Release Date: January 22, 2013[rating=5]
Synopsis: The ever after, the demonic realm that parallels the human world, is shrinking. If it disappears completely, so does all magic. It’s up to witch-turned-daywalking-demon Rachel Morgan to avert catastrophe and keep life from changing… for the worse.
While saving the world is important, it isn’t Rachel’s only motivation. There’s also the small fact that she caused the ley line to rip in the first place, setting off a chain reaction of unfortunate events. That little mistake has made her life forfeit unless she can fix it. It’s also made her more than a few enemies, including the most powerful demon in the ever after—a terrifying entity who eats souls and now has an insatiable appetite for her. He’s already kidnapped her friend and goddaughter to lure her out, and if Rachel doesn’t give herself up soon, they’ll die.
But Rachel has more than a few impressive and frightening skills of her own, and she isn’t going to hand over her soul and her life without one hell of a fight. She’s also got a surprise: elven tycoon Trent Kalamack. With this unlikely ally beside her—a prospect both thrilling and unnerving—she’s going to return to the ever after, kick some demon butt, rescue her loved ones… and prevent an apocalypse before it’s too late. Or, at least that’s the plan….
Rachel Morgan is back – and she’s brought Al, Trent, Ku’Sox, and the rest of the gang with her (along with a surprising re-appearance)! As usual, Rachel has to save the world – though this time it’s not our world she’s saving, but the demon world. In all, it’s a strong return for some of the Hollows characters, while others are sorely missed. In an effort to keep this review spoiler-free, I’ll keep this as vague as possible.
Ever After certainly had a lot going on – which was great pacing-wise, as you don’t want to put the book down. However, that’s nothing new for a Kim Harrison book; fast-moving plots are something she excels at working through. I loved the over-arching story in Ever After because, whereas Rachel is usually only in trouble with the non-demon world, this time she was in hot water from both sides, which really raised the stakes this time around.
As for the characters, though Ivy was absent for most of the book, Trent’s welcome presence helped make up for it. It is great seeing Rachel’s response towards him and his previous misdeeds slowly evolving. There was also some good development for pixy/fairy relations, and I came to realize how much I like Belle [and Jenks grudging acceptance of her help]. Though she’s no Matalina, her character gets better with every book.
Another character that I’m surprised to notice growing on me more and more: Newt. She is such a fun character, and I find myself looking forward to her appearances as she inevitably makes things more interesting – if for no other reason than that her actions are always surprising. You truly never know what to expect from her.
Now for the one negative comment I have to make about Ever After: presumably due to the fact that the series is only a few books away from it’s end, Harrison also took the time to start cleaning house by closing up storylines for certain characters. However, something was missing from that development, as I found myself rather indifferent to that particular plot point. Though character names are not mentioned, the rest of this discussion – as I will mention “how” their storylines were resolved – will take place in the spoiler tag below.[spoiler]Considering how invested in those characters I had become, their passing seemed too blasé. The characters didn’t get the send-off they deserved – as their departures were mentioned in passing, and no one really had a true reaction to their deaths, though by rights at least one person in particular should have had more of a reaction than was provided.
Also, Ivy was missing for most of the book because she was helping others move away from the Hollows – which was another strange character ending. I expected a lot more from one of the characters, and thought the move was a disappointing way to end their storyline as well.[/spoiler]
Other than that unexpected response, Harrison’s latest book in the Hollows series was fantastic. While readers will not want to read this one out of order, particularly as a couple character reappearances may not make sense without knowing the backstory, Ever After is a great addition to the series. With only two more books to go, I am really going to miss The Hollows gang when the series finally ends.
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