My name is Kristin and I'm a Hollows junkie. The curse "crap on toast" comes automatically out of my mouth, to the chagrin of my hubs. When I hear the song "The Twelve Days of Christmas", I always hope to hear references to trolls in drag and fairies farting. I've been to Ms. Harrison's book signings for her last four books; I've been in two family pictures. I'm weird. I own it.
So go back one year to when A Perfect Blood came out and I reviewed it. I was a bit disappointed in the story. To me it just didn't stand up tall with other books in the series like A Fistful of Charms, For a Few Demons More, or Pale Demon. Looking back today to that review, I think I may have been a bit harsh. I think A Perfect Blood was a transitional book that served as a bridge to the story arc that will end the series. Now that I figured that little bit out, should I got back and re-write the review? No, I don't think so. That's not how I roll. But why in God's green earth am I even talking about A Perfect Blood in a review for Ever After? Because Ever After blew my ever-loving socks off and completely rocked my Hollows world - I think it's my favorite Kim Harrison book to date. How dare I ever talk ill of the greatness of Kim Harrison? I think I may even have gotten over my mourning period for a certain character... almost. That's huge!! Okay, so I tend to exaggerate a bit but here's why Ever After is well on it's way to being my favorite book of 2013...
Setting / World Building
Ahhhh, back to the church we call home. Back to Trent's compound. Back to Junior's coffee shop. Back to the Ever After that's shrinking thanks to Rachel's ley line and the hole she ripped threw it. Rachel has her work cut out for her. She needs to fix her ley line before the demons in the Ever After decide to just "off her" for their troubles. Just when I thought Ms. Harrison couldn't add anything more to her "world" to expand it (especially 11 books into the series), she does a phenomenal job of introducing the mystery of the ley lines and their history. Ms. Harrison has gone back and built further upon one of the keystones in the series and what all of the world's magic is based on (no pressure, Rachel). It's like she took something older and made it fresh and did an absolutely fantastic job doing it!
Out of the dark, Ms. Harrison brings on the gargoyles and their culture. Everybody loves gargoyles, right? Even my mother collects them! So what a joy it was to read more interactions between the gargoyles and Rachel. Oh, crap, do I tell you guys or not? It's pretty cool... okay, I'll put it in a spoiler box...We get to meet Bis's family, especially his dad. Alright, it's not EPIC but some people want to be surprised! Sue me!
You know what else is pretty cool? Characters that were noticeably absent in A Perfect Blood are front and center again! That would have entirely sold me on this book! I adore Al; he is by far my most favorite character of the series. He's complex, he's wicked, he's fun, and there's so much more to him that we don't know. Thank goodness he's back in the "game" with his snark level turned up to eleven!!
I REALLY don't want to give too much away with my review but I have to say that while all my favorite characters are back, there are a couple that are gone from this book, if not the series. I can see why they are gone and totally agree with their absence; they no longer fit into the story progression. You'll just have to read the book to see if you agree with me or not ;)
Story / Tempo
Ms. Harrison holds nothing back with this story. Showdowns in the ever after. Showdowns on this side of the ley lines. Newt craziness everywhere :) Some good old fashion bloodletting. Death. And what is that? Trent's getting drunk and opening up? Maybe... maybe not. You'll have to just take my word when I say that this book, easily, is one of the best books in the Hollows series. I've read them all, more than once, I think I can have an opinion on this one.
The best part is that Rachel and Trent are continuing to grow in their "relationship", for lack of a better word. Are they friends? Are they business partners? Rachel would love to know! You don't get the tiny snippets and allusions you're used to getting from Trent. You get more Trent! And coming from this Kisten fan, I kind of liked it (insert mild sob here). Stand up and cheer all you Trent fans!
Hopefully I haven't spoiled anything for any of you who have braved reading my review. This is a really tough one for me to write ("but you say that for every review you write!") because there's so much I'd love to discuss about this book that I can't without giving too much away. I should just find find some friends and have a read-a-long for the series. But until such time as I can clone myself to get more done, I'm stuck writing spastic and gushing reviews that skirt spoilers and scream, "Darn it, just go read this book!!"
Seriously, why aren't you reading this series? Chop, chop...
Review originally appeared on My ParaHangover