Tell the truth. Did you take the time to read all of those Hollows short stories scattered in anthologies over the past few years? If the answer is yes, you’re finally getting your payoff. Just about every short story associated with the series comes into play here. And while you didn’t HAVE to read them all to understand, they certainly give the reveals here something-extra for the fans who went beyond the novels.
We pick up with Rachel accepting her deal with the demon, Al, to become his student. Her friendship with fellow witch, Marshall, is deepening and looks like it may just develop into something more. Things seems to be evening out a bit, until someone attacks Glenn, a human officer and good friend to Rachel. It’s quickly revealed that a banshee named Mia and her husband Remus are to blame. We met Mia back in “Undead in the Garden of Good & Evil.” She was the person who convinced Ivy that she could change her life, be more than the monster Piscary crafted her to be. In return, Ivy gave her the wish Rachel granted her in Dead Witch Walking. And Mia used that wish to fashion herself a family.
In the meantime, Rachel finds out someone is haunting her church. Do you remember any ghosts in her past? Think back to “Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel.” Yep, good old Pierce is back. And he is a welcomed sight. Especially as we see Rachel struggle to remember bits and pieces of the night Kisten died. The last book gave me a small break from the heartbreak I felt in For a Few Demons More. But it is back with a vengeance as Rachel finally remembers his sacrifice with heart-breaking clarity. And his killer? Another familiar face with a grudge set up in (you guessed it) another short story.
Rachel suffers even more hard knocks in this book. While nothing will ever touch the loss of Kisten (and believe me, she is still suffering that), the indignities and loss just keep piling on. Thank goodness for Ivy and Jenks. They are her anchors and her true family. Another great Hollows installment. But please, Kim Harrison, do you have to make me cry so much? 5 stars.
White Witch, Black Curseby Kim HarrisonRelease Date: February 24, 2009Publisher: Harper Voyager