Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Early Review - Pale Demon (The Hollows, Book 9) by Kim Harrison (5/5 stars)

Pale Demon (The Hollows, Book 9)Reading level: Adult
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Size: 448 pages
Publisher: Eos 

Release Date: February 22, 2011
ISBN-13: 978-0061138065
Stand Alone or Series: 9th book in the Hollows series
Source:  ARC through Librarything's Early Reviewers and NetGalley.com
Rating: 5/5 stars

This is the 9th book in the Hollows series by Harrison.  Last I heard Harrison is contracted for twelve books in this series.  I got an advanced copy of this book both from Librarything's Early Reviewer program and an e-book copy from netgalley(dot)com.  I have to admit I wasn't big on the previous two books in this series so I was a bit worried about where this book would take the series.  Well, I shouldn't have worried!  This was an absolutely excellent book in the series. 

Rachel has cut a deal with the Coven, if she comes before them and apologizes for using black magic then her shunning will be revoked.  Only Trent has other ideas.  Trent is going on an elf quest of sorts and wants Rachel to help get him to the west coast since she is already going there for her trial.  Rachel is reluctant to agree but after the Coven prevents her from flying it looks like a road trip with Trent might be her only option.   So...it's time for a crazy road trip.  What happens when you get Ivy, Jenks, Rachel, and Trent in a car together...well lots of crazy stuff of course! Will Rachel's shunning be revoked?  Exactly what is Trent up to?  Will the fact that all witches are just stunted demons finally be revealed?

This was an absolutely wonderful book.  We finally have our old Rachel back.  I was not impressed with the 7th (White Witch, Black Curse) and 8th (Black Magic Sanction) books in this series and was worried that the series was going to get worse.  Well it didn't it got better.  There was a lot of the things I love about this series in this book and none of the stuff that was annoying me.

Finally we are back to the main plot (no strange side stories about banshees) and Rachel is dealing with her shunning and with the realization that all witches are demons.  We get to learn a lot more about Trent in this book and that is a wonderful thing.  He has always been a mysterious character and you learn more about him and his past than ever before.  You also get to learn a lot more about Rachel's demon tutor Al; some awesome things are revealed about the Everafter and the demons who dwell there.

Gone is the whiny, indecisive Rachel that plagued the previous two books.  The Rachel in this book is the Rachel of old, but smarter.  She can kick-butt (and does quite often in this book), she is focused, smart, and not ashamed of who she is.  It was great to see Rachel finally find her feet in this book and get back to the things that mattered.

I was also relieved that Ivy and Rachel don't dwell on their relationship (I feel like that has been hashed and re-hashed in this series).  They work great as a team and have learned how to keep things in balance.  This book feels like the series is on the edge of some major changes for all of the characters.  Things are changing with how the characters interact and what we know about them.

The ending wraps up the main storyline well, but still leaves you yearning to read more...just like the earlier books did.  This book was full of all of my favorite characters and lots of action; it was very hard to put down and very well written.

Overall an absolutely stellar addition to this series.  If you thought the previous couple books in the series were lackluster, fear not, this book redeems the series.  All of our favorite characters are back, Rachel is ready to deal with her life again like a big girl, and we get to learn a lot more about Trent and Al.  Loved it and cannot wait to read the next book in the series.

This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
- Horror and Urban Fantasy Challenge
- 100+ Reading Challenge
- E-book Reading Challenge

Pale Demon (The Hollows, Book 9)

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