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Customer Review

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Where do we go from here?, 24 May 2010
This review is from: Black Magic Sanction (Paperback)
I enjoyed this volume of the Hollows series. Rachel is suffering the effects of the shunning that the coven of ethical and moral standards recently thrust upon her. She's now being pursued by the coven and has to avoid a long stint in Alcatraz, a lobotomy and various other kinds of long term damage to her person if she's caught. In many ways this story is a throwback to the events of Dead Witch Walking.

Rachel spends much of the book dodging fairy assassins and worrying about whether she can really trust Pierce. Shady sort that he is. Rachel asks herself throughout Black Magic Sanction what kind of person she has become -- she questions whether she really is a witch anymore. And if she isn't, then what does that make her, a demon? Or something new? There was far too much Pierce for my liking, I didn't feel as if I ever got a break from him (unless Trent was around, which wasn't often); indeed, the only time Pierce left her alone was when Trent was in a scene. Rachel made fewer stupid choices and is matureing nicely, contining her positive development. This time when she chooses to do something that with hindsight will bite her on the backside, she accepts it and welcomes the consequences rather than going into it ignorant of them. Some progress at least! The pacing was better in this book than the previous one and while it dig drag in certain parts, the plot moved forward more or less smoothly. There was a lot of callbacks to previous Hollows books, probably because Kim Harrison spent her time reading the entire series again as she wrote BMS. It was pretty cool!

Jenks has some face time when tragedy strikes; Ivy is more in the background acting in a supporting role for her friends. David is nowhere to be seen, along with Quen. Ceri returns albeit briefly -- I was happy to see her since she's one of my favourite characters. There's rather a lot of Al, although I really like his character, he's better in smaller doses. My beloved Trent popped up in the beginning of the story and then disappeared until the end of the novel, yet his presence looms heavily over the events of the book as he's never far from Rachel's thoughts. Black Magic Sanction sets out to settle once and for all whether Rachel can really trust Trent. I was very pleased that like their relationship built on the changes from the last book: here he and Rachel reach a kind of detente. Or perhaps an understanding. The flashback concerning the Pandora Charm was very interesting... that was definitely my favourite chapter in the book.

We see new plots open up in this book and old ones end. There's a sense of transition in the air and a palpable sense of hurttling forward towards the final arcs. Allies become enemies and enemies become allies once again. The final chapter no doubt a setup for the next novel, and I would hope, the final chapter for the series. Black Magic Sanction is a transitional book that will likely act as a bridge between the earlier half of the series and the final novels. Changes are ahead as the final curtain will fall on the Hollows. I can't wait to see what happens. The next book is called 'Pale Demon' and is the long awaited one where Trent and Rachel go on a roadtrip together. I'm very excited!
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