First off, I’d like to announce the winner of the copy of Anya Bast’s Raven’s Quest.
Renee, please contact me at suzannelazear (@) hotmail to claim your prize.
Fantastic February continues with a review of the next installment of an amazing Urban Fantasy series.
The Hollows book 9
By Kim Harrison
Releases February 22, 2011
ARC provided by Harper Eos
I am a huge fan of the Hollows and the Rachel Morgan books. I’m a regular “stalker” of her blog and once blogged for a year so I could attend a conference she was signing at. So, when I was lucky enough to get an ARC Pale Demon, the latest Hollows book I was squeeing like a rabid fangirl.
Rachel Morgan has three days to get to the Witches Conference in San Francisco to get her shunning rescinded or she’s going to be stuck in the Ever After with Al. Denied boarding her airplane, her only chance of getting there in time involves road-tripping it with the one and only Trent Kalamack, who also needs to get to the West Coast urgently, but won’t tell Rachel why. Trent, Rachel, Ivy, and Jenks set off on a 2,300 mile trip and encounter assassins, coven members, and a daywalking demon that’s interested in Rachel. Not only do they need to make it to the West Coast on time, but they need to make it there alive.
In some series there’s sometimes a “saggy” book or two. But these books are consistently good and this one is no exception. Pale Demon is a great romp through this alternate version of America where humans are the minority. I really enjoyed the little details of the roadtrip, such as them being afraid of taking certainly highways. It was nice to “see” what America is like beyond the Hollows and it was interesting hearing little details about how small towns had virtually disappeared and wide stretches of highway no one ventured down.
It would have been fun to encounter a ghost town or see exactly what lurked on someone of those highways, but their trip is far from boring. Harrison’s attention to detail really adds so much depth and color to the story. We’re using to what a pixy wearing the color red means in the Hallows, but we find that it means something else west of the Mississippi. Vegas has interesting rules for Vampires. Rachel dines at a crazy Demon restaurant that uses ex-coven members as wait staff.
Harrison has some great one-liners. Some of my favorites are: “God save me from businessmen with too much money and not enough to do” and “It didn’t matter if a charm was white, black, or polka dotted with silver sparkles.”
This is a fast-paced book with twists and turns at every corner. Trent is still Trent, and true to his character makes some interesting choices. Pierce, too, returns. The day-walking demon adds interesting layers to the demon-elf war. Just when you think the story could be over it takes a turn and gets even better. Despite things looking bleak, Rachel comes through in the end—and so do her friends. Though where we get the usual “happily-for-now-sort-of” ending that you usually get in a Hollows book, this one comes at a high price and a few things are bittersweet.
I really enjoyed this book and found it a gripping, but quick, read. A lot of things are tied up, but other avenues are opened to new, but different paths for everyone’s favorite sassy witch bounty hunter. I get the feeling that several eras have ended for Rachel and she’ll be moving away from some things and on to others, which is good and a little sad at the same time.
Still, I will be waiting impatiently for Book Ten to see what new direction Harrison takes the series and what trouble Rachel finds next.
But I wonder, will we ever find out what the blue butterflies mean?