Review and G*veaway: Ever After by Kim Harrison

First, a commercial break for today’s stop on the Susannah Sandlin Omega tour—Maghon at Happy Tails and Tales is interviewing Will Ludlam…and you know Will is going to misbehave. Because he always does! So check it out if you get a chance, and you can enter to win the great prizes, which are listed on the Susannah website.
I’m breaking away from Shop Talk this week because I’ve been having trouble finding a free blog day to review Ever After, Book 11 in the Hollows series by Kim Harrison.  I actually have my author friend Carole Remy to thank for ever discovering this series. She’d read an early version of Royal Street and said it reminded her of a book called Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison. Was that a good thing? Alarmed, I ran out and found a copy of the book and found out…what a compliment it was! I wasn’t convinced this would become a favorite series until Rachel turned herself into a mink, got caught and caged by Trent Kalamack, and ended up in the city rat fights. That is still one of the funniest series of scenes I’ve ever read, and this quickly became one of my favorite urban fantasy series, right alongside the Dresden Files.
So read on for my non-spoilerific thoughts about Ever After, then leave a comment to be entered for a copy! If you aren’t up to date on the series, you can also choose an earlier Hollows book. If you’ve read them all, you can substitute a book from the Book Horde (tab at top of page—I’ll be adding some new Book Horde additions this weekend).

ABOUT EVER AFTER: 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.
A Scene I’d Read Twice: Oh, there are so many. Here’s a short list from memory:
            * Rachel tries a curse she’s concocted to restore Trent’s missing fingers, and ends up with a drunken Algaliarept and a Trent who’s been a little toorestored. I can’t say more, but the whole scene had me laughing aloud.
            * The uber-creepy Ku-Sox walking around with baby Lucy. OMG.
            * Rachel and Trent go flying. I can’t say more, but wow.
I Didn’t Quite Buy: It wasn’t at all that I didn’t buy it, but I did think the trial-and-error methods Rachel had to go through with Bis to learn how to fix the lines that Ku-Sox had corrupted went on in a little too much detail. Okay, so I have a short attention span. I understand why it was necessary—to show that this was something Rachel was having to learn and that it was hard. Her success wasn’t guaranteed, and she had to work slowly and carefully. And the whole idea was really cool. Still, there was a little drag for me.
The World: I’m not sure how much I can add since we’re on book 11, except that this is an extraordinarily rich, well-developed, and consistent world. Kim Harrison does a masterful job of keeping the vampire, werewolf, pixy, and other storylines simmering a little in the background even as, in this book, the Ever After, the demons, and the elves take center stage. Even as we learn more about the ugly history between the elves and demons, the factions are lining up: human, Inderlander, demon, elf, vampire. There are only two more books in the series. Who’ll ally themselves with whom?
The Characters: Rachel Morgan is a great character, and in Ever After I think I like her better than in any book previously. She’s grown up a lot, matured. She’s able to step back and look at her relationships and admit which ones don’t work, and why. She’s confused about her feelings for Trent, but mature enough to admit it and not just run away. Likewise, Trent is coming into his own. I think his is one of my favorite growth arcs in the series, going from an absolute murderous jackass in the first book, through a mire of moral ambiguity, to—finally—someone we can understand a little better and sympathize with, even if we don’t like his methods.
Trent also understands Rachel, and he’s willing to do some things he knows would haunt her if she had to do them. He doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty for a good cause.
Algaliarept becomes an ally for Rachel here, and he is forced to step up for his “itchy witch” and help in his own way. We see a depth to his character that’s really touching. Wait. This is AL. Oh, what the heck. I love Al. And Newt still scares me.
Ivy’s back with changes of her own, and I honestly have no idea what’s in store for her, with or without Rachel.
General Thoughts: Was this my favorite book of the series? I’m not sure I could say that, but I can say it is my favorite of the past three or four. I couldn’t put it down, and I read the final page anxious for the next one even though I know it’s bringing us closer to the end.

Want to win a copy? Leave a comment. Who’s you favorite character? If you’ve read Ever After already, what did you think? Do you think Rachel will end up with Trent when all is said and done?

48 thoughts on “Review and G*veaway: Ever After by Kim Harrison

  1. You’ll love Trent in this one. I really ended up feeling sorry for his dilemma (be who he wants to be or be who his people need him to be), and I have no idea which way he’ll go.

  2. I started reading Urban Fantasy books with Dead Witch Walking. Kim Harrison’s books are my favorite. Now I have many authors I follow on this quest of UF reads. Have my copy of Ever After but haven’t started it yet. Soon!

  3. I love this series but think I’m a book behind, which is my only excuse for not having a copy of Ever After yet. I don’t think I could choose a favorite character – I love Al and I miss Kisten and Ivy still scares me and Jenks is awesome and…

    • I thought Jenks was a little more subdued than usual in this one, mostly because the things Rachel was doing were things he couldn’t much help with. Although there is a reunion of sorts with Jax.

      OH! and I should have mentioned Nick in my review. I really hate Nick. And he’s back.

  4. I love Jenks but trent isn’t far behind ^^

    i still need to read one of to book to be up to date but i have them ready and i can’t wait to see ever after on my shelf ( i want one in advance in acse of a cliffhanger^^;; i’m too stressed already)

  5. I love The Hollows series. I adore Al. He has style, finesse, and just the right amount of sneakiness. I also love Trent. And Jenks….

    • You will really love Al in this one–we learn a lot more about his past and about what makes him tick, and I love how he interacts with his “itchy witch.”

  6. This sounds pretty great. Although I haven’t read the previous books yet this sounds like a really good one. From what I read in your review it seems likely that these two will end up together, but who knows? Thanks for the giveaway.

    • I think it’s wishful thinking on my part that they’ll end up together. Since this is UF and not PNR, there are no romantic “happily ever after” expectations at all 🙂

  7. My favorite character? Oh, how cruel you are to make me pick! 😉
    But if I must, I love Jenks. In fact, if I thought it wouldn’t get me far too many strange looks, I’d love to swear like he does! LOL! Tink’s panties! :p

    • Wouldn’t that be fun? I’m imagining going to my VP and saying, “Tink’s Pink Panties, but we need to move these deadlines back!” Don’t think I could get away with it, though.

  8. I really want this 🙂 I love this series and Kim..she’s so very nice. My favorite character is always changing in this series..right now..I’m all into Trent 🙂 I’m dying to know what progresses between Rachel and him. Thanks Suzanne for the giveaway. I know your a big fan as well.
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  9. I’ve read several of the books in the series but I’m not caught up. My favorite character is Rachel, but I love Jenks as well. I don’t have an opinion on Trent, since I’m behind in the series.

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    • Trent’s one of those characters I hated…then loved…then hated…well, you get the idea. I’ve pretty much liked him ever since Pale Demon, though, so I guess he’s won me over 🙂

  10. I love Trent so yes I hope Rachel will end up with him.

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    • I do too, but I’m just not sure it will happen. they’re going to have to make some HUGE steps forward in the next book for an HEA to seem credible. They took some steps in EA, but they were still baby steps.

  11. I haven’t had the chance to read Ever After yet. My favourite characters are Rachel, Jenks and there is just something about Trent that makes him irresistible 🙂

    Thank you!

  12. I love this series. I hope Rachel and Trent end up together. I think Jenk’s “Tink’s….” curses are hilarious. I’m interested in seeing Bis grow up. I would love to win a copy of this book.

    • If you like urban fantasy, Anne, this is a great series. If you lean more toward paranormal romance, you won’t find it here. So just depends on what type of book you like 🙂

  13. I think I might be caught up to this one. My sister-in-law introduced me to the series and I love it! I love Al. I keep swinging back & forth on Trent. I”m torn between wanting them to end up together and not. Though it looks like it’s headed that way. I sometimes wish Ivy had her own series but then I get annoyed with her, too.

    Kim was having a contest to see what the last stop on her tour would be. It was between Minneapolis & Atlanta. I’m more than annoyed that 150 couldn’t sign up to get her here. But neither did Atlanta so…

    I can’t wait to read this one!!

    • I’ve gone back and forth on Trent, too, although as his character has deepened and we learn more of his inner turmoil, I’m leaning more pro-Trent. I’m not sure Rachel is destined for a romantic HEA, but we’ll see.

  14. Besides Rachel, I do love Jenks a lot. But Al is also a great character. I need to read the previous book soon! Glad it is improving again.

  15. JENKS Maybe the best side kick EVER. I am going to dinner and a signing with the author tonight so I am a little fan girly at the moment! *squee* I just started Ever After last night! Grrr!!! *dont enter me – just wanted to comment* =)

  16. Rachel better end up with Trent at the end. I’ve been shipping them for far too long.
    Favourite character is Jenks.

  17. As of right now, Trent and Al are my favorite characters. I LOVED Ever After, although Ivy is really starting to irritate me. And of course I think that Rachel should end up with Trent- I might go fangirl crazy if they don’t.