This is my absolute favorite installment of the Hollows series to date. The best book I have read in months. I loved it. Loved it. Loved it. Loved it. It's as though Kim Harrison made this book to order, handpicking all of my favorite elements of the series and letting them shine. Tons of Trent. Al. Jenks. And, of course, the ever after. It's light on Ivy, the vampire culture, witches and werewolves. And we actually see real growth in Rachel. It's like Christmas and my birthday all at once.
The story feels more like a follow up to Pale Demon than A Perfect Blood. We're experiencing a lot of repercussions from that book. The ley line Rachel accidentally made is leaking --and slowly destroying the ever after. Of course, she is blamed, but it's really Ku'Sox who is setting her up. He exacerbated the problems with the lines to put Rachel in the crosshairs --and he'll only fix the problem if she takes the curse off of him that keeps him away from her reality.
Ku'Sox is also gunning for Trent. He's been kidnapping Rosewood babies and he wants Trent to manipulate their genes to make more day-walking demons like Rachel. Ku'Sox wants control of the babies to boost his power among the demons. Trent won't budge, so Ku'Sox takes desperate action. Trent and Rachel must work together to best Ku'Sox, as the demon endangers those near and dear to both of their hearts... and all of demonkind.
There is a ton of action in this book. I was pulled in from the very beginning and I did not want to put it down until the last page. It is unpredictable. Remember the kind of shockers Kim Harrison delivered in some of the earlier books in the series? Oh yeah, those are back. At right about the halfway mark, she kicked me in the gut --hard. No punches are pulled. No easy roads are taken. It had me by the seat of my pants the whole time.
One of the things I love about these books is the continuity. Harrison never tries to ignore past events. Instead, she weaves them into current stories, reminding us of those things that built the characters into who they are. From the rat fights to the doctor Trent killed --from Rachel's failed romances to Denon's death and the boat explosion. It's all there and then some... all kinds of little Easter Eggs for longtime fans.
We continue to learn more about the demons --and their history. We meet more gargoyles. Learn more about the ever after. Plot Ellsbeth's death (wait... maybe that last part was just me.) And we get movement on the whole Rachel and Trent will-they or won't-they dance. I won't spoil it. But it's a pretty big story thread, or at least, a major current throughout the book.
I am forcing myself to stop gushing now, before I tell you everything that happened. Just know that if you were on the fence about continuing this series after A Perfect Blood, please take my advice and read this book. If it doesn't make you fall in love with The Hollows again, I don't know what will.
Rating: A*ARC Provided by Harper Collins