Review of EVER AFTER by Kim Harrison
THE HOLLOWS # 11
Harper Voyager, January 2013
Day-walking demon Rachel Morgan didn't mean to do it, but the line she created is gradually letting the reality out of the Ever After. Eventually, the Ever After will collapse and all the demons living in it will die. But Rachel is sure she has time, until the insane demon Ku'Sox adds his own curse to Rachel's defective line. Now, the leakage is far faster. The end of Ever After is measured in days, not centuries. The other demons know that Ku'Sox is responsible, but they're all afraid of him and trying to convince themselves that he'll save them if they give him what he wants. And what Ku'Sox wants is Rachel dead.
Worse, from Rachel's standpoint, Ku'Sox takes hostage her friendemy, Trent, and her gargoyle, Bis. Without their help, she doesn't stand a chance. Then again, Bis is under-age and Trent is an elf, sworn enemy of the demons... and hence Rachel herself. There's nothing an elf would like to see better than the end of all the demons. So, even with their help, her chances don't look good.
Author Kim Harrison continues her Rachel Morgan Hollows series with a superior effort. Rachel continues to be torn between her loyalties, her friendships and her romantic missteps. Harrison puts Rachel into situations where the only possible answers are ruled out by the prejudices and ancient hatreds of the characters and races. Harrison does a great job mixing action with emotion. Rachel's witnessing Al's dream was a particularly moving scene--which led directly to the resolution of the action. Of course, Ku'Sox's kidnapping of babies also deepens the reader's emotional investment in the story.
While the story moved right along, there were a few spots where I though Harrison let things drag a bit. In particular, I certainly understand Rachel's mistrust of the elf slave rings but her concerns got a bit repetitive. I would have liked one or two moments of real emotional torture rather than ongoing angst that didn't seem directly related to the action. Still, this was a minor flaw in a compelling story.
A real challenge in writing series is allowing the protagonist continue to grow without becoming too powerful for her environment. Harrison has managed this well in her Rachel Morgan series as Morgan finds herself pitted against ever-greater challenges, challenges she not only couldn't have faced before, but wouldn't even have recognized.
Four StarsReviewed 4/16/13
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