Ever After – Like the finest of wines, The Hollows gets better with age

As you can see, I present definitive proof that I’ve indeed read the book! And man oh man is it fantastic! It’s my new favorite! I normally worry about using that term too loosely because it could diminish the potential quality of the series as a whole, but I genuinely think it’s the best book thus far.  Kim Harrison has done it yet again and all signs point to her doing it two more times, and in epic proportions.

This time the Ever After, home of the demons, is shrinking at an alarmingly fast rate, placing the existence of magic in a pretty vulnerable position; without one there couldn’t be the other.  So as if our favorite itchy witch, Rachel Morgan, didn’t have enough problems, this just sprang up to #1.  If she can’t solve this one, she won’t have any others.  If she can’t fix it, the demons want her head as her botched leyline creation caused this mess in the first place.  And no one wants to see that happen more than her old buddy, Ku’Sox, the former day walking demon who had the misfortune to cross Rachel and lose.  He even resorts to abducting her friend and goddaughter as insurance…and boy is it effective.  Thankfully she’s got Trent Kalamack and Algaliarept by her side to restore balance and take him down once and for all. But the price may be too high for things to ever be the same again.

I know there was criticism about not a lot happening in A Perfect Blood, though I personally enjoyed the old-school Hollows style mystery. But for those of you who didn’t, for EVER AFTER I think a better question is what didn’t happen!  There was so much going on that I genuinely can’t recall a dull moment. I think I felt and continue to feel every emotion possible, but I ultimately finished the book in pure euphoria.  In case you needed a little reminding, Harrison presents really harsh realities and difficult decisions that prove she’s an author with guts. I don’t think I’ve experienced so many pulse pounding moments since For a Few Demons More (book 5). This book left me reeling like no other.

The scenes that take place in the Ever-After were some of the best of the series. The race against the clock really made this book so intense. Learning the history of the demons and the elves and the eventual degradation of their relationship was great, though I would have loved even more insight.  I just can’t get enough of it.

And that brings me to Big Al, who was totally amazing. Fans will absolutely adore him in this book as we learn more about his personal back story.  He’s much more prominent here than in A Perfect Blood and that’s fine by me because he literally lights up the pages and keeps things exciting in his own peculiar way.

After having read Trent’s POV in the bonus chapter of A Perfect Blood, I saw everything he did in a whole new light, and boy was it refreshing.  He’s got his own personal demons to work through and it really makes you feel for the guy.  He is in a rock and a hard place, accepting his actions that have led to certain consequences while still working to find the best solution possible. I loved seeing him use more magic. I feel like elves have a pretty powerful arsenal that deserve more exploration, so it was nice to see Harrison skim the surface here with the insinuation of even greater things.  Magic is amped up for the elves, while more human qualities are amped up for the demons, so it was an interesting trade off.

His teamwork with Rachel was one of my favorite parts of the book.  The tension was insane and placed so well all throughout. It’s seriously amazing to go back and read passages from Dead Witch Walking and then look at them now. Their progress is usually one step forward, two steps back, but the slow burn for this ship is probably what will make it my all-time #1 favorite if they end up together *fingers crossed*.

This book was just about everything I could ask for, but it wasn’t 100% flawless. With so much ever after, elf and demon action, the story manages to throw in a smidgeon of development in vampire politics. Unfortunately it felt very much like an afterthought and briefly broke the overall flow.  We know vampires won’t get a lot of focus until the final book 13, so 10 or so pages of development came off a random at best and forgettable at worst.

All in all, this is an absolute MUST READ for fans of the series.  Since Black Magic Sanction and Pale Demon the series has been invigorated and manages to improve as we reach the final stretch.  That is a rarity for 95% of series that make it this far.  I think it helps a lot that Kim Harrison has an end in sight and continues to write towards that.  Many others have jumped-the-shark by this point. The Hollows is absolutely revving up for a grande finale and I cannot wait to be there.

23 responses

  1. Rochelle H

    I am so jealous, I just cannot wait to read the new addition in the Hollows series! I have absolute faith in Kim Harrison, and will be sad when the series finishes, but I’m glad that she has a plan on how to end the series.

    December 18, 2012 at 1:28 AM

    • The series is really all the better for it. I hope you love this book as much as I did!

      December 20, 2012 at 6:59 PM

  2. Wow……… I am absolutely envious Erika. I love the Hollows and Kim Harrison is extremely talented. I have read all of her books even when she went by Dawn Cook. I can’t believe it all started by being on Audible and a special popped up, Dead Witch Walking was $5 bucks and I got it. I have been a fan since. I know I will be sad when the Hollows ends, I may cry, but I know Kim will not disappoint with a new series. Thank you for letting us have some insight on EverAfter, even if I am completely jealous.

    December 18, 2012 at 2:20 AM

    • I wish you all could read it too! I’ve been with this series since 2005, so it is near and dear to me like no other series before it. I will be a blubbering mess when I read that last page. But Kim’s gonna set it up right!

      December 20, 2012 at 7:00 PM

      • I know she will get it right, and it will blow us away. I’m kinda excited to see what she has come up with after she finishes the Hollows books. I don’t have a single doubt that it will be jusdt ad good as the Hollows if not better. I sometimes wish I could take a peak into her mind and thoughts as she’s writes. She truly is a very talented lady and is gifted beyond words.

        December 20, 2012 at 8:28 PM

        • Sometimes I do, but then sometimes I think that will spoil the fun of the surprises we get to see unfold page by page.

          December 20, 2012 at 8:37 PM

  3. angel

    omg! can’t wait to read it!!! thanks for the review!! 🙂

    December 18, 2012 at 5:44 AM

  4. oh boy! 🙂 I am pulling for Trent and Rachel too!

    December 18, 2012 at 6:34 AM

    • That’s a wise one to pull for!

      December 20, 2012 at 7:01 PM

  5. Ana

    Great review!!! Ever After is the best Hollows book for me too.
    I can’t wait for book 12, its being torture!!!

    December 18, 2012 at 8:10 AM

    • Don’t I know it, Ana!

      December 20, 2012 at 7:02 PM

  6. Amazing review, amazing series…Rachel and Trent, can’t wait!!!!!

    December 18, 2012 at 9:42 AM

    • Thanks, Anne! You will adore this!

      December 20, 2012 at 7:02 PM

  7. For some reason, I had thought Ever After was meant to be the last, so I’m thrilled to know this isn’t true. And your review has me absolutely wild to read this!

    December 18, 2012 at 10:51 AM

    • I think at some point it might have been, but I was sure Book 12 would be the definite last for a long time.

      December 20, 2012 at 7:02 PM

  8. Great review as usual! Just read the chapter one sneek peek even though I swore I would not read any spoilers whatsoever(I’m sooo weak). I can not wait until January. Thank goodness Kim moved it up a month! Hope to see you in Virginia this year. I was rooting for a NY/Philly/DC area trip this year. But alas, it’s going to be a longer trip.

    December 18, 2012 at 11:05 PM

    • Do you of anyone else know what part of Virginia? I live in VA, so I would love to know more besides the Virginia Festival. There’s lots of those in VA.

      December 19, 2012 at 2:18 AM

      • According to Kim’s website she will be in Charlottesville on March 22nd for the Festival of the Book. Lucky you living in the area. I am going to have a looong trip this year.

        December 19, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    • You’ll love every minute, Keeley! I hope to make it to Virginia! I’m going to a wedding in Rhode Island the next day so it’s going to be a trek, lol. But I will make the time for Kim!

      December 20, 2012 at 7:04 PM

  9. Great review. Can’t wait. Love the Al time and Ever After. Hoping this gets finished with the leyline debacle

    December 19, 2012 at 10:15 AM

    • Al is just… I love him. And yeah, keep an eye out for the leyline stuff.

      December 20, 2012 at 7:04 PM

  10. Pingback: 2012 Year in Review!! My top books and series of the year! « Your Urban Fantasy

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