Book Review: Kim Harrison’s Pale Demon

Posted April 4, 2011 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from my own shelves in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Kim Harrison’s Pale Demon

Pale Demon


Kim Harrison

It is part of the The Hollows #9 series and is a paranormal fantasy, urban fantasy in Hardcover edition that was published by Voyager on February 22, 2011 and has 439 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Dates from Hell, Unbound, Something Deadly This Way Comes, The Good, the Bad, and the Undead, Every Which Way But Dead, A Fistful of Charms, For a Few Demons More, The Outlaw Demon Wails, White Witch, Black Curse, Black Magic Sanction, A Perfect Blood, "Pet Shop Boys", "Trouble on Reserve", Into the Woods, Holidays are Hell, Ever After, The Drafter, "Waylaid", The Operator, The Turn: The Hollows Begins with Death

Ninth in the urban fantasy series, The Hollows, starring Rachel Morgan, Pale Demon follows along with the general theme of titles twisted along Clint Eastwood movies, although it doesn’t have the same kick as the earlier books.

In 2011, Pale Demon was nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Paranormal Fantasy.

My Take

Harrison’s got us twisting in the wind with all the coils and snaking loops interspersed throughout Pale Demon. Rachel does make a huge impression on the witches and the council, and between her and Pierce, I suspect some changes to be coming. Then there’s Trent’s little surprise. Just how this is going to change elven futures is something for our own future reading.

I so cannot wait until A Perfect Blood to find out what happens next. Ivy’s threats, the I.S.’s promise, Rachel’s new abilities, Trent’s reactions to Rachel and his young creation, the coven’s responses…oh man, it is going to be good!

The Story

This is it. The moment for which Rachel has been waiting. She can finally clear her name and get the shunning rescinded in San Francisco at the witches’ convention. There are just a few roadblocks along the way and Trent is pushing her to bodyguard him to the Coast. It’s a pain, but road trip seems to be the only way to get past the roadblocks.

Unfortunately, now we have “adventures” and, oh man, is Rachel busy along the way. Even more unfortunately, so is Trent…busy that is. Kidnappings, day-walking demons, earthquake, destruction, a coven council spy on her tail…ah well, all in a day’s work for Rachel until the conference when Oliver reneges on the deal, and Rachel freefalls into a nightmare.

Learning all sorts of new things with very few of them welcome. Those power tests can be a menace, but then the coven needs her back in San Francisco to save their collective butts. Oh yeah, karma can be a bitch.

The Characters

Rachel Morgan is a good witch who just happens to work black magic which makes just about everyone in her world (and out of it) after her and not in a good way. Jenks is her pixie sidekick still mourning Matalina, which turns into a trap. Ivy tamwood is a living vampire partnered up and living in a converted church with Rachel. Pierce is a come-back-to-life former member of the coven council in love with Rachel…we think…who is thoroughly involved in black magic.

Ku’Sox is a demon nightmare come back to life. Al is a demon with a hold on Rachel. One minute he’s taking care of her and the next…eek!! Then there’s Newt — every demon is afraid of her ‘cause she’s not only powerful but nuts.

The witches’ coven council includes…
Vivian, Oliver, Leon, Wyatt, and Amanda who all have a major desire for Rachel’s non-existence, although Vivian seems to be more open-minded since her last clashes with Rachel.

Inderland Security is…
…the supernatural legal authority (consider it a state and federal FBI) in this new version of Earth after the Turn, and they’ve had it out for Rachel for years and they make a brief and… surprising…appearance.

The Cover and Title

Oh, so, definitely a hot dress! I want one…of course, I’d need the body too. The cover is perfect — Rachel channeling the energies in her form-fitting, laced-up-the-back, short, white leather dress with her red hair in a braid. Go Rache!

The title refers to Rachel, for she’s the Pale Demon who has everyone terrified.