Jul 9, 2014

Posted by in Miscellaneous | 5 Comments

The Hollows by Kim Harrison Read-a-Long – White Witch, Black Curse

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This Week’s Book:

whitewitchblackcurse

White Witch, Black Curse – Book 7

From Goodreads –
Some wounds take time to heal…and some scars never fade.

Rachel Morgan, kick-ass witch and bounty hunter, has taken her fair share of hits, and has broken lines she swore she would never cross. But when her lover was murdered, it left a deeper wound than Rachel ever imagined, and now she won’t rest until his death is solved…and avenged. Whatever the cost.

Yet the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and when a new predator moves to the apex of the Inderland food chain, Rachel’s past comes back to haunt her.

Literally.

My rating

4 stars

My observations and questions

This book did have more of Rachel’s family in it. Robbie came to town. I can’t say I like him. Instead of helping, he ran and now he is taking her mom away. It has to be with both Takata and the shunning but I really wish Rachel could have gotten time to spend with her mom and learn more. Robbie just criticizes and hurts Rachel.

Rachel continues to work through grief and loss in this book. They finally learn who killed Kisten. The story is sad but it is nicely done and provides closure for us. And bonus – Denon is dead!

Trent was hardly in this book. He was almost nice which was surprising but it was in public, so he couldn’t be too rotten. I wanted more of him. But he was such a dick in the last book.

I didn’t expect Marshall to last and he didn’t. It’s too bad; he was a really nice guy. I don’t want her to get messed up with Pierce.

Al is a problem because you never know what he is going to do. He’s too much like Rachel that way. I hope his lessons will actually help her instead of hurting her and adding more smut. I’m surprised she hasn’t ever gotten summoned. I wish Al would do the trade and remove her marks.

Rachel almost never seems to get time to work on issues or learning new things. I wish she could have taken a class to learn more about ley line magic. She just gets to learn trial by fire. She was smarter in this book; she didn’t totally jump to help Pierce and she didn’t give Ivy her blood. She also knew they needed to do banshee hunting as a team.

Here were my questions from book 6

• Will Rachel get into a romance?
It looks like Marshall is out but I didn’t expect that to work. I don’t want her to get all excited about Pierce.
• Will Rachel get out from the demon marks now as planned?
• I still want to know more about Trent’s father and Rachel’s father and their relationship.
• What will happen to Ceri?
• What will happen with Rachel’s brother, Robbie?
I can’t say I like him much. He’s older and instead of helping or being supportive, he criticizes and hurts her feelings.
• Will Lee be out for revenge?
• What was Newt really looking for?
• Will Matalina survive much longer?
• Will the deal with Al really work out? He wasn’t honoring his deals when in jail.
Well, it was working out but Al is tricky.
• What will happen with Tom?
He turns up at a bad time, thinks he knows more than others and it got him killed.
• Will Nick turn up again? (hell no, maybe he could turn up dead)
• What will happen next with Trent? (that asshole)
He was barely in this book. He seemed almost nice. I wanted more of him in this book.
• Will Rachel get more smut on her aura as she trains with Al?

And some of your questions from book 5

• Ceri refuses to accept the honorific Mal Sa’han from Trent. What is the difference between Mal Sa’han and Sa’han? Is it gender, rank or some other basis? Obviously it is a term of respect because she does accept the term from Quen who she finds honorable.

• Still wondering what the aura is really. It seems to be integral to and integrated with the soul and self (are they different?). What roles do the body and mind have?

• With Piscary being gone, Will Ivy’s life be better?

It seems slightly better. Rynn is also slightly better with Rachel, but I don’t really trust him at all.

And some of your questions from book 6

• Who and/or where is Trent’s mother? (Excellent question!!!!)
• What will Rachel learn from Al?

And now my ongoing questions

• Will Rachel get into a romance?
• Will Rachel get out from the demon marks now as planned?
• I still want to know more about Trent’s father and Rachel’s father and their relationship.
• What will happen to Ceri?
• Will Lee be out for revenge?
• What was Newt really looking for?
• Will Matalina survive much longer?
• Will the deal with Al really work out? He wasn’t honoring his deals when in jail.
• Will Nick turn up again? (hell no, maybe he could turn up dead)
• What will happen next with Trent? (that asshole)
• Will Rachel get more smut on her aura as she trains with Al?
• Will Rachel get out of the shunning or get around it somehow?
• With Denon gone, will things get slightly better with the I.S.?

Games

Who said:
“You need someone a little dirty, honey, with a heart of gold.”

Some great quotes from Book 6 you shared with me

“And while seeing Trent in his tighty-whities would make my decade, I’d found out long ago that I couldn’t stay mad at a man wearing nothing but underwear. They looked so charmingly vulnerable.” ~Rachel
It was highly unusual for so young an undead vampire to be so good at mimicking having a soul. I figured it was because he was a politician and had had practice way before he died. ~Rachel

Damn it, I was too busy to learn another freaking *life lesson*. ~Rachel

Living a lie tore at one’s being and leaked out in the oddest places. ~Rachel

(This one intrigues me because it’s a succinct way of stating what happens when Shadows are present—a Jungian psychological concept that I’m just starting to explore)

“Maybe my mother was right. Maybe there was someone out there for me who would understand that there was good stuff to balance out the bad. And maybe by the time I found someone like that, I’d be so kick-ass that no one, not even Newt herself, would dare lay a finger on us.” ~Rachel

Schedule and wrap up

The winner of the June giveaway, a copy of Into the Woods, is Janice A.

We’re doing roughly one book a week, with a posting on Wednesday, most weeks. I can’t commit to doing a review every week, but as a minimum, I will make some observations and ask a few questions I want to know after reading the book. I have some ideas for some fun and games as we go along. Here’s our planned schedule (updated):

July 16 – none because of “special visitor”
July 23 – Black Magic Sanction, book 8
July 30 – Pale Demon, book 9 – Guest review by Jessica, Rabid Reads

August 6 – A Perfect Blood, book 10 – Guest review by Tabitha, Not Yet Read
August 13 – none because no blog posts as Julie and Anne are on vacation
August 20 – Ever After, book 11
August 27 – The Undead Pool, book 12

September 9 – release day for the final book, A Witch with No Name, book 13.

So – Post a comment for me so I know you’re reading. Include a quote from the book (hopefully not the same as others). If you haven’t read the books before, tell me some of the questions you have now. If you’ve read the books already, don’t be a spoiler to the rest of us!
In the rafflecopter giveaways, there is a place to answer the Who said game and also a place to enter a quote from the book. One giveaway ends after this month; one is the final prize giveaway for the whole event.

And… on to Book 8 – Black Magic Sanction. Happy Reading!

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  1. “Robbie just criticizes and hurts Rachel.”

    THANK YOU. I was never a big fan of Robbie, b/c his bossy-pants ways are seriously obnoxious. Where does he get off trying to tell Rachel what to do after abandoning her and their mom when their dad died? NOT cool. I like him even less this time around, b/c I’m finally reading all the short stories and novellas, and in Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel (the story about how Rachel meets Pierce in the first place), he’s even WORSE than he was in the full books. *glares daggers at Robbie*

    I have LOTS of quotes from this one:

    “I’m a pixy, Rachel. I may look all tough and stuff, but I got wings, and I know infatuation when I see it.”

    “The runt will have a juice box.’ He turned to Pierce. ‘It will make you big and strong, won’t it, little fella.”

    “He and Jenks got along great, seeing as Bis had been kicked off the basilica for spitting on people, and Jenks thought that was just fine.”

    “Rachel, you summon demons. You’re good at it. Get over it, then find a way to make it work for you. It’s not going to go away.”

    And finally:

    “Two grande lattes, double espresso, Italian blend,” he said to the clerk. “Light on the froth, extra cinnamon. Use whole milk. Not two percent or half-and-half. Put a shot of raspberry in one for my itchy witch here.”

    B/c how yummy does that sound? I LOVE this readalong, Anne 😉

  2. Janice A. says:

    Thank-you for Into The Woods. I’ll enjoy reading the short stories again, especially when Rachel first meets Pierce.

    It was fun having Pierce back. His deal with Al happened rather quickly, so I’ll wait and see if he’s good for Rachel.

    I agree with Jessica about Robbie. I’M glad he lives in Portland. I didn’t like him at all, but I will miss Rachel’s quirky mother, Alice.

    In the conversation with Trent, I think Rachel was too quick to blurt out what she thought Trent wanted to talk about. Of course we will never know for sure, but I don’t think it was about Ceri.
    My favorite scene is in the elevator with Trent and Al.

    Quotes I liked:
    “Funny how you call my witch black, when you kill for profit, and she kills…” He hesitated in mock thought. “Why, she hasn’t killed anyone who didn’t ask her to! Imagine that.” Color spotted Trent’s cheeks. “I don’t kill for profit.” From the corner, Pierce muttered, “You kill for progress, if you’re anything like your father.” As one, we all looked at Pierce.

    “Tell Ivy that it wasn’t her fault. And tell her that at the end…you remember love. I don’t think…we lose our souls…at all. I think God keeps them for us until we…come home. I love you, Rachel.”

    “Don’t touch the baby,”

  3. I’ve been having so much fun with this Read-along. I don’t usually re-read a whole series, but I’ve been really enjoying getting to know these characters before the end. In this book I missed Trent, there is still a lot of mystery around his and Rachel’s past and his motivations. Although I saw it coming, I am still pissed at how quickly Marshal bailed on Rachel. Kisten’s story was concluded, which was nice to wrap that up. Looking forward I am excited to relive both Rachel and Trent’s relationship developing and also Rachel and Al’s relationship.

  4. Charlotte says:

    Rachel continues to collect and to deepen bonds with other “species,” usually exceptional – Ford and Pierce squarely on her side, Al and Cormel when they have a use for her.

    Rachel’s changing skills are frightening and confusing to her but may ultimately be a blessing. Paraphrasing Jung’s “When all you have is a hammer, everything starts looking like a nail,” lately Rachel has been picking up a hammer and finding she’s got a wrench instead. This plus her driving need for justice has been forcing her to see situations differently rather than expected ways, leading her to unexpected but effective actions. Of course since most everybody else is still seeing a nail, Rachel’s actions are often demonized (quite literally).

    Rachel has plenty to be depressed about—she’s labeled a Black Witch and shunned, Kisten is dead and still unavenged, those she could love are tested but fail, some she does love are tested and fail (but thankfully not the ones she trusts fully), but mostly because she now understands that she cannot have natural children for fear they will be kidnapped and become pawns in the Everafter. All of this leads to a deep sense of abandonment but I hope to see her natural resilience help her resolve these issues in the future.

    I was so sad to see Ivy thrown back into her own personal hell. Ivy’s fundamental conflict between who she is and who she wants to be is heartbreaking, raising the question highlighted by the AA prayer: how do you tell the difference between what can and cannot be changed and how do you accept that which cannot. Especially disturbing was her request after Mia’s attack, “Take me to Rynn. I don’t care about him. He’s just a vampire.” This must be how she feels about herself as well. One glimmer of hope is the fact that Ivy fights her instincts successfully when Rachel poses the question “Who do you want to be tomorrow?” Ironically this is an essential question for Rachel also.

    Marshall’s actions were disappointing but understandable. Skimmer’s actions were frightening and not so understandable. Cormel’s true colors were finally blatantly shown and, again, it was disappointing but not unexpected. Cleo Walker’s villainous potential was not realized in this book and I hope it never is. Al and Pierce are like squabbling sadistic siblings and it will be interesting to watch in the future, especially since you know Rachel’s going to land right smack dab in the middle. And Tom’s worthless hide was finally good for something.

    Trent only played a minor role in the action, but I’m sure he’ll be more involved later on. Rachel and Trent continue to circle each other, unsure of themselves and each other. I still vacillate between not trusting the murderous scumbag and wanting to trust the caring cutie.

    The resolution of the Mia, Holly and Ford situation was satisfying and harks back to the newer overarching theme of parents and children. And speaking of parents and children, do you get the feeling that Rachel and Al will be sparring each other for the parental role albeit in childish ways?

    Also satisfying, up to a point, was the solution to the mystery of Kisten’s death. It certainly was cathartic though. And the remembered end, although bittersweet, burns bright with the knowledge that the soul and the love that soul holds exist after death, especially for vampires and Ivy in particular.

    All in all a meaningful addition to the series, resolving some situations and setting up new situations while forwarding on-going themes.

    p.s. I did enjoy the inside joke referencing “flaming rabbits from hell.” Burning bunny pin anyone?

    Questions:
    What will emerge from the blue chrysalis?

    Is Ivy’s leprechaun wish still viable and, if so, will it play a role in the future?

    How patient will Cormel be before he takes action against Rachel? What will those actions be and how damaging to Ivy?

    How troublesome will Trent’s use of magic be considering his skewed moral compass? Is elven magic inherently wild, is Trent’s magic inherently wild or is Trent’s magic wild because he’s a new practitioner?

    Favorite quotes:
    “he smiled a smile that saved the world, but I saw beyond it to the monster underneath.” – Rachel concerning Rynn Cormel

    I also love Kisten’s dying words.

    And I’m with Jessica too, I love any quote that points out that essential maleness crosses all species lines for better or worse.

  5. Charlotte says:

    Crap I’m long-winded! Sorry

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