With the notable exception of A Perfect Blood, the Hollows has been steadily gaining momentum in the past few years. Each book is better than the one before. Each book has reminded me why I love this series so damn much. And once again, with this new installment, I have a new favorite. And frankly, I don’t know how Kim Harrison is going to top this one. In fact, part of me wants to just stop reading right here, so she can’t sucker-punch me at the end of the series.
I’m going to do my very best not to spoil you, since the surprising path of the journey is part of the joy. But I will confirm things you already know if you’ve looked at the cover or read the blurb. You’ll note that for the first time, Rachel is not alone on the cover. Trent is right there with her. He is her co-star both in the cover-art and on the page. This isn’t just Rachel’s book. It’s Rachel and Trent’s book.
Does that mean they finally get together? (*shifty eyes*) Of course, I can’t answer that.
One of the things I loved so much about this book is that you can really see how much Rachel has grown. She still has fears, both about her choices in life and her choices in men. But the biggest difference we are seeing in her, is that she no longer hides from those fears, she meets them head on. Her hiding and avoidance of her issues was one of the biggest disappointments in A Perfect Blood –and why it was a bit of a letdown for me. This is, well, not a new Rachel, but an improved one. She asks herself the tough questions and she thinks before she makes her choices.
Not once did I get frustrated with the progression of the story. Not once did I want to smack Rachel. Or Ivy, even. I enjoyed watching these characters I have fallen in love with, evolve. It almost felt like a flashforward. I can see where everyone is going with their lives. Ivy. Jenks. David. The pack. The elves. Ellasbeth. Trent. Almost all of our secondary characters are back or at least get a mention for perspective. And you can really feel that their stories are finding resolution.
I ran the gamut of emotions… fear, excitement, melancholy, elation. The plot moves quickly and takes a surprising path. Of course, there is a huge problem that only Rachel can solve. She faces grave danger as she fights to save the day and she relies on the resourcefulness of her family of friends to help her succeed. All this, while facing the derision of others. It’s a formula that works for these books, and Harrison does a great job mixing up the particulars to keep it fresh.
Will everyone love this book as much as I did? Maybe not. I think that for UF purists, it might have too much of the relationship/ romantic elements. But to all the shippers out there, it will be like a sparkly gift from heaven.
To me, this could have served as a series finale. I could walk away happy. Which scares me to death. Because Kim Harrison is a sadistic killer. She can’t let me stay happy… can she? What will she throw at us before Rachel’s story is over? Somebody hold me.
Click to purchase: Amazon
The Undead Pool
by Kim Harrison
Release Date: February 25, 2014
Publisher: Harper Voyager