Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Review - Pale Demon by Kim Harrison

Pale Demon (The Hollows, Book 9)Pale Demon (The Hollows, Book 9)

Flat out, this is the best book I've read so far this year. Like fine wine, The Hollows is a series that has just grown better with time. Although the intricate complexities of this latest addtion (9th book) to an already variegated storyline might initially leave even an ardent fan like myself bewildered, enlightenment soon dawns upon the second and even fifth reading. While that may make you rethink your decision to read this 448 pages long harcover, my suggestion would be run and grab this book - now. Devour it like the aforementioned "Pale Demon" devours souls in this never-a-dull-moment fantastic thriller of an addition to a stellar series. That said, this is definitely not a stand-alone story and must be read in order of the series to get the full-bodied effect.

Now that I've sung its praise enough to make you curious, let me give you a glimpse of what this story's about.

Condemned and shunned for black magic, Rachel Morgan has three days to get to the annual witches’ conference and clear her name, or be trapped in the demonic ever-after . . . forever after.

But a witch, an elf, a living vampire, and a pixy in one car going across the country? Talk about a recipe for certain disaster, even without being the targets for assassination.

For after centuries of torment, a fearsome demon walks in the sunlight—freed at last to slay the innocent and devour their souls. But his ultimate goal is Rachel Morgan, and in the fight for survival that follows, even embracing her own demonic nature may not be enough to save her.
As always, Rachel is in top form whipping out her magic and still managing to just hang on to her skin, pursued by witches, demons and other magical creatures alike who all want a part of her. While I didn't see as much kick-ass Ivy action as I'm used to, I got to see something else that had me equally intrigued - a chance to see Trent unleash some wild elvish magic. There's action galore together with black magic, white magic, wild evlish magic and of course, there's always the plot within a plot, people conspiring everywhere with Rachel as the central vortex and reason for it all.

Spoilers ahead!

More than anything else, there's an important change with this book and that's about the pivotal shift in relationships. Ivy embraces that Rachel has grown beyond her, even as Rachel has to accept that she's a witch who's also a demon and who now has the whole collective breathing down her neck. Jenks tries to deal with his ever new and changing future as the longest living pixy and starts branching out. And while Pierce gains what he'd lost, he loses something much more important - Rachel's love for him.

And Trent - well, there's the biggest change of all. Ever since Trent was first introduced in this series, I've had a soft spot for him, despite all his faults. As such I was very happy to see him somewhat redeem himself, especially towards the end. His being a father was quite a shocker. And I was disappointed that so little was mentioned about the reason for his quest and the details about how he achieved it with Jenk's help.

If I remember correctly, with other new book or so, Rachel gets a new love. First it was a witch, then a vampire, and now in this book we see even Al, her demon mentor/tormentor, is getting sexually interested in Rachel, which was a bit gross, but still very fascinating, plot-complexity-wise. Most arresting of all were the sparks Trent and Rachel set off of each other. Now that's something I've kinda been hoping for ages as nowhere do the pages start sizzling as much as they do when Rachel and Trent get together, usually to exchange verbal barbs or fight each other. But sparks - they just fly! It looks like finallly Ms. Harrison has synced on to my wavelength and perhaps they may find true love together after all. Perhaps. Especially since nothing concrete really happens in this story, except lots of ogling (on both sides) and some mild flirting and one truly sizzling-hot kiss! And hopefully this relationship will stick, for Rachel's old loves have all gone from hero to zero in terms of disappointing her. Trent however, started out disappointing her, and his magic is a different sort, so maybe there's hope for them yet. Can't wait to read the next one and see if it all pans out.

Another big change in this book is about how the different races begin to see and interact with each other. Demons begin to see in Rachel a new hope for their future as their alternate reality begins to show dangerous signs of collapsing. Jenks gets a new viewpoint about other pixies and learns to grudgingly accept a fairy's help. Bis the gargoyle bonds with Rachel. And the other witches (and even vampires) finally learn to respect (if not accept) Rachel for the truly exceptional magical being that she is.

Rachel herself has grown with the series. She's had to make sacrifices, and has her heart broken many times. In this story she has a crucial, bittersweet realization that her magic has taken her beyond anybody she knows, good or bad, black magic or white. She's a walking talking demon witch (which I incidentally think would have made a better title for this book) and unfortunately, now everyone knows it. How she deals with this as well her budding relationship with Trent are just two of things I look forward to exploring more with the next book.

Thanks to Harper Collins for sending me this book for review/feature consideration.
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  1. Nice review! Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Rachel gets a new bf in Book 10. Some hopeful news is that Trent will be getting jealous.

  2. Oh this has just been added to my reading list!!!!!!!!


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  4. Good nice to be here in this blog i learn a lot with this blog more good niche to come.nice as online game

  5. Thank you all for stopping by and for your comments!

    nightmistress85 - Oh, no! Hopefully its someone good. Rachel's luck in that area has sure been bad.

    Emma Odette Barnett - good to know!

    Piratas del caribe 4 estreno en mexico - thank you so much :)