Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Pale Demon by Kim Harrison

Condemned to death for black magic and shunned, Rachel Morgan has three days to somehow get to the annual witches convention in San Francisco and clear her name. If she fails, the only way she can escape death is to live in the demonic ever after . . . for ever after.

Banned from the flight lists, Rachel teams up with elven tycoon Trent Kalamack, headed for the West Coast for his own mysterious business. But Rachel isn’t the only passanger along for the ride. Can a witch, an elf, a living vampire, and a pixy in one car survive for over 2,300 miles? And that’s not counting the assassin on their tail.

A fearsome demon walks the sunlight, freed after centuries of torment to slay the innocent and devour souls. But his ultimate prey is Rachel Morgan. While the powerful witch with nerves of steel will do whatever it takes to stay alive, even embracing her own demonic nature may not be enough to save her.

First, for anyone who's wondering, I do not consider Pale Demon a stand alone. At all. There has been way too much back story and too much emotional baggage in this series for the new reader to pick up Pale Demon and appreciate it fully. The part of the story that we're shown in this one novel isn't bad, definitely not, but it's very complicated. There's a lot of back and forth and assumed knowledge that for a newbie I think would really distract from truly enjoying what was being portrayed on the page.

Essentially what we see in this book is a road trip. A long, dangerous, HUGE CONSEQUENCES having, road trip. With all the familial bonds and bad food that those words bring to mind, lol. Rachel is desperately trying to clear her name and to get to the West Coast on time is sucked into Trent's world again - this time though because he's on some mystical 'elf quest'. The whole crew goes with and we get a sh*t ton of action along the way. That's almost what I noticed the most. That the action made things seem to be going so fast but at the same time so slow.

It's like the action can be so enthralling in times I almost forget that people are saying and doing very important things while it's going on. Does that make sense? Either way it's breakneck pace and when I reached the 'conclusion' it kind of felt like I'd hit a brick wall. Which resulted in this ugly scene:

"What do you mean it's done? I want to know what happens next! HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME!?" (there was a temptation to throw my book at the wall but really - I just couldn't do it)

It's not a cliffhanger in the traditional sense (*cough* Jim Butcher *cough*) but a feeling of WOW. Harrison has a lot of material to play with in the next book and I can't wait to see where she goes!

Overall Feeling - Thumbs up.

Series - ...6) The Outlaw Demon Wails 7) White Witch, Black Curse 8) Black Magic Sanction 9) Pale Demon