This, is the book I’ve been waiting for, literally for years. This is the book where there is substantive growth in all the characters, where characters you’ve almost given up on, actually become who you always hoped they would be. Where Rachel Morgan finally isn’t doesn’t jump to the wrong conclusions (okay well not more then once or twice), where Trent doesn’t just “HINT” at what he wants but actually acts on his principles, where even Al shows emotion and where people start acting like damn grown ups.
This is, other then a slow spell there in towards the beginning, one of my favorite of the series. And for you Trent/Rachel shippers…well…let’s just say, I think of myself as one and I was smiling, a lot. I also almost cried at one point but that is for later in the review. I finally (with a few reservations there a book or so ago) feel like I know how things are going to end up when the series ends in the next book 12 in 2014, and I feel confident I’m going to be pleased. That is not to say this book doesn’t throw some heartbreaking curves at us.
Too summarize, Rachel as usual, has a lot on her plate. Her bastard ex-boyfriend Nick is working with Ku-Sox, and they have kidnapped Ceri and Trent’s child Lucy, and left Quen in a coma. Meanwhile, the leyline that Rachel accidentally damaged in the Ever After is causing it to shrink. The residents are actually losing rooms in their houses and if it isn’t fixed it will destroy the Ever After, and understandably…. the demons are not best pleased.
Rachel is summoned to a trial in the Ever After where she is told she has four days to fix it, or they will execute both her and Al, who keeps trying to save them both AND get her to shut up, but good luck with that.
As usual, Rachel has her allies. Ivy is seriously underutilized in this book, but the plot is being set for her story to come back to the front line in the next book, so that is okay. Jenks and Trent have developed a new understanding of each other since their side story rescue/baby napping of Lucy, a short story that appeared in the recently released anthology “Into The Woods”. Jenks is also dealing with some serious family issues and guess what? Helen, Trent’s ex-fiancee and the mother of Lucy, is back. Can we all say, “yuck?”
And then there is Trent, who Rachel has to trust, and who has to trust her, in order for this whole thing to work. Trent started the series out as the Villain (who I fell in love with right off the bat) and who has redeemed himself over and over. There is a scene about the middle of the book where you realize Trent is trying to tell Rachel something VERY important but she doesn’t understand until it is almost too late and it was incredibly moving. Okay, I’ll admit it, I cried.
One Hollows book to go after this one. When I started reading Urban Fantasy about six years ago, there were three series I was obsessed with, and this was one. Unfortunately I’ve quit reading the other two series for completely different reasons. It makes me sad to see authors in my opinion at least, lose their way in a series. One of the series I was reading changed so much I think the author must have had a brain transplant. In the other series it became obvious the author was taking the series in a direction I didn’t enjoy, and while I respect and admire the author and their decision to do what the want with their characters…I quit reading the series so I could pretend it ended where the last book I read did like…and pretend the heroine ended up with the character I liked.
Kim Harrison in my opinion, almost lost her way there a bit, in the middle of the series. I’d imagine it would be an easy thing to do and frankly am more amazed by authors who can write a ten book plus series and keep the excitement and the passion burning at all, let alone never have a bit of a bump in the middle. It seems a herculean task to me. I’d much rather read a series that had a bump in the middle and finished strong then one that starts strong and starts fading in the middle and ends with a whimper Harrison hasn’t fallen off the path, she’s headed for the finish line like a champ.
I’m grateful Harrison managed to avoid the pitfalls some of her colleagues have fallen prey to. She is still, obviously enjoying her job, and writing with the zeal and passion most authors lose by this point in their fame and success. She clearly found her way with Pale Demon, A Perfect Blood and Ever After, and she’s ending this series the way it should be ended, with character growth, excitement, new information on the characters we’ve come to love and great twists and plots. I’m so glad I stuck it out because this series just keeps getting better.