Book Review: Kim Harrison’s The Outlaw Demon Wails

Posted October 24, 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 The Outlaw Demon Wails

The Outlaw Demon Wails


Kim Harrison

It is part of the The Hollows #6 series and is a paranormal fantasy in Hardcover edition that was published by Eos Press on February 26, 2008 and has 455 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Dates from Hell, Pale Demon, 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, 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

Sixth in The Hollows paranormal fantasy series set in an alternate Cincinnati and revolving around Rachel Morgan, Jenks, and Ivy Tamwood. An earth witch who works with ley line magic, a pixy, and a high-blood living vampire.

My Take

It’s a fast pace in this installment told from Rachel’s perspective in the present. Oh man, remember that black witch from For a Few Dollars More? Yup. Seems if they can’t have Rachel and her demon-summoning talents, no one else can either. So as Rachel searches for this group, she also discovers a number of other very unpleasant facts: how her father died, her true origin, her mother’s mishaps, and the terrifying aspects of playing with vampires.

Just when Trent does something nice…yeah, the guy is consistent…he turns out to be an asshole. Again. I don’t know why I keep buying into him! He really doesn’t deserve someone as nice as Rachel to help him.

I do love Jenks’ store of curses. Colorful, clever, and so very pixy-ish:

“You sorry-ass hunk of putrid fairy crap!”
“Tink’s titties!”, “No fairy-ass way!”,
“…dragonfly’s little green turds…”
“No fairy-lovin’ way”, “sweet daisies”, “go suck a slug egg”,
“smelly green grass farts”, “Tink’s contractual hell”,
“green fairy crap”

I would like to know why Minias could renege on the part of the deal he made with Trent about leaving Rachel and Trent alone while they’re in the ever-after. Oh yeah, a bit more of Rachel’s memory shakes loose on what happened when Kist was murdered.

The Story

Big Al is on the loose gunning for Rachel Morgan, and the other demons don’t care what happens to her — despite the deal, it’s simply that Al’s escaping every night makes them look bad.

So it’s up to Rachel to find out how Al is getting out and shut it down, all while staying safe on sanctified ground every night and getting around the demon legal system.

The Characters

Rachel Morgan is a witch scrambling to stay ahead of the demons who are after her. Rachel and Ivy Tamwood have an intricate relationship. They love and respect each other, it’s just that Ivy wants more. She wants a more intimate relationship that includes a blood exchange with Rachel. Rachel is not sure how intimate she can handle. Although, some conditions that Rynn lays out seem to make a difference until a memory is triggered. Jenks is a pixy who has moved up in the world, having purchased the church from Piscary’s estate, but he sure gets jerked back and forth in this story.

Ceridwen “Ceri” Merriam Dulciate plays an important role that inspires Rachel and Trent into danger. Quen plays an very important role when he is dying and begs for Rachel to see him. Rachel learns a very disturbing fact about Keasley, their across-the-street neighbor and Ceri’s roommate.

Trent Kalamack is Cincinnati’s golden boy. On the surface. In truth, he’s a drug-dealing, illegal biodrugs manufacturer who kills to obtain what he wants. If he can’t buy it.

There has been a change in some of the core characters: Kisten and Piscary are dead, Skimmer is in jail under a wrongful-death charge, and Cincinnati has a new master vampire, Rynn Cormel. The vampire who served as President of the United States while the world coped with the Turn.

Minias, was Newt’s keeper but the demon escaped him once too often and Minias got demoted to watching Algaliarept — a demon who is still escaping him.

Takata is a famous rock’n roller who pops up once in awhile. After Trent’s pissy comments, seems Takata will be showing up more often. Alice Morgan, Rachel’s mom, plays a larger role and we learn how very skilled she is in her magic as well as the truth about Rachel and Robert.

David Hue very briefly appears, and we get reassurance about the changes in his life that occurred in For a Few Demons More, 5. Detective Glenn of the FIB is mostly in the background helping out here and there. Another new character is Bis with some unexpected powers. A gargoyle who got thrown off the basilica roof and chose the church belfry as his new home. Marshal turns up interviewing for a job as the swim coach at the university (A Fistful of Charms, 4); he “claims” he’s not looking for a girlfriend. That bitch, Dr. Anders, reappears — from the dead and has a lot of gall — I loved how Rache slapped her down!

The Cover and Title

I suspect the cover represents the ever-after, but it seems a bit too cheery to me with its bright red atmosphere misting through the bare tree branches, as Rachel stalks toward us on the stone-paved ground in her leather hip huggers and a form-fitting, midriff-baring leather tank top with her hair tangling to her shoulders and a splat gun in her hand.

The title is way too appropriate as it’s Big Al who has turned into The Outlaw Demon Wails. Sigh…do wish I could feel more sorry…snicker…