A Perfect Blood (The Hollows Book #10) – A Near Perfect Blend of Old School and New School Hollows
Can this girl ever catch a break? Even cutting herself off from the demon collective and having a new bodyguard can’t save our favorite itchy witch from problems. Rachel tries to adjust to being a borderline civilian (as she still works to solve cases after all) but her secret is out and that has made her the perfect target for a pretty serious hate group, HAPA, led by a group of sadistic humans. Their public enemy #1 is the Inderlander community and they will stop at nothing to be rid of them all, even if they must use Inderlander powers to do so. Of course we would have no story if Rachel wasn’t exactly what they needed. She tries her damnedest to take them on the good old-fashioned demonless way, but she soon finds that it may not be enough.
She can’t do it alone which results in the unlikely but very anticipated partnership with none other than Trent. And this partnership certainly doesn’t disappoint. It’s a new day for the new dad as we see a completely new but believable side to our favorite elf (well, he’s my favorite at least). Their teamwork really is the heart of this book though other familiar faces, Ivy and Jenks, are still around.
Since Book 3 Rachel has liked to drive home that she and Trent look so good together, yet they’re apart. But by the end of this book, you start to wonder why. Though she denies it, to me Rachel’s actions clearly indicate growing affections towards him. As Trent embraces his magic, they seems a lot more compatible than one would initially think. If I spilled the beans about some of the revelations for his character, it would seem as if Harrison pulled it out of thin air. But she backs it up with several references from past novels, making one wonder if she was thinking about these threads all along. A lot of scenes are stark contrasts to what we’ve seen before, most notably her interactions with Trent in his home and office. Key moments throughout the series (though few and far in between) have taken place in those locations, so the evolution is meaningful.
While there wasn’t a lot of Al, he certainly makes it count for the scenes he’s in, managing to be his usual hilarious, yet terrifying self. I’m sure he will be a large presence in the next novel, so I’m looking forward to that. Jenks is funny as always, saying the most inappropriate things at the most awkward times. Ivy is stable and more of a presence than I was expecting based on Harrison’s comments about her going away and then coming back in the last book. We’re introduced to a few new supporting characters as well. Wayde is a Were bodyguard hired to look out for Rachel. Nina is a living vampire often being controlled by a master-vamp, making her really vulnerable. Both of those characters were okay—I could take them or leave them—but I really took a liking to Winona, a Witch prisoner that Rachel befriends as she takes on HAPA. She’s a sympathetic character, just a normal person wanting to live her life. But the events of this book make her shine for her adaptability and practicality. I thought she and Rachel worked really well together.
I’m not sure if it’s because it’s fresh, but I LOVED this book…dare I say better than Pale Demon in a lot of ways. I liked Rachel’s self discovery that she can hide but she can’t run. She truly accepts who she is as a demon and the animosity between her and Trent is over too so now it’s just the building process that you really hope pays off.
If I don’t like a Hollows book, I will say so. I’ve been with this series since 2005, so I’ve been through all of the ups and downs. While I read many urban fantasy novels, I pick up The Hollows and feel like I’m saying hello to an old friend. It still manages to be really exciting, so knowing that there are only two books left (with a thirteenth as a possible continuation) makes me a bit sad. But for some reason, I didn’t get the same vibe like I did from Pale Demon where it was really obvious how much the story was winding down. I guess that’s a signal for filler, but at least it’s good filler. The mystery aspect made me flash back to book 2 and the times when Rachel had gruesome mysteries to solve, so it gave me a feeling of nostalgia. This book isn’t perfect but all in all I found it to be a satisfying entry to The Hollows series, so I gave it 4.5 stars.
Needless to say, I recommend this!