Title: Pale Demon
Author: Kim Harrison
Series: Rachel Morgan #9
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Rating: 5/5 stars!
The Overview: 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.
Once every couple of months I read a book that’s so engrossing that I completely forget to take notes for my post. Surprisingly, the last several Harrison books I’ve read fell under the “no note” category and were so amazing that I didn’t care about anything other than enjoying them. Black Magic Sanction, book 8 in the Rachel Morgan series (preceding this one), was by-far the best book I read last year, and Pale Demon would have easily been in the top twenty, if not the top ten. I think I can safely say that Harrison is now my favorite urban fantasy author. Since I sang her praises in my last couple of reviews, I’ll keep this one relatively short (especially since you’ll be seeing a few more as I get caught up in the series).
Why do I love this series so much? There are quite a few reasons, but the most prominent is because of the excellent characterization. There’s not a single person in these books that I don’t find well-rounded and interesting. They are all so richly developed that I no longer feel like I’m reading about fictional characters. There are even a few characters who are so dynamic I’m not really sure who’s side they’re on (I’m not even sure they know, and that’s why it’s interesting). I love it when books have characters like that. And the sidekicks! Harrison gets my vote for best sidekicks in any book ever! My current favorite is a teenaged gargoyle named Bix who has these cute little tuft ears & tail and these big red expressive eyes (I want one).
There’s so many other things I love: world building – because this is a futuristic America where a good portion of humanity has been killed off by virus-carrying genetically engineered tomatoes (which I think is brilliant – who thinks of this stuff?). The ongoing internal struggles of Rachel Morgan herself – because her conflicts are always interesting, especially the self-induced ones. And Rachel’s external struggles (i.e. the overall arc of the story) – because there are so many factors at play I am just dying to see how everything turns out.
All I have to say is, if you like urban fantasy and haven’t read beyond book 3 of this series, you are doing yourself a disservice. I don’t know how she does it, but Harrison manages to provide that momentous, epic feel I usually only get from fantasy novels while representing the paranormal world at its finest! I loved this series so much I’m on a mission to collect them all in hardcover.
Recommended Reading: for lovers of urban fantasy who are in need of an epic fun-filled adventure!
Other books you might like:
I love the entire Rachel Morgan series but this one was probably my favorite for how much things change with one cross country car ride. Jenks has a quote about family somewhere along the way that sums the whole thing up beautifully. Kim Harrison is a genius. I won’t actually quote it here for fear of lessening its impact on anyone who hasn’t read the book, but I’m curious if anyone else knows exactly what I’m talking about…
I agree that Harrison is a genius… I just wish I remembered exactly how the quote went. I definitely remember the intent behind it though, so it counts right? I love to this one too, but I think Black Magic Sanction is still my favorite because, so far, it is drawn me in the most emotionally. Now I’m going to have to go look that quote up!
Niki… you are terrible for my TBR pile.. really now!! Now I have to add this and make a plan to squeeze it into my schedule hopefully this year ;)
Great review as always!! I’m sure she will make it onto one of my TTT lists somewhere this year!
Chanzie @ Mean Who You Are.
Ha ha – I am thrilled you have found so many titles that you think you might like here. I definitely look forward to seeing what you think of Rachel Morgan if you do indeed decide to give her a chance…! :-)