Rachel Mariana Morgan’s latest adventure was as awesome as I thought it would be. I was worried that it might be hard to follow up Pale Demon–a great American roadtrip featuring an elf, a pixy, a demon, a witch, and a vampire was pretty epic. But Kim Harrison left just enough questions to be answered in A Perfect Blood, the tenth book of The Hollows. *spoiler alert!*
The elf bracelet that basically left Rachel magically castrated had me worried, and I was wondering where her relationship with Trent would lead. Ivy’s goodbye to Rachel had me interested to see what would happen with thier friendship, not to mention the rather abrupt abandoment of Al in the ever-after. Sure, he’s basically an evil bastard, but he’s also undoubtedly responding to Rachel’s shows of trust, and I couldn’t help but think that her faking her own death and leaving him in the lurch might cause some set backs in thier friendship. Not to mention half the coven getting killed off by a crazy day walking demon, and Pierce possibly dead at the hands of a very angry Al. And let’s not forget about the kiss. Kim Harrison sure fits a lot of plot into one book, huh?
While some series tend to get repetitive and a bit boring after about book five, Kim Harrison has beautifully mastered the art of adapting her characters and the play between them in a way that is both believable and keeps her readers interested.
The new threat introduced in A Perfect Blood didn’t come from demons, fairies, witches or vampires. It was in the form of a species that doesn’t come into play a lot in The Hollows, unless it’s as dinner or a very underfunded police department. HAPA, a crazed organization out for Inderland blood, is comprised of humans. Similar I imagine to those who held the torches in the Salem Witch Trials, this band of militants, scientists, and pretty nurses called Rachel out to play by stringing up a witch that had been horribly deformed by what looked like a demon curse. The I.S. didn’t take long to start threatening Rachel again, and she is forced to participate in finding those responsible for the murders or face being accused as the cause. Though let’s face it, she would have been all over it anyway. The plot thickens when Rachel invites the F.I.B to join the investigation.
Despite an overprotective bodygaurd and the whole of the I.S. and F.I.B. being on scene, Rachel manages to get kidnapped by HAPA, and locked in a cage with thier current unfortunate victim. It’s in this cage that she realizes her elf bracelet is not such a good thing. She’s forced to watch, helpless, as they use her blood to twist a curse that turns a fellow witch into…well…a goat demon? And, enter new character. I love it when we get those!
Winona at first seems only able to cry and rock in a corner, but during her and Rachel’s imprisonment and great escape, it becomes clear that she is brave, funny, and unwilling to leave a comrade behind. I love her reaction to still having the goat eyes at the end – she’s just happy to have feet! She was the perfect thing to get Rachel to finally accept herself for what she was, demon blood and all. Motivated by responsibility for her actions and those weaker than herself, the guilt of watching someone suffer with the use of her blood while she stood by helpless hammered home our favorite Spider Man quote: ”With great power comes great responsibility.”
HAPA isn’t the only group of humans to make an appearance! We get to meet the men-who-don’t-belong, a group of what seems to be very secret agents dedicated to keeping just about everybody in line. Armed with the latest and greatest in technology, necklaces that don’t allow those they are touching to spindle a ley line, and lots and lots of guns, they get into a pissing contest with, yes, you guessed it, Rachel Mariana Morgan. And they win. Kind of. They didn’t get her memory, thanks to her stirring up a curse and storing it demon style to prevent memory charms (and we all know why she hates those). They are obviously still a threat, especially for the only female demon to be born and survive in 5,000 years. And they took Glenn. Poor Ivy! Though she may have found a replacement in a very broken Nina, yet another new character that has high potential of being the person our favorite living vamp has been looking for.
Trent and Rachel’s relationship took a positive turn in this book. Rachel sees him as a friend and comrade now, and I can only hope he doesn’t do anything to screw it up. They even sneek off to do a run together at the end of the book, and she realizes that there’s more to Trent than originally meets the eye. Ivy and Jenks seem convinced that he’s her next love interest, and all signs do point that way. His desperation to find Rachel after her kidnapping, his determination to keep her safe from Al, and his adorable collection of charms that include a ring that jumps them to each other in a time of need hint that Trent, at least, has deeper feelings for Rachel. At any rate, they’re well on their way to having a close relationship to rival that of their fathers’, having already accomplished what they couldn’t: saving the elven race. Let’s hope Trent can hold true to his promise and do the same for the demons.
Speaking of demons, all seems to be well with Al. I think he was just happy Rachel’s alive, though we really didn’t get to see much of him this book. Judging by the next novel in The Hollows Series’ title, Ever After, we will probably be hearing more from the demon on Rachel’s next great adventure.
A Perfect Blood held my attention throughout all twenty-eight chapters. It was as action packed and exhilarating as ever, and as a reader I felt a real emotional connection and vested interest in the story’s outcome. Both old and new characters did not disappoint, and I’m just as excited for book eleven as I was for book two.
Thanks Kim Harrison, for another amazing ride!
REC: Check out this amazing picture of Jenks and Rachel! http://www.sitamasters.com/hollows/