Friday, September 26, 2014

Barb's Book Review... The Witch with No Name

The Hollow’s series is one that was recommended to me by a friend earlier this year as I complained about what to read next. It’s common knowledge between my friends that books with either werewolves or vampires, or better yet both together, is my thing. When I started the Hollow’s I wasn’t sure if I'd like it. But OMG it turned out to be one of the best things I have ever read. I love it! Totes! I mean it has it all. Witches, Elves, Werewolves, Pixies, Vampires, and we can not forget the Demons. Talk about a cast of characters… it is like heaven. The world that Kim Harrison created was genius. Plain and simple.

Rachel Morgan, witch, runner (as in bounty hunter, private investigator type), half demon, friend and just all around badass chick is the kind of girl who is always finding herself with one foot in the grave. Her ability to get into so much trouble even before her morning cup of coffee would frighten most people. Maybe it would stop them from doing what they had planned but not Rachel. No, it seemed nothing stopped her. The harder things push at her, the harder she pushes back. It always seems that the fates are out to get her but her stubborn determination to stay afloat is what makes her one helluva witch. She’s a fighter through and through.

This series has so many twists and turns. They are jumping out of one dimension into another. Running from spells, dodging bullets, tackling crazed vampires and on occasion taking on a pack of wacko werewolves. What’s not to love? Oh yeah and let’s not leave out the DEMONS… (snickers) I think the way Kim did this was brilliant. (Yes, I am brown nosing but it’s my special talent.) The demon’s world is just like the dimension Rachel occupies, the only exception is the demons have destroyed it. Well a war with the Elves did but they started it. (nods) Go figure. It explains why they are so damn pissy all the time. Being forced to live underground, not having sunlight.. yeah it would make me a grumpy cad too.

There are many types of people and for me Rachel is a hero. She stands up for what she believes in. She follows her heart and her gut. Even if you are an ass to her, (coughs “Trent”) she will risk it all to help save your ass. Now she is up in odds with Vampires, yes again. Can she really find a way to retain their souls when they die their first deaths? Her life and the life of her best friend Ivy depends on her finding out.

Now, in case there is a chance you know nothing about this series (gasps) let me introduce you to a few of the main characters. (There are way too many to put them all down, we’d be here all week. lol)

Rachel Mariana Morgan - Witch. Half Demon. (as I stated above) She is just kick ass. She was a runner with the IS (Inderlander Security). She met a leprechaun at a bar (no that’s not the start to a bad joke) and was given three wishes. Giving one wish to her partner Jenks and one to Ivy Tamwood, Rachel used hers to leave the IS and she set out on her own. Ivy, Jenks and Rachel moved into Ivy’s church property and started Vampiric Charms Independent Runner Service. And that was the start to the whirlwind she calls life. She is in love with Trent Kalamack and doesn’t care who knows it. Her demon mentor Algaliarept (Al) was around a lot until they have a falling out when she falls in love with Trent.

Ivy Tamwood - Living vampire. As in a born vampire. She would not be a full fledge vampire until she died her first death and was ‘awakened’. Former IS runner. Partner at Vampiric Charms. She is in love with Rachel and has been for a long while. It’s the reason she left the IS and let Rachel move into her church. Well their church. She is trying to love Nina, a living vamp being taken over repeatedly by an old master Felix.

Jenks - Pixy. Partner of Rachel and Ivy’s. Father to a brood of little Fairies; 54 to be exact. He is one bad ass little green man. Nearing the maximum life expectancy for pixies, he worries about what will happen to both his family and his partners after he is gone; Rachel unknowingly resets his lifespan with a transformation curse. His wife, Matalina, dies. Jenks is something of a pixy pioneer, going where no pixy has gone before. He also owns the church the partners all live in.

Bis - Rachel’s 50 year old Gargoyle pup. He is the one that helps her jump lines. He’s a part of the family.

Trent Kalamack - Mr. Tall, Dark, and sexy…. An elf who is an extremely successful businessman with massive resources and wealth. He was a City Councilman. He operates in the Hollows underground and runs several illegal operations on the side. Biodrugs. He’s a kind employer and city benefactor, until you get in his way then he will have you offed.. or in Rachel’s case try to do it himself. Rachel knows of his crimes and repeatedly attempts to bring him to justice. He and Rachel have some shared history through the friendship and collaborative work of their fathers, who died days apart. He has a daughter, Lucy with his ex fiance, Ellsabeth. Trent and Rachel fell in love throughout all of their fighting and saving each others asses from all sorts of bad juju.

Quen - Elf. Martial arts wielding security chief of Trent Kalamack. Trent’s best friend. He met and fell in love with Cheri, another elf that Rachel rescued from the grips of Al, the demon. He now cares for their child, Ray as he watches over Trent’s daughter, Lucy and Trent.

Ceridwen "Ceri" Merriam Dulciat - An elf of royal blood who spent a thousand years as Algaliarept's familiar. Ceri loved Al and chose to go with him into the ever-after rather than marry the elven prince she was betrothed to, grow old, and eventually die. She is rescued by Rachel from her servitude. She knows both Ley line and Demon magic to which she teaches Rachel what she can. Anything to repay her debt of being saved and to help her friend.

Algaliarept “AL” - A demon who trades in demonic familiars. Summoned to kill both Rachel and Trent in the first novel, he becomes more than just a staple character in the second after making deals with Rachel and Nick. Algaliarept is determined to replace Ceri with Rachel as his familiar, and most of his plots revolve around these efforts. Rachel derisively refers to him as "Big Al," which also helps her to avoid accidentally summoning the demon. When the demons accidentally discover that he concealed the fact that Rachel can spindle ley line energy, he falls into disgrace. After Rachel steals his summoning name from within the ever-after, he makes a deal with her, agreeing to take her on as a scholar and teach her demon magic in exchange for the return of his summoning name and his chance to regain his reputation. He was married to a demoness named Celfnnah.

Newt - The most powerful demon in existence, with the possible exceptions of Rachel and Ku'Sox. In the distant past, she killed every other female demon, which caused her insanity and resulted in her being the only female demon (until Rachel). Demon laws don't apply to her because it is said that "she makes the laws." Rachel gains a mark from Newt in payment for moving her between the ley lines in "Every Which Way But Dead".

Captain Edden - The captain of the local FIB office. Arranges for the FIB to pay off Rachel's death bounty in exchange for her becoming a freelance operative aiding the FIB in their attempt to keep up with the I.S. Rachel's pay from the FIB eventually becomes entangled in red tape, so Edden arranges for her to own Francis's car after he is murdered. He is an ally of Rachel and Trent’s.

David Hue - A were loner and insurance claims adjuster. Forms a pack with Rachel as his alpha bitch in an effort to evade the responsibility of a true pack while gaining the professional benefits of being a pack's alpha. Assists Rachel in a couple of her cases. Affected by the were focus he hides for Rachel, he unintentionally turns several human girlfriends into weres, leading to several of their deaths; two of these women survived, adding to David and Rachel's pack. Has the powerful curse of the were focus transferred into him to save Rachel's life. Uncomfortable around Ivy, who has a crush on him. Refuses to date species that didn't originate from humans (e.g., witches). Values loyalty and trust in interpersonal relationships.

Alice Morgan - The mother of Rachel and Robbie. An exceptionally accomplished earth witch, hampered by mental illness since the death of her husband Monty and her ingestion of at least one memory potion (her reasons for taking the memory potion are unknown). Responsible for outing Trent as an elf when she believed he was betraying Rachel. She is very loyal to her daughter.

Belle - A wingless fairy (due to an earlier attack on the church) who saves Jenks's children during an invasion. Jenks later gives her permission to stay in the garden. She and Jenks have a complicated relationship.

Rynn Cormel - The new master vampire in Cincinnati. In addition to writing a best-selling guide to dating and having safe sex with vampires, he served as the leader of the United States during the Turn. He took over Piscary's vampire duties after Piscary was killed the second time.

Ellasbeth Withon - A highly intelligent and beautiful, though ill-tempered, elf who is Kalamack's fiancée due to a business arrangement. Rachel disrupts their wedding by arresting Trent at the altar. Ellasbeth later calls off the wedding for good. Biological mother to Lucy.

Jonathan “Jon” - Trenton Kalamack's chief subordinate, he despises Rachel Morgan and works against her in the series. When Rachel shifts into a mink to raid Trenton's offices and is caught, it is Jonathan who tortures her the most, poking and prodding her with pencils while she is caged. Reluctantly gives her respect after she saves Trenton

Okay so.. those are the main characters. Lord knows there are many, many more… (laughs) There is enough to build a city, literally. [Click here to find a COMPLETE list of the characters throughout the series >>[Character List]

This is a hard review to do… as I really don’t want to spoil this book for anyone. It is so frigging action packed it’s like a rollercoaster at SeaWorld. You sit down, get jerked all directions and by the end you face plant in a pillow of clouds not wanting it to end… but I will try to do it justice.

“The Witch With No Name”

“Rachel Morgan's come a long way from the clutzy runner of Dead Witch Walking. She's faced vampires and werewolves, banshees, witches, and soul-eating demons. She's crossed worlds, channeled gods, and accepted her place as a day-walking demon. She's lost friends and lovers and family, and an old enemy has become something much more.

But power demands responsibility, and world-changers must always pay a price. That time is now. To save Ivy's soul and the rest of the living vampires, to keep the demonic ever after and our own world from destruction, Rachel Morgan will risk everything.”

This book, as the other’s starts off with a bang.. or a boom as it would be called here..

Ivy asked Rachel and jenks to go with her to do a simple snatch and grab with a client, who is a living vampire. Her lover is also a living vampire. They are from two different ‘families’ and were told separate or die. Yeah Master vampires are dicks and not the good kind either. As they move about the apartment things happen too fast for Rachel to grasp at first. The lady they were helping has a dog but the way it’s acting when it sees her is off. At the last possible second Rachel throws up a protective circle to keep the dog, who is actually the male vampire (since he was made to change to all fours with a spell) and is a ticking time bomb. Literally. He is coated with a spell that will kill the three vampires. It was not meant for Rachel since she wasn't supposed to be there.

Rachel manages to salt the spell down and break it, saving their lives. After leaving the vampires, Rachel and Jenks set off to head back home before she has to get ready to go meet Trent. But as usual, things go wrong very fast. Ivy is hit by a car,laying in the street dying. There are vampires, all living of course, it is still daylight after all but they are there to make sure Ivy dies. Well that shit just isn’t happening. Rachel is determined to get across the park to the leyline and get the hell out of danger’s way… she fights off vampires with her magic and manages to move Al’s line to her. She and Ivy escape to the everafter, only after telling Jinks to get Bis and meet them at the line for the church.

Again, as things never go the way they are supposed to, as Rachel waits with a failing Ivy she panics. Ivy would ask her to kill her a second time and she just can’t do it. When Al shows up to see what happened to his line he attacks Rachel. (laughs) It was fitting and so expected. He is jealous of her, in my opinion. He failed where she has strived. Yes she picked Trent over him but he needs to man up and suck it up. I mean, jeez. Anyways, Al finally storms off after making Rachel a nervous wreck, then the surface demons make an appearance. They are brave to approach but all Rachel can do is set a circle to escape them until help comes.

Bis, Trent, Nina and Jinks show up in the ever after and with a little effort, as they have to fight off surface demons something ‘odd’ happens. Nina, felix’s little scion of a sort, and Ivy’s lover is attacked by a surface demon… then the same demon protects her from others. The demon becomes… what’s the right word here…clingy, yeah that works. He keeps trying to get to Nina. At first  they get the hell out and to Trent’s surgical ward. Ivy is rushed into surgery and they all wait. It takes rachel a little thinking as she talks with Trent to figure out why the surface demon went from angry, ripping at her throat to cowering and clingy. Surface demons are the souls the undead have lost. That explains a lot for me.. I mean I’d be pissed too if I was stuck in that hell all the time. So the surface demon had been Felix’s soul. He was in Nina and his soul recognised him.

This one event set off a chain reaction that has them all scrambling to hold onto their knickers. Trent and Rachel have to find a way (a spell) to catch the soul and attach it to Felix. As it is now Cormel wants his soul. Or he thinks he does so they are going to keep coming after Ivy and Rachel until it’s done. Rachel was able to get Felix’s soul and after a very hard, strained time she was able to get Felix his soul… now things get edgy. Cormel starts to put more pressure on her to find a way to get them all their soul, even Felix committing sunicide (walking into the sun because he couldn’t handle the 2000 years of guilt and darkness his soul reminded him of) didn’t stop this.

As with any of their ‘conquests’ they are forced into action when things are turned upside down and tossed at them like hot water on. They will have to work as a team. Trent, Rach, Jinks, Bis, hell even the demons get in on the action. Landon, an elf, who has had it out for Trent and Rachel for so long decides to tell the demons he can get their souls and rid them of the demons once and for all. Needlesstosay he manages to get the elves (the dewar) and the Clave alongside the witches council on his side, even though he is full of SHIT; they meet and decide to ‘break’ the lines. They will be cutting off all magic, sending the demons back to the ever-after to basically die. Landon thinks he knows what he is doing here but alas the little shit doesn't have a clue.

Rachel manages to rescue the demons from being pulled back to the ever-after to be killed. She hasn’t stopped Landon but in the end it is for the best. The Goddess and her mystics, who Rachel can't see or feel anymore but that have been in her this whole time come to a head. Things get bad, fast. Thanks to Newt Rachel is able to create a new ever-after, the demons help to make new ley lines. Rachel is upset and scared that they exchanged one hell for another but… they didn’t. The demons are able to come and go, day or night as they wish. People are broken and bruised but they all made it. The fight was over.

The end of the book skips some in time. We go 27 years to the future, our little Ray (Quen & Ceri’s baby girl) is getting married to a Rosewood baby. A demon in plain words. Elf to Demon, least she followed after her dad (Trent) and Rachel. It’s a beautiful day, one to show love, support and how a family can grow together despite the odds against them. It’s Ray’s special day but it’s Trent who gives Rachel a gift that no one will ever be able to surpass… you’ll have to read to see what it is. I assure you you won’t see it coming, I didn’t.

And, yes, I left out A LOT. There is no way to tell you all the epicness of this book without ruining it as I said before. I want you to enjoy it as much as I did. It would have been read a lot sooner but I was sick and it took all I had in me to function the last few days. But I love Kim’s books, all of them. One of the best series I have read. And I have read a lot. but it’s not really over just yet… as I saw on twitter the other day an announcement that “Al” spoke to Kim and wasn't quite done.. so there will be a new Hollow’s short story out on October 28, 2014.


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