Jul 30, 2014

Posted by in Miscellaneous | 2 Comments

The Hollows by Kim Harrison Read-a-Long – Pale Demon

This week’s book –

paledemon

Pale Demon – Book 9

From Goodreads –

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.

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.

———-

My rating

5 stars

My observations and questions

I don’t like how Rachel gets excited about a new guy in every book. But at least, she’s looking at Trent now, and I’ve always wanted to know more about him. PLEASE – tell me Lucy is a test tube baby!
I LOVED this book. It’s definitely one of my favorites. This was a great story and we learned more about demons and Trent and even Rachel. I will miss Al. I feel like Rachel is the glue between all the different species to break down the genetic hatred and so I don’t want people to hate demons either.

I can’t wait to see how things develop with Bis. Also, if the demons do find out Rachel is alive, can Rachel do a curse to get back Trent’s fingers and have him healed?
Well, I’m not going to go on here because we have a guest review by the wonderful Jessica from Rabid Reads. She has been an awesome participant on this journey.
Here’s her review of Pale Demon:

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So I’m pretty sure that I’ve said this several times already, but just in case you missed it—Pale Demon is my FAVORITE book in this series.

Things have been building, and Rachel’s life has been getting more complicated, but by the end of the last book, it looks like she’s finally going to catch a break.

Oliver, the new head of the coven of moral and ethical standards, has verbally agreed to remove Rachel’s shunning at the upcoming Witch Convention, as long as she shows up to said convention and apologizes publicly for her use of black magic.

So that’s the plan . . . BUT . . .

As much as I needed to do this, I was so-o-o-o not looking forward to it. I mean, I’d been accused of being a black witch–of doing black magic and consorting with demons, both of which I did. Do. Whatever

So yeah . . . life is still complicated, and Rachel (being Rachel) is going to have a hard time apologizing for something that she, 1. is still doing, and 2. is seeing as less and less of a problem. She doesn’t deliberately try to make things as difficult for herself as she can, but she does have a certain knack for it, doesn’t she?

And that’s not all, b/c we soon find out that the coven of moral and ethical standards (CoMaES) is a bit more slippery than anticipated. Rachel actually has to get to the convention for the shunning to be removed, you see, and it’s evident that the CoMaES is going to try to prevent that when Rachel is kept from boarding her flight to CA where the convention is being held.<——NOT nice.

But not entirely unexpected as Ivy and Jenks took the liberty of packing Rachel’s suitcases with old magazines, and repacking her things in different bags, so that when the airport “lost” her luggage, it wouldn’t be a problem.

Did I mention that Trent is trying to catch a ride with Rachel to the West Coast?

I didn’t? Hmmm . . . that’s odd.

TRENT is trying to CATCH A RIDE with RACHEL to the WEST COAST.

That’s like . . . DAYS in a car with Trent. Trent the sexy elf. Trent whom I love to hate. DAYS. With TRENT.

And, of course, she says, “NO,” b/c Rachel, but, of course, she changes her mind . . . b/c Rachel.

“Why does Trent need to catch a ride with Rachel to the West Coast?” you ask, and that is an excellent question. It is, perhaps, the most excellent question I have goaded you into asking thus far. And when

I tell you to READ THE BOOK, I mean it more in this situation than any other time I’ve told you to READ THE BOOK.

Trust me. You NEED to know. N-E-E-D.

I can tell you that the Withons (Ellasbeth’s parents, and presumably Ellasbeth, herself) are doing everything in their power to prevent Trent from getting to the West Coast, including, but not limited to,sending ASSASSINS.

So that’s fun.

I’m reluctant to say much about the biggest problem they encounter on the road, b/c it first appears well after the 10% point, which is where my cut-off is for mentioning specifics, but suffice it to say, that there is a BIG problem. A problem so BIG that it’s probably not possible to resolve it entirely in a single installment.

And then there’s the Big Deal. The thing that makes Pale Demon my favorite book in the series. The thing that makes me go back and read an entire passage over and over (and over) again. Yes, the plot is awesome, and yes, there is awesome character development—especially where Al, Rachel, and Trent are concerned—but those things alone are not what push this installment into the 5 star zone.

If you’re even remotely interested in this series . . . if you’ve let yourself fall behind, and tell yourself that you’ll finish the series eventually, if you are either of those things, this is the book that makes it all worthwhile, and you are doing yourself a MAJOR disservice by not catching up and reading it. It’s frickin’ awesome. It’s on the same level as Kate Daniels #3 in its epic amazingness.

Hopefully, you’re convinced, but if you’re not . . . well, you can lead a horse to water, blah blah, and all that. That is all. *runs off to read that entire passage one more time*

5 stars

Jessica1

 

Here were my questions from book 8

• Will Rachel get into a romance?
And now Trent. Well that’s what I have been waiting for. But will it happen?
• Will Rachel get out from the demon marks now as planned?
Well she has gotten one removed with the name swap with Al as planned. YAY!
• I still want to know more about Trent’s father and Rachel’s father and their relationship.
• What will happen to Ceri?
• Will Pierce betray Rachel or leave her?
Without meaning to do it, he caused them to banish her since she saved Al.
• I still want to know more about Trent’s father and Rachel’s father and their relationship.
• What will happen to Ceri?
• What was Newt really looking for?
• Will Nick turn up again? (hell no, maybe he could turn up dead)
• What will happen next with Trent? (that asshole)
Well I enjoyed him in this book for a change.
• Will Rachel get out of the shunning as planned?
Of course not.
• With Denon gone, will things get slightly better with the I.S.?
Not for that reason, but because she was the only one who could really handle Ku’Sox.
• How will Jenks manage now?
He is doing surprisingly better by keeping busy with Rachel and his kids. And now Belle?
• Will Rachel be able to remove her link to Trent as her familiar?
Yes.
• Is Jax back to stay?
We didn’t hear about him really in this book
• Will the fairies help Ceri and Rachel as they learn about Trent?
We didn’t hear much aboutg this but Belle protected Jenks’ family.
• Will we see Brooke again?
Yes, now she’s a waitress at Dalliance.
• Will Rachel finally have time to learn some skills from Al and traveling the ley lines from Bis?
Not enough and not fast enough.

And some of your questions from book 8

• 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?
• Who and/or where is Trent’s mother? (Excellent question!!!!)
• What will Rachel learn from Al?
She is learning more but we aren’t getting to see much of it and it isn’t fast enough to protect her well enough.
• What will hatch from Al’s blue chrysalis? And is Pierce’s lullaby that includes a reference to blue butterflies related?
• What potential does Ivy (and the other vamps) see in Rachel that leads her to believe that Rachel can save her soul? How did she find out whatever it is?

And now my ongoing questions

• Will Rachel get into a real romance?
• I still want to know more about Trent’s father and Rachel’s father and their relationship.
• What will happen to Ceri?
• What was Newt really looking for?
• Will Nick turn up again? (hell no, maybe he could turn up dead)
• What will happen next with Trent? (that asshole)
• How will Jenks manage now?
• Is Jax back to stay?
• Will the fairies help Ceri and Rachel as they learn about Trent?
• Will Rachel finally have time to learn some skills from Al and traveling the ley lines from Bis?
• Will we see Al again? I’ll miss him I think.

 Games

Who said:
“You need a new hobby, Rachel. Something other than nasty little men with visions of world domination.”

Some great quotes from Book 8 you shared with me

“Shot me twice. I want my name, or I’m going to start charging you a fee every time I field something for you. And it’s going to be expensive. I’m Park Place. Bud-dy.”
His red, goat-slitted eyes squinted at me from over his smoked glasses. “You’re more like Oriental Avenue right now, dove. What are you on?” ~ Rachel, then Al

“Happy endings were never handed out. You had to fight for them, earn them with bruised hearts and sacrifices.” ~ Rachel

“Tears could not be equal, if I wept diamonds from the skies,” Jenks whispered, empty and bereft. “My word silent, though I should howl. Muffled by death, my wings can’t lift me high enough to find you. I feel you within. Unaware of my pain. Not knowing why I mourn.” He lifted his eyes to mine, a glimmer of tears showing. “And why I breathe alone.” ~ Jenks

” I’m King of the World” ~ Rachel, then Lee

Schedule and wrap up

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):
August 6 – A Perfect Blood, book 10 – Guest review by Tabitha, Not Yet Read
August 13 – none because 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 10 – A Perfect Blood. Happy Reading!

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  1. Best. Quote. EVER:

    “Face it, you stupid little cookie maker,” Jenks said, almost sounding fond, “in the last couple of days you’ve seen what it’s like to be in a family, with all the touchy tempers and irritation that goes on. Now you get to see the other side, where we do stupid stuff for each other just because we like you. Rache is the little sister. Ivy’s the big sister. I’m the uncle from out of state, and you’re the rich nephew no one likes but we put up with you anyway because we feel sorry for you. Just let me help, huh? It won’t kill you.”

    I think I’ve already said everything else 😉

  2. Charlotte says:

    This book starts with shadows of threats, with too many possible sources to pinpoint and/or do anything about. With Trent and Rachel presenting a consolidated target on their Great American Road trip, they’re in for double trouble , triple if you count Trent finally using black magic with an Elven twist with the abandon of a 2 year old in a candy store. And with as much attention to the consequences to others as that two-year-old on a sugar-high. Trent’s long-range plan eventually is revealed and comes to fruition with intended results, but many unintended innocent victims. Parenthood may be Trent’s salvation though.

    I know this is a favorite for many people and there are many satisfying even joyful aspects. However even knowing the struggle with Ku’Sox is necessary, it was difficult for me to witness in particular the debacle at Margaritaville. I’m not sure if it was because of the horrifying body count or the horror of something so uncontrollable that you are not sure that our heroine can actually handle it (or perhaps can’t handle the damage from what she must do). My feelings echoed Rachel’s when she said “I wanted to turn away, but I couldn’t. I wanted to run, to leave for someone else to deal with, but I couldn’t. It was me or no one.” I had to continue reading or stay stuck in the horrifying situation, but I still did not want to continue reading. The only thing that kept me reading was my faith Ms. Harrison would salvage the situation somehow. This was stronger stuff than I wanted to witness.

    Rachel is forced to say goodbye to many potential things, “roads not taken,” in this book – a loving relationship with Ivy, a loving relationship with Pierce and perhaps even her own demonic nature. However for every road not taken, there is the road chosen (or in Rachel’s case often the one she’s dropped off on) – a trusting relationship with Trent, the love of a child, the exceptional bond with Bis, a more trusting relationship with Al, Newt and Vivian, a deeper relationship with Ivy and perhaps her own demonic nature.

    The book ends by coming back to one of the crucial points in this series – how do you recognize, integrate and accept your true self – something Rachel has now been given some control over. It will be interesting to see how she handles her choices and their consequences.

    p. s. Loved Rachel’s mother’s appearance in this book

    Questions:
    How will Rachel deal with being “normal?”

    Will the pride of Rachel’s “nasty little men” ever stop getting in the way?

    Is the wild magic Rachel senses when not connected to the ley-lines hers, Trent’s or both?

    Quotes:

    I wish I had my camera, but then I’d stick out. Well, stick out more than two witches, a vamp, an elf, and a pixie in a powder blue Buick with Ohio plates already did. – Rachel

    “But I’m a coven member nonetheless, and I have returned to claim my position. And 156 years of back pay.” – Pierce

    I didn’t want Trent for a familiar, I wanted five minutes alone with him to find out what I’d done wrong with that curse… Or punch him in the mouth. It depended on what came out of it when I saw him. – Rachel

    “Hey, Rachel!” Jenks buzzed close. “What’s it like being dead?”
    “A lot like being a 60s housewife.”

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