4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 4 June 2011
Kim Harrison win! Seriously, this is probably my favourite of the series so far, and I like that she hasn't gone the way of Laurell K. Hamilton and made sex heavy. I mean the sex is there, but its not gratuitous. Without giving too much away, this book focuses more on the relationship between Trent and Rachel. Rachel is off to the end of America to try and clear her name and Trent is on an elf quest - but what a twist when you find out what it is. (It is totally unexpected). Of course all the favourites are there, Ivy, Jenks and Bis, and what I thought was done really well, is the development of Rachel as a person. I mean she doesn't make the best choices but she does alwats try and do the right thing and Kim Harrison makes her more likable in this book than in previous ones. The best part is that it is left really open-ended as to where it might go next so I'm excited for the next installment.
I've been waiting for this book for ages, so I ordered it from America and snuggle up with it for a good couple of days - and it was a hardback (which I love), it was good enough that I had friends over, that I ushered them out (politely) so I could keep reading. Brilliant. :D
37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
The most head-scratchingly complex relationship in the Rachel Morgan series has always been between Rachel and Trent.
And after several books of dancing around the topic, Kim Harrison dives headfirst into the respectful-yet-antagonistic relationship in "Pale Demon." Her ninth Rachel Morgan book is a taut, lean thriller with crackling dialogue and some very unusual magic -- and the centerpiece is the baggage-laden exchanges between witch and elf.
While Rachel is preparing for her coven pardon and her brother's wedding, Trent reveals that he wants to take her there himself. Je also has important business in the same area -- and despite her reservations, Rachel reluctantly agrees. But their road trip is interrupted when a trio of elf assassins attack them in St. Louis.
It turns out that Trent is after something he's desperate to claim from his ex-fiancee, and he needs Rachel as his "mirror, sword and shield." And their road trip only gets worse as they deal with pixie tribes, hostile witches, and a daywalking demon named Ku'Sox. As the witch world turns against Rachel again, she finds that she is the only one who can stop Ku'Sox.
"Pale Demon" is basically about a vacation from hell that blooms into a massive supernatural battle. But under the skin, the book is actually about the relationship between Trent and Rachel, which always seems to be hitting potholes -- when they aren't practically ripping each other's heads off, they're sizzling with sexual tension.
And after the complicated tangles of the last few books, "Pale Demon" is a relatively straightforward book -- there's a lean, fast-paced story entangled with just a few running subplots. Harrison's prose is sharp and steely, with plenty of flashy magic battles, gory attacks by Ku'Sox, and some little moments of comic relief (Trent's "smiley face" mark).
As usual, Rachel is put through the physical and emotional grinder -- when she isn't grappling with demons, she's desperately trying to defend herself against the coven. Her verbal fencing with Trent makes for fascinating reading, especially since it's obvious that she's beginning to not only trust but love him. Yes, the romantic hints are piling up.
And Harrison takes the time to further flesh out characters like Ivy (whose friendship with Rachel reaches a bittersweet landmark), Al, and the ever-adorable Jenks ("Take me with you Trent. I've never been on an elf quest before! Ple-e-e-e-ase?") who is starting to move on after his wife's death.
Kim Harrison throws some shocking curveballs into "Pale Demon's" twisty plot, but the real centerpiece is the relationship between Trent and Rachel. A must-read.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
After a number of disappointing books I am happy to say that this series is back on track. I remember enjoying the last book (which was a surprise after the disappointments) but this one rocked my world.
Basically it's a road trip. A road trip with a witch, a vampire, a pixy and an elf. How could things go wrong?
All my favourite characters had plenty screen time: Al (yay!), Trent, Jenks, and even Bis got some.
What I loved most wasn't the nail biting action scenes, the sexy moments or the sweet ones (though they were all fantastic), but what I truly enjoyed was how far this book has actually moved the story forward. The character and relationship developments for example were mind blowing.
I seriously can not wait for the next book. I wish I had it now.
Fans of the series you must read this now!
New comers should start with the first book in the series, Dead Witch Walking (Rachel Morgan 1). It's a great series and worth the time. If you like Kelley Armstrong, Charlaine Harris, Jeaniene Frost, Ilona Andrews etc then you'll enjoy this.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 18 July 2011
you are going to love Pale Rider. I am a big fan of the Rachel Morgan books and I actually think the last few have got better as Rachel seems more sorted (relatively speaking) and I really enjoy the interaction with Al and of course Trent. As others have said this is a road trip - I couldn't imagine Rachel and Trent on a road trip together but it sure is entertaining. There is quite a bit of Jenks - always a good thing and the Ivy involvement wasn't as prevalent which for me is also a good thing. But best of all lots of Trent and the will they won't they suspense continues. Start with Dead Witch Walking if you haven't read the other books - you definitely need the history to appreciate the interactions.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
But of course, life is never simple when you are Rachel Morgan! This book carries on very quickly from the last and sees Rachel calmly crossing the states to the witches council to get her promised pardon. Yeah, right! A fantastic book, and one of the best yet - the close quarters of the road trip gang forces some great character interactions. Dnt want to give anything away, but y definately wont be desappointed by the lastest installment of this fantastic series. So nice to have a book that doesnt rely on regular sex scenes, but just good, complex characters, dealing with their very believable responses to life and everything it can throw at them. Not one for a child, but if you are happy for your kids to watch a 15 film, then they will probably enjoy them just as much as you.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 1 July 2011
The Hollows series of books by Kim Harrison follows Rachel Morgan (a witch with little self discipline), Ivy Tamwood (a vampire with too much) and Jenks (a pixie) as they act as a sort of independent bounty hunting agency.
This is the ninth book in the series, and sees Morgan, Tamwood and Jenks travel across the US with their arch nemesis, Trent Kalamack, in an attempt to clear her name. She was shunned in a previous book for the use of black magic (shunning is the witchly equivalent of being sent to Coventry), and that's obviously having a serious impact on her business (and lifestyle).
This is the best book that Harrison has written for the series in a while. Previous books that have been written recently tend to meander, and see Morgan come across as pouty and whiney. This book, in comparison sees a simple set of linear events occur. They go on a road trip, battle hit men who are trying to kill Kalamack and a demon who's trying to kill them, present their case to the witches council, battle the demon again (he just won't take no for an answer), and generally save the day. The book is so much better because of that simple linearity of the narrative.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 16 May 2011
What a great series of books. Kim Harrison has created a fantastic world for Rachel Morgan to play in, and most of the reviewers here would agree with me that this book is even better than the previous ones. Not because the others are of lesser quality, they are all excellent, but because she has finally allowed us to see what Rachel is and what Trent really is inside.
So, I won't go into the plot as others have done, but i will tell you to spend a bit more money after you have read the hard cover to try out the Audible download of this book. I have all the series in print because I came late to audio books, but as soon as i heard the first book (Dead Witch Walking) on my iPod i knew i had to get all of them. The narration is fantastic! You have just got to hear jenx and his opinions as he tells Trent off. Even funnier than reading it, and I couldn't help laughing aloud.
Get this book, get all the books, and then get them as Audiobooks.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Book 9 in the series. I finished this in a few days last month and I liked it. I'm giving it 4 stars as I think it was a good solid book in this series and there was lots of my favourite characters, interesting developments and Rachel wasn't as annoying as usual. It is basically a road trip book as Rachel, Ivy, Jenks and Trent pile in and head towards California with lots of adventures along the way. Trent has an important reason for getting there and it's time-sensitive though there may have been hints at what it was, I did not pick up on it until the end so that was a big surprise for me. Al was the star of the show as usual and I enjoyed every minute spent with him. Whilst I was not really looking forward to this instalment (after a couple of very mediocre books in the series) I am happy to say I am looking forward to the next one - whatever Clint Eastwood movie it will be named after - a play on Million Dollar Baby perhaps?
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 26 February 2011
Absolutely tinktastically fabulous!!! Will sell body parts for next installment!!! I'm going to send medical bill to Ms Harrison for my heart problems and I one point I thought I was having a heart attack with the adrenaline! This book had everything psycho demons, hot elf in shower, OMG revelations and heart in throat moments.
I'm not a spoiler reviewer so there really isn't alot more I can say but as an avid Hollows fan this book was beyond my expectations on every level. Outstanding and best book I've read in a year. I need to go into therapy now till the next book is published.
Well done Kim Harrison. I couldn't put this down, but tried to slow myself down because I wanted to make it last. If you have been enjoying the Rachel Morgan series this won't disappoint. Rachel still suffers from her slightly blinkered approach to life (she needs to think more) but is as engaging as ever and you keep on hoping she might just get the Coven of (supposed) Moral and Ethical Standards to rescind her shunning. Getting to the witches conference to do just that is the focus of the book, and naturally the Coven doesn't play fair. As ever, the politics of the situation are just as important as the magic.
What should be a simple flight cross country quickly turns into a world-shaking road trip. Of course it does, this is Rachel Morgan and pals (they keep on blaming her, but I think they should look to their own behaviour, particularly Trent!!). I can't say much more without giving away the plot, but certain questions are answered, new mysteries are hinted at, and there are plenty of surprises, even if you are fairly sure of where the plot is generally heading. I think that is one of the best things about Kim Harrison's writing. Even if she hasn't stated something might be happening, certain things (like with Trent planning certain things) don't come across as 'cheating' because you would expect someone as manipulative, successful, powerful and rich like Trent to be doing exactly that. Also, Harrison has clearly mapped out her world in decent detail, and thought about what might happen if Rachel and co are crossing the country in car. The norms of Cincinnati don't apply everywhere. And therefore the surprises that Rachel and co don't anticipate are surprises for the reader too, again, without you feeling that you've been fed a red herring.
And congratulations to the publishers for finally hitting on this sort of cover. I have never really like the US or UK covers to date. This seems to capture the essence of Rachel to me, and I'm hoping you can start adding in some of the other characters too...