**spoiler alert** “Still Hot and Packed with Action”
The Plot: In the eight installment of Kim Harrison’s Rachel Morgan/The Hollows Series, Rachel is t**spoiler alert** “Still Hot and Packed with Action”
The Plot: In the eight installment of Kim Harrison’s Rachel Morgan/The Hollows Series, Rachel is trying to come to terms with the loss of Kisten, having been shunned by the Coven, and her new duties as student of the demon Algaliarept (Al). She soon finds herself being hunted down by her old friend/foe/familiar/faerie Trent, who’s trying to contract her services for life, as well as by members of the Coven, who want to control her for her genetic anomalies. Series favorites Ivy, Jenks, Ceri, Pierce, Bis and even Nick and Jax return as Rachel tries desperately to escape her pursuers, remove her shunning and maybe even find some time for some witchy sex!
Zelda’s Take: It had been so long since the reading the last Rachel book, I’d forgotten how much I’d missed my girl Rachel. Rachel continues to be a hot, sexy heroine who is tough as nails and has some of the most complicated relationships I could ever imagine!
This installment really focuses on Rachel’s changing relationship with Al and his familiar Pierce (Rachel’s childhood ghost crush who is now residing in the body of the late black-witch Tom). In the series, Al began as an evil monster who viciously attacked Rachel and nearly killed her, but Black Magic Sanction shows a bit of a softer side to the demon. As Rachel’s teacher (albeit one who’s reputation and livelihood is now dependent on Rachel), he has become somewhat of a father-like figure to our heroine. He’s protective of her, relates to her, helps her when she’s in trouble and even makes her dinner at one point. We also get a more detailed look at Pierce, who Rachel first met as a ghost when she was in her teens and is now fully embodied (thanks to the late black-witch Tom). When Al tasks Pierce with keeping Rachel from accidentally killing herself, we soon find that Pierce’s background is much more complex that was originally revealed. We learn about his origins, the reasons for his having been buried alive by the Coven so many years ago, his motives for working with the demons, and a little about his former loves’ lost.
I’ll admit that about a quarter of the way into this book, I started screaming for a new love interest for Rachel. With Kisten gone, Rachel and Ivy’s pledge to remain platonic, and Trent’s remaining an ass, there is a gaping hole in Rachel’s love life. In the end, I felt fairly well satisfied on this front (even if only temporarily), but Harrison has left the storyline wide open so that anything could happen in the next book.
Action-wise, this book was not lacking in any way. From rogue Coven member attacks, prison beatings, faerie warfare, demon summonings, and yet another infiltration of Trent’s compound (not to mention a steamy underground sex scene!), Rachel and her friends keep busy throughout.
I’m still a huge fan of this series and Black Magic Sanction definitely lived up to my expectations. I can’t wait for the next installment!...more