This is the 7th book in the Hollows series by Kim Harrison. In a series that has consistently blown me away with its great writing quality and fast pace this book was a huge disappointment. I really feel like Kim Harrison was forced to write this book and forced to wrap up the whole Kisten mystery and didn’t want to; this book just drags. Quick side note: I listened to this on audio book and the audio book quality was great.
In this book Rachel is trying to remember what happened on the night when Kisten was murdered. Ford is along to try and help her jog her memories. Ivy is still trying to solve the Kisten murder in her own way. Then they get called on a case that ends up involving a mother Banshee who may be killing to feed her child. Oh and Pierce (you know the guy in the short story done in the anthology “Holidays from Hell”) pops into Rachel’s life. Also like usual Rachel is having trouble with Al (her demon teacher) and is trying to keep things with Marshall on a “strictly friends” basis.
As you can tell from the above things were kind of jumbled together; Rachel didn’t seem to know what she was doing most of the book. There are so many things that bothered me about this book. First and foremost is Rachel’s whining. I mean you probably could have cut 50 pages out if you had eliminated some of the whining; I felt like counting the number of times Rachel said “But, I’m a White witch!” with an honest to god foot-stomping whine…the number of times this was said had to be in the double digits at least; were they trying to drive home the book title? Rachel acted pathetic throughout the book and constantly said she would change things while she constantly made the same horrible decisions over and over again. It just wasn’t interesting to read about that.
Next issue is the Kisten thing. All this build up over multiple books over who Kisten’s killer was…it was very anti-climatic. The conclusion to the Kisten murder was weird too (I won’t give anything away) but it was very rushed and very unsatisfying and really felt forced; like someone told Harrison she had to wrap up this plot point so she grudgingly did it. My only positive reaction to this part of the story is that we finally can (hopefully) stop hearing “Who was Kisten’s killer?”.
Then there is the appearance of Pierce, a minor character in a short story in an anthology half of the readers of this series probably haven’t read. Pierce takes a major part in this story and I thought it was odd that he suddenly plays such a big role in Rachel’s life. His inclusion felt forced and unnatural. The Banshee character Mia was also unsatisfying; there was so much “we have her, we lost her, we have her, we lost her” that I just got bored with the whole story. Rachel’s whole moral struggle with bringing in Mia was odd, it was like Rachel completely lost her sense of right and wrong and wandered around confused for most of the Mia investigations.
Of course, to bring even more pain into the mix Harrison had to (again) bring up Ivy and Rachel’s blood balance. I had really, really hoped we were done hearing about this. In fact it seemed pretty tied up in the last book and I was disappointed to see it rear its ugly head again. Bringing this up, yet again, added to my boredom and made me roll my eyes…I mean come on let the characters move on and get on with the story. Same with Marshall, what was up with his relationship with Rachel, is it there just to take up page space?
There were a couple good pieces to the story. Pierce is actually an interesting character and I am eager to see more of him. Eddings and Glenn were great characters and added more to the story than any of the other characters. Al stole the scenes he was in too. Also Bis was awesome and I hope the gargoyle is in the story more in the future. Rynn Cormel is an intriguing master vamp and I am also eager to find out what his future actions are. In fact all of these characters were way more interesting than Rachel and Ivy; maybe Rachel’s character is just getting tired. All I know is something has to change or I will be getting rid of all the books in this series and dropping it.
All in all a disappointment. This was a long, long book that felt forced and chased itself in circles a lot. There were a couple bright spots, but overall I just wanted the book to be over.