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Ever After

Ever After (The Hollows/Rachel Morgan, #11)
by Kim Harrison

The ever after, the demonic realm that parallels the human world, is shrinking. If it disappears completely, so does all magic. It’s up to witch-turned-daywalking-demon Rachel Morgan to avert catastrophe and keep life from changing… for the worse.

While saving the world is important, it isn’t Rachel’s only motivation. There’s also the small fact that she caused the ley line to rip in the first place, setting off a chain reaction of unfortunate events. That little mistake has made her life forfeit unless she can fix it. It’s also made her more than a few enemies, including the most powerful demon in the ever after—a terrifying entity who eats souls and now has an insatiable appetite for her. He’s already kidnapped her friend and goddaughter to lure her out, and if Rachel doesn’t give herself up soon, they’ll die.

But Rachel has more than a few impressive and frightening skills of her own, and she isn’t going to hand over her soul and her life without one hell of a fight. She’s also got a surprise: elven tycoon Trent Kalamack. With this unlikely ally beside her—a prospect both thrilling and unnerving—she’s going to return to the ever after, kick some demon butt, rescue her loved ones… and prevent an apocalypse before it’s too late. Or, at least that’s the plan… (goodreads.com)

Oh, this series, why do you do what you do to me? It’s been such a roller coaster relationship for the last few books and I am starting to think perhaps the series should come to an end soon. That being said I did love the previous two books, even if I wasn’t really sure about books 7 and 8. I don’t know…

This book was Al and Trent-centric and really, I should have been ALL OVER THAT – but I wasn’t. I will be honest with you, I struggled through most of this book and was going to write it off completely until the ending. THAT ENDING! Ooooo!

When I think about what I didn’t like about the story (I think I just found it sort of boring), I realized that this is one of the few books where Rachel isn’t completely inept at something – even if she is still being blamed for something that wasn’t her fault, but if she couldn’t fix it she’d be killed, AGAIN. Rachel was strong and in control in Ever After and I should be jumping for joy about this, but I just couldn’t bring myself to care.

The book wasn’t horrible, but I found it sort of flat in comparison to the rest of the series. I will say this yet again – I miss Ivy. Why is Ivy always AWAY? Is it just me? It’s like Ivy has tiny cameos in the stories now and they can’t afford to hire the actress full time or something. I loved the start of this series with Rachel, Ivy and Jenks against the world. Now? If Ivy has anything to do with the story it’s all about her brooding over being a vampire, getting angry at Rachel for no reason and Rachel trying not to emote and arouse Ivy’s vampire senses…then? Ivy vanishes and it’s all Rachel all the time.

I want my urban fantastical trio back together.

I want Al to not be BFFs with Rachel and be a badass demon once again.

I did get a death in there I had wanted! But one I didn’t want happened, too. It made me sad.

I feel like I am reading this series out of loyalty to the first few books. Yes, there are some gems along the way, but I don’t feel like there is any progression to the characters anymore. I am super curious about how the ending of Ever After will come into play in the next book. If it’s just ignored completely I think I might give up and go on a break from this Rachel Morgan series because I can’t take it anymore. The ending of this book needs to be explored (and ooooo, hotness!)

I’m worried this series is becoming stale, and since it’s a series I have loved for so long, this makes me sad. I hope that there’s more awesome to come, but I also think it might be time to wrap things up sooner than later. What do you guys think?

The Rachel Morgan/The Hollows series

  1. Dead Witch Walking
  2. The Good, The Bad & the Undead
  3. Every Which Way But Dead
  4. A Fistful of Charms
  5. For a Few Demons More
  6. The Outlaw Demon Wails
  7. White Witch, Black Curse
  8. Black Magic Sanction
  9. Pale Demon
  10. A Perfect Blood
  11. Ever After

A Perfect Blood

A Perfect Blood (Rachel Morgan/The Hollows, #10)
by ? Kim Harrison ?

Yeah, baby! You have no idea how I actually squealed when I opened an email from my Harper Collins rep and she mentioned they’d be getting a few copies of the latest Kim Harrison book and would it be ok if she sent me one. I also laughed at the “would it be ok” part. You see, she was quite aware of my extreme love of all things Kim Harrison and therefore the question she asked me wasn’t really a question.

I am currently in the process of building a lovely shrine to my HC rep and once it is finished I shall post a photo. I had hoped to have it ready for this post but life is busy and I have little free time. Boo!

Since we’re at the 10th book in the Rachel Morgan series (Happy 10th anniversary, Kim Harrison! *throws confetti*) I shall try not to spoil much for those who are still reading, have not yet read, etc. etc. I don’t even post the summaries of these books anymore since just those alone can spoil the behind reader.

I was rather disappointed when I started reading though, since the book didn’t really pick up for me until about a third of the way in. I was actually annoyed with Rachel in this book, more so than usual, but this had more to do with the way she was written. I don’t know if it was just me or if anyone else picked up on this, but by golly! When did Rachel become so bloody sex obsessed? It’s like all of a sudden you couldn’t be a male OR female (human, vamp, were OR PIXIE!) within her line of sight because she’d be getting all hot and bothered and be feeling things in her nether regions. THIS IS NOT THE RACHEL MORGAN THAT I HAVE LOVED FOR 9 BOOKS!

What the hell?! I was almost ready to just toss the book aside and mourn the loss of a series that I have loved since it’s inception. Thankfully all the libido thoughts were quelled once Rachel was kidnapped and tortured. I have never been so thankful for violence in a book. Jeez.

Once the action (of the non-sexual kind) started, I was quite hooked on the story and much more eager to continue reading. The HAPA group was an interesting idea, though I am sort of sad that it took 10 books for this group to be mentioned, as well as the slurs they have for the Inderlanders, which I don’t ever recall hearing before. I feel like this part of the backstory should have come up before now. Oh, well. It’s not the end of the world, because it’s giving us a lot of loose threads to follow in future books. Yay!

My favourite addition to the world in which Rachel Morgan ineptly bumbles around in was Winona. I completely ADORED her, especially after the, er, change. I certainly hope she remains a recurring character in future books. In fact I’d like to see more of her than say, Pierce (whom I cannot stand). Would be nice if she became a nanny for Trent and Ceri.

That being said, I sort of miss the days when the books were just Rachel, Ivy and Jenks against the world. It’s well and nice that they have friends and allies now, but I sort of miss the three of them together. Ivy has been in the background of the stories for too long now. Jenks often gets way more “screen” time than Ivy does and that makes me sad. I have said this for the last few books now, too. We need more Ivy! *waves banners and signs*

I am happy that I was not disappointed by A Perfect Blood in the end. Yay! I hate that I have to wait an entire year for each book, though. Boo! I can’t wait to see where Kim Harrison is taking us with HAPA and Rachel and how suddenly I am a lot more suspicious of people I hadn’t been suspicious of before. Hmm. Can’t wait to get my Hollows fix next year!

The Rachel Morgan/The Hollows series

  1. Dead Witch Walking
  2. The Good, The Bad & the Undead
  3. Every Which Way But Dead
  4. A Fistful of Charms
  5. For a Few Demons More
  6. The Outlaw Demon Wails
  7. White Witch, Black Curse
  8. Black Magic Sanction
  9. Pale Demon
  10. A Perfect Blood
  11. Ever After

Pale Demon

Pale Demon (Rachel Morgan, #9)
by ? Kim Harrison ?

I honestly cannot believe that we’re already up to the ninth book in the Rachel Morgan series. It feels like only yesterday I had discovered the series. Though the first book published in 2004 I only discovered the books when book 3 was about to come out. In fact the bookstore that I was working in at the time had an ARC in mass market of Every Which Way but Dead and I was in heaven! I also remember when these books came out in mass market only then I guess the series got all popular and the publishers switched to hard cover. I tried very hard to wait the year for the paperback, but it never worked. So what I did was buy the hard cover and then give it away when the paperback came out a year later. I stopped doing that so now I’m trying to build up my library with hard covers. It seems that the first books have all been re-released in hard cover now, so one day, when I am rich I will buy them all.

But enough about book formats, this post is allllll about the ninth Rachel Morgan book and guess what? I loved it. I loved it so much more than the last two which left me sort of…dry. For once Rachel wasn’t written up as a completely incompetent person who gets blamed for everyone else’s mistakes (thank the gods, because that was getting old)! Rachel Morgan was powerful and in control and that made me happy.

Also making me happy? Road trip with Trent. (Not a spoiler as it is in the summary for the book!) I love Trent. I don’t like the male characters in these books all that much, but I love Trent. I can’t stand Pierce and I wish he would just die again and be all dead and not a ghost. Just dead. Because I hate him. Al… well, Al I generally like but I did not like him much in this book. He seemed out of character to me and I didn’t like the character he had become.

I was discussing the book with my husband and it occurred to me I couldn’t pin point exactly why I loved this book so much. I think it just has to do with Rachel not being blamed for everything and how she seemed to be in control of the situations that were thrown at her. Also there’s the interaction between Rachel and Trent that just makes me smile and laugh. Thing is this series has seriously been lacking in something lately and that’s Ivy. She’s pretty much been written out of the stories. Sure she’ll be there, but she doesn’t DO anything, or speak much. It’s sort of sad because the first books what I really loved was Ivy and Rachel and Jenks. Their frienship, banter and how they were a team solving the problems. Now everything is Rachel, normally with Jenks around swearing and offering up snarky commentary and Ivy is absent.

I do hope that Ivy reappears in the next novel and actually has a role because I miss her.

Other than that, I had a great time reading this book and I wasn’t even going to buy it when it came out. I was going to wait until finances were more stable (read: available) and since I hadn’t really been wowed by the last two novels I thought I’d wait, but after losing Annie I needed something familiary

The Rachel Morgan/The Hollows series

  1. Dead Witch Walking
  2. The Good, The Bad & the Undead
  3. Every Which Way But Dead
  4. A Fistful of Charms
  5. For a Few Demons More
  6. The Outlaw Demon Wails
  7. White Witch, Black Curse
  8. Black Magic Sanction
  9. Pale Demon
  10. A Perfect Blood

Buy the book: AmazonCA | Amazon | Book DepositoryUK

Black Magic Sanction

Black Magic Sanction (Rachel Morgan/The Hollows #8)
by ? Kim Harrison ?

I’m going to try and not spoil this book too much and I just noticed that the cover I have saved isn’t the one on the actual book. The book has a little fog cloud over Rachel’s face. Also, while I’m on the cover – is that gargoyle supposed to be Bis? Because he looks way too large to be perching on Rachel’s shoulder if it is. I thought he was smaller from the description in the book. Hmm. Confusing.

To start off this review I shall say, who wasn’t in this book? I think we had every character except for one demon in this story. And if they weren’t IN the story they were mentioned by name so it was like one big ol’ Hollow’s reunion. The best part of the story? Al. I love Al. There wasn’t enough Trent for my liking, but I am sensing a book full o’ Trent in the future with the way things ended in this book. But Al! I love Al! (Have I mentioned that yet?)

Who I do not love? Nick. Pierce. Lee. Um… pretty much all male characters other than Jenks, Al, Trent and Quen. Kim Harrison is my goddess, but I don’t like her male characters. I especially loathe Pierce and Nick. Sadly they are in abundance in this book. Boo! Hiss!

One part of the book made me bloody cry! I was so mad! This after just having a huge rant about Pixar and their “love” and “emotions” after bawling through Up! the weekend prior (which, however helped moisturize my eyes and made them less dry for a little while). But yes, there was one part in the story that I just started to weep over. Damn you, Kim Harrison! Damn you, Pixar and your 5 minute love story montages! I shake my fist at the both of you! *shakes fist*

Plot-wise… meh. I can’t be the only one who is tired of everything always happening to Rachel, right? I mean even the character is fed up of being blamed for everything even if she has nothing to do with it. I am slightly frustrated with the repetitive nature of that plot line, but over-all the story was action packed right from the first pages. It was hard to put it down at all except that I had to since I couldn’t read for long periods of time after the eye surgery. (I am still having trouble, but books are better than the computer screen so I have completed two books and not done a lot of internetting.)

I find myself once more in that “WHY DO I HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL NEXT FEBRUARY?!” mode as I twiddle my thumbs in anticipation of the 9th (ninth!!) book in this series.

The Rachel Morgan/The Hollows series

  1. Dead Witch Walking
  2. The Good, The Bad & the Undead
  3. Every Which Way But Dead
  4. A Fistful of Charms
  5. For a Few Demons More
  6. The Outlaw Demon Wails
  7. White Witch, Black Curse
  8. Black Magic Sanction
  9. Pale Demon

(I can’t believe that I don’t have reviews for all of these books when Kim Harrison is my favourite author! I started reading them before I had a fully functioning book blog I guess!)

White Witch, Black Curse

White Witch, Black Curse (Rachel Morgan, #7)
by Kim Harrison

I had to seriously hold myself back from adding little hearts around Kim Harrison’s name. Sad, I know. I am such a fangirl when it comes to this author, I swear. You just tell me she’s got a book coming out and I squeal like I was at a boy band concert (FYI – my first ever concert was the New Kids on the Block when I was 14 and I have never been a fan of any other boy band. But I digress…). As I have stated previously, Kim Harrison is an auto-buy for me. And I’ll even dish out the obscene amount of money for the hard cover so that I can get my fix as soon as possible. I should have just pre-ordered the book on Amazon, it would have cost me less in the long run, but after my debacle with ordering from Chapigo last year, I didn’t want to take a chance! But darnit! I would have saved almost $13 off the price. Argh. Of course I would have had to get another book as well for the free shipping. Also adding to my credit card right now it so not something I want to do.

Again with the digression, sorry.

In this seventh book in the series, we join Rachel as she attempts to remember what happened on the night of Kisten’s murder. His murderer is still out there somewhere and because of the memory spell Jenks used on her to save her life, Rachel can’t remember a thing about that night. The quest to find Kisten’s murderer takes a backseat to the main plot of trying to track down and capture a banshee who has been murdering many to help her new born child survive.

I feel bad for Rachel since she gets into all these situations to help other people live and yet ends up being shunned because of the consequences of that help. She’s not always the brightest bulb on the tree with the way she rushes into things, but she does this because she cares about what happens to others and is a good person. No one seems to want to listen to her when she tells them the truth until they need something from her and then they are all ears. I don’t think it’s fair for her to be looked down at by peers and others when they are the ones who ask her, beg her and at times force her into doing those negative things.

I came away with a couple of irks though. I dislike Rachel’s brother Robbie immensely. I don’t recall liking him the first time he was introduced into the series either. I am getting tired of the (lack of) relationship between Rachel and Ivy. I understand Ivy has her issues. But geez. Get on with it already. It’s getting repetitive. Get some therapy. Heck, eat a therapist if it’ll help. But move on.

I have never liked any of Rachel’s male relationships. Although Kisten was growing on me and then POOF. So, mental note – probably a good idea for me to continue not liking any of the male friends. (Also a good note for my watching of America’s Next Top Model. Because even if I don’t watch the show entirely anymore, the one time I’ll turn it on and say “Hey, that girl’s cute!” she’ll be voted off at the end of the show. I kid you not. This also happened with the ONE time my best friend and I saw an episode of Britain’s Next Top Model. The ONE time. We liked this one girl and within the next 30 mins she was booted off. It is not safe for me to like people on TV or in books!)

I did find this story somewhat flat. I think that might have had to do with the minimal amount of Al. I love Al. Or at least I generally do (he doesn’t count as “male” being a demon and all) only he didn’t make me laugh like he normally does. (Well, with the exception of, “Splendid! A fire!”) I loved The Outlaw Demon Wails so much so there was a good chance that this book would pale slightly in comparison. I don’t think the series has started to go downhill at all. I can’t wait for the next one. In fact I am so happy that Kim Harrison has a YA book coming out in the summer because this will be a good break in my year-long wait for the 8th book!

The Rachel Morgan/The Hollows series

  1. Dead Witch Walking
  2. The Good, The Bad & the Undead
  3. Every Which Way But Dead
  4. A Fistful of Charms
  5. For a Few Demons More
  6. The Outlaw Demon Wails
  7. White Witch, Black Curse
  8. Black Magic Sanction
  9. Pale Demon