Review- Pale Demon

Kim Harrison
Urban Fantasy
432 pages
The Hollows Series #9

Condemned 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 passanger 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.

Each time I begin a new Hollows book I'm instantly reminded of the skill in Kim Harrison's writing, and the brilliance of her story telling.  Yes, I'm clearly a huge fan but I'm not going to lie and say that every book has been a home run... I can stay objective. But Pale Demon was nearly perfect in my opinion.

Rachel, Ivy, Jenks, and TRENT (yes that's not a typo) are trying to make it to California for Rachel's hearing and Trent's mystery elf endeavor.  I for one, loved that the story is told via road trip.  It created new settings and introduced us to some new characters along the way while introducing us to their cultural differences.  This is book 9 in the series, so to still be finding out new things in the "world" was great.  Also by taking the story on the road and away from the church and the everyday, it really helps the reader focus on the changes in both the characters themselves and their relationships.  There was a lot of action along the way, so don't be worried that this story will lag in that department.  There were a few slight lulls, but it in no way effected my experience. I just can not tire of these characters.  

I will mention that for me, it almost felt like this book might have started out as a series conclusion (thankfully that's not the case). Everything is definitely NOT buttoned up, actually I don't think Rachel's life will ever be buttoned up, but the characters all wind up somewhere new/different by book's end.  I think in the end, it became a transition book for pretty much all the characters.  This really has allowed the series to continue in a fresh and interesting way... and who doesn't want that?!

My only complaint... that I didn't re-read Black Magic Sanction before I began.

Bottom Line: Fans of the series will be blown away by some of the developments and thirsty for more.

4.5 stars


  1. Great review. There are so many Urban Fantasy series out there to try to catch up on. I love the idea of the road trip in this book. It is a nice change since most books are always featured in one place or if they do travel it is by airplane and takes at most 1 page of the books time. I think a road trip would be so much fun to read about...of course since this is a series I'd have to start at the beginning...looks like I'm writing it down!

  2. I am posting my New Year's Resolution - Book Edition tomorrow and this series is on it...pretty much thanks to you. :)

  3. Deanna: This is one of my ALL TIME favorite, has to be with me on the desert island, might get buried with it kind of series. KH is a brilliant character builder. Her characters stay with your LONG after you close the book.... yeesh can you tell I'm a fan ;)

    Julie: I can't wait to read all about your resolutions! I hope you enjoy KH as much as I do.

  4. I really have to give this series another try. I think I'm the only one who didn't care for it.

  5. Colette: I think I got really into the series after reading #2 The Good, the Bad, and the Undead. Couldn't seem to get the characters out of my mind

  6. I am looking forward to this book! I am a Trent/Rachel fan .