Aug 6, 2014

Posted by in Miscellaneous | 4 Comments

The Hollows by Kim Harrison Read-a-Long – A Perfect Blood

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This Week’s Book –

aperfectblood

A Perfect Blood – Book 10

From Goodreads –

Ritually murdered corpses are appearing across Cincinnati, terrifying amalgams of human and other. Pulled in to help investigate by the I.S. and FIB, former witch turned day-walking demon Rachel Morgan soon realizes a horrifying truth: a human hate group is trying to create its own demons to destroy all Inderlanders, and to do so, it needs her blood.

She’s faced vampires, witches, werewolves, demons, and more, but humanity itself might be her toughest challenge yet.

My Rating

4 stars

My observations and questions

I enjoyed this book mainly because FINALLY Trent and Rachel were working together a bit. I don’t know why I find Trent attractive. I think it must be because he has yet unknown power and skills. I find that interesting. Otherwise, the story was kind of frustrating. Rachel was trying to hide from her true nature and kept herself in limbo. She didn’t deal with anything until she absolutely had to deal.
Many of her supporting team felt fragile, like they were there but not really. Ivy and Jenks had other things on their plate and seemed somehow less helpful. Glenn seemed less supportive but that could be because he had his own problems. I’d like to have more of Bis in the story. Seeing Marshall was just sad. David had a nice visit. I was happy to see Al again.
This felt to me like the beginning (probably the continuation) of the species vs. species war. Some species only want their own to live. Some people like Rachel want to love everyone and have everyone live. Rachel continues to be the glue holding together the ethnic melting pot.

Well, I’m not going to go on here because we have a guest review by the lovely Tabitha from Not Yet Read. Here’s her different take on A Perfect Blood:

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Where’s the growth I was expecting?

I have to say – I love this series, so when I rated this book as low as I did with a 2 star it was for a good reason. As a reader I rather expect a certain amount of character progression and growth over the course of a long series like this one.

I did not however feel like Rachel exhibited any during at least a little more than the entire first half of this book (plus a number of previous books) to reflect any of her experiences through the course of the series. People have flaws, that’s to be expected – but this particular book specifically made me wonder how she had managed to even live this long – sheer dumb luck and having others pull her fat out of the fire?? If you’ve read this far into the series then you know as well as I do that Rachel makes bird brained decisions sometimes. Here tho I literally wanted to smack her over the head with a closed fist.

The relationship and character interactions felt really topical in this one without the depth that I’ve felt previous installments. I still enjoyed seeing the characters I’ve come to love. There was some nice emphasis on Jenks and Ivy “moving on” with their lives – though I got tired of hearing about Rachel whine about it. I liked the idea of Jenks and Belle getting friendly – it worked for me.

Haven’t I watched this episode already?

I hate repetitive writing, and really it just felt like we already went through the Rachel held captive scenario in a previous book so seeing another major plot device like that so soon didn’t work for me.

Maybe I’ll feel different on my next re-read. I’m really curious to see if I will.

Curious to see what Tabitha had to say when she finished A Perfect Blood the first time around?  You can read her first review here.

Here were my questions from book 9

• 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?
Ceri seems happy with Quen and the new elf babies. It doesn’t seem as though Al is trying to take her back or anything. She also doesn’t seem afraid of him any longer.
• 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)
They worked together more and showed each other more trust.
• How will Jenks manage now?
He seems to be doing well with working, taking care of his many kids and getting to know Belle.
• Is Jax back to stay?
It doesn’t seem like he is around for the last 2 books.
• 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?
Al is back! Yay! I like Al, scary or not, I like him.

And some of your questions from books

• 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!!!!)
It looks like Trent’s mother died when he was young, before his father. She seems to have been a warrior of sorts, also a magic practioner perhaps.
• What will Rachel learn from Al?
It may be Al doesn’t know diddly squat and there is nothing he can teach her.
• 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 Rachel can save her soul? How did she find out whatever it is?
• 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?

 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)
• 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?
• What will happen with the men who don’t belong? Are they in favor of only a human world or a harmonious all-species world?
• Will Trent and Rachel spend more time together and somehow work together more, either because they like each other or because they have a common goal for/against the men who don’t belong?

Games

And the winner is … Charlotte.

Who said: “Being poor is not an indication of potential or worth. It’s a lack of resources.”

Some great quotes from Book 9 you shared with me

“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 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.”

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 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 only 2 books remaining … on to Book 11 – Ever After. Happy Reading!

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  1. I can’t wait for Witch With No Name to come out. The read-a-long is killing me, but I’m loving getting back in touch with all of the characters.

  2. Janice A. says:

    I disagree with Tabitha about Rachel’s growth. It might have been more subtle, but it was there. I mean, how many near death experiences can you have without wanting to crawl away and hide. She’s still looking for a normal life. She finally acknowledged that she is a demon in the last book, but hasn’t embraced it. She’s learned that her actions have consequences. and in APB she learns that her non-action also has consequences.

    I enjoyed that she’s accepting Trent as a friend. I loved the elevator scene, again Trent did not say what he wanted to. (Kim must like elevators. This is like the third one in the series, and I loved them all.}

    “There’s always option three” Rachel
    “why are you always angry with me?” Trent
    “He’s in the dog house, literally” Trent
    “She needed to know what she would lose before she would ever accept its cost,” Trent
    “She will have the sun and shadow both.” Trent

  3. Charlotte says:

    As usual the pacing of this book parallels the pace of Rachel’s emotional development. Stalled by her acceptance of the intentional blocking of her power, the first half is a series of her passive acceptance of her powerless state and rationalizing its continuance. However, once she accepts her nature, and with it her power, things return to normal. It was good to see her finally accept the shades of gray that have been inserting themselves into her formerly black-and-white world.

    Rachel and Trent continue to become more closely entwined with Rachel ignoring it and Trent thinking it will come in handy – their protectiveness of each other, the fact they are so mentally attuned, their common aura color and, perhaps, their sensitivity to wild magic all point to rather interesting future between them. Everybody else seems to recognize the connection. Jenks even tries to clue Rachel in, but she’s not accepting it perhaps afraid to accept it for fear she is wrong or worry for fear she’s right.

    I find it interesting that Trent was so reluctant to give up possession of Rachel after the face-off in the old subway tunnel. And he could recite exactly what was wrong with Rachel, without looking her over. And what was Trent trying to keep Jenks from saying “he had three spells going when I broke into his spell hut and caught him trying to –”?

    I hope we continue to see more of Winona in the future. She and Rachel are cut from the same cloth – brave, resourceful and more powerful than they ever imagined.

    We finally hear something about Trent’s mother – she was loving and beautiful and apparently a skilled sword-wielder who disappeared on a regular basis and returned smelling of battle. And it appears she was with Rachel’s father the night she died. I hope we hear more of her story especially since she reminds me of Rachel and what I suspect Trent wishes to be.

    With Pierce as Newt’s familiar you have to wonder if either will come out alive, I hope so, but understand that something has to change in both of them.

    Rachel sure does have a lot of good, good friends who care about her and trust her. Not only love and trust her, but everybody feels they are getting the better part of the deal – something very rare indeed. I do find it sad that Rachel feels Jenks and Ivy pulling away from her. I hope their connection is merely changing and will continue to deepen.

    Favorite quotes:

    The undead did not love, but they remembered love with a savage loyalty. – Rachel

    The heat of the charm lay in his eyes, the promise of what could be – what might be if I could trust another with my heart again. And it hurt me knowing it wasn’t mine. – Rachel

    “Why?” I said, taking the paper from him as Al smiled. “If it’s not what I agreed to, I will burn Al’s gonads off the first chance I get.… “Ah, hold on a tick,” Al said – Rachel

    The demands of the music sort of suck everything out of a person unless he or she is tapped into something bigger. – Wayde, concerning music on the road but also pertinent to magic

    You want me to let him in or go out swear at him? – Jenks

    I meant Nick would’ve told you to summon a demon to solve your problem. Marshall would’ve told you not to go at all. Pierce would probably have demanded to go with you, then got in the way and screwed it up. Trent, though, gave you a weapon. One you might use. – ivy

    Since Rachel’s father worked so closely with Trent’s parents, was Rachel’s mother a part of what they were attempting to accomplish?

    There are many questions concerning Trent and Rachel but I’ll limit them to just these:

    Where’s the smut from Trent’s black magic? Is this something Rachel might be able to take advantage of also? Does Rachel’s gold and black aura reflect having both sun and shadow?

    When first contacting Al why did Trent pull line energy through Rachel – it was supposed to be protective but how?

  4. Northwoman says:

    I really appreciate you all hanging with me to the end here. You are doing a great job with comments and quotes. They are very thought-provoking. And thanks for putting in who said the quotes for me! It helps when I’ve been out of town. 🙂

    I’m enjoying the series a lot. I just finished The Witch with No Name. My review is planned for September 12th.

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