Every Which Way But Dead by Kim Harrison
My rating: 4.25 of 5 stars
It's been a while since I last read a Hollows book, but it was good to be back. I like this world that Kim Harrison created. I like the mix of different species, and how complex their relationships are. I really like Rachel. She's down to each, and flawed enough to be relatable. I like that she's self-conscious about her appearance, freckles and frizzy hair, and boyish figure. She seems like she'd be a nice person to know in real life. Although Rachel slips up in her inter-personal relationships with the people in her life, she is a good person who really does care about others, and that always shines through. I feel bad for her having been hurt by people she should be able to trust. It makes her gun-shy about committing to the new people who come into her life. Completely relatable. This aspect adds a realism to this urban fantasy novel that resonates with me.
I did have a big complaint: too much vampire storyline. The whole vamp pheromones and allure aspect gives me indigestion. In a way, it's pretty interesting. I really hate how these vamps try to control humans and others with their allure. It gets my goat. After all, there are plenty of willing victims, but they seem to prey on those who aren't interested, namely Rachel. I wish Ivy would get over her fixation with Rachel and being able to bite her and take her blood. She's way too predatory about Rachel. It gives me the creeps. It's not even mainly sexual. It's like it's killing her that Rachel won't share her blood. It's really too much for me. I'm not sure how I feel about Ivy. Sometimes I like her, sometimes I don't. She's not a comfortable character at all. But, I do give Ms. Harrison props for creating such a complex female character. Let me just say this...I do not want Rachel and Ivy being a couple. That would not work for me. There are some heavy sexual tension vibes between them, all tied up with the vampire bloodlust, and a deeper affection. It's just messy. I think they'd be a lousy couple. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the story doesn't go in that direction. A friend on here who's a big fan of this series told me the vamp storyline stops dominating. I hope so. This world is so intriguing with the mixes of fae and other species with witches, that I feel a lot more interesting plotlines could come to pass beyond the vamp thing. But that's just me.
I didn't like the 'resolution' with Nick. It seems like it sort of just faded away. I would prefer that they had it out and it was clear that it was over. Part of me thinks that this was done on purpose. Sometimes relationships ends like that. I guess I'm in the minority, but I liked Nick, although I don't like how he 'dumped' Rachel. I wanted to see what happened with his dabbling in black magic. That was a huge worry of mine. I've stayed mostly spoiler free, so I don't know if he will come back or not. If he does, I hope he doesn't end up turning bad. I'd rather he just be a jerky ex-boyfriend.
The whole Kisten storyline ended up winning me over. I didn't like him. He seemed sort of like a wannabe and a pretender. He still kind of has that aspect, but I see him deeper after this book. I started thawing at the scene in the dance club. I definitely started seeing his appeal, and he dances!!! I think that he was there for Rachel when she needed him, and they have good chemistry, so I think I'm okay with them being together. Kisten is okay--a nice beta with appeal that I ended up appreciating.
I love Ceri. I was so glad that Rachel was able to save her. She's very interesting, and I'm a sucker for fae/elvish storylines. I hope to see more of her. For some reason, when she was crying and Jenks' pixy daughters were trying to comfort her and were braiding her hair, I got all teary. Aww! It must be the faery fanatic in me. I perk up whenever that is a big part of a scene. Which leads me into another thing that makes this series stand out over a lot of other urban fantasy:
I love Jenks and his family. The pixies are such a rich aspect of this story. I want pixy roommates!!!! I'd happily allow them to plait my hair, and spread pixie dust all over the house. But, I guess I like my cold environment a little too much for them. I hope that Jenks gets over his anger at Rachel. I missed him and his family when he moved out.
it interesting, mostly.
The demon storyline...very twisted. Poor Rachel can't seem to stay out of trouble with those demons. Things got better, but possibly worse, since she owes two demons now. The images of the ever-after reminded me of the movie Constantine, when John would cross over to Hell, and it looked like Los Angeles, but much worse. Vivid, disturbing imagery there. Whenever the demons come around in this story, it gives me the shivers. But the Christian in me really feels uneasy with Rachel making deals with demons. It feels very wrong to me. However, it is fiction, so I leave it at that.
The bad guy and the story resolution. Ms. Harrison threw me for a loop here. I started getting this idea toward the end about who would end up being the Big Bad, and there you go. I liked how Rachel turned things around on him. Good for her. Rachel is interesting in her arrogance about her rep as a tracker, yet seems to doubt her confidence as a witch. I think she will come to realize how truly powerful she is as this series progresses.
Trent--I get this vibe that he has a thing for Rachel. That should be interesting. Rachel mostly hates him, but some part of her doesn't. As she said herself, she tends to go for the guys who tend to be bad. So who knows? He has an intriguing anti-hero vibe that appeals to me. What can I say? Maybe I'm like Rachel when it comes to characters???
To sum up my rambling: I liked this story, a lot. The progression toward the climax seemed to go kind of slowly, and I felt like it would take forever to get there. But it ended picking up. Some things I love about this book, some things, no so much. But, I'm in this series for the duration. It's too good to stop reading.
Overall rating: 4.25/5.0. The vamp aspects are like eating a really rich, spicy meal and getting a stomach ache, so it detracted from my enjoyment, and it was a bit slow in parts. Otherwise, solid entertainment.
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