3.5 stars. I love Kim Harrison. She is a phenomenal writer who has always been able to paint a clear picture of her story. I think it's her fault that for me TV pales in comparison to any of her books. The only channel that might remotely (get it? I made a pun!) hold my attention is HGTV but that's just because I think I can do anything I see on that channel. But I digress...
My point is, I'm a fan. A big geeky, tongue-tied at book signings, read her Hollows series twice, fan of Kim Harrison's. This is the hardest review I've had to write in my short history of rating/reviewing books. I thought the book was just... meh.
Don't get me wrong, Ms. Harrison's writing is still phenomenal!!! She continues to dazzle me with Rachel's quick banter and internal comebacks to situations. Every character's voice is so unique and distinct, I think if the book was just a script, I could tell who was talking just by the language and tone. It amazes me that Ms. Harrison has kept her characters fresh and alive through 10 books in the series. At the same time, her writing style has only gotten better. Conflict scenes detailed out so completely. Conversations scripted so well I can picture facial expressions. It's all there!!
So why was I just "meh" about the book? To me, the book seemed like it could have been 2 short stories that got made into one. I could tell you the title of the two stories but I realized as I typed them out, they are kind of spoilerish. There was far too little Al for my tastes and still some unanswered questions in regards to his world that were left hanging from Pale Demon. It just seemed like this book was a filler book to buy time until the "wrapping it up" arc of Rachel's HEA in book 12 (or is it 13, the equivocal floater book?). Maybe Ms. Harrison was busy making the World Book the distinctive masterpiece it is?
Who knows, and who cares?!?!? It's Rachel being Rachel and she's growing up, albeit very slowly (and sometimes dimly). We get some new characters, a revelation or two and Trent's evolution to the point where he's casually stepping over the back of a sofa to get into his sofa pit in his living area. He's relaxing a bit and it's a terribly good look for him, even for this die-hard Kisten fan.
Am I ready and waiting for book #11 - you betcha!! Will I be un-twisting my tongue again at the book signing? No doubt about it! Kim Harrison is one of the most exceptional writers of urban fantasy out there. And she's one of the most gracious and generous authors to her fans there is.
Really, it's not you, Ms. Harrison. It's me.