Is there anything Rachel Morgan can’t do? She’s a witch & a bounty hunter; she has escaped a hit commissioned by her former employer; she’s outsmarted a demon; and now we find she can twist demon curses and “Were” into a wolf. Of course, her personal life is kind of messy, but we’ll get to that in a minute.
As the book begins, Rachel and business partner Jenks the Pixie are still on the outs. They haven’t spoken for 5 months… ever since Jenks found out Rachel had kept a secret from him. But now, his son Jax is missing. He ran off with Rachel’s ex-boyfriend Nick and now they’re both in trouble. Rachel and Jenks are able to finally put aside their differences and work together in a mission to rescue Jax and Nick.
They end up on an island of werewolves who are holding Nick hostage. And they not only have to free him, but deal with the sacred item he stole that all the wolves want so desperately.
As with all the Hollows books, the action is great, but this is fundamentally a character story. Rachel is in a relationship with Kisten, but he is merely a background character here. This is about how Rachel is resolving her feelings for Nick. He abandoned her when he left and hurt her terribly. Yet she maintains loyalty to him. I think Nick really does love Rachel. She is the first person who has ever loved him unconditionally and accepts him. And I think he simply believed that love and acceptance was limitless… that she would accept and forgive all of his bad choices as she always seemed to in the past.
And of course there is Ivy. I know there are people out there who think she is Rachel’s HEA. But I’ve got to tell you, her obsession with Rachel is… well, it makes me uncomfortable. If Rachel liked women and was on-board for a sexual relationship with her, maybe I’d feel differently. But she doesn’t. And her sudden open-mindedness about sharing blood felt out-of-character. I know there was a lot of writing about self-realization and I was onboard with the assessment that she was a thrill seeker. But if she was only convincing herself she didn’t want to be bitten all this time, she did such a good job that she convinced me too. And the whole scene in the van with Ivy was disturbing. I believe she loves Ivy, that she wants to help her and be a true friend. The rest is a tangled mess. I guess it’s supposed to be.
Noticeably absent: Trent and Al. But I know they’ll be back. And I’ll be back every time there is another chance to revisit the Hollows. A truly great series.
4 1/2 stars.
A Fistful of Charmsby Kim HarrisonRelease Date: June 27, 2006Publisher: Harper Torch