Review: ‘The Outlaw Demon Wails’ by Kim Harrison

As I mentioned at the end of my last review, I decided to purchase the paperback of The Outlaw Demon Wails, the 6th novel in Kim Harrison’s popular Hollows series, rather than listen to the audio. I didn’t know if I could bear to listen to the different reader’s strange voices and odd pronunciations for even this one book, again. I’m happy that I did so, as I was able to hear the fantastic voices that I’ve listened to Marguerite Gavin use to bring life to each of Harrison’s motley group of characters while I read the text. It was quite enjoyable.

 

That being said, here’s a blurb from the back cover:

In the Hollows, where the natural and the supernatural co-exist -not always peacefully- desperate times often call for unorthodox measures. But bounty hunter-witch Rachel organ did the absolutely unthinkable to save the lives of her friends: she willingly trafficked in forbidden demon magic. And now her sins have come home to haunt her.

As Rachel hunts for the truth behind a terrifying murder, the discovery of a shocking family secret is about to throw her entire life into question. And the long-lost ancient knowledge she seeks resides in the demonic ever-after.

But there are some lines that should never be crossed – like the one Rachel Morgan is stepping over… again!

 

I’ve never quite understood why the book covers describe Rachel as a ‘bounty hunter’ unless it just seems like a good translation for ‘runner’. *shrug* Just an oddity that I’ve wondered about from time to time. Prepare for mild spoilers!

It’s Halloween and Rachel is a busy little witch. She fights with and then makes up with Ceri, is given a clue by Quen which causes her to have a revelation, works with Trent once more and remembers a few things about the night Kisten died while coming to a decision about her bizarre relationship with Ivy. She also learns an astounding secret about her past and comes to a horrifying realization about her future as well as making a rather mature and long-awaited (by myself, if by nobody else!) decision about the way she lives her life for the thrill of the adrenaline rush. Busy, busy, busy!

We see a couple of characters who made short appearances in previous books come back for a bit more face time as well as meeting a new character. Marshall, the scuba-diver from Mackinaw has moved to Cincinnati and starts to hang out with Rachel. As friends, of course… because neither of them is looking for a relationship. *wink-wink-nudge-nudge* Tom Bansen, the demon summoning IS agent from the Arcane division is back being annoying as ever and we meet the new master vampire in Cincinnati and enjoy seeing Rachel insult him the first time she meets him, thinking he’s Trent in costume.

The whole witch/demon storyline really begins to unfold in this 6th installment of the series and by the end, Rachel has come to something of an understanding with the demon Algaliarept after she walks a mile in his shoes, so to speak.  All in all, there’s a whole lot of information pouring off the pages and the storyline is wrapped up nicely once you get to the end while still leaving a lot for you to look forward to in the next book. Which I’ll be starting now, on audio with Marguerite Gavin!

Fave lines: “No one in the movies ever looks up until the saliva starts dripping down.”  “I shouted as I leapt to my feet, cursing my habit of talking during fights and righteous sex.” And of course Jenks gets a mention with this awesome rant: “Tink’s contractual hell, you did it! You’re here! God almighty, you stink. I wish you were smaller; I’d slap you so hard you’d land in next week!”

Review: ‘Fool Moon’ by Jim Butcher (audio)

Fool Moon is the second book in Jim Butcher’s New York Times bestselling series, The Dresden Files.

From the author’s website (which again, features excerpts):

Business has been slow. Okay, business has been dead. And not even of the undead variety. You would think Chicago would have a little more action for the only professional wizard in the phone book. But lately, Harry Dresden hasn’t been able to dredge up any kind of work — magical or mundane.

But just when it looks like he can’t afford his next meal, a murder comes along that requires his particular brand of supernatural expertise.

A brutally mutilated corpse. Strange-looking paw prints. A full moon. Take three guesses — and the first two don’t count…

As always, beware minor spoilers!

This second installment of Harry’s ‘story’ finds our favorite professional wizard trying to find a brutal killer who strikes on/around the full moon. Not only is he desperately trying to find the killer, but he’s suspected of being the killer!

Can I take this moment to say that while I love Murphy… I really, really do… I want to knock some sense into her from time to time. Her suspicion of Harry in these early books really bugs the hell out of me. During my first marathon read a couple of years ago before the release of book #11, Turn Coat, I didn’t care for her much at all this early on in the series. Of course, I have the benefit, as the reader/listener, of seeing into Harry’s point of view and I’m privy to his thoughts and motivations while she is not, but still… I get really, really bugged by her and her over-the-top anger and suspicion in regards to Harry, who considers her a good friend and would do anything to protect her.

Ahh, I feel better having gotten that off my chest.

Moving right along, we get to see more classic Dresden bad-assery in this book, including but not limited to a couple of very cool potions he makes with Bob’s help. Although, while the results of the potions are amazing, they both have severe drawbacks when Harry uses them, which I find very interesting. In fact, one of them seems to kind of ‘sprain’ his magical ability and we see him facing off with lots of bad guys using nothing but his wit, which is quick as always, and sheer force of will and outright stubbornness, both of which are formidable.

Harry also doesn’t sail through the course of the book unscathed, just as he didn’t in Storm Front. He takes a lickin’ and keeps on tickin’ and if his magic fails him, then by golly he’ll think of something. Hopefully in time to save his hide.

As with Storm Front, I listed to the audio of this book and James Marsters was enjoyable as ever as the voice of Harry. He’s a bit more animated in his reading of this second book, if not as much as in later books. He’ll get there and I will enjoy every word until and after he does.

Some of my favorite lines from the book: “That was black magic. And it was too easy to use. Easy and fun, like Legos.”  “That scared me enough to make a rational man pee, but I only shrugged.”  “I can’t be under arrest now, I don’t have time.” This one was also a good one though it showcases Harry’s sense of honor rather than his sense of humor: “It isn’t enough to stand up and fight darkness, you have to stand apart from it, too. You’ve got to be different from it.”

And on that word of wisdom, I look ahead to the next book in the series, Grave Peril which sadly, doesn’t mention Legos that I recall.

Check out my other Dresden Files reviews:

#1 – Storm Front

#3 – Grave Peril

#4 – Summer Knight

#5 – Death Masks

#6 – Blood Rites

#7 – Dead Beat

#8 – Proven Guilty

#9 – White Night

#10 – Small Favor

#11 – Turn Coat

#12 – Changes

#12.5 – Side Jobs

#13 – Ghost Story