Thursday, April 3, 2014

A Hollow Ending

In what's supposed to be, I think, the last book in Kim Harrison's The Hollows series (The Undead Pool), we get to see Rachel Morgan deal with Elvish religion in the only way she knows how.

We begin with Rachel, day walking demon who started off as an Earth witch, working security for Trent, the elf who's father developed a cure of sorts for Rosewood disease. Trent wants to date Rachel, but really can't because of his impending nuptials to Elizabeth, the elf who's acting as mother to two elven babies in Trent's care.

Then things start exploding.

As the book progresses, we find that Living vampires in league with the Dewar elves are using bits of the elvish goddess to knock out the Undead vampire, which is causing chaos with any form of magic. (It's a very convoluted plot.)

As an ending, it works, I guess. It's not nearly as bad as the epilogue Charlaine Harris gave her Southern Vampires, and thankfully, Harrison hasn't dragged the Hollows out the way Laurell K. Hamilton has dragged out Anita Blake.

There are things I really like in here. I love the idea of the elvish goddess being less a being than a collection of infinite awareness that form a kind of hive mind. I love that she's managed to give the cast a spot in here without having to shoehorn in stragglers.

There are things I wasn't as fond of, since Rachel and Trent's relationship over the course of the series is a bit like the early seasons of Moonlighting. You know, frenemies. In this book, it seems more than a little forced.

There's also some fairly uncharacteristic erotica slipped in the middle third. While the series has used sexual tension quite effectively, it normally doesn't delve that deeply into the play by play. On the bright side, it's as awkward for the characters involved as it is for the reader. (This is not some other series, where the sex is always mind blowing and perfect. This is much more of the "I just got an elbow in my face" variety.)

If this is indeed where Rachel's story ends, I'll miss her. If it's not, hopefully Harrison has a way to rekindle the magic after such a fairly final end.