2011: #27 – Pale Demon (Kim Harrison)

paledemonBook #27 was Pale Demon, the 9th book in Kim Harrison’s Rachel Morgan series. The back of the book reads:

Condemned and shunned for black magic, Rachel Morgan has three days to get to the annual witches’ conference and clear her name, or be trapped in the demonic ever-after . . . forever after.

But a witch, an elf, a living vampire, and a pixy in one car going across the country? Talk about a recipe for certain disaster, even without being the targets for assassination.

For after centuries of torment, a fearsome demon walks in the sunlight—freed at last to slay the innocent and devour their souls. But his ultimate goal is Rachel Morgan, and in the fight for survival that follows, even embracing her own demonic nature may not be enough to save her.

What do you do when you’re 8 books into a series and you need to shake up the character dynamics a bit?

You take all of your main characters and shove them into a Buick and make them drive cross-country in three days.

Harrison could have written an entire book just about that road trip. Friendships and alliances are tested, and new alliances are formed. Along the way they’re challenged by elves, pixies, and one particularly nasty demon. But some of the most interesting things happen once they reach their destination.

Not only are the interpersonal dynamics in flux, but Rachel also changes a lot. She’s forced to look very hard at herself and make some decisions, once and for all, about what it means to be a white witch or a black witch. And the result of it all could be a sea change for the series

I am still in love with this series. I’ve enjoyed how Rachel has grown and matured, even if she still slips into old behaviors from time to time. Trent is a particularly intriguing character in this book, though I did guess his big secret almost immediately. He could have easily been written off as bit player early in the series, but instead he’s  more important than ever. The one big criticism I do have has to do with his quest. I understand that the point of view the book is written in doesn’t allow us to go on the quest with Trent without Rachel going along, but there were still things about it that bugged me. Like, how in the heck did they get back to San Francisco in that amount of time? Ah well.

Harrison has left us at a very interesting crossroads in The Hollows, and I can’t wait to see what comes next.

This book was a review copy.

Other reviews:

The Book Smugglers » Blog Archive » Book Review: Pale Demon by Kim Harrison
Literary Escapism » Pale Demon by K. Harrison
Pale Demon by Kim Harrison : Book Review
ARC Review: Pale Demon – Kim Harrison | Wicked Lil Pixie Reviews
A Book Blogger’s Diary: Review – Pale Demon by Kim Harrison

Audiobook length: 17 hrs 54 min | Approximate word count: 112,000 (’11 total: 2,587,602)

2010: Rest in Pieces (Rita Mae Brown)
2009: Vampire Academy (Richelle Mead)
2008: Ice Trap (Kitty Sewell)
2007: The Time Traveler’s Wife (Audrey Niffenegger)
2006: Betrayal in Death (J.D. Robb)
2005: Open Season (Linda Howard)

Used in these Challenges: Countdown Challenge 2011; 2011 Audiobook Challenge; ARC Reading Challenge 2011; Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge 2011; Four Month Challenge – Part 6;

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