Rating (out of 5): 5 stars
Note: This review is spoiler-free (yay), but does may give away events from earlier novels. If you haven’t started The Hollows series, you can check out our review of Dead Witch Walking, the first novel.
Things were already tense for Rachel Morgan at the end of Black Magic Sanction (The Hollows #8). Now she’s got the chance to be absolved for using black magic. All she has to do is get to California in one piece and hope that the necessary people keep their words. Things are never that easy, though, and the Coven would really like it if she just didn’t make it.
She sure can’t get through security at the airport, so the only option is to take her mom’s Buick cross country. And going solo? Hardly. Our favorite pixy Jenks, vampire BFF Ivy and even that scheming elf Trent come along for the otherworld version of the Great American Road Trip.
Kim Harrison has a great way of using mundane situations to propel her characters and the humor. We all know spending days cooped up in the car with your family — and there’s no doubt Jenks and Ivy count as family here — can make tension percolate. Add in being hunted, fire, ancient evil and tons of running for our lives and you have so many of the pieces that make this series so strong.
We’re keeping this review spoiler-free, but we promise there are several moments that will have you shaking your head, muttering “oh no” and begging for a bit more. In other words, we promise Pale Demon is freaking amazing.
Overall, Pale Demon is impressive in that nine books in Rachel Morgan has grown a crazy amount and we love her all the more. The plot twists were perfectly placed and the darkness always balanced with just the right amount of pixy swearing to lighten the mood. Sometimes longer series lose their relevance and core connection, but Pale Demon does just the opposite. If nothing else, it further invigorates the series and characters. We have no clue where Harrison will take the series next but we’re already dying for more.
Sexual content: Allusions to rape and a few sexual scenes