on 8 May 2010
Great book, great series - but don't get confused thinking you've missed a book (like I did) as this is an alternative name (US?) for 'Where Demons Dare' #6 in the Hollows series.
Where Demons Dare (Rachel Morgan 6)
on 16 June 2010
In my opinion, easily the best of the books in the series about the Hollows and Rachel Morgan by Kim Harrison. I thoroughly enjoyed book five, but this entry into the series had me gripped from the very start.
We open the story with an explosive visit from Al, where he reveals that he is being summoned each evening out of jail by a demon summoner hell-bent on getting rid of Rachel. This sets the stage for a plot that encompasses much more about Rachel's parentage (her mum has a much larger role in this book than prior, which was good for me because I love her rather kooky character); leads her further into the grips of demons; and highlights exactly how Rachel is different from other witches.
I loved the continual dropping in of secrets that have been built up from the first book of the series, and the resolution to various niggling little things that I have wondered about their inclusion i.e. the famous witch singer Takata and Rachel's mysterious neighbour Keasley.
I was impressed that Harrison could continue to change my opinion of characters who have been established at other points in the series - Al, for instance, is a character that I have a great deal of regard for now. I've always enjoyed his appearances in prior books, but here he really came into his own. I was glad that the plot steered away from vamps and Weres, after the last few books. I loved the addition of Bis and hope he has a fuller role in books to come!
The book doesn't garner the full five stars from me because of a few bits and pieces that nagged me.
I really didn't enjoy the appearance of Marshall and felt he didn't add a great deal to the plot, apart from putting Rachel into situations where she could have encounters with characters like Trent.
For me, Ceri is a character I struggle to appreciate, and her actions here had me rolling my eyes.
Also, Rachel and Ivy's latest encounter feels very much like recycling text from previous books in the series. I was pleased to see that Harrison has managed to bring an (at least temporary) halt to their will they-won't they situation that was boring me somewhat after five books filled with it.
All in all, though, this book was magnificant and an ideal slice of escapism! I can't wait to read the seventh, where I hope that the lingering issues of Tom the black witch and Kisten's killer are dealt with.
on 29 June 2009
I finished this book this morning and thoroughly enjoyed it. Kim Harrison has definitely been on a learning curve in terms of writing -- whilst her characters are usually very interesting (as are her story ideas), her prose isn't always very high quality. She tends to repeat herself, and certain words or phrases and tends to forget what colour eyes Ceri has! Heh. But here, her writing is much improved. The narrative flowed beautifully and I found the book really difficult to put down.
I was surprised by some of the plot twists and there's some intriguing plot developments to contribute to the next book. Rachel finds herself neck deep in demons and basically spends 'Where Demons Dare' either fending them off, yelling at them, or talking them into deals. At the same time Rachel is facing her crazy life with increased level headedness and maturity. This was incredibly refreshing and even though I wasn't a fan of Kisten, I felt bad for Rachel as she struggled with trying to move on from mourning him.
The demons are one of my favourite plotlines so I was happy this became the focus again! Minias in particular was note-worthy to me -- I really like him and hope he gets developed later down the road. Ceri has turned into a character I really care for and it's nice she was given a bit more to do. Al, of course, was also a star as was Trent. I was very happy with how much page time Trent received in this book, and was even more happy to see his carefully cultivated mask slip a little. He's a fascinating character to me and I think it's nice that while he's quick to murder anyone who threatens the future of his race, he still has an innocence about him that remains untouched by his ill deeds. He and Rachel reach a detente (of sorts) and his conversation with her about his wedding was oddly touching -- she said he'd thank her one day for stopping it and he did. I'd really like them to get together actually, they'd be fabulous to read in a more romantic manner. They are very much the same.
I'm not keen on Marshal. I find him a little irritating. But I was proud of Rachel's behaviour in this book in regards to her love life -- she was even more sensible about Ivy, which thank goodness, was about time. As well as those mentioned, there are the usual familiar faces as well as slightly newer characters like Minias, Marshal, Tom and a gargoyle (re-)introduced! I look forward to finding out more about some of these newer characters.
'Where Demons Dare' would have been a good book to end on; the last paragraph giving me that impression in many ways. But it's not (yay), and there's still a fair bit of plot left outstanding for future novels.
on 29 February 2008
There's no doubt about it. Harrison has done it again and raised the stakes ever higher with her latest and greatest Hallows book. It's hard to believe this is only book six; it feels like Rachel's character has been with us forever and she only gets more "real" as the series continues. As surely as Rachel twists curses to get herself out of yet another sore spot, Harrison is twisting readers into an absolute fit of excitement with her wicked way with words.
The Outlaw Demon Wails wastes no time and swings into the demon action with the very first chapter. With a trio of sneezes from Rachel, Al's back in crushed green velvet and as ready to wreak havoc as ever. It's October and as the Hallows and Cincinatti residents prepare for the week-long Halloween festivities, Rachel is once again fending off Al's rigorously murderous attentions. Someone is letting him lose from his ever-after jail cell and Rachel has to find out who has it in for her enough to do so. The list of possibilities is long, to say the least. And suddenly, not only is Rachel in danger, but everyone she loves and cares about are too. With guilt and heartache weighing heavily on her with Kisten's demise, not to mention more than one shocking family secret, Rachel is mentally and physically tired. And when a desperate witch just can't take anymore, she'll do anything to save those she loves.
I'd been hearing that at one time this was to be the end of the series, and therefore we'd be seeing a lot of the subplots wrapped up with this installment (even though Harrison's contract has now been extended--which hey, is awesome!). Frankly, I don't agree that that many of them were really wrapped up enough to truly put away. Rather, it read more as if a new chapter had opened in many of them and they'd become even bigger an issue than they were previously. For example, Rachel's lineage has always been of keen interest, what with her surviving a deadly childhood witch illness, one that kills many a witch in infancy. Within this particular subject we have two subplots that intertwine: what Trent's father really did to her in that Make-a-Wish camp and who exactly her father is, a man that had passed on some time ago, a character that we really didn't know much about till this installment. We get oodles `o info on both of these, yet it's such a huge impact that we'll certainly be feeling the effects of them and possibly more info in the books to come. Rachel and Ivy's blood lust marathon...what can I say but that they seem to come to an understanding, finally, of where each stands in this particular relationship. I was especially pleased with Ivy this time, as she finally seems to take a step back and really look at Rachel in regards to the blood lust. I felt she actually listened this time. I do not think it's over, as the new master vamp has made a rather bold claim, but for now, it's come to a much more pleasing, not to mention manageable, point. Ceri's role is as important as ever, and there is a bump of a twist where she and another important character are concerned that ties directly into the main plot of the book. Jenks, as per usual, gets some of the best lines and a very surprising yet wonderful surprise was Rachel's mother. Up till now, her role in this part of Rachel's life has been almost nil, but I have to say that, next to Rachel, she may well have become my second most favorite character. This was a turning point in the series, and that fact is demonstrated in the way Harrison delves back into past installments to bring a lot of info to light and reveal some rather shocking incidents, as well as by incorporating a line that I really didn't think Rachel would ever cross. The following installment will be interesting to say the least, as in a gut wrenching, adrenaline inducing thrill ride, as this one was in spades. There's no need to comment on Harrison's writing/plotting/character development skills other than she has it down solid. As always, I'm feening for the next book and don't know how I'll ever wait another year.
on 30 January 2012
Well, I love Karen Chance and Patricia Briggs and Carrie Vaughn is great as filler though a little unsatisfying so was hoping I might like this series. But I'm afraid I just cant get into it. It may be that I started with book 6 rather than book 1 (it was a gift) but it just doesn't work for me. I tried re-reading it again last night thinking I might just need to give it a second go but gave up after a couple of chapters. I just can't engage with the characters; I usually like complicated plot lines but here I just found all the constant interruptions in the main narrative irritating; perhaps I just don't like demons..but then I love Mike Carey's Felix Castor series. A shame- I wanted it to work!
Kim Harrison ended her last book with a shocking twist: the death of Kisten, Rachel Morgan's vampire boyfriend.
And the repercussions of that climactic twist are felt all over "The Outlaw Demon Wails," a glorious follow-up that continues twisting (or is it spindling?) the plot all over. Harrison weaves together a half dozen vital storues into an even more tightly-written, shocking novel -- where we get lots and lots of new revelations and answered questions.
Rachel and her mother are shopping for Halloween costumes and talismans when the demon Al appears, destroys the shop, and nearly kills Rachel. Somebody is summoning him out of demon prison, and setting him after Rachel -- and her personal patch of holy ground is getting a big cramped, due to an increasingly bloodlusting Ivy and Jenks' massive family moving in.
And as Rachel struggle to cope with these problems, she learns that Ceri is pregnant -- and to keep her baby and the elf race healthy, they need a sample of ancient elf tissue from the ever-after. Though Rachel initially refuses, she finds that this elf drama is somehow connected to the terrible secrets of her past -- and a journey to the ever-after might help her defeat Al. But it might also open a Pandora's box of secrets about Rachel's own future...
Rachel's parentage. Her father's horrible death. Her memory loss after Kistan's death. Her friendship with Ivy. The true nature of the witches, elves and demons. Not to mention her future love life.
Yes, all these plot threads get dealt with in an utterly satisfactory way. And unlike many of her urban fantasy contemporaries, Kim Harrison weaves them into a solid, thrilling plot with a good balance of characters, action and humour. And she can keep the storyline twisting right up to the end -- literally. She introduces two massive twists toward the end that have enormous repercussions for Rachel.
It must be admitted that the plot sags in the middle of the book, when Al and the elf problem seem to get derailed in favour of Rachel's love life/social life problems. But Harrison picks up the slack quickly, and she hasn't lost her knack for tightly written, wry descriptions ("Hence the general weirdness of elves eating hot dogs in my backyard") and snappy, entertainingly self-deprecating dialogue ("Fried eggs!").
And there's plenty of quirky situations that help lighten the rather dark mood -- such as a very apologetic gargoyle crashing into Rachel's church. Jenks and his equally troublesome family provide loads of comic relief as well -- gotta love them pixies.
And Harrison's feisty heroine goes through some painful growth, learns more about her family and her true nature, and has some old wounds reopened. In a sense, this is Rachel's "grief book" -- she spends a great deal of time thinking about the loss of her father and Kisten, and freaking out when she starts remembering how they died. Fortunately Harrison avoids letting her heroine become "emo" -- note the hilarious scene where she's ashamed to admit that she's perused a vampire sex book.
But as Rachel deals with her grief and love for Kisten, Harrison delicately introduces a potential love interest. She doesn't spin anything more than chemistry yet, but it's a person who could become something to her in future.
Other characters get fleshed out as well -- we get to see underneath Trent's coolly slimy exterior to some of his hidden feelings, Ivy's vampiric nature, and even Al gets some new dimensions. And even among the peripheral characters, Harrison's quirky sense of humour is present -- just consider the vampire-sex-manual-writing ex-Presidential vampire master.
Kim Harrison's "The Outlaw Demon Wails" has a slowdown in the middle, but revs up fast for a twisty-turny, revelation-filled finale. Urban fantasy as it ought to be.
on 1 March 2014
What could be better? Well superb writing and a skill with emotional angst that is hard to beat. Kim Harrison's subtle handling of Rachel's inner turmoils are painful-sweet and gut wrenching agony and yet she is still a strong protagonist and the reader hunches breathless over her struggles daring to hope she will find a way through, and she does. Can I be the only person in the world to hope deep down that she and Ivy become a couple? And Ivy, oh Ivy, aren't you just the right blend of sweet and wicked. Ohh yes. Can't wait to find out what happens in the end, and yet, don't want it to end. Such bitter sweet pain!
on 12 March 2013
A Brilliant Read! Every emotion you could was in this book. Fast, action packed, love, hate, revenge, hope, disaster, & so many story lines explained at last, bringing with them further questions to be answered! I LOVE THIS SERIES & up to now, (book 6) each book has got even better than the last! These characters feel like family & I care deeply for them, that is the mark of a truly gifted story-teller 👍❤💙💜💚💛 I have lost myself completely in these stories & the lives, and yes, deaths of these wonderful Souls. Wonderful Read!
on 26 November 2015
Well I'm at book 8 taking them one at a time and I can't put them down, I guess I'll go all the way to book 13. Plenty of magi action a couple of girly bits here and there and some humour. It's kept my interest right up to the present book so... I'm in to the end.Well I'm at book 8 taking them one at a time and I can't put them down, I guess I'll go all the way to book 13. Plenty of magi action a couple of girly bits here and there and some humour. It's kept my interest right up to the present book so... I'm in to the end.
on 4 May 2010
Once again Rachel Morgan does battle with the forces of evil. She has started to look in earnest for her lover's murderer and discovers more than she bargained for about her family and her past. As usual, she's in a hole, but doesn't seem to be able to stop digging! No sooner has she patched up her differences with one group than she's antagonised someone else. As usual, someone is out to kill her and this time they are using her old demon enemy Al as a weapon.