Sunday, 13 March 2011

13. "Pale Demon" by Kim Harrison

Publisher: Harper Voyager
Page count: 448 pages
Date begun: February 23rd, 2011
Date finished: February 26th, 2011

This is book 9 in an ongoing series, and as such, will contain spoilers for previous books in the series. If you're bothered by such things, please skip ahead to the next review. I would also not recommend anyone to start by reading this book. If you're interested in picking up the series (it really is very entertaining) you'll want to start with Dead Witch Walking. 


Rachel Morgan has to get to San Francisco to clear her name and get her shunning rescinded at the annual Witches' convention. It quickly becomes clear that the ruling council doesn't want her to get there, however, and she's unable to get on the plane as scheduled. Her sometime nemesis, the ruthless business man Trent Calamack has a proposition for her. He needs to be on the other side of the country in three days' time, and he has to drive to get there. He wants Rachel to act as his bodyguard. So it's road trip time for Rachel, Trent and her partners Ivy and Jenks.

Their road trip is not exactly uneventful. There are assassins after Trent, clearly intent on stopping him from reaching the end of his mystical elf quest. He's extremely reluctant to let Rachel know any of the details, but seems to be bonding with Jenks quite a bit along the way. After an attack from a daywalking demon (a being who shouldn't be able to exist), they are forced to bring along Vivian, a member of the Witches' council, who is pretty obviously trying to get incriminating evidence on Rachel for their trial. When they finally get to San Francisco, Rachel's trial doesn't exactly go smoothly either. It looks like Trent may be her only hope of a normal life in the future.

I had high expectations for this book, as previously in the Hollows series, books 3 and 6 were the best yet. Since this is book 9, I was hoping it would be equally awesome, but it didn't quite deliver. It was by no means bad, and like in books 3 and 6, there were big revelations and changes to the status quo, with tantalising hints of where the series is heading in the future. It revealed more about Rachel's mysterious abilities, and Trent played a much bigger part than he normally does. We find out quite a lot more about him, and as he is a very entertaining character, I liked the new depth this book gave him. It revealed more about the demons in Harrison's paranormal universe, and Rachel's demon mentor Al keeps becoming more and more interesting, and also more relatable with each book. With the exception of one book which was quite dull, this series has never failed to entertain me, and I can't wait to see where Harrison takes her characters next.

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