Mervi's Reviews > Every Which Way But Dead

Every Which Way But Dead by Kim Harrison
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Oct 25, 2016

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bookshelves: urban-fantasy, action-heroine

The third book in the Hollows UF series. It starts a couple of months after the previous book.

Rachel Morgan is an earth witch, who dabbles into ley line witchery as well, and a private investigator of sorts. She owns her own company with her two partners: Ivy Tamwood who is a living vampire and the pixie Jenks. They all live in a former church together as roommates. Ivy has a thing for Rachel but she’s determined to be just friends with her. Rachel has been bitten by a demon who was transformed into a vampire at the time and so, she has a vampire bite which every vampire can manipulate and arouse her sexually. Ivy is one of the most powerful vampires in Cincinnati and is protecting Rachel from all of the vampires.

It’s wintertime near solstice. When it gets too cold, pixies have to hibernate through the winter. However, when Jenks and his wife Mataline confess that they usually lose a couple of kids during the hibernation, Rachel insists that they spend the winter in the warm church. So now, the church is filled with playful and screaming pixie children.

Meanwhile, Rachel’s previous choices are biting her in the butt. In the previous book, The Good, the Bad, and the Undead, she had to make a deal with a demon. Essentially, she agreed to become the demon’s familiar. However, she thinks that she has found a way to cheat the demon Algaliarept and get out of the contract. Even though things don’t go as well as planned, she manages to free Al’s previous familiar, a thousand-years old woman Ceridwen Dulciate and give her a temporary home.

Things are bleak in Rachel’s personal life; her (human) boyfriend Nick has been distant lately and sometimes even out of town without telling her. Then, Nick says that he will be gone for several months and Rachel has no choice but to decide that she has been dumped. However, I think that Nick’s action are justifiable considering that Rachel was incompetent enough to accidentally make Nick her familiar. So, every time she taps into the ley line magic, Nick suffers.

Then, Rachel’s arch nemesis’ number two, the security guy Quen, wants Rachel to protect his boss. He makes her an offer she can’t refuse.

Once again I’m more fascinated by the supporting cast than the main heroine herself. Ivy faces a big problem; she’s the scion of the most powerful vampire and crime boss of the city, and she doesn’t want it. Unfortunately, this was a minor side plot in this book but I’m hoping it will get more time later. Jenks is always a delight with his sarcastic humor. However, he’s gone for most of the book. I also enjoyed meeting Ivy’s family.

Ceridwen is an interesting addition to the cast and I hope we’ll see much more of her. I was a bit disappointed that she was actually able to speak modern English without any trouble (her native tongue is most likely Celtic) and was familiar with modern technology without any explanation. However, I hope that she will show her ancient background more later in the series. She should also be a fountain of magical knowledge and demon knowledge to Rachel.

I guess my main problem with the book is with Rachel. She’s supposed to be a professional witch but she doesn’t actually know much about her supposed profession. Granted, she does know about law and making the runs, and this time she even learn something new about magic. She also managed to forget (forget!!) that if she leaves holy ground the demon can claim her. How the hell can you forget something like that! However, for me she made her biggest mistake with the living vampire Kisten. Kisten was pretty weirdly inconsistent in the book. In one scene he was obnoxious and flirting, and in the next he’s supposed to be open and caring? Not to mention that since he’s high ine the criminal hierarchy, he’s done pretty heinous things in the past. And in this book, too. I do have high hopes that this, too, will bite Rachel in the butt.

It was nice to know more about pixies and elves and I’m hoping that we’ll get to know ever more about them and about the other races in the Hollows. Most of the non-human characters in the book were vampires and they are already starring in quite a few other books.

Once again, some people make a big deal about the sex in the series. However, while there is a lot of sexual tension between various characters, especially vampires, there’s only one sex scene in the book.

Please don’t start reading the series with this book! There are a lot of references to the previous books in the series.

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