Wednesday, April 22, 2009

White Witch, Black Curse

Many plot strands that began in earlier Hollows novels are woven together in this, the seventh installment of Rachel Morgan's adventures. First, memories are beginning to surface of the horrible night in which she lost someone she loved, and it appears that the new information may lead her to the killer. It also appears that a ghost is haunting the house, and the spirit is someone from Rachel's past (as recounted in the story "Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel" from the anthology Holidays Are Hell). And Marshall, platonic friend, all-around great guy, is worming his way into Rachel's heart. Can she be ready for another relationship? She's not sure, but she can't help thinking about it...
Rachel's immediate problem is that a banshee is on the loose, and as the creature has the ability to drain people's auras, sucking on their energy, even draining them to the point of death, that is a not a good thing. Especially when the Inderland police are refusing to act, leaving it instead to the mundane (and ill-prepared) FIB to take care of it. Rachel is way out of her league, as she realizes when she wakes up in the hospital, and her days spent there as a child, losing her friends one by one to various illnesses, are brought back forcibly to her. She needs to locate a murderer and somehow stop the banshee - and then Al steps in, snatching one of her friends away to the ever after - so teaching him a lesson goes on the list as well. Matters are complicated by a visit from her big brother, Robbie, who still treats her like she's ten years old and clearly disapproves of her lifestyle - and go from bad to worse when Rachel discovers she's been shunned. Which is so not fair, she thinks angrily, when every thing she's done in her dealings with demons has been to save the lives of others. But life, she already knows, has never been fair.

This is a solid installment in this series, which does a great job of balancing emotional issues with adventure and excitement. Rachel has come a long way from the first books, having learned a bit of tact and patience but still refusing to compromise her morals and willingness to take personal risks for her beliefs. The Hollows is an intriguing world, and with each book we are taken further into its mysteries. Certain characters and plot strands from previous books are only touched upon in this one - we catch a glimpse of Trent, and have a few brief scenes with the redoubtable Al - and we never get to see Ceri at all. But that's okay - the Hollows is a complex place, and while it will be an impatient wait for the next book, it's satisfying to know that there is still plenty of action waiting to happen.

Books in Hollows series:
1. Dead Witch Walking
2. The Good, the Bad, and the Undead
3. Every Which Way but Dead
A Fistful of Charms
For a Few Demons More
6. The Outlaw Demon Wails
7. White Witch, Black Curse

8. Black Magic Sanction

White Witch, Black Curse (#7 in the Hollows series) by Kim Harrison (Eos, 2009)

Also reviewed at:
Beyond Books: " I loved The Outlaw Demon Wails so much so there was a good chance that this book would pale slightly in comparison. I don’t think the series has started to go downhill at all."
Darque Reviews: "For fans of the series there are some pleasant surprises, but for every enjoyable moment the heroine has, there is something dark and potentially deadly just around the corner."
SciFiGuy: "It is the emotional power of our three central characters - Rachel, Ivy and Jenks - that continues to command my attention irrespective of the action of the moment. After six books they have grown and worked their way into my heart and mind."


  1. Sounds interesting. I have added Kim to my reading list, though I will start at book 1

  2. I read book one in this series and then sort of stalled. I might have to look into reading more from her in the future!

  3. I missed Trent! And there wasn't enough Al at all for my liking. ;) But I looooove this series and shall always be buying it!

  4. Heather - Yes, you really should start with the first one. I enjoyed it, but they definitely get better as they go along. Hope you enjoy it!

    Kailana - I liked the first one, but as the series goes on it really hooked me. I think she hits her stride in the third book, and from there, there's no looking back!

    Cat - I missed Trent too, and Ceri - and more Al would certainly have been nice. He cracks me up! :-D

  5. I won this shortly after it came out and I still haven't gotten around to reading it lol. I adore this series though!

  6. Ladytink - I'll be interested to hear your thoughts when you get to it!

  7. Love this series! I'm so far behind, about halfways through book 4 so I only skimmed your review, but it's so awesome to hear that the series is still strong.

  8. Joanne - Oh, I'm glad you're enjoying this series, too. It is very complex, and there is so much going on that I have high hopes for many more books to come!

  9. It's always great to know that a series keeps its momentum going through later books. I really enjoyed the first one and am looking forward to getting to know Rachel better.

  10. Rhinoa - The books take you through quite a journey with Rachel. I just got the anthology with the short story that's referred to in this one, and I'm looking forward to that, even though I kind of know what happens already. I'll be interested to hear what you think as you make your way through the series.


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