Pale Demon (The Hollows, Book 9)
By Kim Harrison
Published March 2011, HarperCollins Publishers
Hardback, 439 pages
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.One of the things I have grown to love about Rachel Morgan through all of these nine books is her constant positive and hopeful perspective with others, despite how contrary their behavior. Though her friends and partners are telling her in so many ways that the rulers of her kind, the witches' council, will never let her make it to the coast and are more interested in killing her than anything else, she won't believe it until she sees for herself. And then there is her odds-defying ability to always find a way to survive against all attacks - she truly has become one of a kind, as is revealed in several ways in this book, with her match-up against the just-released demon creation that is her genetic match, as well as the sad speech that Ivy gives her about how Rachel is leaving her and Jenks behind with the way she can create change across all species.
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.
And if that is not enough to keep her busy, Rachel's love life only becomes more complicated, since Pierce has professed his love for her in the previous book, and Rachel feels a certain obligation to him. Of course, Al continues to pursue Rachel despite her refusals, and one violent-turned-steamy moment showed the kind of lust-filled potential that exists between them. Towards the end of the book, Rachel also makes a rather interesting observation about demons in general that could put Al in the potential category for future books. If two men is not enough to keep her busy, a very obvious growing attraction between her and Trent seems to show the most promise, and is ironically the one I found myself most rooting for, especially with some of the scenes in the book.
Trent's part in the book is an elf quest of sorts that he is particularly silent about, but gets him in all kinds of trouble and just creates more work for Rachel and crew. Of course, the outcome of this quest makes Trent more likable in the end, but he has to do much to prove himself to Rachel. The newest element to the series in this book was the use of wild magic by the elves, which has an untamed, old world quality that Rachel dislikes immensely. Trent wields it well, though often secretly and against Rachel's wishes.
In the end, the revelations that Rachel undergoes regarding herself and the people around her mark a major turning point for her and the series. I only wish I knew when the next book was due for release!
The Cover: I love this cover and the obvious power that Rachel is wielding. I also love how it puts her in the white leather suit that Al gives her in the book - connecting the cover with the actual plot.
First Line: "Brown or green for the drapes, Rache?"
Jenks showing concern for such a simple household task reminds me of what he lost in the last book. I must keep reading, if only to discover how he recovers.
Favorite Quote: "The car was full of unhappy people heading west. It was the Great American Family Road Trip, all right. Whaaa-hoo!"
Read For: Strong Heroine Challenge