Rachel, Ivy and Jenks are back in the latest installment of The Hollows, a land where a genetic mutation in a tomato has brought witches, vampires and pixies to the front of human existance. Forced to live peaceably mortals and inderlanders (the term for non-mortals) have their own sets of rules and investigative bureaus. They also have Runners, the affectionate term for those who haul in the bad guys, of which our heroes are a part. Living in a church with a gargoyle for a watchdog, the setting is eerie and yet fits well with the characters. There is a sense of humor in Rachel preparing spells in an old church kitchen while pixie children flit around sprinkling their dust everywhere.
Once again Harrison does a masterful job of putting you inside Rachel's head. For a young woman, she has a lot to deal with: her aura is becoming progressively covered with demon smut, her memory of her boyfriend's death seems forever locked behind a pixie spell, and her femme fatale vampire roommate consistently fights the urge to bite her, and to take her as a lover.
This particular installment adds to her erratic and crazy lifestyle: first there is date night every Saturday with Al the demon, not to mention psychoanalysis from a fellow witch, and a ghost haunting the church. Insert one banshee and a banshee child, and sparing any spoilers, you can guess what will happen. Will Rachel's splat gun be enough to bring in the villains this time, or will her energy be drained from her forever?
Perhaps not as much happens in forwarding Rachel and Ivy's relationship, which seems forever stuck in an uneasy love for each other, but this book is another fantastically rowdy romp through The Hollows and a must for any reader in love with the paranormal urban fantasy.
Harrison's website is a treat as well. Loaded with information from the previous books, music that fits the characters, an impressive forum and many freebies, it's definitely worth some web time.
Kim Harrison's Website