Title: Pale Demon
Author: Kim Harrison
Series: The Hollows, book 9
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: HarperCollins (02/22/2011)
Source: Review copy from publisher
* Warning: This review contains spoilers from previous books of The Hollows Series*
”Condemned to death for black magic and shunned, Rachel Morgan has three days to somehow get to the annual witches convention in San Francisco and clear her name. If she fails, the only way she can escape death is to live in the demonic ever after . . . forever after. Banned from the flight lists, Rachel teams up with elven tycoon Trent Kalamack, headed for the West Coast for her own mysterious business. But Rachel isn't the only passenger along for the ride. Can a witch, an elf, a living vampire, and a pixy in one car survive for over 2,300 miles? And that's not counting the assassin on their tail. A fearsome demon walks the sunlight, freed after centuries of torment to slay the innocent and devour souls. But his ultimate prey is Rachel Morgan. While the powerful witch with nerves of steel will do whatever it takes to stay alive, even embracing her own demonic nature may not be enough to save her.”
After being shunned by the Coven for the use of black magic (Black Magic Sanction, The Hollows, book 8), Rachel is obliged to attend the Annual Witch Convention in San Francisco to get her shunning revoked. Her brother’s is also marrying and she’s planning to attend the wedding after the convention.
When she is not allowed to take her flight to San Francisco she’s force to do the long trip by car. At the same time Trent is on an “elf quest” and also needs to get to the west coast, so they decided that the safer way for them to travel is to do it together, when I said together I’m including Jenks and Ivy, and here with this Great American Road Trip is when the adventure starts.
In this book Rachel needs to trust Trent completely and after everything he has done to her is not an easy doing. She also needs to learn to accept who and what she really is. And the best part is that she has to do those things while dealing with the Coven and trying to kill a crazy day-walking demon.
I like that we see some of “the real” Trent in this book, he shows parts of him that make him a more agreeable character, furthermore he deeply surprises us with his “elf quest”.
I love the verbal banter between Rachel and Trent and I think they enjoy it as well.
“It’s amazing what two months of not being on anyone’s hit list will do for a person.” I hesitated, realizing his hair was in a more trendy style than usual. “You’re not looking bad yourself, for a murdering drug lord.”
There is also a building tension between them that I’m dying to know how Ms. Harrison is going to develop it in the next installment.
Ivy doesn’t play a big part in this book but as always she is there for Rachel every time she needs her. There was scene between Rachel and Ivy that was very sad for me, I cannot say more because I don’t want to give too much away, but you will see it when you read the book.
Al also plays an important part in this book, and we learn new things about him. I am a big Al fan, I know he cares for his itchy witch (Rachel) and he proves it in this book. We also see Newt and learn more things from her. And Pierce… I never been a Pierce fan and this book doesn’t change my opinion of him, even though we see him really caring (loving?) for Rachel there is something with him that doesn’t let me accept him.
And now Jenks, my favorite character ever! He’s the best friend, parent, and partner anyone could have. In this book he is still dealing with the dead of Matalina, his wife and love of his life, nevertheless he has a positive attitude about life and he is learning to live without her. He is always there for Rachel and anybody who needs him. And with his snarky comments he makes this book an even more enjoyable read. I love him and wish he were my friend.
“Face it, you little cookie maker,” Jenks said, almost sounding fond, “in the last couple of days, you’ve seen what it’s like to be in a family, with all the touchy tempers and irritation that goes on. Now you get to see the other side, where we do stupid stuff for each other just because we like you. Rache is the little sister. Ivy’s the big sister. I’m the uncle from out of state, and you’re the rich nephew no one likes but we put up with you anyway because we feel sorry for you. Just let me help, huh? It won’t kill you.”
Another character I really like in this book is Bis, he is the cutest gargoyle! I want one for myself. We don’t see him much in the book but he plays an important role in it; and I’m sure we will be seeing more of him in the books to come.
The first chapters of the book were a little bit slow but in general I really like this book, the world building is great, is pack with action and the characters deliver page after page.
I enjoyed a lot reading it, sometimes I was literally LOL while hubs was looking at me as if I had loss my mind (maybe I did, it went to The Hollows).
In my opinion is one of the best books of The Hollows Series and I can wait to get my hands in the next installment of this series. I really want to know how Ms. Harrison is going to develop Trent – Rachel relationship if ever there is going to be one.
I recommend “reading” the books in order. And what I mean by “reading” is if you haven’t read them what are you waiting for!
• Trying to kill Trent on my watch? I don’t think so. “If I can’t kill him, then neither can you” I said.
• I Wished I had a camera, but then I stick out. Well, stick out more than two witches, a vamp, an elf, and a pixy in a power blue Buick with Ohio plates already did.
• The car was full of unhappy people heading west. It was the Great American Family Road Trip, all right. Whaaa-hoo!
• “Take a chill strip, Rache,” he said. “They’re faster than the pills and come in convenient dispensers … “
• “Come on, Rachel!” Jenks shrilled. “You’re a badass, not a bad witch!”
Other books in the series:
Dead Witch Walking
The Good, The Bad, and The Undead
Every Witch Way But Dead
A Fistful of Charms
For A Few Demons More
The Outlaws Demon Wails
White Witch, Black Curse
Black Magic Sanction