Monday, September 26, 2011

Review: Pale Demon by Kim Harrison

Title: Pale Demon
Author: Kim Harrison
Series: The Hallows (Rachel Morgan) #9
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 448
Publisher: Harper Voyage
Source: Bought

Goodreads Description:
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. Banned from the flight lists, Rachel teams up with elven tycoon Trent Kalamack, headed for the West Coast for his own mysterious business. But Rachel isn’t the only passanger 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.

My Review:
Alas, I am sad to say that the Rachel Morgan books may have to be added to the list of series that I have to win/borrow from the library rather than buy. This makes me sad because I've been really into the series from the beginning. Black Magic Sanction was the first ever book signing/author Q&A that I ever went to, and I've bought every book in Hardcover since Dead Witch Walking. I love the idea that genetically altered tomatoes were what brought about the downfall of humanity and the rise of paranormals. The idea is quirky and fun and the characters have been full of snark and awesomeness, but I am getting to the point where I'm kind of over it. It isn't that the series isn't moving's just that it's moving forward at a snail's pace. The books are getting smaller, less detailed, and repetitive, without giving any more answers.

I think the main reason I'm so bored with Rachel might have to do with the fact that she has too many boyfriends. Not in the Laurell K. Hamilton way of giving her heroines a veritable harem of hot men to choose from. No, Rachel just dates...a lot. I have trouble getting personally attached to any of her boy-toys, because it seems like every other book, Rachel gets a new one. When Kisten appeared to be the man of Rachel's dreams and he was uber hot and noble and awesome, I was all set to be Team Kist...but then that didn't work out. After that disaster, Rachel's just bounced from one relationship to the next, and the lack of emotional connection really leaves me wanting. The preternatural stuff is really cool, but I find myself emotionally detached from all the goings on due to a lack of a real "true love" romance. The three characters that redeem the series from an emotional standpoint? Ivy, Jenks, and Al. Though they aren't romantic interests...except on the rare occasion that Rachel decides to try batting for the other team, these characters are what breathe life back into the series and I wouldn't be even remotely interested in reading The Hallows without them.

Alright, I'll get a little more specific to Pale Demon rather than the series in general. I liked the premise of the book. We get all of the Rachel/Ivy/Jenks fantabulousness that we've grown to love with a healthy dose of Trent thrown in, all packed together and road tripping in a death race across the country so that Rachel can clear her name and become part of witchy-society again, You almost can't tell that it is the ninth book in a series. There is a little bit of back-story involved, but for the most part you get tons of originality and fun. I especially liked the tribe of desert pixies that tried to steal Jenks so he could populate the area lol. Jenks has always been one of my favorite characters in this series, as well as one of my favorite sidekicks of all time. I was so relieved to find that he could survive past the normal pixie age-limit, and he just keeps getting better and better.

One thing I thought was really great about this book in particular, was that we finally get to see a glimpse of life in the ever after. For those of you not in the know about this series, the ever after is where elves and demons lived until their battle was so great it tore the world apart and pushed the elves to the brink of extinction. Now the ever after is a dying world full of demons,  held together by they ley lines that cut across our world.Rachel is forced into hiding and has to go underground and live with her demon mentor Al (Who I totally love by the way). While there she gets to explore a lot more about the demons that I never imagined possible.  It was really cool to see the demon creative magic, because up until now we've really only seen them terrorize, destroy, and change things in unnatural ways.
All in all Pale Demon was pretty good. I enjoyed the new aspects and the further development of the ever after, but I also am getting sick and tired of the prolonged plot-lines. I just want the series to be over with. Actually...I just want Rachel to pick on (or even two) boys and settle down and get on with her life. She is just so...stagnant, and it makes me feel like I'm not getting anywhere with the series. Everything is so fluid and inconsistent that I just feel like picking up something else. Hopefully, with the way this book ended, things will solidify in the future, and I will get back to loving more than just Jenks and Al.


  1. Hmm I'm going to have to slightly disagree. I haven't minded the fact that Rachel has had a lot of different boyfriends it just shows that she's still trying to decide who is right for her. I was really sad about the Kisten situation.Though I will say the ending made me hope for a certain pairing that I hope will eventually happen. But I go agree with you that Jenks is the best side kick ever. I'm wondering what is going to happen to him. Thanks for the review.

  2. Well, it's just that there was the badger guy, the scuba diving witch, the resurrected ghost, the werewolf, and then the lingering maybe with a certain elf...I just want the romance to solidify you know??

    And..Yeah I think I'm on the same page with you for that particular hope...In fact, if it's what I think you're talking about, I've been hoping for it for like...the whole series lol.