Image

Mini Book Review: Ever After by Kim Harrison

Ever After by Kim Harrison

Title: Ever After

Author: Kim Harrison

Series: The Hollows #11

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Rating: 4/5 stars

The Overview: 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…

The Mini Review:

Ever After wasn’t my favorite book of the genre, but it was still a dang good book. I’m fascinated with the ever after itself (where the demons live), and loved learning more about how the magic involving it and the Ley lines worked. It seems like this series is building towards an epic ending and I’m both excited and sad to see it finish. I currently have two more books to go before I get there… I’m savoring them. Ever after advanced the growing friendship between Rachel and Trent, but not as much as I was hoping for at this point. Although I did learn a little more about Trent’s Elvish heritage and even more about Al the demon, which always makes my day. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention gargoyles! The gargoyles, specifically Bis, got a greater role in the story and I loved every sequence involving him and his kin. Overall, aside from gushing about all the things I love about this series, that’s pretty much it. I enjoyed it as a continuation and am eager as ever to pick up the next one. The Hollows is my favorite urban fantasy series, and I recommend it strongly (although it did take a couple of books before I realize just how much I loved it).

Trouble on Reserve by Kim Harrison

I read this novella immediately after Ever After and have to say I was a bit disappointed. I think coming off of this amazing, slow burning story that provided a satisfying ending left me unprepared for a little ten page adventure without any real resolution. When I picked it up I was thinking it was going to be a seamless continuation from where Ever After left off… not so much. I almost wish I had read it with a bunch of other short stories because then maybe my focus would’ve been a bit different. I guess it just goes to show that expectations are everything. I’d recommend it, but not for the same feel-goods I recommend the main series for.

.

Other books you might like:

by Niki Hawkes

Image

Mini Book Review: A Perfect Blood by Kim Harrison

A Perfect Blood by Kim Harrison

Title: A Perfect Blood

Author: Kim Harrison

Series: The Hollows #10

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Rating: 5/5 stars!

The Overview: Ritually murdered corpses are appearing across Cinci, terrifying amalgams of human and other. Pulled in to help investigate by the I.S. and FIB, former witch turned day-walking demon Rachel Morgan soon realizes a horrifying truth: a human hate group is trying to create its own demons to destroy all Inderlanders, and to do so, it needs her blood. She’s faced vampires, witches, werewolves, demons, and more, but humanity itself might be her toughest challenge yet.

The Mini Review:

I don’t know what happened, but somewhere around book 8 this series went from great to freaking amazing. There are so many things I love about these books, and I talk about all of them in my review of Pale Demon. So for the sake of avoiding repetition, suffice to say I still love this series just as much and am genuinely sad that I’m getting close to the end (I’ve been savoring them). What I loved about this book in particular is that, even though it was kind of a tangent from the main story arc of the series, it progressed a couple of the plot points I’m most interested in. I loved the mystery of the whole thing and especially appreciated Rachel’s resourcefulness. Also, the villains in this one are just plain old humans, but somehow managed to creep me out more than any other supernatural creature to date…go figure. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and it reaffirmed why The Hollows is my favorite urban fantasy series. If you haven’t read it yet, start with Dead Which Walking and be ready for it to get better and better with every book!

Other books you might like:

by Niki Hawkes

Image

Coming Soon: The Witch With No Name

witch with no name

Title: The Witch With No Name

Author: Kim Harrison

Series: The Hollows #13

Genre: UrbanFantasy

Release Date: September 9, 2014

The Overview: Rachel Morgan’s come a long way from the clutzy runner of Dead Witch Walking. She’s faced vampires and werewolves, banshees, witches, and soul-eating demons. She’s crossed worlds, channeled gods, and accepted her place as a day-walking demon. She’s lost friends and lovers and family, and an old enemy has become something much more. But power demands responsibility, and world-changers must always pay a price. That time is now. To save Ivy’s soul and the rest of the living vampires, to keep the demonic ever after and our own world from destruction, Rachel Morgan will risk everything.

witch with no name 2

Hosted by Breaking the Spine

 I pick up Kim Harrison’s books when I need a guaranteed good read. I take my time with them – savoring every last page and, because of that, am a few books behind in the series. Even so, I dread the day it comes to an end – these books have struck me so profoundly that I will really miss them when they’re done (not that I couldn’t go back and reread, but I will miss the considerable discovery process that makes them so much fun to read). As The Witch With No Name comes out in just a few months, that day is approaching a lot faster than I had anticipated. Because I’ve taken my time, I have a bit more reading to do than the average Hollows fan before I’m ready to pickup the conclusion, but I can’t imagine it being any less than epic when I do! If you like urban fantasy and haven’t read Kim Harrison yet, you are missing out on one of my absolute favorites!

What book are you waiting on?

by Niki Hawkes

Image

Guest Blogger Book Review: Undead Pool by Kim Harrison

Owls Header

Brought to you by Charlotte over at Apathy and Rhetoric

February 25, 2014

February 25, 2014

Title: Undead Pool

Author: Kim Harrison

Series: Rachel Morgan (Hollows) #12

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Release Date: February 25, 2014

The Overview: Witch and day-walking demon Rachel Morgan has managed to save the demonic ever after from shrinking, but at a high cost. Now strange magic is attacking Cincinnati and the Hollows, causing spells to backfire or go horribly wrong, and the truce between the races, between Inderlander and human, is shattering. this Rachel must stop the occurrences before the undead vampire masters who keep the rest of the undead under control are lost and it becomes all-out supernatural war. However, the only way to do so is through the ancient elven wild magic, which carries its own perils.

Owl rating

Charlotte’s Review:

I love this series, but at the same time always feel a little bored when I read it. Unfortunately, I can’t pinpoint why. The books have excellent plots, wonderful characters, and great writing. They just never seem to move as fast as I want them to. Perhaps I’m too impatient.

In any case, The Undead Pool is of the same caliber of quality as all of the eleven previous books, which means all you super fans out there should be very excited. While maybe not my favorite of the series, I definitely think Undead Pool is one of the better ones. The sad news is there is reportedly only going to be one more Hollows book after this one, which surprised me because I felt this one ended with enough new intrigue to keep the series going for awhile. :(

One of my favorite things about this book was the character interaction. A key part to this series has been the trio (Rachel, Ivy, and Jenks) working together and helping each other. Each character had a unique skill and role to play. I’ve felt as though that element had disappeared in recent books, but am happy to say it makes a comeback. This of course means we see more of Ivy again, who seemed to have disappeared in the last couple of books. I missed her. The way she interacts with (and intimidates) people is always fun to read. Now, if only we can get back Glenn…

I also liked the development of Trent’s storyline, but I won’t give any details on that because of spoilers. I’m just happy that certain actions finally take place.

The second thing I really loved was the elven magic and the direction Harrison took with it. It opened up whole new realms of possibilities. I’ve always liked that in this series the magic has a clear method about it and seems almost scientific. Elven magic, on the other hand, breaks that mold. It follows completely different rules (which is probably why it gets called wild magic), and that excites me. I don’t know how to say more without giving away spoilers. Let’s just say the next book should be interesting.

There were a lot of key things that happened in this book (some subtle, some major) to progress the overall arc of the series. I was happy to see some of the loose ends that I felt were dragging the series down finally get resolved in this book. There was also a lot of new avenues opened, which left me (and will probably leave you, too) eagerly anticipating the next and final book. Let’s hope it comes quickly.

 Nik’s Notes:

I was thrilled to have Charlotte do a guest post on my blog – she is one of my favorite readers, writers, and bloggers and I look forward to reading more awesome posts from her in the future!

Image

Book Review: Pale Demon by Kim Harrison

Pale demonTitle: 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.

Pale demon 2

The Review:

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:

by Niki Hawkes

Image

Coming Soon: Undead Pool by Kim Harrison

TUPhcCoverTitle: Undead Pool

Author: Kim Harrison

Series: The Hollows #12

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Release Date: February 25, 2014

The OverviewWitch and day-walking demon Rachel Morgan has managed to save the demonic ever after from shrinking, but at a high cost. Now strange magic is attacking Cincinnati and the Hollows, causing spells to backfire or go horribly wrong, and the truce between the races, between Inderlander and human, is shattering. Rachel must stop the occurrences before the undead vampire masters who keep the rest of the undead under control are lost and it becomes all-out supernatural war. However, the only way to do so is through the ancient elven wild magic, which carries its own perils.

TUPhcCover 2

Hosted by Breaking the Spine

Nik’s Notes:

  Kim Harrison has quickly become one of my favorite authors! She never lets me down, and in fact gets better with every new book (although I’m always perplexed how she can continually improve on outstanding). I have to say, I’m not caught up with this series because I’ve been deliberately reading them slowly – savoring every last page. I dread the day I don’t have a Harrison to read when I need a guaranteed good book. If you like urban fantasy and haven’t given this one a try, you’re sorely missing out!

What book are you waiting on?