Book Reviews

Reading now....

Let me start by saying that I probably would have enjoyed this book a lot more from just a normal reader POV instead of using my "author" glasses.  I really tore through this book.  I love Adrian Phoenix's writing style.  If you look at the words she chooses, and the power of her imagery, you understand why she is such a popular author.

Okay - I'm going to do this one relatively quickly because I don't have a lot to say here.  First of all - there is no way to analyze W plot on this one.  There are so many story lines evolving through the book I can't keep them straight.  If we stick with Heather and Dante, then we have to first analyze their goals.  This one is kind of tough.  I would say that Dante's goal is to remember his past and to stay in the present.  Heather's goals seem to be rooted in everyone else, but ultimately, I would say that her goal is to get the FBI off her case.  Unfortunately, her goal is not really clear throughout the book.  Like I said, her goals seem to be more rooted in Dante and Dante's discovery of his past.

Now, for the W - let's see, they start out in Gehenna - there has to be a goal identification here.  Maybe to get Lucien and to get out of Gehenna?  Of course, there's always the overriding goal of discovering Dante's past, fixing him.  They can't do that until they get out of Gehenna, so I guess that works in a Wizard of Oz sort of way, this is a minor goal on  the way to the bigger goal.  So then the initial barrier is getting past the angels, and when the Magnificient 7 or whatever show up, that's a low point.  Then there's the deal, and they get out of Gehenna and go home.  So that's a high point.  Then they battle Mauvais, so that's a rug pull, and then the catastrophe - which would be when well...(enter spoiler here) and then I just throw the book across the room and scream.  Actually, to be honest, I did that in chapter 1 and I'll tell you why.  Because in Chapter 1 it starts on March 30, then I read a couple chapters and I'm at March 28 which is good, because that's where I left off in the last book, but then I flip to the end (yes, I'm that kind of person), and it ends guessed it, March 30.  So I was ready to throw my book across the room *before* I read it.
Then, there are a couple of points in the book where I felt like the author was just grasping for word count.  Well - you read about it in my blog.  There's the Tim the Red Shirt chapter which seems like it's out of a whole different book.  So where did that come from anyway?  And what was the point?  I kept waiting for Tim or the Holy, Holy, Holy monster to show up later, but neither did.  So again, why was that chapter even in there?  Was it there for the next book?  Then put it in the next book.  Geez!  Now I'm going to have to find this book and reread that chapter to bring me back up to speed in 8 months when her next book is finally published.

And what's with Heather's mom?  Who cares already?  I am *so* sick of hearing about Heather's mom and how she died.  I get it already.  She was betrayed by someone that not only she trusted, but someone Heather came to trust.  And now Dante is getting wiggy in Heather's dreams too.  Give it a rest already! 

I think that Adrian Phoenix is brilliant in using flashbacks for introducing character backstory.  The reason that she can get away with it is because of the way she uses it as part of the story.  She introduces flashbacks both by way of Dante slipping into the past, and also through characters reviewing Dante's FBI files.  This is a great way to explain backstory and still stay *in* the story.  However, in this book I think she went a bit overboard.  I found that the further I read in the story, the more disjointed it became and I started to just skip these backflashes rather than read them.  They were repetitive, and really didn't add anything to the story.  I would guess if you hadn't read the whole series they may add something, but this book was definitely *not* a stand alone novel.  If you haven't read the rest of the series, there is no way you can follow what is happening in this book, backstory or not.

I love Adrian Phoenix because she offers something new and unique to the genre, but I'm hoping that her next book adds a bit more.  This book really felt like filler.

Rachel Morgan has fought and hunted vampires, werewolves, banshees, demons, and other supernatural dangers as both witch and bounty hunter - and lived to tell the tale.  But she's never faced off against her own kind ... until now.  Denounced and shnned for dealing with demons and black magic, her best hope is life imprisonment - and at worst, a forced labotomy and genetic slavery.  Only her enemies are strong enough to help her win her freedom, but trust comes hard when it hinges on the unscrupulous tycoon Trent Kalamack, the demon Algaliarept, and an ex-boyfriend turned thief. 

It takes a witch to catch a witch, but survival bears a heavy price.

Main: Rachel
Supporting: Ivy, Jenks, Trent, Algaliarept, (Glen, David)
Antagonists: Vivian, Brook, Nick

Overall Kim Harrison sticks faithfully the all the rules and guidelines of good writing.  First, her character Rachel has clearcut goals.  At the beginning of the book we are introduced to the Coven who are pursuing her relentlessly.  While Rachel was not happy with her shunning before, it was something with which she could deal (now that her mother was out of the picture), but with the coven pursuing her and threatening to give her a labotomy, being shunned was no longer something she could easily accept.  Thus, our main character now has a very clear cut goal - to have her shunning removed.  Of course, the motivation is there, if she doesn't get her shunning removed she's going to end up in Alcatraz with a labotomy, and the conflict is being pursued relentlessly by the Coven.  On an internal level, Rachel is trying to clarify who she is.  She is a white witch who practices black magic.  It is a serious conflict.  She's good, but she has been labeled as bad and does something that has been shunned by society.  In addition, she herself is a demon, something that she considers evil.  Something that she has to accept, and embrace without losing her sense of self.

But what of the other characters.  Ivy is a little more complex.  Her goal is a bit more subtle.  Her goal is twofold.  She is pursuing her soul, and believes that she can get it through Rachel.  She is in love with Rachel, but is that because she truly loves Rachel, or is it because she thinks that if Rachel loves her, she will get be able to keep her soul after she dies?  She saw that when Kisten was killed, he remember Rachel, and his love of Rachel, which gave her a spark of hope.  But her conflict is that she can't separate the physical act of love from the emotioal feeling.

I'm still lost with Jenks.  I'm not sure what his goal is.  He's a pixy - they live fast and hard.  His goal is to protect Rachel?  To protect his family?  To have a home?  Still working on that one.

Trent's goal is to save the elven race and also to get Rachel to remove her mark on him.  As a result of a trip into the ever after, Rachel has a claim on Trent, something he takes exception to - despite Rachel's assurances that she would never follow through on the claim.  His motivations seem to revolve primarily around pride.  The conflicts he faces are primarily related to Rachel, which seems to make matters worse.

More to come....


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