The Undead Pool (The Hollows #12)
By Kim Harrison
Expected publication February 25th, 2014
Source: Received from Harper Voyager (via Edelweiss) in exchange for an unbiased review (THANK YOU!)
About the book:
Witch and day-walking demon Rachel Morgan has managed to save the demonic ever after from shrinking, but at a high cost. Now strange magic is attacking Cincinnati and the Hollows, causing spells to backfire or go horribly wrong, and the truce between the races, between Inderlander and human, is shattering.
Rachel must stop the occurrences before the undead vampire masters who keep the rest of the undead under control are lost and it becomes all-out supernatural war. However, the only way to do so is through the ancient elven wild magic, which carries its own perils.
If you’re not reading Kim Harrison’s The Hollows series by now, I don’t know what to tell you. I’ve been harping on everyone for the last two years of my blog’s existence to read this beloved (by the hordes) urban fantasy series. My first blog post EVER was a review for the Hollows world book, over 2 years ago.
And now we’re down to the last two books. The Undead Pool is number 12 in the series and the next to last book. I have nothing but dread down to my soul for how it’s all going to end. But I’m not here to discuss that today. I’m here to talk about how we’re going to get there. Hang on, humans and inderlanders, it’s one of Kim Harrison’s best rides yet!!!
Granted, Rachel is enjoying a little “normalcy” in her life when we catch up with her at the beginning of the book. She’s been working personal security for Trent while Quen is away. After saving the Ever After from shrinking into nothingness, spending the last three months protecting Trent is a piece of lasagna. And, after all this time spent with Trent, Rachel finds herself questioning why she actually looks forward to seeing him during their outings (or are they “dates”?)
It’s on one of these outings where a wave of “something” wild attacks spells all around Cincinnati and in the Hollows, causing the spells to backfire or explode in completely unintended ways. We’re talking injuries and property damage. And who’s the first to get blamed? You guessed it, our resident day-walking demon, Rachel. Soon, everyone realizes it’s Rachel’s help they’ll need to stop the mayhem and panic from growing between all the races living in and around Cincinnati.
If, after 12 books, you would have thought world building and story lines would have gotten boring by now, you would be sadly mistaken. Ms. Harrison has yet again added to her Hollows world with new dynamics to Rachel’s powers, new supernatural creatures, and she’s added even more aspects to the elven lore and attributes to the Ever After! She continues to build and build and build upon her world and I’m one fan who hates to see Ms. Harrison’s Hollows world close up shop.
But Rachel’s story does need an ending. Nobody deserves a “happily ever after” more than she does. From her meager beginnings tagging vampires in a seedy bar with Jenks swinging on her earrings complaining about being her “back-up” to the confident woman who finally owns the fact that she’s a demon and still makes her major decisions with the best interests of her “family” in mind. In THIS book, I love that Ms. Harrison played on Rachel’s deep down insecurity of whether she deserves to have it all or to continue to fight against herself. It wove perfectly in and out of the story line. I really would love to dissect this one for hours with a fellow book geek. If I do it NOW and spoil some of the plot, you’d have Jumoke come over and pix me!
Yes, I really am pulling out all the Hollows references… when else can I be so annoying?
Hollows fans will be happy to know that almost all the favorite characters make an appearance in The Undead Pool. None of the characters feel forced into the plot, either! One of my favorites, David, had a much bigger supporting role than he’s had in previous books. He’s a character that I think could be used more, there just isn’t room for him.
Of course, you can’t have Rachel without her “family”!!! Ivy and Jenks are fan-freakin’-tabulous!!! Ivy’s storyline is the perfect showcase for her struggles with her nature and who she ultimately wants to be. Jenks is still growing up, even if he’s most likely the oldest living pixie! I can’t tell you enough how much I love when Jenks and Trent get together and start whispering.
Trent… yep, I was one of those readers. I love Kisten. I cried for weeks, no joke! My hubs thought I was mental, all over a silly character from a book. But I was captivated by Kisten.
In the past, Trent threw Rachel into a headstone and knocked her about unconscious. All over something that actually saved his life. I had a hard time getting over it. The book, Pale Demon, had me seeing Trent in a whole different way. This book, sealed the deal. I can’t tell you how, but Kim Harrison took care of everything. And I’m not just talking about the inevitable or what you’re assuming.
Someone, send me a book geek, STAT!!
If you’re not reading this series, you really should have this on your TBR. This urban fantasy series has no duds in the bunch and The Undead Pool is one of the best ones out the 12. If you scroll down to the end of my post, I’ll even help you in your quest to read this series.
Before I start writing a novel, I want to close by saying that you can read the first few chapters HERE, HERE, and HERE. It’s a great way to start the book while you’re waiting for your pre-order to arrive *hint, hint*.
About the author:
Kim Harrison, dark urban fantasy author of the New York Times best selling EVER AFTER, was born in Detroit and raised within an hour’s drive. After gaining her bachelors in the sciences, she moved to South Carolina, where she remained until recently returning to Michigan because she missed the snow. She’s currently developing what comes after the Hollows between working on the Hollows books. When not at her desk, Kim is most likely to be found landscaping her new/old Victorian home, in the garden, or out on the links.
Because it wouldn’t be a Kim Harrison review without a giveaway, I’m having one!! ONE winner will receive a signed hardcover copy of The Undead Pool by Kim Harrison. I will be getting this book signed on Tuesday, February 25th so I won’t be able to have it personalized – sorry!
A second prize of 4 paperbacks in The Hollows series goes to the second place winner. If you’ve already read the series, these make great re-gifting or sharing is caring presents. Spread the love of Kim Harrison and all 😀 I’m sorry but this contest is only open to the US – shipping is a killer.