Saturday, February 16, 2013

Wow, something good came out of Cincinnati!

I really shouldn't insult the Queen City like that, but it has it coming.

Ever After, Book 11 in Kim Harrison's The Hollows series, starts with the kidnapping of Rosewood Syndrome babies and ends with more evolution in the relationships between the series' central characters.

For those who've never delved into The Hollows before, the premise is fairly simple. Several years before the series starts, genetically modified tomatoes ended up killing off a large majority of the human population. As such, the "Interlander" species (These include, but aren't limited to: Witches, Vampires, Weres, fairies, pixies, and only recently, Elves.) came out of the closet to save society.

Rachel Morgan is a witch. Over the course of the series, we've learned that she was a baby born with the normally fatal Rosewood Syndrome, and that a local businessman named Trent Kalamack's father ended up curing her. (Rosewood Syndrome being a genetic disorder in witches that is something of a failsafe to keep witches from kindling demon magic. Yes, demons.) Trent himself is a rather shady character, although as the series has progressed, he's become a heck of a lot more complex, rather than playing an eel Rachel can't quite get stuff pinned on, and instead become a morally ambiguous supporting character in his own right, working for the greater good, even if it is against the law.

Anyway, the kidnapped babies that start this installment have been taken by Ku'Kox (I may have that spelled wrong, I had to return the book today, so I can't reference it), a demon created by the other demons many eons ago because the only female demon is nuts, making sexual reproduction a lot chancy. Ku' is not a nice demon. That he was imprisoned beneath the St. Louis arch should say something to his power level. His goal is to cure the Rosewood babies (by blackmailing Trent), destroy the Ever After (the parallel reality on the other sides of the ley lines that demons inhabit), then use the rosewood babies as his own personal meat puppets so he can exist of the Earth side of the lines. All while framing Rachel for the gradual but rapidly deflating Ever After.

Unfortunately, Ivy (the living vampire business partner) is out of town for most of the novel, appearing in a very limited role towards the end. Even then, she's mostly relegated to entertaining a minor character introduced only a few books ago.

It's a good addition to the series, and more interesting than the last installment. I'm kind of happy I didn't give up on the series after book 4, when I felt Rachel was jumping every shark she could. As things have progressed, so have the characters and the writing, and the journey has been fun to experience.