The Hollows, III

The Hollows third book is Every Which Way But Dead.  Here was start out with Rachel Morgan attempting to outsmart a demon. Rachel Morgan isn’t as smart as she thinks she is.  While she manages to get the demon off her back (literally and figuratively) for at least a little while, she ends up freeing his former familiar, an Elf named Ceri.  This just adds to piss off Big Al and make him even more determined to break Rachel to him.  Note to Rachel: Don’t screw with demons.

Not long after this, her boyfriend Nick ends up skedaddling out of Cincinnati. He can’t handle his role as Rachel’s familiar.  Apparently it’s painful and/or uncomfortable. The only description we have of the process of Rachel pulling “ever after” through Nick is the one time she purposefully did it, he ended up having convulsions.  So safe to assume this is not fun at all.

Hurting from losing her boyfriend, Rachel’s a bit more reckless than usual, which is saying something. She ends up agreeing to help the one person she hates most in the world, Trent Kalamack, and also takes up with sexy vamp Kisten, former scion to Piscary the master vamp that Rachel helped but behind bars.

Spoiler alert: In this book we learn that Rachel is one of only two people on earth who can kindle demon magic.  The other one just happens to be the one person that both Kisten and Trent Kalamack want out of the way. It seems like he’s been trying to horn in on both Piscary’s Inderland empire and Kalamack’s illegal drug trade. Rachel takes care of this problem, and her issue with Big Al the demon by trading this fellow witch to Big Al in exchange for her freedom.

Rachel Morgan, while still something of a head strong moron, is getting a bit better in that department. The series is still captivating and I’ve already finished the fourth book, A Fistful of Charms.  All in all, a solid B+ book that left me itching for more.

On a completely unrelated side note: Amazon’s Kindle now offers out of print Simon R. Green books. I just got Blood and Honor, Ghostworld, Mistworld and Hellworld. I have been looking for these books in print for the longest time with no luck.  Now I finally got them and my Simon R. Green collection is complete, with the exception of A Hard Day’s Knight, which hasn’t come out yet. 😀

The Hollows, Book II

I enjoyed the first Hollows book enough that I got the second one (and the third).  The second book is called The Good, the Bad and the Undead. Again going for the Clint Eastwood-y titles.  Now that I’ve read a couple more of these books I can say that 1) I like Kim Harrison’s writing style and 2) I’m not figuring out the answer halfway through the book which is major plus points for Harrison.

In this book, Rachel Morgan is struggling to make her way as an independent runner. A runner is basically a supernatural bounty hunter/private investigator.  Being independent doesn’t get her the best paying jobs and will often get her stiffed by clients. In this book, she gets hired by bad boy Trent Kalamack to figure out who is killing ley line (borderline good/evil) witches in the city of Cincinnati.

In the course of the investigation, she gets wrapped up with the FIB again and has to babysit a pure human FIB agent in the Hollows (the Inderland or almost strictly supernatural section of Cincinnati). She also has to start using a magic she’s unfamiliar with (ley line) and that makes her uncomfortable. She finds out a deep dark secret about herself and her father that she didn’t know and manages to get into deeper trouble with a demon.

It was, overall, an enjoyable story but I do have something that annoys me about the series. Rachel Morgan. The character is bold (I like), stands up for herself (I like) and independent (I like). What I don’t like is that she is almost a complete and total moron when it comes to the Inderlanders.  She is not only an Inderlander herself (being a witch) but she grew up with Inderlanders and currently lives in the Inderland section of town.

How is it she doesn’t know what sets off her roomie’s vamp instincts? She has no idea that fighting them when they corner you makes them want to bite you more. Um..DUH!  BIG FREAKIN’ DUH. They’re predators! That is what they do! Some of the other, littler things like particular scents I can understand, but that? Give me a break.

It seems that she spent quite a bit of her learning years going “la la la! I can’t hear you!” at her teachers and/or her own mother. All she knows about ley line magic, which isn’t necessarily evil but has the potential to be, is that she doesn’t like it.  Therefore, she didn’t bother to learn anything about it.  I don’t like snakes, but I’ve learned enough to stay safe when around them.

And she’s singularly obsessed with bringing down Trent Kalamack. Not that bringing down a potential bad guy (I’m not convinced the character is as bad as Rachel Morgan thinks) is a bad thing.  But she continually screws up every attempt to bring him to any kind of justice. She’s convinced that he’s actually the one behind the witch murders and almost pins it on him (before he hires her to clear his name). But she screwed it up by going into the crime scene before she was allowed to.  Again BIG FREAKIN’ DUH! She works for the law, she should know how it works even if it was her first murder scene.  I’ve never been at one myself (thank goodness) but I would try not to touch anything. Common sense wouldn’t you think?

Anyway, the other characters have more than enough common sense to make up for Morgan’s complete lack of it. Even still, I still have moments of WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU THINKING?! The book as a whole is quite good and I’d rate it a solid B, points off for Morgan’s stupidity but added points for a spectacular ending.  Harrison’s writing is good enough for me to temper my natural hatred of idiots. 😀