Tuesday, November 4, 2014

"The Witch With No Name" by Kim Harrison

Image via Goodreads
I started reading the Hollows Series by Kim Harrison when it was new and before the big vampire craze of the mid 2000s.  Man, typing that out sounds so pretentious..."I liked it before it was popular."  But I did.  I found the first book, "Dead Witch Walking" through an Amazon suggestion and picked it up with a Barnes and Noble coupon back when I had unlimited income to buy books.  10 years and 13 books later it's still one of the few series I can't wait to read and shell out the moolah to get my hands on it the day it comes out.  I'm sad to say "The Witch With No Name" is the last book in the series.

These reviews are really hard to write without giving away the ending, and this book in particular has a trickle down effect where the majority of the surprise is in what happens next.  So, I'm being vague on purpose, and I apologize.  If you're curious on what I thought about a particular part, ask in the comments and I'll be happy to add my two cents.  I just don't want to ruin the surprise for anyone.

Summary:  What Rachel Morgan has dreaded from the start has come to pass, and much sooner than she anticipated.  A routine run with her roommates Ivy and Jenks goes horribly wrong when Ivy is hit by car and is left to die her first death in the middle of a public street.  What initially seems to be a horrible accident turns into something unthinkable: Ivy was targeted by Master Vampire and Cincinnati overlord Rynn Cormell to get Rachel's attention.  Rynn wants Rachel to find a way to make good on her promise to find a way to save vampire's souls.  And he's done waiting.

Under a tight deadline with Ivy's very soul at stake, Rachel must call upon her abilities as a witch and day walking demon to do what has never been done before.

What I Liked:  It's bittersweet to come to the end of a series you thoroughly enjoy, but its also nice when the author goes out with a bang, and this is what I feel Harrison did.

The book starts out like old times - Rachel, Ivy and Jenks on a run that somehow goes from routine to life-or-death in an instant.  Rachel is faced with a seemingly impossible task and is forced to rely on her friends, family and her own guts to solve the problem and save the world.  It's a formula that doesn't get old as Harrison cleverly introduces the challenges in fresh ways and relies on charismatic and hilarious secondary characters to move the plot along.

What differentiates this book from the others and what I think makes this particular installment so good is the fact that Rachel as a character has truly grown through the series.  And now the reader can see it.  "Dead Witch Walking" Rachel could not have survived this book emotionally or magically; she would have imploded in the first few chapters.  It was very satisfying to see Rachel handle herself in a way that was adult (mostly) and self actualized (mostly).

I also liked the way the plot rolled along from one action scene to the next.  The story was fast paced and Rachel's biggest challenge to date.

What I Didn't Like:  The story felt like it took too long to tell, but as it's the last in the series, I'll give this a pass.  From time to time I felt like the emotions in the book were a little over done, but again, I feel like the author was writing as if this was her last change to get it all out, so I'll give this another pass.  I also would have liked to see a lot less of the Goddess and a lot more of the Demons.  But that's probably just me.

Rating:  Fans of other books in the series won't be disappointed in Rachel's farewell tale.

Also Read by This Author:  I've read them all.  New readers should start with "Dead Witch Walking"

Reviewed By:  Tami

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