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: ‘For A Few Demons More’ by Kim Harrison (audio)

For A Few Demons More is the fifth installment in Kim Harrison’s Hollows series about witch and independent runner, Rachel Morgan. Taking place a couple of months after the end of book #4, summer in Cincinnati finds Rachel as a bridesmaid in Trent Kalamack’s wedding?!

 

From Audible.com:

Despite dating one vampire and living with another, Rachel Morgan has always managed to stay just ahead of trouble…until now.

A fiendish serial killer stalks the Hollows, claiming victims across society, and the resulting terror ignites a vicious Inderland gang war. And while the ancient artifact Rachel is hiding may be the key to stopping the murderer, revealing it could also create a battle to the death among the numerous supernatural races that live in and around Cincinnati.

For every action has its price, and when the vampire master Piscary is set free and the demonic Algaliarept dares to walk openly under the sun, even Rachel Morgan can’t hide forever.

 

Rote spoiler warning!

I’m really rushing through these audio books, partly because I have SO many books on audio that I want to get to but also because I’ve been approved to read a galley of book #9 in the series, Pale Demon and I’m extremely anxious to refresh my memory of events in the later books of the series to date before I begin reading that.

This book has the usual antics by Rachel, her partners and her friends including Trent Kalamack begging her to attend his wedding as a bridesmaid/bodyguard because he wants her to rescue Stanley Saladin from his stint as Al’s familiar. Trent apparently blames Rachel for Lee’s imprisonment, though she had actually tried to keep Lee from being taken by appealing to his better nature, even though he didn’t seem to have one at the time.

We also see the Focus that Rachel kept Nick from stealing in the last book begin to wreak havoc on Rachel’s world by causing her alpha David, who’s holding onto the were artifact for Rachel, to accidentally turn women he’s slept with into werewolves. Damn. And as if that weren’t bad enough, we have Newt, the insane demon that Rachel met in book #3 after Al took Lee, traipsing across the lines and blaspheming the church to hunt for something of hers that she claims is in Rachel’s possession. Double damn.

So the scene is set for yet another face-paced adventure with demons , vampires, werewolves, pixies, elves and one very snarky witch.  Yes, I said demons as in plural. Not only is Al back -and Newt- but we meet Newt’s demon familiar, Minias. Newt and Minias have similar accents and for some reason, Gavin gives Al the same accent that she creates for the other demons, instead of the British accent used in the previous books. His character lacks something because of it and it’s difficult to think “Al” when hearing her read his parts, I keep thinking “Minias”.

That oddity aside, I still enjoy Gavin’s reading, especially the personality that she gives to Rachel. Here are some of my favorite Rachel quotes from this book: “I wasn’t often recognized and it was even more rare that I didn’t have to run away when I was.” and “Do you think I’m stupid? Don’t answer that!” Also, Jenks’ “Piss on my daisies, I knew there was something I liked about the little cookie maker!” was hilarious enough to make me laugh out loud.

The funny aside, there’s plenty of edge-of-your-seat action to be had during the course of this book and I’m ready to plow through (or fly through, rather) the rest of the series to get to Pale Demon, hopefully by next weekend!

One thing that I need to get off my chest about this book (the series, really but this book in particular) is the whole love=sex thing in regards to Ivy. It is possible for people to express love without having sex but when Ivy is talking about sharing blood with Rachel, she talks of them (love and sex, that is) as though they’re the same thing. For some reason, I couldn’t say exactly why, that really bugs me. That and the fact that everyone feels the need to continually admonish Rachel for not wanting sex with Ivy as though she owes it to her just because Ivy loves her. Again… love doesn’t equal sex! Aaand end rant. :o)

I really wasn’t looking forward to listening to The Outlaw Demon Wails on audio because Gigi Bermingham replaces the usual narrator, Marguerite Gavin so I bought the paperback and will read it, instead. This way I don’t need to worry about the mispronunciations and unfamiliar ‘voices’ that make me shake my head in resignation and/or gnash my teeth in irritation… I’ll get back to audio and Gavin in Book #7, White Witch, Black Curse.

By the way, there are excerpts from the books at the other end of most of these links I post, but you knew that, didn’t you?

 

Review: ‘A Fistful of Charms’ by Kim Harrison (audio)

In my ongoing re-read of Kim Harrison’s Hollows series, I’ve just finished book #4, A Fistful of Charms. As mentioned in previous posts, beware of spoilers if you haven’t read this book/series. Consider yourself warned.

 

Here’s what Audible.com has to say about the book:

The evil night things that prowl Cincinnati despise witch and bounty-hunter Rachel Morgan. Her new reputation for the dark arts is turning human and undead heads alike with the intent to possess, bed, and kill her – not necessarily in that order.

Now a mortal lover who abandoned Rachel has returned, haunted by his secret past. And there are those who covet what Nick possesses – savage beasts willing to destroy the Hollows and everyone in it if necessary.

Forced to keep a low profile or eternally suffer the wrath of a vengeful demon, Rachel must nevertheless act quickly. For the pack is gathering for the first time in millennia to ravage and to rule. Suddenly, more than Rachel’s soul is at stake.

 

Be prepared for those aforementioned spoilers!

Despite enjoying much about this book, there were parts of it that I really didn’t care for. I loved Jenks being big. Really, really loved it! With that side plot alone, Harrison explored a wealth of ‘new’ material as Jenks learned to navigate this unfamiliar, smaller world. Every situation was a new experience for him and he went from not liking being big to stating near the end of the book that “Being big is good!”

Rachel was bad-assery incarnate in this book with her newfound skills at cooking up ‘charms’. She has to defend her alpha status as part of David’s pack, wrestle with her conscious over the means she uses to obtain a desired end and, oh yes… rescue Jenks’ son Jax and her ex-boyfriend, Nick. She and Jenks travel to northern Michigan to find Jax and Nick and land in a heap of trouble with some were packs. The run was full of action and adventure and was classic Rachel fun.

I have to say though, that I really didn’t enjoy the events that transpired once Ivy arrived. I do like Ivy… I feel for her character and I think she’s got some great lines but I didn’t care much for her in this book and I really didn’t like the change in her relationship with Rachel. Still, the book had enough ‘charm’ to keep me listening and indeed, I flew through this one.

Also, am I a sucker for feeling kind of sorry for Nick throughout most of this book? His raw grief when recalling how he thought Rachel was dead after the boat explosion in book #3 was touching, in my opinion. And while he proved to be a right ass by the end of the book, I still had a soft spot for him though I by no means was rooting for him where Rachel was concerned.

Despite missing Trent and yes, Al… I enjoyed this quick listen and look forward to the next installment! Next up: Book #5, For A Few Demons More.