All Things Urban Fantasy's Reviews > Holidays Are Hell

Holidays Are Hell by Kim Harrison
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's review
Dec 27, 2009

liked it
bookshelves: reviewed-by-abigail, xmas
Read in December, 2009

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Kim Harrison - Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel - I had a bit of a falling out with Rachel Morgan's The Hollows series after book four. I've long maintained that Ivy is in need of some serious staking, and as her relationship with Rachel increasingly became more of the focus of the series my enjoyment decreased (if a guy pulled half the possessive, needy, territorial garbage that Ivy does Rachel would never have put up with it). Plus after what happened with Kisten...But after reading Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel, I remembered why I loved this series so much to begin with. Nobody, and I mean nobody does better world building than Kim Harrison. I loved getting to read about Rachel as a teenager brimming with excitement about following in her late father's footsteps as a runner for Inderland Security (basically the paranormal police). But Rachel nearly died as a child, and at this point in her life she is still struggling with chronic fatigue and weakness from any type of physical activity, a fact her older brother uses to encourage her to pursue an alternative career as an earth witch. When the two strike a bargain to decide the issue, Rachel accidentally calls forth the ghost of a murdered witch (handsome Peirce) who has some unfinished business with the dead vampire who condemned him centuries before. Together he and Rachel hope to save not only Peirce's soul, but the soul of the young girl the vampire is about to condemn as well. This is a fun quick read sprinkled with holiday magic that will entertain both new and familiar readers, and might even re-hook those of us who had given up on this series for one reason or another. (plus no Ivy!)

Sexual Content:

Run, Run, Rudolph by Lynsay Sands - I haven’t read anything by Lynsay Sands before, but I’m a little surprised that her story was included in this anthology because its basically a typical contemporary romance with an added sci-fi element. Jill gets struck with a destabilizing ray by an evil scientist and goes on the run through a parade and Christmas party with her longtime crush Nick. Jill new superpowers include being able to take on the appearance of anyone or thing (remember the title?) that she sees. Of course while on the run, Jill and Nick take a few breaks for a steamy make out session, and a near coupling in the parking lot. For a story that was only 90 pages long, the sexual content felt abruptly introduced and overly emphasized.

Sexual Content:
A scene of heavy petting, a graphic sex scene that isn’t quite consummated.

"The Harvest" by Vicki Pettersson. Vicki's story focuses on Zoe, the mother of the main character Joanna in her Signs of the Zodiac series as she tries to rescue her infant granddaughter from the evil Shadow agents during Thanksgiving. The Zodiac series has an extremely complex and unusual paranormal world involving an endless battle between good and evil personified in comic book-like heroes of the Light and Shadow. I wouldn't recommend starting this series with this prequel novella as the paranormal elements will likely be confusing (and there are a few spoilers from the main series in here). But if you have at least read Scent of Shadows already, you should enjoy the back-story this provides and a deeper look at the inner workings of both sides of the Zodiac.

Sexual Content:
A reference to a rape. A non-graphic sex scene

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