Wednesday, 6 January 2010

White Witch, Black Curse - Kim Harrison

White Witch, Black Curse is the seventh instalment in the Hollows series about witch Rachel Morgan and her companions Ivy (vampire) and Jenks (pixy).

I enjoyed this book, but felt that there were certain elements of the plot that dragged on a little bit. The whole banshee story felt tacked on. I thought they were a cool addition to the Inderlanders that inhabit the series, but, since there has been no mention of banshees in any of the other books, this was definitely something that Harrison decided on only recently. I did find as well that the sucking of emotion was much like the sucking of blood from vampires, which means having two such predators in the books. I'm not sure how much mileage Harrison will get out of banshees in future books, but I'm sure we'll be seeing characters such as Holly and the Walker again.

I also didn't like the resolution of the Marshall character. Sure, Rachel is shunned but this guy is talked up as being Rachel's white knight and wanting to save her, so why does he bail? Probably because Pierce is now on the scene... Harrison does like to tidy up the previous chap before Rachel moves onto someone new.

Despite this, there were some lovely moments. Everything to do with the demon Al fascinates me and he is fast becoming one of my favourite literary bad guys. He has a fabulously childish, arrogant, mischievous character that lends itself to some brilliant dialogue and action scenes between him and Rachel. There was also a really spine-tingling moment where Rachel catches sight of him in the back of her car, and remembers that he IS a demon, no matter how he plays up his laissez faire English gentleman.

Jenks is another highlight. I just adore the way that Harrison has continued to bring him on as a character - bolshy, quick-witted, so fiercely loyal, and with such a smutty mouth! All of the Tinkerbell curses are both adorable and a mite disgusting!

Harrison has built the world of the Hollows extremely strongly, so that the reader now knows what the scent of burnt amber means, and understands the signals that can turn a vampire on.

I missed the Weres in this book and hope we will see them again in the next book to some extent - after all, Rachel still has a tattoo that needs doing!

Thumbs up from me overall, though - another solid addition to Harrison's now-long-running series.

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