Number-one New York Times best-selling author Kim Harrison returns to the supernatural adventures of Rachel Morgan in the penultimate book of the Hollows series. Witch and day-walking demon Rachel Morgan knows magic - earth, ley line, even the forbidden demon magic - and that knowledge has saved her life more than once. But now something - or someone - is attacking Cincinnati and the Hollows, causing spells to backfire or go horribly wrong while living vampires attack humans and Inderlanders alike. The pressures build when the city is quarantined to contain the unreliable magic, and Rachel must stop the attacks before the undead vampire masters who keep the rest of the undead under control are lost and it becomes all-out supernatural war. The only way to do so is through the ancient elven magic, but that carries its own perils - for magic always has a price, and gods do not come lightly when called.
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I waited a long time for this (it seemed like forever!) and Ms. Harrison delivered as always :) I totally enjoyed the book. I always like the idea of Rachel and Trent being together, even way back when he put her in the rat's cage! (I think it was a rat, hamster..or rodent of some kind...humm may have to start back over and listen to it again :)) I was really pulling for Ivy....never felt good about Rachel and Ivy hooking up, lol but it was tempting :) Who I was excited about was Nute (sp?) I liked her/his role in the story a lot better than past ones. It seemed like everyone was content or happy except for Al, poor demon. And for all the action junkies, yes we had shoot-um up, blow-um up and knock-um down action. Oh, and I LOVED the mystics! Just imagine what trouble Rachel could get into with new powers from the mystics? ( hint, hint, and a wink) This addition to the series was a good as gorging on chocolate and almonds and finding out you lost 5 pounds because of it!
If, as I have, you've been following this series from the beginning, this book has been a long time coming. Rachel Morgan has come an enormous distance -- professionally and personally -- since she first decided to leave the I.S. and become an independent runner. She has transformed from witch to day-walking demon and repeatedly saved the world.
Not that the world has been particularly grateful. She keep pulling the world's bacon out of the fire and they keep whacking her over the head. A simple thank you would do!
Ivy has moved on to a genuine relationship -- fragile but real -- with Nina. Jenks has (apparently) finally recovered from the death of his wife, Matalina. Bis, the baby gargoyle, isn't such a baby any longer. He's coming into his own and may just live up to the name he bears amongst gargoyles -- Worldbreaker.
Then there's Trent. Rachel and Trent have been dancing around each other through a lot of pages. Approach, back off, sashay left and do-si-do. Finally all the waiting pays off and we get some long hoped-for romance.
This is a deeply satisfying book on many levels. Kim Harrison not only gives us what we've waited for, but she does it so deliciously. The characters -- even background characters like Trent's irritating fiancé Ellasbeth -- are fully fleshed out. Great characters who have been MIA for a while, such as David and his were-pack, are back and ready to mix it up. Hail, hail! The gang is here!
Will Rachel save the world again? You bet.
A quick summary: Living vampires are rebelling. Their undead masters are asleep, apparently unable to waken. The world is being overwhelmed by wild magic Elven magic and Rachel is at the center of the maelström. There's no question she has been chosen by the Goddess. Why? For what exactly? Where does Newt fit in?
Although not every question is answered in this next-to-last book in The Hollows series, it answer a great many of them. Things you've been waiting for through eleven books finally happen in this, the twelfth volume. It is about time and was absolutely worth waiting for.
There's a lot of exposition in the first half of the book. Action explodes in the second half. The momentum picks up to such an extent I found myself backtracking and rereading to make sure I didn't miss a critical event or piece of information.
I have loved every book in this series and it was inevitable I would love this, too. Unlike many long running series, there's nothing tired about this book. It's as fresh, exciting and rich as it was in the beginning and in many ways, more so. I'm going to read it again. And probably, again after that.
Do not -- please -- read this if you haven't read the rest of the series. You need the background of the characters not to mention a lot of development of relationships. And history. If you haven't read the series, read it. It has been my favorite series for all the years I've been following it and has never disappointed me. It won't disappoint you, either.
As usual, Margeurite Gavin does a perfect job with the narration and if you liked earlier, book you'll love this one -- maybe even more.
This is, in my opinion, the best urban fantasy series. Period.