Kim Harrison / Urban Fantasy
Book 9 in the Hollows series
Harpercollins / February 2011
Condemned to death for black magic and shunned, Rachel Morgan has three days to somehow get to the annual witches convention in San Francisco and clear her name. If she fails, the only way she can escape death is to live in the demonic ever after . . . for ever after. Banned from the flight lists, Rachel teams up with elven tycoon Trent Kalamack, headed for the West Coast for his own mysterious business. But Rachel isn’t the only passenger along for the ride. 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. A fearsome demon walks the sunlight, freed after centuries of torment to slay the innocent and devour souls. But his ultimate prey is Rachel Morgan. While the powerful witch with nerves of steel will do whatever it takes to stay alive, even embracing her own demonic nature may not be enough to save her.
I let out an almighty squeal of excitement when I got my hands on this book. I have been hopelessly addicted to this series from page one of Dead Witch Walking. There’s always the worry in the back of readers minds that the more books there are in a series, the harder the author has to work for it to still pack a powerful punch. Pale Demon is book nine in the series and BY FAR is THE MOST incredible of them all. Please excuse the GUSHFEST you are about to witness. I’d suggest maybe sitting back a little from the screen just in case I get a little of my excitement on you LOL
Where to even begin? So much has happened to Rachel throughout the series and seriously the poor girl has to be tired from the trouble she attracts. Just wanting to be left alone to live her life free from being hunted and attacked, Rachel finds herself heading to San Francisco with the hopes of having her shunning revoked. The witches coven have labeled her a black witch (because she had performed demon magic) and through a series of events, a bargain was struck – her shunning removed or she would tell the world the startling truth she discovered (haha read the books because it’s a HUGE “shake the world” kind of truth) Going in good faith, she makes the epic journey with her friends and Trent *insert swoon here*, picking up a coven spy along the way. What follows is an amazingly fast paced, action packed, “OMGSH I can’t believe it” story that far surpassed my expectations. This story BLEW. ME. AWAY. This is the kind of book that I wish went on forever because there was just so much to see and soak in. The author did an incredible job of giving her readers a closer look at all the beloved characters and had them involved with things I never would have seen coming. I’m impressed with her imagination and ability to write a story that even after eight books, STILL had the ability to suck me in. *insert a HUGE gush*
It never ceases to amaze me just how much I like Rachel. She is such a fly by the seat of her pants heroine who is completely flawed and you can’t help but love her. This is the girl who REPEATEDLY finds herself knee deep in trouble when all she wants to do is live her life and be a good witch. You name it, it’s hunted her down and tried to kill her and still she keeps fighting. Even in the most desperate of moments, when it would be so easy for her to give up, Rachel stands up, dusts herself, digs deep and fights. In Pale Demon, Rachel is knocked hard. So much happens to her that even I was crying “Please just leave her alone” before turning to her and whispering “It’s ok if you want to disappear for a while, you need a break from all this.” She learns a lot about herself and accepts some things that are difficult to swallow but instead of wallowing, whether by bravery or sheer stubbornness, she works through it. This is all great but when you add in her flaws and the emotion/thoughts that flow through her, she makes for an incredible character in my mind. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of her because there seems she still surprises me and I can’t help but wonder if we know all there is to know yet. Being in a place now where she can fully embrace who she is, what will she choose? My heart goes out to her and all I can do is cheer!
*insert the BIGGEST gush here* Being the hopeless romantic I am, I can’t help it when I read a book that I try to partner the heroine off with a sexy man. Rachel has been involved with a few hunks – Kirsten (sob he is so missed), Nick (no comment) and Pierce (sigh). Each relationship has had its challenges and I’ve always held my breath to see whether it’d last. So going into this book, I took a look around at the leading men and I could help but hope with my wishful heart that Rachel and Trent would hook up. I don’t think I’m the only one who isn’t a little lustful after the sexy bad boy elf (ok you can add in murderer and drug lord but I think bad boy sounds better) He has always made my heart beat a little faster and right from the beginning I’ve wanted sparks to fly. There’s some sexual tension there amongst all the hostility and so I went into Pale Demon crossing my fingers. Like the naughty reviewer I am – I’M NOT TELLING YOU ANYTHING (mwahahaha) but this I will. There is A LOT of Trent in here and he is extremely delicious! The author gives the reader such a deeper look at him and we get to see him totally out of his element. We get a glimpse behind the façade and it is BEAUTIFUL!! Oh he’s still as sarcastic and “Trent” as ever but there is more depth and meaning to him and GUSH GUSH GUSH. I’ve waited eight books for this kind of look at him so for all you Trent lovers… be prepared to lose your heart all over again to him.
I really loved the feel of the book and how there seemed to be a more emotional approach to it. Amongst all the excitement, I appreciated seeing some of the characters reveal more of themselves to the reader. It helped make a deeper connection to them and the storyline and you became invested in the story. I’ve already shared about Rachel and Trent but another surprise for me was Al. Yes, this was the book where I saw him as more than a demon and I felt myself falling in love with him. There’s always been this image presented of him throughout the series and it honestly felt as if suddenly Al was stripped of everything and we could see a more “human” side of him. I loved being able to look at him differently, to appreciate him better and as much as in freaked Rachel out at times when she saw different sides to him, I thought it was about time and fantastic. This book really gave the spotlight to some of the characters we’ve been intrigued in and all I can say is a big THAN K YOU to the author.
There is nothing I would change about this book because in my mind it was perfect. It was a thrilling experience, one that I couldn’t get enough of and had me emotionally absorbed into the characters. It’s an amazing urban fantasy series, one that I’ll cherish and reread over and over again. This is definitely a book I’ll be talking about for months to come and feel anyone who loves the paranormal would absolutely enjoy and devour this book/series. Here’s hoping I can last until the next installment. Happy reading! * this ends the GUSHfest*