Title: Ever After (The Hollows #11)
Author: Kim Harrison
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Harper Voyager (22nd January 2013)
The ever-after, the demonic realm that parallels our own, is shrinking, and if it disappears, so does all magic. It’s up to witch-turned-daywalking-demon Rachel Morgan to fix the ever-after before the fragile balance between magic users and humans falls apart.
Of course, there’s also the small fact that Rachel is the one who caused the ley line to rip in the first place, and her life is forfeit unless she can fix it. Not to mention the most powerful demon in the ever-after – the soul-eater Ku’Sox Sha-Ku-ru – has vowed to destroy her, and has kidnapped her friend and her goddaughter as leverage. If Rachel doesn’t give herself up, they will die.
Forced by circumstance, Rachel teams up with elven tycoon Trent Kalamack – a partnership fraught with dangers of the heart as well as betrayal of the soul – to return to the ever-after and rescue those she loves. One world teeters on the brink of interspecies war, the other on the brink of its very demise – and it’s up to Rachel to keep them both from being destroyed.
Rating: ***** (5 stars)
EVER AFTER is the eleventh installment of Kim Harrison’s fantastic THE HOLLOWS series. At this point in the series Harrison is starting to wrap things up, and answer some of the threads that have been left dangling in previous books in the series – I believe there will only be thirteen books to the series. In this book Rachel Morgan has to deal with the repercussions of her fight with Ku’Sox and trapping him in the ever-after, as he is not a demon to cross lightly – he threatens to destroy everything with his desire for revenge.
I have been really excited to read this book since its publication, but for various reasons have been unable to get my hands on a copy until now. I have to admit that I am a HUGE fan of THE HOLLOWS so (especially after the long wait) I went into this book with high expectations: I was not disappointed. I honestly think that this is the best book in the series to date. This might be in part due to the fact that I have been taking part in Kim Harrison’s read-a-thon and re-reading THE HOLLOWS, so when I dived into EVER AFTER the previous ten books in the series were pretty fresh in my mind. I do, however, think even if I hadn’t been taking part in the read-a-thon this book would have blown me away.
In EVER AFTER Rachel is the most comfortable in her skin that I have seen through the series – Harrison has done a really good job in showing her progression as a character. The Rachel Morgan in EVER AFTER is a lot more confident, and sure of herself, than the witch we first meet in DEAD WITCH WALKING who still feels she has a lot to prove to herself and the world. In fact, EVER AFTER showcases how far a lot of the characters have come – like Ivy, Jenks, Trent, and Al – from when they are first introduced to the series, although not all of it is good progression which I felt was pretty realistic. If you have read any of the other books in THE HOLLOWS then you will know how brilliant Harrison’s characterisation is, and how character driven the plot is – EVER AFTER is no exception.
I don’t really want to go into too much detail about the plot, because I don’t want to risk spoiling the book for anyone. I went into the book blind and I really enjoyed the journey, so I’m hoping everyone gets to experience that. I will say that I thought how Harrison handled the plot was interesting. The blurb gives away certain elements of the plot, but it’s actually a lot more complicated than it seems and very cleverly engineered. I’m really looking forward to book number twelve – THE UNDEAD POOL – which is scheduled for release in February 2014, as Harrison does a really great job of not only making the plot of this book really interesting but also setting up the next. I have a feeling things are going to become even more interesting.