Monday, 22 September 2014
#CBR6 Book 104: "The Witch with No Name" by Kim Harrison - DOUBLE CANNONBALL!
Rating: 4 stars
This is the thirteenth and final book in the Hollows series, and as such, a really very stupid place to start reading. Start at the beginning with Dead Witch Walking. I also shouldn't have to tell you that this book will most likely contain spoilers for previous books in the series. You have been warned. Proceed at your own risk.
Rachel Morgan's life hasn't exactly been peaceful since she decided to become an independent runner and start her own business with her vampire friend Ivy and the pixy Jenks. There's been a lot of water under the bridge, extensive property damage, loved ones lost, secrets uncovered, truths discovered, villains vanquished and new alliances made. Rachel is an entirely different person, much more skilled in her magical abilities. She's found happiness with the man she once considered her worst enemy and while she fears that happiness is temporary, even though he's pretty much sacrificed much of his wealth and reputation in order to be with her, she is willing to take what she can get for as long as she can get it.
Of course, she's not going to live much longer if she doesn't figure out a way to save the souls of the vampires in Cincinnati. Rynn Cormel, leader of the vampire faction, is sick of waiting for Rachel to find a magical solution and threatens not just her life, but that of her best friend, Ivy, if she doesn't come up with a fix. The demons who she could once have counted on helping her are shunning her, and Al, her former mentor has threatened to kill her because he feels she has betrayed him by choosing Trent. To make matters worse, Ellasbeth wants custody and is willing to ally with Landon, weaselliest of all the elves to achieve her goals. In order to gain control over the elven council and wrest power away from the vampires for good, Landon may do something drastic enough to destroy all magic. Sorting all of this out is all in a day's work for Rachel Morgan.
I've been reading this series since 2005. It's one of the first paranormal series I can remember really being hooked on. It was such a lovely surprise to discover that while book 12, The Undead Pool, was released on schedule in February, I didn't actually have to wait a whole year to read the conclusion of the series. Of course, I also dreaded the ending, because these characters have been part of my world for such a long time.
I love how far Rachel has come and how, through it all, she's stayed true to herself. One of the reasons I've liked her so much as a protagonist is that she isn't perfect. She's brave, and stubborn and loyal to a fault and will frequently throw herself into insanely dangerous situations if it means protecting one of the people close to her. She's had to learn that there is more between heaven and earth than used to exist in her philosophy and she's become a better person with it.
There are so many things Harrison needs to finish off in this final book, and I sort of wish she'd managed to do it with a plot that didn't feel so messy. There is a lot going on here, and I didn't actually care all that much about quite a lot of it. There were a lot of threats to characters that I cared about, but the resolution of some of the plots felt confusing and a bit haphazard. I'm not sure exactly what I was hoping for or expecting, but while the book was good, it sadly wasn't great. I'm not going to complain, too much though. It's not like Rachel ended up with Sam in the end, just because he's the only dude she hasn't hooked up with. Endings are always tricky. You need to tie up all the story lines and try to satisfy all the readers who have followed your books for years and years. I thank Kim Harrison for the years she's devoted to these characters and this fascinating urban fantasy world. It's going to be fun to re-read the whole series from the beginning.
And with that, I complete my double Cannonball.