse, and while it wasn’t as fabulous as Book 6, it was certainly better than Book 5 (reviewed June 30).

Product Description: Some wounds take time to heal . . . and some scars never fade.

Rachel Morgan, kick-ass witch and bounty hunter, has taken her fair share of hits, and has broken lines she swore she would never cross. But when her lover was murdered, it left a deeper wound than Rachel ever imagined, and now she won’t rest until his death is solved . . . and avenged. Whatever the cost.

Yet the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and when a new predator moves to the apex of the Inderlander food chain, Rachel’s past comes back to haunt her.

Literally.

I liked that this book began with psychologist Ford, introduced in the previous book, as an empath. His character is interesting enough to carry a huge plot burden in this installment of Rachel’s interlander saga that takes on an emotion-sucking banshee. This plot develops and aligns with previous novels well as we learn how the Banshee has a connection to Rachel’s partner Ivy, and we meet Rachel’s leprechaun.

This book, though, introduces a character that was supposed to be really important to Rachel, despite the fact that we are seven books into the series before we learn about him. In addition, we are just now introduced to a magical governing body (it has been mentioned but not in a way in which we could expect it the kind of power it wields in this book). This governing body “punishes” Rachel for who she is and what she does, with no real scaffolding. I wasn’t expecting it or the consequences. I did like the length of the book but I was really surprised by the number of subplots and new introductions. And, I have to say, I was very disappointed in who the killer was. The potential for that person’s identity was lost completely. The dialog was interesting, and the resolution of Ford’s problem and that of the banshee’s was intriguing.

Happy Reading!

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Kim Harrison’s The Outlaw Demon Wails

As I said yesterday, The Outlaw Demon Wails is absolutely my favorite of the Hollows series by Kim Harrison. I purchased it at the same time as the previous book (For a Few Demons More) from the Sony eReader Bookstore. And, I almost didn’t read it. I’m very glad I did.

Product Description:  To save the lives of her friends, Rachel did the unthinkable: she willingly trafficked in forbidden demon magic. And now her sins are coming home to haunt her. 

As Rachel searches for the truth behind a terrifying murder, an even greater menace threatens, for the demon Algaliarept will stop at nothing to claim her, and the discovery of a shocking family secret throws Rachel’s entire life into question. If she is ever to live free, Rachel must first walk willingly into the demonic ever-after in search of long-lost ancient knowledge. 

But when you dance with demons, you lay your soul on the line . . . and there are some lines that should never be crossed.

Book 6 has a lot less whining and much more cowboy-ing up (to keep with the Clint Eastwood western movie theme of the titles) from Rachel, and that really appealed to me in a way the previous books had not. Rachel acts and has agency and makes decisions instead of being a victim of circumstances or a passive recipient of the universe’s aggression. She is feeling kicked and down and she is grieving, but she stands up and says this is who I am and this is what matters to me. I can expect no more from a hero.

I have really struggled with what to say in this post because I don’t want to “ruin” the book for you by providing too many details and spoilers. So, I will say that all of the previous characters and plot twists appear in this book. In this action packed, emotionally full, ass-kicking book, each character’s role in Rachel’s life is explored, explained, and expanded, and each character is more fully developed and complicated. Each (sub) plot from the previous books is addressed and connected to Rachel’s immediate life and concerns. For example, one of the most involved character developments and plot connections has to do with Rachel’s mother, who until this point had been basically dismissed as a bit flighty or crazy and unreliable. She is a vital and important part of Rachel’s life and her actions are explained to us in a mostly believable (shocking?) plot twist. She’s a great character (now), and I think you will like her.

If you have read any of this series at all, you have to read this one. I hope you are as intrigued by the gargoyle as I am.

Happy Reading!

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Kim Harrison’s For a Few Demons More

After a much needed break / vacation, this blog returns today with a review of book 5 in The Hollows series by Kim Harrison.  I purchased and downloaded the book from the Sony eReader Bookstore. For a Few Demons More was absolutely my least favorite of the series.

The book description reads: Despite dating one vampire and living with another, Rachel Morgan has always managed to stay just ahead of trouble . . . until now.  

A fiendish serial killer stalks the Hollows, claiming victims across society, and the resulting terror ignites a vicious Inderland gang war. And while the ancient artifact Rachel is hiding may be the key to stopping the murderer, revealing it could also create a battle to the death among the numerous supernatural races that live in and around Cincinnati. 

For every action has its price, and when the vampire master Piscary is set free and the demonic Algaliarept dares to walk openly under the sun, even Rachel Morgan can’t hide forever.

By time I read this book, I had had my share of demons in the series. In an urban fantasy setting, there are so many more antagonists possible than just demons, but this was the third in a row to latch on to the demons and not let go. It just didn’t do it for me. Yes, the book attempts to wrap up issues left hanging from previous books; Trent returns; Ceri is further developed, and David plays a larger role. All of those things are interesting. But the plot was unbelievable and over the top. Most of the action takes place off stage and then is reported to us (show not tell, remember?) and even then it doesn’t always make plot sense.

An example of this (spoiler alert?) is that while Rachel is on a bus on the way home, Al supposedly wreaks havoc on the city and the city holds a council meeting and decides that they must let Piscary out of prison to catch him since “Rachel won’t”–wow, that quickly huh? How’s that timeline work? There are other weird plot elements, such as a fixation on convincing Rachel to have sex with Ivy despite the fact we were led to believe this issue was put to rest several books ago since Rachel is not into sex with women. Then, the ending is bam! an unexpected tear-jerking plot twist.

Had  I not already purchased the next in the series, I wouldn’t have after reading this, especially since “demon” is also in its title. That would have been a mistake. Book 6 is the best in the series. I will be reviewing it for you tomorrow. Until then,

Happy reading!

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A Fistful of Charms by Kim Harrison

Book 4 in the Hollows series by Kim Harrison is A Fistful of Charms. I purchased and downloaded this book to my Sony eReader.

Book Description: The evil night things that prowl Cincinnati despise witch and bounty hunter Rachel Morgan. Her new reputation for the dark arts is turning human and undead heads alike with the intent to possess, bed, and kill her — not necessarily in that order.

Now a mortal lover who abandoned Rachel has returned, haunted by his secret past. And there are those who covet what Nick possesses — savage beasts willing to destroy the Hollows and everyone in it if necessary.

Forced to keep a low profile or eternally suffer the wrath of a vengeful demon, Rachel must nevertheless act quickly. For the pack is gathering for the first time in millennia to ravage and to rule. And suddenly more than Rachel’s soul is at stake.

I actually read this one directly in order after the last in the series without a book in between, and they flowed well. I am not sure how it would stand alone, but in the series it fit. This particular book had a lot of surprises for me, and I really don’t want to ruin them for you. So, I will say that I liked the book and I look forward to the next one. If you like the characters in the previous books, they are all present and accounted for in this one except for Trent and his crew (well and Lee, but it you read the last one you know why). Several new characters are introduced, including one who looks to be positioned for a recurring role. I did not think this book has the same focus on relationships that book 3 did, but it had a lot of action and none of the same ole same ole that series often get at about this point. It was new and fresh and surprising.

You can read an excerpt on the author’s website if you would like a preview. Happy Reading!

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Kim Harrison’s Every Which Way But Dead

Book 3 in The Hollows series by Kim Harrison is Every Which Way But Dead. I read this book for fun last week after purchasing it for my Sony eReader.

Book Description: Rachel Morgan’s back! Bestselling author Kim Harrison returns with a new supernatural adventure that fans of Laurell K. Hamilton and Charlaine Harris won’t want to miss. 

Some days, you just can’t win. Witch and former bounty hunter Rachel Morgan’s managed to escape her corrupt company, survive living with a vampire, start her own runner service, and face down a vampire master. 

But her vampire roommate Ivy is off the wagon, her human boyfriend Nick is out of town indefinitely and doesn’t sound like he’s coming back while the far-too-seductive vampire Kisten is looking way too tempting, and there’s a turf war erupting in Cincinnati’s underworld. 

And there’s a greater evil still. To put the vampire master behind bars and save her family, Rachel made a desperate bargain and now there’s hell to pay—literally. For if Rachel cannot stop him, the archdemon Algaliarept will pull her into the sorcerous ever-after to forfeit her soul as his slave. Forever.

The book opens with Rachel setting out to pay her debt to her Demon for his role in helping her put Piscary behind bars. But, in a typical Rachel fashion, she decides that she will do it her way or not at all. This attitude buys Rachel some time, but leaves her with the Demon’s last familiar Ceri to care for in her growing menage of Inderlanders or non-humans.

The book moves to Rachel’s relationship with Nick, which is continuing to deteriorate after their magical mix-up which caused Nick to become Rachel’s familiar. Every time Rachel pulls ley line magic through him, Nick is unable to respond or control his movement and actions. So, Nick disappears and Rachel is left at the (romantic) mercy of Kisten, an attractive practicing living vampire (you have to read the book to understand that line, I’m sure).

Much of the book, though, revolves around the growing unrest in the underworld now that Piscary isn’t there to hold it together. Rachel is hired by Takata to provide security at his upcoming concert to make sure that the challengers to Piscary’s power do not cause destruction and devastation. She is also hired to protect Trent when Quen feels unable to. Thus, the active conflict of the book revolves around Rachel protecting those in her sphere against the up and comer Lee, who is a witch like Rachel and shares more in common with her than anyone else she’s ever met. But, instead of being friends, these two are destined to try to kill each other and he battles for control of the underworld with the gap created by Piscary’s imprisonment and she helps both Kisten and Trent hold on to their sections of that world. And, in the chaos, a friendship is created; a friendship is shatter; a live is saved.

Part of Harrison’s talent lies in the ability to focus on relationships and the intimate details of dealing with the people in one’s life while not losing focus on the “mystery” or conflict of the book. And this book was most interesting for its relationships: Rachel’s relationship with Nick, with Kisten, with Ivy, with Trent, with her Demon, with the Were David, and with Jenks.  As we watch Rachel battle Lee to protect Trent (for money) and Kisten (for love?), we see Rachel develop a romance in with Kisten in which she can be herself and a sister-like relationship with Trent (who she still sees as the enemy) and David, a Were. Rachel continues to have issues with Ivy, though not as homoerotic. And, Jenks becomes alienated despite Rachel’s best judgment. If this were not enough to keep us entertained, Rachel goes up against her Demon again and again.

This book is a seriously fast-paced action-packed story that draws the reader in from page one. I loved it.

Happy Reading!

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