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A Fistful of Charms by Kim Harrison
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's review
Dec 27, 2008

liked it
bookshelves: fiction, urban-fantasy, romance, fantasy, lgbt
Read in January, 2006

This is a road trip book, taking Rachel (witch), and eventually Ivy (living vampire), out of town with a newly reconciled Jencks (pixie) to chase after Nick (human) the ex boyfriend and thief, a potentially powerful artifact, and a lot of werewolves. It’s funny, because though things do happen here and the plot carries forward, I am left with the impression of a placeholder book. Which is still not a bad thing, mind you, and I think Harrison’s instinct to get the original three out of the Hollows for a while is a good one. She’s developing as a writer – the climax of this book has some lovely, aching thematic overtones as Rachel tries to save/kill a living vampire who is in constant, excruciating agony from an unnamed illness. I think this is the first time Harrison’s managed to weave plot and theme together so neatly – she’s getting the trick of letting the plot follow the heart of the story, rather than the other way around, I think. Also, the pixies are hilarious and fascinating – toothbrushes! Karaoke!

Still, I did miss the usual supporting cast, particularly Trent (please go there, you’d better go there) and I was not quite convinced by the evolution of Rachel and Ivy’s complicated relationship as friends/colleagues/potential lovers/savior and vampire supplicant. It’s one of those things that make sense on analysis, but which on reading is viscerally startling and out-of-left field. And I suppose that’s how it would feel, but in this case, my sense of literary form and my sense of how people operate were not both satisfied.
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05/22/2016 marked as: read

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Nichole (Dirrty H) I totally agree; Rachel's sudden about face was startling. Interesting and fun to read, but totally out of left field and out of keeping with the character Harrison spent 3 books creating. Not only the decision she made, but her feelings. She seemed so ambivalent about Ivy for so long, I sometimes got the feeling she didn't even really like her that much, and suddenly she's saying she loves her and she's her best friend... I didn't really get that.

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