Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Book Review: Ever After by Kim Harrison

Title: Ever After (The Hollows #11)
Author: Kim Harrison
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Release Date: 1/22/2013
ISBN: 0062228153

Are you a wizard, Kim Harrison? Seriously, you can tell me if you can, because what you create here in the Hollows books is just pure magic. This has to be one of the better books in the series and one that will have fans eagerly anticipating the final two books in the series.

The ever after, the demonic realm that parallels the human world, is shrinking. If it disappears completely, so does all magic. It's up to witch-turned-daywalking-demon Rachel Morgan to avert catastrophe and keep life from changing... for the worse.

While saving the world is important, it isn't Rachel's only motivation. There's also the small fact that she caused the ley line to rip in the first place, setting off a chain reaction of unfortunate events. That little mistake has made her life forfeit unless she can fix it. It's also made her more than a few enemies, including the most powerful demon in the ever after—a terrifying entity who eats souls and now has an insatiable appetite for her. He's already kidnapped her friend and goddaughter to lure her out, and if Rachel doesn't give herself up soon, they'll die.

But Rachel has more than a few impressive and frightening skills of her own, and she isn't going to hand over her soul and her life without one hell of a fight. She's also got a surprise: elven tycoon Trent Kalamack. With this unlikely ally beside her—a prospect both thrilling and unnerving—she's going to return to the ever after, kick some demon butt, rescue her loved ones... and prevent an apocalypse before it's too late. Or, at least that's the plan...

I freaking loved this book. LOVED IT. There's so much here to like, after all. We're shown more of the history behind elves, demons, and the Ever After, with some rather big revelations as to how everything tied together and why the Ever After looks the way it does. We've known that the elves weren't the sweet innocent cookie makers that Keebler would have us believe, and this book cements it. Also rather interesting is a look into how Al and Ceri interacted with each other during her time as his familiar. This aspect is touched upon lightly in the book, but it's important for how much it implies about their past, the past interactions of demons and elves, and what this might mean for the future.

Most of the book focuses directly on the action surrounding Rachel. This might sound like a "no duh" sort of thing until you realize how much happens in her periphery. Major stuff goes down in the sidelines, a big change from previous volumes. It used to be that when something bad happened to her friends, Rachel was usually right there with them rather than hearing about it afterwards. This really shows the distance that's growing between her, Jenks, and Ivy. They're there for moral support and to help with what they can, but most of what Rachel is going through in this book are things that neither of them can really deal with. Previous books had her predominantly relying on them, this book has her learning how to trust herself and others more. She still has to rely on others to some extent, but doing so means that she has to let go of old fears and prejudices, which in turn means that she has to become more honest with herself. That is probably one of the hardest things she's done so far because if there's anything Rach is good at, it's at denying what she's really feeling.

The ending of this book is pretty exciting, especially if you're a Rachel/Trent shipper. No, there's no firm pairing off in this book of Rachel with anyone. There's movement towards her potentially ending up with someone in the final book, but I think that Harrison will leave us guessing at the ultimate pairing until the final book. I think that everyone expects it to be a Trent/Rachel pairing, but then again Harrison has also given us some rather good reasons in this book as to why they might never really be able to be together.

In any case, this book is a must read for fans of the series. Definitely one that I'm glad I've read, even if it does mean that it'll be at least another year before the next book is out! (sobs)

5 out of 5 stars

(eARC provided by Harper Voyager)