Black Magic Sanction (Rachel Morgan, Book 8)
By Kim Harrison
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Published 2010, HarperCollins Publishers
Hardback, 487 pages
Rachel Morgan has fought and hunted vampires, werewolves, banshees, demons, and other supernatural dangers as both witch and bounty hunter—and lived to tell the tale. But she's never faced off against her own kind . . . until now. Denounced and shunned for dealing with demons and black magic, her best hope is life imprisonment—at worst, a forced lobotomy and genetic slavery. Only her enemies are strong enough to help her win her freedom, but trust comes hard when it hinges on the unscrupulous tycoon Trent Kalamack, the demon Algaliarept, and an ex-boyfriend turned thief.This book was like one long game of fight-or-flight, mixed in with multiple escape plans when Rachel could not avoid getting caught. Being Rachel Morgan must be quite exhausting. Being eight books in now, I have been able to come up with many reasons why I enjoy reading this series so much. For starters, I love how Kim Harrison plays off of Clint Eastwood films for her book titles. I also love how each race of supernatural beings are so creatively developed to be both unique and intriguing, right down to the intimate biological makeup. I especially love how Rachel operates "by the seat of her pants" so to speak. Her instincts are nearly always spot on, and she's got reflexes that put a cat's to shame. Even though her deceased father inadvertedly put her in this position of power, able to change the course of history on her version of Earth, she still strives to be "normal" and refuses to be anyone's puppet.
It takes a witch to catch a witch, but survival bears a heavy price.
This book was all about crossing moral lines for the right reasons and how far Rachel is willing to cross them to protect those she loves and be free herself. The plot was exciting and fast-paced almost from cover to cover, except for a sad note that had me shedding a few tears - even though the series has given the reader fair warning of what would eventually happen - as well as a hot-and-heavy interlude - because it wouldn't be a Rachel Morgan book without it. I love the mental, unvoiced quips that Rachel dreams up to convey her thoughts, which are so much more entertaining than just base cussing. Case in point: "Are frogs coming from the sun in shapeships, too?" How can a person not laugh at that? Jenks' frequent quips about Tinkerbell can be quite hilarious, too. The ending to the book holds quite a bit of promise for the next one, Pale Demon, especially in regards to Rachel's relationship with the elf, Trent. Speaking of relationships, I am rather intrigued by Al's obsession with Rachel, especially after he changed his appearance with his gargoyle Treble. While I admit my interest may be heavy on the icky, one must admit the potential for certain interludes is strong and highly possible, given what Rachel is becoming. Plus, Al makes no secret of his interest in Rachel, trying three times to convince her to move in the ever-after, though I have my suspicions that his interest is more than just physical. The close look that the reader got of the Coven of Moral and Ethical Standards shows some interesting possibilities given that Pierce is a past member of it. Oh the havoc that Rachel can cause will keep me interested in this series for as long as Kim Harrison keeps writing it!
The Cover: So the cover is showing Rachel and her gargoyle Bis, but the book describes Bis as the size of a house cat, so points off for that. Other than that, the cover is pretty sweet.
First Line: "Tucking my hair back, I squinted at the parchment, trying to form the strange angular letters as smoothly as I could."
Nothing particularly exciting is enticing me to keep reading with this line, but I am mildly curious about what Rachel is working on.
Favorite Quote: "Go to sleep, baby,Mama will sing. Of blue butterflies, and dragonfly wings. Moonlight and sunbeams, raiments so fine. Silver and gold, for baby of mine. Go to sleep, baby. Sister will tell, of wolves and of lambs, and demons who fell." -Pierce's Lullaby
Read For: Speculative Fiction Challenge, Pages Read Challenge, Celebrate the Author Challenge, Support Your Local Library Challenge