Now that I'm up-to-speed on this series, when I look at the publication date of this latest novel (2009) and don't see definite plans for another nove...moreNow that I'm up-to-speed on this series, when I look at the publication date of this latest novel (2009) and don't see definite plans for another novel in the works, my feelings can probably be best expressed in lolcat: MIKE CAREY, WHY U NO RITE MOAR FELIX??
But in all seriousness, I really feel like this series stands out from the other cookie-cutter urban fantasy novels, mostly because of Felix. In the scale of urban fantasy heroes and antiheroes, he falls somewhere right in between the blazing righteousness of Harry Dresden and the sometimes gleeful bloodlust of Cal Leandros. He manages to save the day, but not without a few screw-ups and morally-gray decisions along the way. And he knows who (and what) he is.
I also find the world quite intriguing, and I like that Carey chose to focus on ghosts and demons rather than throwing other sorts of supernatural creatures into the mix. He has an interesting take on werewolves and zombies, and it almost seems a shame to stop the creative engine here right when the world seemed poised on the cusp of a great change.
And yet, if Carey never wrote another Felix novel, I'm pretty satisfied with the way things ended now. One of the major arcs of the story has come to a conclusion, and while I felt some things didn't get resolved, there are easily quite a few threads Carey could pick up again if he does continue with the series.(less)
There were so many things about this book--the full set of three books, really--that I enjoyed. Certainly not least among them is the fact that Chess,...moreThere were so many things about this book--the full set of three books, really--that I enjoyed. Certainly not least among them is the fact that Chess, our drug-addicted heroine, makes mistakes. Huge ones. And she has to pay the price for them. I feel like you don't see that very often in urban fantasy heroines, and that alone makes this series such a stand-out for me.
The second thing that impressed me about this series is probably going to sound a bit odd, but Stacia Kane, through Chess's eyes, made me feel more attracted to the scarred, muscular, often-seen-as-ugly Terrible than to charming, handsome Lex. (I almost always go for the Lex-types in series.) Descriptions of dozens of muscular, studmuffin types in countless urban fantasy and paranormal romance series didn't do nearly as much for me as Kane's portrayal of Terrible in her Downside Ghosts series. She made Terrible appear damn attractive, made me connect really well with Chess's feelings, which I think is a testament to her skill as a writer.
I didn't find this book to be as good as the previous two, but it's still a solid story. The central issues Rac...more(Read via the CDs, unabridged version.)
I didn't find this book to be as good as the previous two, but it's still a solid story. The central issues Rachel deals with in this novel include (but are certainly not limited to) finding a certain someone's murderer, dealing with more of the usual tension with Ivy, a changing relationship with Marshall, the reappearance of an old (old, old) love interest, and tracking down a pair of serial killers. Just a normal week in the life of Rachel Morgan!
(I guess I should also note here that I believe this particular novel has tie-ins with some short stories that Harrison wrote, which I haven't read, but I don't think it interfered with my reading of the story.)
Quite a bit of the conflicts in the novel tie back to a central issue: Rachel is being berated and judged for being a black witch, even though she insists she's a white witch. Hence, the title of the novel. (But I have to obnoxiously point out that Rachel also insisted for a long time that she was an earth witch and not a ley line witch, despite the fact that she tapped a ley line almost every time she got into a tight spot.) I did enjoy there sort of being a central conflict, but I still felt like this novel was a whole bunch of smaller storylines following their own individual courses, although several of them certainly intermingled.
Still, Harrison tells a good story, and I did like seeing Rachel working through the issues in her life while the stage is set for her to deal with a whole bunch of new ones. I thought I'd do a whole series review, but I think my readings of the books were too spaced out for me to give accurate feedback. But one issue I did have with the series was that some aspects of it--namely vampire society and Ivy's character--felt a little heavy-handed and overworked to the point where I just gave up trying to understand. Granted, this may be because I are the dumb, but I love a complex character, and it took Ivy a lot of books to grow on me. But she finally did, and I guess that's what matters. I find her relationship with Rachel to be something that I haven't yet seen, which is always refreshing.
So, at this point, I can say that Rachel Morgan/The Hollows is a good adult paranormal romance/urban fantasy series that can entertain as well as touch your heart. I'm looking forward to what Harrison has planned for Rachel and friends. (More Trent, please!)(less)
I went through this book really quickly--anything in the ballpark of twenty-four hours is "quickly" for me these days--which surprised me, since I'm n...moreI went through this book really quickly--anything in the ballpark of twenty-four hours is "quickly" for me these days--which surprised me, since I'm not the hugest fan of short story collections. I am, however, a huge fan of Sarah Monette's writing and characters, and I think that's what made this a relatively compelling read for me. All the stories in this collection are united by a single character--insomniac, gawky, socially-awkward Kyle Murchison Booth--as he finds himself ensconced in a myriad of encounters with beings from the plane beyond.
If you like quirky characters and the paranormal, you'll probably like these stories. I don't read enough ghost stories to know how these would rate on the "scary" scale, but I'll just say that I don't really get spooked from books vert often, and some of the imagery in the stories was truly creepy.(less)