Mar 4 2011 9:00am

Fresh Meat: Kim Harrison’s Pale Demon

Pale Demon by Kim HarrisonCondemned to death for black magic and shunned, Rachel Morgan has three days to somehow get to the annual witches convention in San Francisco and clear her name. If she fails, the only way she can escape death is to live in the demonic ever after . . . for ever after.

Banned from the flight lists, Rachel teams up with elven tycoon Trent Kalamack, headed for the West Coast for his own mysterious business. But Rachel isn’t the only passenger along for the ride. Can a witch, an elf, a living vampire, and a pixy in one car survive for over 2,300 miles? And that’s not counting the assassin on their tail. 

A fearsome demon walks the sunlight, freed after centuries of torment to slay the innocent and devour souls. But his ultimate prey is Rachel Morgan. While the powerful witch with nerves of steel will do whatever it takes to stay alive, even embracing her own demonic nature may not be enough to save her.

Kim Harrison’s Hollows is one of my must-have series. Her characters are some of my favorites in the Urban Fantasy genre. Take pixy Jenks, for example; he’s been around since the very first book in the series. We were told back then that pixies had a shelf life, but somehow Jenks has defied that death date and kept on ticking. Hell, if Harrison kills off Jenks, she would have a full-on fan revolt.

“Tink's a Disney whore!” - Jenks

This is the ninth book in the series, and focuses on somewhere different than the Hollows. We go on a road trip! ROAD TRIP! (Sorry, I had to.) It’s a departure for the series, since we usually stick to one or two places within the world. Even better, Rachel is trapped in a car with Trent, her “elven frenemy.” Their love/hate relationship is another favorite in the series, but no-one can replace Kisten. *cries again*

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

Trent has always been the rich elf with the attitude problem, but in Pale Demon we get more of Trent on a personal level. Not out there to kill Rachel, but to ask for her help (I know, that shocked the hell out of me too. Trent asking Rachel for help? The world must be ending. Or at least the series. *sob*) But together they made for an interesting addition to the whole road-trip scenario.

“You think Ivy's a planner? She has nothing on a motivated elf with too much money.”

Of course I’d be remiss not to mention Ivy, Rachel’s vampire best friend. I have issues with Ivy—sometimes I love her and sometimes I hate her, kinda like with Trent and Rachel’s relationship. But Ivy has some great lines, even if she is emo-vamp most of the time.

But as usual, some of the best lines belong to Rachel herself:

'You need to be clever to best him. Are you clever, Rachel?'
Oh God. She wants to know if I’m clever. I glanced at Al, and he stared at me, then shrugged. Licking my lips, I said, 'It’s the shiny pot that puts a hole in the sky.'

Al’s mouth dropped open, but Newt thought about it, her expression thoughtful and her fingers finally leaving her knife. 'Very true,' she said as she eased back into the cushions.

With a soft click of his teeth, Al’s mouth shut. His eyes were cross, and he seemed peeved that I’d found a way to satisfy her without compromising myself at all.

I’ll be sad when this series comes to an end, but the characters will always have a place in my heart and don’t blame me if you, like me, accidentally scream out “Tink's Panties” instead of the f-bomb (blame Jenks!).


Natasha Carty reviews Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy on her website and lives in Toronto, Canada, with her cat Seamus.

Subscribe to this conversation (must be logged in):
Megan Frampton
1. MFrampton
So I had stopped reading Harrison after about three books, I think, but this makes me want to pick the series up again. I love road trips, too.
Megan Frampton
3. MFrampton
I totally did. So where should I pick the series up again, then?
Natasha Carty
4. WickedLilPixie
The first book you haven't read, duh ;) I seriously can't believe you missed Kisten. AHH
Megan Frampton
5. MFrampton
You are SO unhelpful!

I think I picked up A Fistful of Charms and lost interest, but I just read a review that says that book starts slowly, so I guess I should pick it up and slog through the sludgy parts.
Natasha Carty
6. WickedLilPixie
THAT is the one, omg dude thats the book! READ IT NOOOW!

*done screaming* That's the book that changed my love for Kim Harrison to a mixture of WTF & OMG.
7. JenM
It was For a Few Demons More, where all the heartbreak happened. That's where the series changed for me. But I wouldn't skip A Fistful of Charms --that was a good one. (It was the one where she had to rescue Nick from the werewolves.)
Megan Frampton
8. MFrampton
@JenM YOU are helpful! Unlike SOME people.

I just asked the library for A Fistful--will report back.
Natasha Carty
9. WickedLilPixie
@ Megan bite me, I left you the right books on Twitter :p

@JenM thank you! I realized after I hit post it was the wrong book, thus leading me to a ton of tweets at Megan on Twitter ;)
Patrice Tinslely
10. ptinsley
I love this series. Her characters and especiallly Jenks are engaging. I snicker everytime I think of Jenks curses about Tink, especially "Tink's a Disney Whore!" I had to be especially careful at Disney World last summer, where my hubby bought me a Tinkerbelle shirt because he has to listen to me laughing and muttering Jenkisms. lol Hey, no spoilers but Pale Demon had me a little sniffly with a few Jenks parts, with an Ivy part and with a Trent part. Then I was giggling that Jenks got sucked to the dark side during their visit to Disney on the way home. LOL Yes there are slow books in the series and not all are up to par for everyone, but overall - entertaining!
11. rosey_o
I really liked the whole series. I'm an avid follower from the beginning. One of my favorite comments from the books are "rats on toast" exept I usually add peanut butter AND jam!
Cheryl Hollingsworth
Great series, I love it, I really do, but Ivy's whole attitude about Rachel has almost gotten on my last nerve... she needs a new girlfriend, or someone else to bother. But I love Jenks... he's awesome.
Post a comment