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The Hollows #12

The Undead Pool

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Witch and day-walking demon Rachel Morgan has managed to save the demonic ever after from shrinking, but at a high cost. Now strange magic is attacking Cincinnati and the Hollows, causing spells to backfire or go horribly wrong, and the truce between the races, between Inderlander and human, is shattering.

Rachel must stop the occurrences before the undead vampire masters who keep the rest of the undead under control are lost and it becomes all-out supernatural war. However, the only way to do so is through the ancient elven wild magic, which carries its own perils.

423 pages, Hardcover

First published February 25, 2014

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About the author

Kim Harrison

69 books17.4k followers
Kim Harrison is best known as the author of the New York Times #1 best selling Hollows series, but she has written more than urban fantasy and has published over two-dozen books spanning the gamut from young adult, thriller, several anthologies, and has scripted two original graphic novels. She has also published traditional fantasy under the name Dawn Cook. Kim is currently working on a new Hollows book between other, non related, urban fantasy projects.
Kim reaches out to her audience at Facebook https://www.facebook.com/KimHarrisons...
and her blog http://kimharrison.wordpress.com/

other pseudonyms: Dawn Cook

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Profile Image for VampireNovelFan.
426 reviews217 followers
February 25, 2014
This book is E.P.I.C!

Let's kick this off with a few of my favorite quotes!

"And the kiss...A tingle raced through me. Slowly my smile faded. Ellasbeth didn't know what she had."

"You've had that elf as your familiar for over a year, and he's not put the sparkle in your scrying mirror even once?"

"Trent leaned back, eyeing us over his scribbled legal pad.  ' You have amazing friends.'
'I need them to stay alive through my amazing life,' I said, and Ivy became almost sultry as she pulled herself together in her chair and smiled at Trent."

So this is the book! It's the moment of truth for quite a few readers. Do I really need to explain why at this point? Okay, I'll tell you a story about a witch and an elf...

With pressure building for literally a decade now, that's a LOT for a book to live up to. With 11 books under its belt, Rachel Morgan has gone through quite a bit. Her ties to the Ever After and its never-ending problems in her life continue. In Ever After she had to save the parallel universe from shrinking due to her faulty ley line. Now her home town has to deal with dangerous magic causing routine spells to backfire, leading to countless accidents, injuries, and pure chaos all over the city. With magic in shambles, the race relations among all species--human and Inderlander alike--soon follow.

Undead vampires are down but not quite out, so Rachel has to figure out what's wrong with the magic in order for them to restore balance before this madness leads to a point of no return. To do this will require her to tap into wild elven magic. It's as unpredictable as it is ancient, so I think it's safe to say our favorite itchy witch has her work cut out for her (the story of her life). Thankfully she has her friends and her favorite elf, Trent Kalamack, who will do all they can to help her.

So how is it? Well, it isn't just epic, it really is E.P.I.C.

I'm sure readers will finish this book with lots of feels. I pretty much went through the emotional wringer with this one, but I found myself satisfied with the outcome of the book even though things aren't perfect.  That's the beauty of The Hollows.  Rachel and her friends have to earn everything and it's a constant fight to keep it together.  We'd be in for a truly boring journey if things were too easy. Trent is not featured on the cover of this book for the hell of it. If you like him you can look forward to seeing a lot of him and his life. If you don't...you'll still see a lot of him and his life. Either way, we get a sense of how Rachel can and can't quite fit into it and he into hers. Since they are both adrenaline junkies in their own right the results are fairly interesting, but any long-term prospects will lead to a few roadblocks.

Obstacle #1: Ellasbeth, ooh Ellasbeth. Talk about baby mama drama!  Kim Harrison knows how to make this character grate on a reader's nerves, THIS reader in particular.

Her cute little nickname from Trent doesn't help matters. Though even I will admit that reading about Ellasbeth isn't all bad. For someone with so much dignity (supposedly), even she gets pretty desperate and her subtle attempts to one-up Rachel expose her own glaring insecurities.  At the heart of it, all I could think to myself is that Trent's been there, done that and bought the t-shirt, so why does she still try so hard? There are times when you really want to try to like her for the sake of the children, but she does not make it easy. She is here until the end of the series, so be ready.

Obstacles #2 and #3: The demons and the elves.  Elves and demons don't have the best history and our favorite demon, Big Al, loves to remind Rachel of this. On the other side of the lines, Trent's elven community is less than thrilled as well.  I honestly feel for Al quite a bit here.   He is not featured as heavily in this book as he was in Ever After (sorry Al fans, I love him too), but his scenes were really profound and important, further driving home the suffering demons have endured partly due to their past with the elves. I have a feeling this is necessary to help tie up loose ends in the big picture.

But even with those obstacles and that star-crossed lovers element, the chemistry between Rachel and Trent is as strong as ever and it's high time for a definitive move one way or the other.  Rachel still tries to fight it with good reason, but she's not the only one. Trent understands his responsibilities too, which should be elsewhere.  But as the great Phoebe Buffay once said:

There's real movement here in the overall plot and the potential future of The Hollows and Inderlanders in general.  Elves are starting to make their move, for better or worse.  Vampires seem to be taking a stand against their undead masters, the I.S. and the F.I.B. both have to get their heads out of their rear ends to work together, and even the werewolves get some time to shine.  Fans of David will enjoy his involvement with the storyline, though I found it somewhat bittersweet.  Either way, change is on the horizon for the Inderlander community and it all goes back to Rachel in one way or another.  I love how it all ties in together.

If you thought we learned enough about the world of The Hollows, think again. The use of the magic here was really interesting and the results turn everything on its head. Wild magic is really its own beast and it is a little refreshing to see Rachel try to manage something other than earth and ley line magic. It's less tangible making the possibilities feel pretty endless.  In this book the state of The Hollows in reality is not far removed from the Ever After with the fabric of civilization crumbling.  It's quite a good character study to see how people react in desperate times.

More layers of characters we thought we knew very well are pulled back, proving once again that Harrison is a master at what she does. You don't come to the Hollows for cookie-cutter one-note characters. The world and its characters are complicated and ever-evolving.  It's one of the reasons I can't quite get enough.

Jenks is in top form here.  I don't think he's been this quotable since the earlier books before Matalina's passing.  Clearly time heals all wounds even for pixies because he provides some of the best laugh out loud dialogue that I've read in a quite while from him.  Of course he's not only a source of comic relief. He lives up to the pixy name by being a good judge of character and the all around voice of reason, especially when it comes to Trent and Rachel's beating around the bush with each other.  He says what we're all thinking. There's more of the Trent/Jenks bromance that readers of Million Dollar Baby will enjoy too.

So all in all for me this book was indeed epic. I continue to be impressed with its high quality going into the home stretch.  There are some truly amazing moments and chapters in this book that will be talked about for a long long time ESPECIALLY a certain chapter that I'm not going to mention here...chapter 22.  Anyway, practically every new book is my favorite since Pale Demon and this one is the BEST yet for sure! Normally I like to dog-ear certain parts to re-read again, but I literally wanted to do that for the whole book. I am grateful for my kindle and it's lovely highlighting and bookmarking features, or else my tree version of this book would be a mess!

With just one book to go before The Hollows closes up shop I cannot WAIT to see how this all ends now!! I just know that I am so so happy that this is my favorite series. Kim Harrison hasn't let me down at all and though I'm going to miss this dearly when it's done, I am 100% confident she will give this series the ending it deserves.

So, uh, should I tell you how I really feel?

*ARC Provided by the Publisher
*Review also posted to Amazon.

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Profile Image for Ferdy.
944 reviews1,098 followers
February 25, 2014

What the hell has happened to this series? It went from Rachel having adventures, working on cases with Ivy and Jenks, and getting into all sorts of trouble to Rachel fawning over Trent and blushing like a schoolgirl-jammy-cow-idiot-twit. Everything was about bloody Trent, his boring kids, his dull elves, and his 'oh I'm such a martyr, I'm suffering for everybody, woe is me' nonsense. Ugh.

Random, Ranty, Repetitive thoughts:

-What's what: Magic playing up and vampires going crazy and weird. Rachel investigates, she naturally blames herself for everything, and generally acts like an insufferable twit.

-Why has the series suddenly changed from being all about the Hollows to all about elves and their elf related nonsense? All the rest of the supernaturals seem to have taken a back seat in comparison. I'm sick of Trent, his kids/fiancee, the elves, their goddess and all that rubbish, but because the author wants to shoehorn Trent into all of Rachel's adventures the elves have taken over every story. Not impressed.

-Rachel spent most of her time fantasising about Trent and whining about how wrong it was to think smexy thoughts about him. It was exhausting and boring to read.
Also, her being all protective of Trent made me cringe, she acted like an overprotective mother… Her hackles were raised if anyone so much as looked at him wrong. I preferred when Rachel didn't have such lovey dovey, pathetic, schoolgirl/maternal feelings for Trent.

-It was obvious that Rachel loved Trent and would do anything for him… But there was nowhere near the same level of devotion and love from Trent. He only fancied Rachel because of 1. What she could do for him 2. She was the opposite of all the elf type duties that he'd been pushed to do since birth and 3. He liked rebelling against the elf rules by dating a demon.

-I got sick of the repeated mentions of Trent's wispy hair, his clothes, his body. Also, why did I need to know what Trent smelt like every 5 minutes?! I was desperate for Rachel to stop perving on him like some embarrassing fangirl. Her whole Trent obsession was weird.

-I rolled my eyes at Rachel's teenage reactions to Trent. Anytime he looked at her or was close to her or touched her she would blush and feel all fluttered. Get a bloody grip.

-I hated how Rachel was overly apologetic and guilty about things she didn't even need to feel that way about. Her whole 'I'm unworthy and a bad person and don't deserve anything good' routine grated on me. Rachel has only ever done the best she could, even if she messed up, she always tried to help those around her yet she still acted like she was undeserving. Ugh, I hate MC's with that that sort of attitude.

-Since it's obvious that Rachel and Trent are endgame it means that Rachel won't have kids of her own and will have to make do with being a stepmum. I'm sick of the amount of PNR/UF heroines having to be a stepmum to the heroes kids. Why can't it be the other way around for a change?
Oh, and if by some miracle Rachel and Trent can have a kid together I'll be pissed… If Al couldn't have a kid with Ceri after trying for a 1000 years then Rachel and Trent shouldn't be able to either.

-Rachel should have left Trent to Ellasbeth, it was clear they could have made things work, Trent definitely had a strong connection and affection for her considering all their hand touching and heated moments. Rachel will now have to deal with Ellasbeth and Trent being bonded and all parenty together for the rest of her life… Yea, I'm pretty sure Rachel's immortality will vanish so she can grow old, be childless, and die with Trent. Ugh.

-I didn't buy Trent's love or almost love for Rachel whatsoever. Whenever she was in danger, he was more worried about himself, if he really loved her he should have wanted to protect her over his own life but that wasn't the case, it was clear Rachel would do anything for him but he wouldn't do the same. Sure, he helped her now and again but that wasn't out of love it was because he liked the danger and freedom. He didn't want to follow the rules that were put on him, he wanted to be his own person, and he knew Rachel could help him with that… Anything he supposedly did for her was only out of self interest.

-I hope Ellasbeth doesn't turn into some villainous caricature and look like the jealous other woman just so Rachel can come across like the perfect girlfriend and stepmother. Ugh, if Rachel had any sense she'd let Trent, Ellasbeth, and Lucy be a proper family.

-I didn't like the whole contrived Rachel and Trent are meant to be vibe. The author seemed to bang on about both of them having important responsibilities and having to do dangerous things for the safety of loved ones… And them loving horses and having lame inside jokes. Their 'connection' didn't feel organic, it felt forced.

-What was the point of Ayer being a Kisten look alike? How was that relevant to anything? All it did was make Rachel mildly angsty.
Ayer was a pathetic brat who put thousands of lives in danger just because he was pissed at non living vampires. So yea why did he need to look like Kisten for that?!

-I didn't buy the whole Ivy/Nina romance. It felt as if the only reason Ivy was made to move on from Rachel was so that readers would no longer ship them and instead ship Trent/Rachel.

-The whole ley line, mystic, wave rubbish made little sense to me. Why did the mystics cause magic to fuck up? How did the free vampires know what the mystics would do to the non living vampires? Did that elf tell them? How would he know? How were the mystics even caught and used to begin with? Why was it Rachel's ley line that was being used?

-I found it funny that Trent wasn't willing to risk his position as elf leader when Rachel desperately needed help and her life was in danger yet he was perfectly willing to risk it all when he realised he didn't have a say in her life. So yea, her life wasn't worth much to him but the need to control her was worth everything. What a prick.

-For most of the series Trent has done nothing but use, abuse, threaten and manipulate Rachel. In the last few books when they started to get along and have feelings for each other he still used her, lied to her, willingly tricked her, enslaved her, and let her risk her life whilst he was safely tucked up somewhere else… He keeps fucking over Rachel even though he supposedly cares about her, he only does the right thing at the very end when he's already fucked her over in some way or another. And even then he only eventually does the right thing by Rachel because he wants something out of it. He's the most rubbish love interest Rachel has ever had, he really doesn't give a fuck about her, his first priority will always be his own safety and happiness, he's even worse than Nick. I'm sure in the next book he'll fuck over Rachel again in some way or another. Of course, Rachel will defend him, be loyal to him, risk her life for him, put him first, and do anything for him — it's a shame Trent would never do the same for her.

-David/Rachel would make a much better couple but since he respects her and treat her well that won't happen, it seems like Rachel can only end up with a douche.

-I rolled my eyes at Ivy wanting to move out of the church and live with Nina just as Rachel/Trent hooked up. Yea, that conveniently makes way for Trent and his kids to live in the church with Rachel. Ugh.

-Trent suddenly playing the hero and caring about complete strangers was ridiculous. He was cool with killing innocents before but now that he was supposedly in wuv with Rachel he was all about the greater good. I didn't buy the 180 character 'development' at all.

-I got sick of the amount of times someone shouted 'no' whenever things got crazy or deadly. It was silly and melodramatic.

-I found it annoying that Rachel's friends (Jenks, Ivy, Trent) all accepted Trent as part of their lives after everything he did to Rachel yet Trent's friends (Quen and Jonathan) still treated Rachel like rubbish even though she'd saved Trent (and his kids) countless times. It was ridiculous.

-Why the hell did Rachel keep acting like the problem with the mystics/goddess/sleeping vampires was all her fault? It wasn't. She was so dumb to feel guilty about the whole situation and apologise to everyone around her. None of it was her problem, but the silly cow banged on about how it was all her fault. If anyone was to blame it was Trent since it was his people that started the whole mess, why didn't someone point that out? Why didn't Trent tell Rachel the mess was down to him/his people?? I'm so sick of her acting like a martyr, feeling responsible for everyone, always being apologetic and feeling guilty, and never letting Trent or anyone else feel bad for something they did wrong. Ugh, Rachel was so infuriating.

-Why didn't Trent tell Rachel he was helping Newt with the horse? Why did he keep that secret from her? He's always keeping things from Rachel just so he can have the upper hand. The slimy git.

-I rolled my eyes at Al no longer wanting anything to do with Rachel. Really? For the entire series he was always in her face, and in the last few books they both needed each other for various reasons… But because Al was in the way of Trent and Rachel's lame relationship he suddenly washed his hands off her even though NOTHING in the past had ever made him let go of her before. Yea, I didn't buy him suddenly giving up on Rachel after all that he'd invested in her. It felt like anything on Rachel's side that could threaten her relationship with Trent was conveniently dealt with. It was all so forced.

-The dialogue was a little weird this time around, it didn't always flow very well.

-Trent fans will most likely love this installment, but since I despise Trent and everything elf related I pretty much hated it. The only reason it didn't get 1 star was because I loved all Jenks, Ivy, and Newt/Al parts.

All in all, I wasn't impressed with the elf-heavy plot, everything Trent related, the cringey romance, and Rachel's pathetic personality.
Profile Image for Lynsey is Reading.
656 reviews228 followers
January 31, 2014
A Wild Magic Ride.

To say this book is highly anticipated might just be the biggest understatement I’ve ever made. I can think of no other series where the author has led readers to such an unbearable edge of anticipation, held them there mercilessly for what seems like millennia, and made them grateful for it. It smacks of pure masochism if you ask me. I had no idea I swung that way, but apparently I’m all for it.

Of course, I’m talking about the Trent-Rachel relationship. What else? It’s quite positively the most addictive, thrilling, nail-biting storyline I’ve ever read ever in the history of ever. And since we’re only one book away from the end of this genre-changing series, it’s time for things to get serious. Isn’t it? Please? Please let it be time to get serious!

Now, you know I can’t actually tell you anything about that part of it. And really, you don’t want me to. You might be thinking you want me to, but you’re mistaken. So just put it out of your mind, ‘kay?

Okay, good.

Moving on, what else is happening in this instalment? Well, lots of things! For starters, strange bubbles of magic are cropping up all over Cincinnati, causing misfires in Inderlander’s innate magic and the spells they cast. It quickly becomes a full-scale epidemic involving the F.I.B , the I.S. and the vampires. So who better to tackle the problem than everybody’s favourite go-to girl, the glue that holds them all together, Rachel Morgan. Luckily, these days Rachel has several sidekicks on standby— none more splendiferous than the most recent addition, Trent Kalamack! And even better, she’s now developed to the point where she will actually accept people’s help gladly. Between Trent’s resources, Rachel’s tenacity, Ivy’s planning, and Jenks’...Jenksness, they’ve surely got this problem in the bag, right?

Well, maybe, maybe not. This might just be the biggest challenge Rachel and crew have ever faced. It’s not just the scale of it, but the unpredictability. How can they prevent something when they have no way of anticipating where will be hit next?

In usual Harrison fashion, the pacing of The Undead Pool is spot on. The story evolves naturally with gorgeous little interludes showcasing the beautiful friendships that have been established over the last 12 books. At this point, reading a Hollows novel is like slipping into my most comfortable jeans. It’s such a warm, delightful place to be, I never want to leave. I find myself watching the percentage on my Kindle increase with dismay. Why can’t it just last forever? I wouldn’t mind, honest! And to think there’s only one more book left...*sobs*

What will we do, guys? What will we do?!

Like the last several books in this series, The Undead Pool is an easy five star read for me, and Harrison’s place in my mind as the leader of the pack is holding firm. I predict this book will be a fan favourite, with several sections highlighted for easy reference and dog-eared from overuse. And trust me, mine will be no exception!

5 Stars ★★★★★
ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

And Chapter one!

From Kim's blog!

"I promised you a treat today, other than this big, beautiful, cover of Rachel and yes, Trent. More on the treat in a moment. I just want to look at it for a moment and smile at what it promises, not just more Trent, but a Trent who is willing to be there, knowing who she is and not minding that at all. And isn’t that what we all want? To be accepted for what we are, proudly what we are?"

Read Chapter one of The Undead Pool here

I did and ZOMG! So good!
March 3, 2014
Will they or won't they?

That's all this book is about.

If you haven't read this series yet, Stop! Unless you're in the mood for reading about stuff that isn't going to make sense. This review is for the diehard fans...the ones that have struggled through all the Ivy nonsense and the Nick-Kisten-Marshal-Pierce drama. The ones that have cheered for Rachel from her early witch struggles to the maturity that she has shown in this book. YOU know who you are.

That's right...I'm talking to you! And if you haven't read this book, what in the heck are you waiting for? Haven't we waited long enough? We've wanted Trent, well, we got him...bigger and better than ever! There is lots and LOTS of the cookie maker in this book and I have to say, it still wasn't enough! It's killing me knowing there's only one book left! ~Sob~ I think I might cry...but nope, I'll just deal with that later. {{{Can I get a group hug??}}}


Back to the story...Strange magic waves are coming from Rach's ley line and causing charms to explode and basically cause chaos to ensue. On top of that, we learn that the master vampires are not waking up and something's going on with the living vampires. But what else is new? Same "everything is going to hell in a hand basket" that always happens in Rach's life...and I loved every minute of it. Okay, not every minute of it, but you get my drift.

And as if that's not enough to keep Rach busy, her and Trent go On. A. Date. That's right, folks...A DATE!! Can I get an AMEN?? And I have to tell you, the date was A-Ma-Zing! ~Sigh~

But there's trouble in paradise and her name is Ellasbeth...that's right, The B*tch is back...Ugh! As if we couldn't hate her more. One thing I will give her credit for is that she seems to be doing an okay job as a Mom but....that's it!

KH had said that she is beginning to wrap things up and that is very clear in this book. There is finally some calmness with Ivy and Nina (hang on, you'll get there). David and the Weres seem to be coming together and again with Rach and her new maturity, she's able to see what needs to be done and does it! There's still chaos with the FIB and I.S...not really sure what's going to come out of that and with Edden but I'm hoping he's put in charge.

Of course, not everything has headed in that direction yet. A lot of things with characters are left up in the air. And there were some things that happened that I'm hoping will turn around. (Al...and his poor broken heart! I finally get him!)

And I can't forget the wonderful and hilarious Jenks! What would the series be without his particular brand of humor? I love all his one liners. But as much as I love him and Rachel together, I must admit, I really enjoy his relationship with Trent.

And then there's Bis...who would've thought a wayward baby gargoyle would touch your heart so much. I love how he is always there for Rach and he always helps her. I would even read a spin off series of him as an adult!

Okay, okay....More Trent you say?? Bwahahahaha...well, I'll never tell! Seriously, you just NEED to read it...it's sooo good. I will say the one thing that I absolutely LOVED almost more than that one scene ;) is how much Trent "gets" Rach. How he always knows what she's thinking and knows where she goes. Oh how it made my heart happy! ♥ Was that enough for you? ;)

(Witchy-poo and Cookie Maker)

I do have to say that there was some crazy stuff going on in this book...and it went wwwaaaayyy out there - a bit cray-cray if you know what I mean. But...I liked how it followed through and I liked how Newt factored in. *Fingers crossed* that the resolution will be just as good.

The ending...AMAZEBALLS! TOUCHE! AND GOOD RIDDANCE! BOOYA! Pheww...the whole book just wore me out. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU Kim Harrison and just please continue on this same path for the last book...and don't switch things up!!

Favorite quotes
(Proceed at your own risk! I tried to be good and I did refrain...begrudgingly!)

♥ “Yeah, the elf looks good in the sun,” Jenks smart-mouthed, the pixy currently sitting on the bottom of my hooped earrings and out of the moderate wind. “When you going to put us all out of your misery and boink him?”

♥ “They say you can tell a lot about a man by the ball he uses.”

♥ “Why does everyone assume I’m having sex with him?” I said, exasperated.

“Because he’s an elf, love, and elves are very good at it.”

♥ “Honestly, you’re both an embarrassment, rolling around in the dust, trying to see who has the biggest magic wand.”

♥ “I enjoyed last night,” he said softly, the words making me shiver, though it might be the sensation of his fingers hinting at pulling me back to him. “Riding,” he added, a gentle pressure building between us. “You before me. I’m glad you stayed on this time,” he added, smiling.

♥ “Rache . . .” Jenks rose up, his expression pleading as his dust hit the pan and sparkled. “I can’t believe I’m saying this, but you’re perfect for each other! You irritate people, and he smoothes things out. You have good mojo, and he only thinks he does. You’re broke, and he’s rich. You’ve got those weird feet of yours, and he’s got them cute ears.”

♥ "I did the right thing, what was acceptable and needed—and it worked. But it almost killed me.”

♥ “I like walking into a room and seeing your face light up when you see me.”

♥ “I want to wake up beside you, see your curls on my pillow. I want a chance at falling in love.”

♥ “Tell me you’ve not wanted to know for a long time,” he whispered, and I quailed as his hand touched my shoulder. “Tell me that, right now, and I will leave.”

♥ “I was kind of hoping you might not be a talker.”

I ran a foot up his pant leg, then back down. “Then give my lips something to do.”

♥ “I have a very sturdy house, Jenks,” Trent said. “So do you.”
Profile Image for Angela.
8 reviews2 followers
Want to read
March 28, 2013
Kim can't write fast enough for me. I just love her "The Hollows" novels with Rachel, the itchy witch & her 2 best buds, Ivy & Jenks
Profile Image for Veronica .
744 reviews178 followers
April 11, 2017
What can I say about a book that I’ve been waiting for since at least book three? To say that it was amazing, heartbreaking, uplifting, funny, life affirming, maddening, romantic, and bittersweet is all accurate and yet still woefully insufficient. The fact that this is the penultimate book in what will be a 13 book series makes it even that much more incredible. Most long running series outstay their “sell by” date and go out with a whimper, with some readers relieved, if not downright happy, to see them go. I predict that will not be the case with this series. I foresee, rather, that this series will do what all great series do…leave us wanting more. As for this particular installment, well…

Rachel has had a rather quiet three months since the end of Ever After, the last book in the series. She’s filled her days by working as Trent’s security since Quen has been on the West Coast supervising Ellasbeth’s time with Ray and Lucy. That down time soon comes to a screeching halt, however, when spells start misfiring, causing all sorts of panic and chaos all over Cincinnati. As Rachel and the gang set about trying to figure out what’s causing magic to go wonky, they find a chain reaction of trouble ready to explode interspecies relations sky high.

Along the way, we find out some really interesting things. While the demons and the Ever After don’t play as big a role here as they did in the last book, what IS there is important. Newt continues to be the crazy, wise woman who speaks in riddles. I still can’t decide if she was trying to warn Rachel off certain actions or if she was encouraging them. You never quite know what she’s going to say or do but that’s why I love her. Then there’s Al. Oh, Al. He made me feel sad for him; he made me feel annoyed with him. This is clearly a demon with some emotional baggage. We get a bit more of his backstory here, and it’s heartbreaking, but there is clearly still more to discover. Hopefully we’ll be getting it all in the next book because Al’s story clearly isn’t done.

Ivy and Jenks are still in the mix and it was actually nice to see more of Ivy this time around than we’ve had of her lately. She continues to move forward with her life and it’s nice to see her so happy, even though she’s dealing with some stressful things in her own life. Jenks is ever his awesome self, providing the glue and the heart that holds everything together. I did miss Belle in this book since I find her relationship with Jenks cute. In addition to Rachel’s two BFFs, we also get the return of some key characters from past books playing integral roles in Rachel’s attempts to save the world…again. As this series is winding down, there is the definite sense that we are being given the chance to say goodbye, and to walk away knowing that these characters that we have grown to know and love will still be out there doing what they do best long after that last cover is closed.

We also find out more about the current political climates for both the vampires and the elves and I expect that both will continue to play out in the final book. Up until now, we haven’t ever really had a good picture of elven society and how it works, outside of a few references made here and there throughout the series. We get quite a bit more information here as we meet two new elves and find out just how much Trent’s back is really up against the wall. To add insult to injury, Ellasbeth is back to help make sure that Trent tows the elven company line. God, but I really hate that woman. Just saying.

Of course, this review wouldn’t be complete without talking about Trent. His parts with Rachel were some of my favorite from the book. Big surprise, I know. The three months that Rachel has spent working security for him have gone a long way towards shaping the nature of their relationship…and the questions of what is best, what is needed, and what is desired loom large. This was almost as much Trent’s book as it was Rachel’s, even though it’s all still told from her POV, so it’s fitting then that he shares the cover with her this time around. The fact that I could still feel Trent’s frustration and despair – and his hope – even through Rachel’s first person POV speaks volumes for Kim Harrison as a writer. Trent doesn’t have an easy road to travel in this installment (not that Ever After was any cakewalk) as he finds himself facing ultimatums from his species. Does he follow his head or his heart, and are they really two different things anymore? What do you do if the person you want to be, deep down to your soul, isn’t the person you’re expected to be? Trent has some hard decisions to make in this book, decisions with some huge costs and ramifications. I could say more…much, MUCH more…but all I will say is that there are some parts of this book that will be worthy of many, many re-reads.

This book, as always, has some pretty great showdowns, fight sequences that get the job done but aren’t overly long (thank goodness!), chases – on horse even!, and daring rescues. I could talk about those but if you’re a Hollows fan you know that Rachel and her crew can kick some serious butt when they need to. So on that score, they deliver in spades in this book. What I really love though, what draws me in as a reader, what grabs hold of my heart and refuses to let go long after I’ve read the last word and closed the book are the characters and the way they relate to each other. So while this book has all the action you could want it’s also liberally sprinkled with those smaller, quieter character moments that infuse the story with heart and soul. Pure gold. And really, what more could you want?
Profile Image for Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ .
1,257 reviews8,679 followers
February 7, 2018
2/7/18 - ON SALE for $1.99:


3.5 stars

Reviewed by: Rabid Reads

So I realize that I’m diving straight into this without having reviewed the previous ELEVEN (it makes me happy that “eleven” is so close to “elves”) books, but I promise I’ll get to them before the series ends next year.


I’m also going to do my darnedest to not be spoilery for this particular book, but as it’s the twelfth book, avoiding spoilers for the series in its entirety is probably beyond my abilities. You have been dully warned.

Kim Harrison’s The Hollows is my second favorite Urban Fantasy series, and as such, it’s one of the series that I’ve bothered my friends and family into reading. I love it. They love it. Everyone is happy. Especially now that it seems like Trent and Rachel are finally getting their shit together.

Since the very beginning, I’ve had a thing for Trent. Rachel’s had half a dozen flings along the way (that have all ended in varying degrees of BAD), but Trent . . . of all the jerk-of-my-dreams characters in the world, he may be my favorite.

*sighs wistfully*

SO everyone who shared this perspective was THRILLED a few books back when his and Rachel’s relationship began to change. Ever since then, Harrison has seemed to be leading us towards a happily ever after (HA), but did it finally happen in The Undead Pool?! I’ll never tell.

READ IT. *smirks*

In The Undead Pool, Rachel has been providing security for Trent for the past three months while Quen is in Cali with Ellasbeth and the girls (who are due to arrive back any day now). The sexual tension will blow. Your. Friggin’. Mind. The last night before Rachel is off the job, Cincy goes to Hell—something is causing magical misfires of epic proportions.

At this point I feel it’s necessary to inform you that I’ve been in a bit of a book funk. I don’t seem to be loving much of anything right now, so there’s a distinct possibility that when the re-read occurs next year, I’ll be all “OMG that book was AMAZING.” Right now, however, something just didn’t quite jive for me. Can you guess what it was?

The freaking mystics.

I mean what in the world? An Elvish goddess who’s not really a goddess, but a collective mind made up of energy whose individual thoughts (<—–the mystics) are sentient, but who may have been an actual goddess (tangible person) once upon a time?


AND Rachel has been concerned over the state of Ivy’s soul (or the lack of one when she transitions from living vampire to undead) almost since the beginning, and for probably the last half of the series, she’s been actively trying to come up with a solution. I think that that’s the endgame for The Hollows—finding a way for vampires to keep their souls.
The point is that we’ve all known for a while what was coming.

BUT this lead-in just felt . . . I don’t know, contrived? A previously unheard of sect of vampires out to take over (at the very least) the vampire portion of the supernatural races? We’d never heard of the Humans-Against-Whatever from A Perfect Blood either, but at least when the concept was introduced there were background stories to support its existence. This time it was just BOOM: Free Vampires.

And the whole situation was engineered by what/who?

David at some point in this book says that Rachel saved Trent—that Trent had been headed down a completely different and ruthless path, but Rachel saved him from himself. Maybe Harrison was drawing a parallel about the kind of man Trent would have become without Rachel’s influence. Maybe. Probably. Whatever.

Intentional parallel or not, all the ends and outs of this installment didn’t gel for me the way others have. It was still good. I love Rachel and Trent and Jenks and everyone else, and Harrison upheld all of the established elements of her series—there is nothing out of left field here (unlike a not-to-be-named other series that ended recently). But all the time I spent with my brow furrowed in confusion while I was reading makes this a four star book for me. I wasn’t able to just sink into the story and let it take me over.

Still, The Hollows continues to have a cast of characters that is both original and dynamic, and its conclusion next year is sure to be bittersweet. Don’t let the series’ end catch you unawares—get caught up and soon!

Jessica Signature

My other reviews for this series:

Dead Witch Walking (The Hollows #1)
The Good, the Bad, and the Undead (The Hollows #2)
Every Which Way But Dead (The Hollows #3)
A Fistful of Charms (The Hollows #4)
For a Few Demons More (The Hollows #5)
The Outlaw Demon Wails (The Hollows #6)
White Witch, Black Curse (The Hollows #7)
Black Magic Sanction (The Hollows #8)
Pale Demon (The Hollows #9)
Into the Woods: Tales from the Hollows and Beyond
Profile Image for Pia.
93 reviews
March 1, 2014
Who are you and what have you done to Rachel ?!

I finally finished reading TUP this morning and I've been struggling to decide how many stars to give it ever since, vacillating between 2 and 4. So I've been doing what I do best, procrastinating in putting in my rating and review and finally decided on 3 stars, for now.

To say that I had been looking forward to this book is a huge understatement.
I had it all planned out, reading the first 5 chapters on the 24th, getting up at 6 am on the 25th (release time where I live) so I could read a few chapters before having to leave for work and taking a day off from work on the 26th to finish reading and digest. So it's not as if I didn't want to love this book, because I really, really did, which might explain my huge disappointment.

And truth be told, I really enjoyed the first 9 chapters, as well as the final 2 (and even the 22th, even though I don't ship Trent, it was well written). My favorite, however must be the 9th chapter, that was chuck full of information that I believe will be important in the grand scheme of things, and I look forward to all the speculation and discussion it will doubt entice over the coming year. But most of the rest was just meh, boring, and dragged on endlessly.

Besides that, I have some other huge issues with this book and my rating may well drop further if the 'Trend(t)' started here is continued in the final book of the series.
On the other hand, on the slim chance that the 'out of character Rachel' in TUP is a plot device to set up a turnaround in the final installment, I'll bump this up to 4 stars (one can hope, and I'm trying to cheer myself up here).

If not, TUP is just another weak PNR, and I've been waisting my time, again.
The undead storyline and the goddess-confusion certainly didn't get my juices flowing and the book lacked the light hearted humor of the others in the series (so I missed that as well), so in the end, it took me forever to get through.

So fingers crossed for next year.
Profile Image for Carol (StarAngel's Reviews) Allen.
1,683 reviews593 followers
March 3, 2014
Book – The Undead Pool (The Hollows #12)
Author – Kim Harrison
Publication Date – February 25, 2014
Type – Part of Series
Genre – Paranormal Romance
Rating – 6 out of 5 Stars

Ok….please bear with me – this is the first Paranormal book I have the pleasure of reviewing.  Yeah – I have read hundreds of them when I was addicted to this genre…..but for some reason – I can’t help but love and continue to read The Hollows series.

It’s kind of funny but years ago when I first picked up Book #1 – I read the first few pages and put it back down – I was bored to tears ---- a few months later I saw it sitting on my Nook and decided to try again and once I got past the first few chapters….I was fucking HOOKED!!  This is the only series that continues to have me going back for more and more of Rachel, Ivy, Jenks, Trent ---- my GOD….it’s like they are my freakin’ family!

I waited and waited for this book – I requested it on Edelweiss and got turned down (poopy heads) so I had to wait for the release day.  My God….this book – I can’t even begin to explain the emotions I went through in reading it.  I was pissed…..so fucking pissed at the circumstances surrounding Rachel and Trent.  For so many years, I have waited for these two to FINALLY realize that they make a great team.  And for me hating Trent so much in the earlier episodes, he really did a 360 in his attitude and his actions.  Hahahahaaa….I still remember when he held Rachel captive in a little cage acting like she was his pet!! What a dickhead he was back then.

You know I thought after Kirsten – that Rachel would never be happy again – they were perfect together….hahahaha….well the best a vampire and demon could be…right?

But put together an elf and a demon….whoah….now that’s something to write home about!!

Ms. Harrison does it every time….she captivates me and takes me on an adventure through the Hollows, through the ley lines, through the ever after and through Cincy. For a book being over 500 pages – I was upset when I got to the end….I wanted more. 

Like what is going to happen with Rachel and Trent?  What about Al? (Yeah he really pissed me off) I don’t think Ellsabeth is done wrecking havoc….have we seen the last of her?  I want more Newt….

Please tell me Ms. Harrison that this isn’t the last we will be reading about my favorite demon, vampire, pixie, elf and werewolf!!

Rachel is at it again….a walking time bomb clutz – this time magic is misfiring and it seems to be coming from her ley line.  The undead vampire masters have fallen into a deep sleep and can’t be woken while the “free vampires” are making life in Cincy dangerous.  With the help of all Rachel’s friends they figure out who is behind the mess but why is Newt catching fireflies and calling it magic?  What could this possibly have to do with the troubles in Cincy?

Through all of this, Trent is acting different – he is taking risks and enjoying the hell out of himself.  With Qwen gone and Rachel as his security, he is riding the high life of being “normal” Well that is until Ellsabeth shows up along with the Elven priests and pressures Trent into finalizing his engagement to Ellsabeth.  It’s the right thing to do in order to keep the West and East Coast elves unified.

But then why is Trent taking Rachel out on a close to “normal” date by going bowling and eating greasy food?  Is there more to this?

Ms. Harrison NEVER disappoints with her Hollows series!  And the more she writes – the more I want to read!

Profile Image for Choko.
1,178 reviews2,570 followers
September 4, 2021
Second read rating *** 3.75 ***
I must have been very angry with what Rachel became under the influence of her falling for Trent, and I understand my past emotions, but re-reading the series this time around, I don't think she changed that much. She was never a great witch, since she never liked learning new stuff much, and always counted on her own emotions and natural power to get her both in and out of trouble. Also, she has always been too angsty and way too ready to put herself in last place in any deep relationship. So her becoming all "I don't deserve him", although it bugs the heck out of me, is not really out of character... And yes, I don't really like Trent, team Al here, but I can see the progression as natural, almost meant to be. She just has to get some self esteem at one point, but I am not the one to judge another woman over that...

This series is very entertaining and enjoyable and I think this is a good addition to it. But I am not removing my initial review and rating, because it was what I felt when I read it at the time. 🤠

It just made me sad... I did not like Trent from the beginning and now i am just sick about my favorite male demon! He is the one for Rachel, not the elf... Sad, sad, sad...
And they are probably going to figure out a way to have babies elf/demon, which would just suck! Soooo disappointing!
I need more Al, less Trent, and the gutsy, wonderfully brave character of Rachel from the first books to come back. She has become at the most an Elf lackey, at the least, a doormat! Not the girl we all fell in love with! Sucks! I loved that series...
Profile Image for Montzalee Wittmann.
4,502 reviews2,315 followers
April 30, 2017
The Undead Pool (The Hollows #12) by Kim Harrison continues with another winning book in the Hollows series. I love the interaction between vamps, elves, demons, were, humans, and more. In this book, many things are going on but the many thing is a magic attack in not only attacking the city but tracking Rachel. Something is putting the master vampires to sleep...Rachel is feeling more for Trenton....ah...I love these books!
Profile Image for Shayla.
26 reviews2 followers
March 2, 2014
An amazing book like always, chapter 22 was my favorite. I am thoroughly pissed at Al and hope he gets his head out of his ass in the next book. Newt was awesome in this book, lice her with Red. The Mystics and the Goddess completely took me by surprise with what they could do and how Rachel handled them. The Undead Pool was a great book, however i am not looking forward to the next one as it symbolizes the end of a series that i live and have come to dream about.
Profile Image for Klint.
37 reviews
October 8, 2013
Thank you Harper for this ARC.

Kim Harrison did it again!! What an amazing book!

Review to come :)


I can't help myself, I need to read it again!
Profile Image for Jen Davis.
Author 7 books696 followers
February 24, 2014
With the notable exception of A Perfect Blood, the Hollows has been steadily gaining momentum in the past few years. Each book is better than the one before. Each book has reminded me why I love this series so damn much. And once again, with this new installment, I have a new favorite. And frankly, I don't know how Kim Harrison is going to top this one. In fact, part of me wants to just stop reading right here, so she can't sucker-punch me at the end of the series.

I'm going to do my very best not to spoil you, since the surprising path of the journey is part of the joy. But I will confirm things you already know if you've looked at the cover or read the blurb. You'll note that for the first time, Rachel is not alone on the cover. Trent is right there with her. He is her co-star both in the cover-art and on the page. This isn't just Rachel's book. It's Rachel and Trent's book.

Does that mean they finally get together? (*shifty eyes*) Of course, I can't answer that.

One of the things I loved so much about this book is that you can really see how much Rachel has grown. She still has fears, both about her choices in life and her choices in men. But the biggest difference we are seeing in her, is that she no longer hides from those fears, she meets them head on. Her hiding and avoidance of her issues was one of the biggest disappointments in A Perfect Blood --and why it was a bit of a letdown for me. This is, well, not a new Rachel, but an improved one. She asks herself the tough questions and she thinks before she makes her choices.

Not once did I get frustrated with the progression of the story. Not once did I want to smack Rachel. Or Ivy, even. I enjoyed watching these characters I have fallen in love with, evolve. It almost felt like a flashforward. I can see where everyone is going with their lives. Ivy. Jenks. David. The pack. The elves. Ellasbeth. Trent. Almost all of our secondary characters are back or at least get a mention for perspective. And you can really feel that their stories are finding resolution.

I ran the gamut of emotions... fear, excitement, melancholy, elation. The plot moves quickly and takes a surprising path. Of course, there is a huge problem that only Rachel can solve. She faces grave danger as she fights to save the day and she relies on the resourcefulness of her family of friends to help her succeed. All this, while facing the derision of others. It's a formula that works for these books, and Harrison does a great job mixing up the particulars to keep it fresh.

Will everyone love this book as much as I did? Maybe not. I think that for UF purists, it might have too much of the relationship/ romantic elements. But to all the shippers out there, it will be like a sparkly gift from heaven.

To me, this could have served as a series finale. I could walk away happy. Which scares me to death. Because Kim Harrison is a sadistic killer. She can't let me stay happy... can she? What will she throw at us before Rachel's story is over? Somebody hold me.

Rating: A
Profile Image for Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*.
2,388 reviews1,057 followers
January 27, 2016

Warning – there are spoilers in this review.

The Hollows series has remained my favorite series for several years– it has everything I want in a continued world – darkness, humor, the supernatural done right, exciting plotlines that are focused on, amazing characterization, and addicting dialogue. Pretty much all my fangirl buttons are pushed. To say I was excited to read this book is an understatement. Just like last year, I made sure I had the day off from work to sit all day and read this the day of its release. Like last year, I ordered some sort of special food I’d been craving and hardly get to eat. I do nothing else but read and relax during a Hollows reading day, treating myself to the newest release of my favorite series.

The book is about 430 pages, and in its paper walls there is a lot of action (at first, and at the ending). The first part of the book is especially charming, opening up with a golf scene and the inevitable dating that comes with Trent and Rachel. The bowling scene was sweet, awesome, and a perfect first date. The fight scene which followed rocked with Rachel showing how many tricks she has developed up her sleeve under Al’s direction and her own study.

I dug how much Jenks was in the book, flittering around from scene to scene as a friend, partner, and relationship encourager. He teased with his typical raunchiness, provided some of the best lines of the story as usual - where would we be without Jenks? I was a bit bothered by a line he says to Rachel at the end about picking her new partner to watch her back, but I like to think he’s not being replaced, but sees changes coming. So many of his kids have grown and left, so there is a change of emptiness while reading those scenes. There’s still plenty of them flying around to provide pixie fun.

The main storyline with the goddess and mystics was intriguing and creatively done. I applaud Kim for her originality and how complexly layered the details. The scene with the 'summoning' and the bodies was simply creepy *shiver*. I do hope the goddess plot is done with and that the next book focuses on resolving its roots, but it was cool to have it in this one. I personally never had an issue with Rachel being a pure demon and a powerful one at that, so I do hope it’s not mellowed further by having to add more of the elven stuff into her. I always liked our itchy witch fine the way she was the other books – demon, witchy, independent.

David has been seen little in several books but makes a comeback here often. He has always been an enchanting character. We get to see Eden again, which is awesome. I always loved his father-figure, protective character.

Rachel finally says goodbye to a role that I feel she should say goodbye to. Letting go here makes sense and is how I figured it would happen.

Ivy is a focus in the story. In some of the previous books she has been around a little less, but here she’s present in the first half quite a bit. She also seems calmer and to be changing because of her relationship with Nina. There are still signs of the tough vampire we all know and love, but overall she has really started mellowing out. A change that’s been obviously coming is spelled out in this book. I did have an issue with how often Rachel kept mentally repeating why they can’t work and would work better apart, because really this isn’t true. They wouldn't work as a romantic relationship, but I always thought they always worked so well together as friends and partners. I’d like to think they always stay close and active in each other’s lives, helping each other when it’s needed. I don’t see why it keeps getting so clearly pointed out about them not working out romantically when that was resolved so many books ago.

The Undead Pool as its title and the beginning focusing on vampires made me think this installment would focus more on the fanged fiends and lead the way towards resolving a main plot element (Ivy) present from book one. Instead the vampires are there in mention sometimes, but it mainly focuses on the elves and their goddess. Eventually the vampire angle basically disappears besides brief mention to be overshadowed by all things elvish.

This is where I started to get bugged. It’s making it clear again that all things Elf are superior (I disagree, but the series has somehow become elf obsessed because of Trent) – their magic is now superior, they are superior, their cultures (never saw that from the other books, but since Trent is making the spotlight, it’s being focused on now.) For a book of this length, so much time is spent on the angst and buildup in Rachel’s head of her and Trent’s relationship.

For once the plot of the Hollows takes too much of a backseat to just have relationship speak. It becomes more of a paranormal romance when it’s always been a straight Urban Fantasy series. She repeatedly – and I mean, repeatedly – keeps mentioning the lines of Trent’s backside and body as he walks by. His smell is in every scene he’s in, mentioned often. And now that he is here, it seems almost everyone else is taking a backseat – either pushed out of the way entirely or replaced. I know things change, that’s to be expected, but I see no reason why her other relationships can’t still exist and keep evolving too. Just getting a man in her life should not replace all that and strip Rachel down to such a simplistic character.

Al, my favorite, is in a few scenes at the beginning, but never to be seen again until the end, where a heartbreaking scene makes it way for about two pages. I really hope this is resolved in the next book, and resolved well, otherwise I will feel haunted. To me one of the main aspects of the series has been Rachel finding out what she is and exploring that side, and evolving into the teacher/student/friend bond with Al. Through that she learns more about the demons.

His reaction at the end was harsh and I disliked the end wrap-up. I felt hollow afterwards and cheated. His reaction was based on fear, protection of self, and betrayal. I would have liked a different ending for the book but we shall wait and see for the next book what is resolved. I also thought the scene with another character at the very end was a bit silly.

I disliked the backset and again feel that since Trent is here, almost everyone else is seeming less important. I see no reason why that would happen. Rachel never fit that stereotype. She always had such an interesting, layered life. Seeing her bared down to Trent’s side raising his children and riding horses in fields never fit into the picture as all she is and all she can be. Cool if she does that too, but I like the excitement before that she kept around, other people she would relate to, outside interests that were her own. She was always independent.

At least we know what happens with Nick.

Newt was epic in this book. Her tea party scene was priceless and she gives good advice on the Trent situation. Her ending scene was focused on the elves a bit more as well, but she was severely needed in the book. Her advice was sage. I do keep wondering, with how wise she has always been and how true her words turn out, if her words during the tea scene about Rachel wanting to do something (avoiding spoilers) herself will come true in the future. I can’t see how the betrayal would happen as it doesn’t fit into character we know, but with all the foreshadowing perhaps one day it will. I really doubt Kim Harrison will end the series with a betrayal as she is just building up a relationship and has to tie the races together, so there wouldn’t be plausibility or time to have that happen. I guess it is something the reader is supposed to wonder about happening off-page in the future.

With only one book left, I worry about so much still needing wrapped up and solved. We have a major story with Ivy left to get fixed, the demon/elf thing, fixing of a relationship (I pray anyway!). These are all big things, but with Kim being such a talented author who has created such a brilliant series, I’m sure the last book will do everything well.

Overall there were issues I had with the book, but being a Hollows book of course I loved it too. I worry about some of the regulars seeming a little sanitized this time around and bothered by such a surprising series relying on a few predictable developments. I think a little magic has been dampered as a few relationships, especially the new ones, seem forced and a bit dull. Despite these issues it was another excellent story with a creative development, a major fighting battle where everyone shone in their roles, some wonderful scenes I will re-read often, and is an enjoyable book that is well on its way to wrapping up an epic world that will cause misery to me when it ends.

At least the Hollows can always be kept alive in the minds of fans and by re-reads. But still, thank God for another book next year :)
Profile Image for Trish.
1,881 reviews3,383 followers
April 22, 2021
Dummer than a troll’s dildo! No, not the book, the plan of the baddies.

In this 12th book magic is … wonky. And no, it’s not Rachel’s fault (for a change). Spells backfire or get out of control, simple charms (like cosmetic changes) become risky to the point of suicidal. Newt (the crazy demon) is actually scared for the future. So yeah, we should all be pissing our panties.
Rachel is working for/with Trent and they are still trying to find out what kind of relationship they have - especially since Elsbeth is around again/still (can’t somebody kill that bitch already?).
Then there is Felix, the master vampire drunk on the sun with his "tool", Ivy’s love. Oh and the other master vamps (the undead ones) are all asleep and thus starving with nobody having the power to wake them up.
Could it be the elven goddess trying to get into this reality through a ley line? And are there actually zombies walking around?

It’s another whodunnit and it was pretty cool. But it’s also more than that as it cements Rachel’s place amongst the demons (chiefly Newt and Al) and showcases that something has to change (probably the world over) as the current peace is too fragile. But how to heal mistrust, how to save the vampires’ souls, how to reunite demons and elves and all the rest (not just Interlanders but also humans)?!

The children (Lucy and Ray) were delightful, having real character and not just being background decoration. That was a nice surprise. But the other characters were also once again wonderfully drawn up - from infuriating religious leaders, brainless politicians and reporters, to the already known entities.

One of the elements giving this volume a real cozy feel (therefore being one of my favorite elements) was that the city was closed off. Even the Hollows were cut off from the city. Yes, it’s weird that I like the idea of cordons and action within a closed-off area against fanatics/terrorists, but here we are.

I was also delighted at the humor in this. Naturally, I was annoyed at the conflict surrounding Rachel’s and Trent’s relationship, but it took a backseat and was eclipsed by the magic and hilarity thanks to Jenks and Biss. The funniest was .

This volume was a bit weird and "out there" what with all the mystics, but it also brought the vampire/elves conflict to a head, further tightening the necessity for a change in the world (and cleared up quite a lot about Newt). And it resulted in a huge team-up of all kinds of different humans and Interlanders. Such change doesn’t come overnight. The author is very good at making it slow and realistic. Just like the love story. :)

P.S.: I hope Elsbeth will burn in hell for what she did/try to do and I hope this was the last of her pathetic attempts.
Profile Image for Carole (Carole's Random Life).
1,686 reviews457 followers
December 5, 2022
This review can also be found at https://carolesrandomlife.com/

This was really good! I decided that this would be the year that I finally got caught up with this series. I am slightly mad at myself for waiting so long because it is absolutely fantastic. I seem to be liking Rachel and the rest of the characters more and more with each installment. I found this to be a book that was incredibly hard to put down.

There is wild magic in town and it seems to be tied to Rachel and as bad as it is, it seems like it may get a whole lot worse before it is over. Things are unbalanced in town and Rachel needs to get things under control or the undead vampires may be at risk. I found this story to be incredibly exciting and I loved the fact that this series can still keep me guessing. There is finally some real development in regards to Rachel and Trent’s relationship and it is just kind of nice to see how much these characters have grown over the course of the series.

Marguerite Gavin is the voice of this series. After listening to all of these audiobooks (and I am just going to ignore book 6 which is read by a different narrator), I honestly couldn’t imagine experiencing this series in any other way. The voices that she uses for each of the characters really allow their personalities to shine. I think that she is able to add just the right amount of emotion and excitement to the story to keep listeners glued to their headphones.

I would definitely recommend this series to others. This is a series that really should be read in order since each book builds on the groundwork laid by the earlier books in the series. This is a series that I can see myself reading again. I cannot wait to pick up the next book very soon.

Initial Thoughts
This was really good! I like Rachel more and more with each book. It was nice to see some real progress between Rachel and Trent. There is wild magic in town and it seems to be tied to Rachel. As bad as it is, it seems like it may get a whole lot worse before it is over. The narration was once again fantastic. All in all, a terrific read!

Book source: Purchased
Profile Image for Duchess Nicole.
1,258 reviews1,517 followers
September 8, 2015
I feel like this should be one of my favorites of the series because...you know, Trent! And while I did love that he got such a starring role, the rest of it seemed oddly scattered. At the end, I wasn't sure what the point of the book was. What happened here that moved the series forward? A couple of major character relationships (both good and bad) moved forward, but other than that, I felt like it was a bit of a letdown.

I do find it cool that the demon world and the elven world are really colliding. I suppose that this was kind of a transition, or preparation for the final book. So in that respect, it was great.
Profile Image for Amber.
11 reviews1 follower
June 18, 2016
Forgive me for this:

Oh god oh god oh god oh god
Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 5 books3,913 followers
April 23, 2021
Great Hollows Re-Read 4/22/21:

Better on the re-read. I honestly got into the wild magic goddess stuff much more this time, especially considering where it winds up and what the actual costs really are.

And considering what just happened, those costs are huge.

That being said, this entire book, its mystery, was quite fun and interesting. True undead vampires getting the full sleepytime treatment, leaving their children to play and be naughty across the city? Leylines getting wonky?

Very fun stuff.

Of course, it gets even more interesting with all the thought-construct invasion bits. )

Original Review:

I'm always looking forward to more Hollows books, and now that they're beginning to wrap up, I'm getting very sad.

That being said, I was torn at the beginning of the read. I could tell where it was heading or thought I could, because of the elven magic developments. The goddess, et al., while interesting, had me thinking that it might get a little cliche. I'm very happy to say that I was very wrong. I didn't expect what I got, and I reveled in the major developments, including the one at the end of the novel. Maybe the novel wasn't entirely up to the same standards as I've grown to love in the series, but I absolutely loved where it went and how it messed with our heroine. I found myself just wishing that I could read the novel forever and ever, never wanting it to end. For that, perhaps I ought to give it a 5-star rating instead of the 4 I did. Then again, I'm changing it to 5 because the real 4.5 ain't an option. :)
Profile Image for Deea (Andreea).
571 reviews95 followers
July 29, 2015
I don't have anything to say at this point.

Sometimes there are no words, you know?

Except... Thank you, Ms Harrison. Thank you for that scene, for the epic finale, for all the action and all the feels, for these characters - for writing this book.
Thank you. It was worth the wait.

I'm feeling kinda empty and book hangover at the moment, and this wasn't even the very last one in the series. Either way, it's the only series I've been following for years and my life will not be the same without it, without these characters that became friends...

“I think it’s amazing that when your world collapses, you have people falling over themselves to help you, and when mine collapses, I have people fighting among themselves to get the scraps.” Nodding, he looked at David, his phone to his ear as he coordinated something with Ivy. “You’ve done something right, Rachel, sacrificing for others the way you do.”

“Most warriors think with their hearts,” I said (...). “It’s what keeps them alive through the crap they have to deal with to keep the rest of you safe.”

“Because I’m never going to let you go, Rachel. I don’t care how much you push me away because you’re scared. I’ll just hold you until you get over it.”

(I've heard that from so many characters before, but it never had this impact, you know? Timing - and a freaking long build up - is everything...)

Profile Image for Angela.
316 reviews64 followers
March 5, 2014
So the book is probably a 3.5 and while I liked parts of it there were parts I felt didn't quite gel with me. I loved every scene Newt was in and she pretty much stole the show whenever she was on page. There wasn't enough Al, for me and being the Al lover I am, I had hoped he would have a greater role given events in the previous outing Ever After. But there wasn't a lot of the demons in here and there wasn't a lot of demon magic at all.

This book was more centred around the elves and their wild magic, which was just okay for me. I didn't enjoy the Goddess and mystics storylines as I have with other stories which featured the Weres or Ku'Sox. I've also been ready for the vampire story arc to be over for some time as well.

Trent and Rachel shippers will be happy as at least that angle seems to have been resolved. We have seen Rachel grow over the series, so I think in my head I was ready for some real demon badass action and not the wild magic direction this story took. Rachel has learnt to use her friends to help her and not just work solo with only Jenks as back up, but this story took this to the other extreme, with every man and his dog helping her.

So, what did I enjoy besides Newt? I loved Bis and his mean as computer skills, I loved Jenks one liners. I also enjoyed seeing Edden back again.

Where was Belle? Barely mentioned and the characters did spend some time in the church? I'm still on board with the series, as I know the demons have to be front and centre in the final book. Not too fussed on the elves though. Even if the elves and demons appear to be forever linked.
Profile Image for Annie .
2,428 reviews811 followers
February 25, 2014
Welcome back to the Hollows! In the twelfth book of the series, Kim Harrison gives readers exactly what they have been wishing for in THE UNDEAD POOL.

Witch and day-walking demon, Rachel Morgan has yet another problem that has been wreaking havoc on Cincinnati. Spells have been misfiring all over the place, but seem to be originating her from ley line. This puts her in a spot responsible for cleaning up this mess, but when the union between humans and the Inderlanders rock on shaky ground, she is wondering if maybe this is a task too big even for her. With undead master vampires also posing an issue, it could be an all-out war if this mess isn't contained immediately.

Meanwhile, Harrison toys the with concept of romance between Rachel and Trent, her love interest for what seems like too long now. As they toe around each other, giving hints and sharing kisses, readers are kept on the precipice as Harrison addresses the question of Will they ever get together?

With Harrison's stellar writing and amazing worldbuilding, it's really no wonder why this series has gained such a following. The characters continue to grow, the world is constantly changing and each plot in the books feel fresh and new. There is no question that THE UNDEAD POOL is the best of the series!

Reviewed for Fresh Fiction
Profile Image for JB.
377 reviews218 followers
January 31, 2014
**Find this and other reviews at The Demon Librarian**

So Worth The Wait!

I can't talk about the Hollows series without devolving into a gushing, nonsensical, fangirly mess. It's simply not possible. Kim Harrison has wowed and amazed me so many times, over so many years, that at this point if you were to tell me she walks on water, leaps tall buildings in a single bound, or has discovered the cure for cancer, my response would be, "Well duh, of course she has! It's KIM!"

The Undead Pool, though....this is THE BOOK, the one fans of the series have been dying to read for what feels like forever. Those of you not familiar with the series can't understand what we Hollows diehards have suffered. We've been brilliantly and ruthlessly teased, tormented, and outright tortured for so many books now that just thinking about it turns us into blubbering messes. We stammer, forget all the big words we know, and gesture wildly, like the mad people we are. And what's more, not only do we fully embrace the crazy, we feel sorry for all of you who haven't experienced it!

But what, exactly, makes The Undead Pool so extra special and worthy of being crowned THE BOOK of all Hollows books? Let's start with the plot. As usual, Rachel and company have a crisis on their hands, and this time around, it all starts with an exploding golf ball. Magic is on the fritz all across the city, with even the simplest and most innocent of charms turning deadly, and it's not picky about who it hurts, either. Anyone who is anyone in the Hollows world is affected or involved in some way. The danger is everywhere, striking hard and fast and never in the same place twice. Needless to say, tensions are high and tempers are short as everyone scrambles to figure out what's causing the magical mishaps and how to stop them - and naturally, right in the thick of the trouble is our favorite itchy witch, Rachel Morgan.

I loved how big The Undead Pool was, and I'm not talking about the number of pages. Elves, demons, vampires, Weres, the FIB and the IS - they were all there and accounted for. Only the witches were missing, and with so many other peeps involved, I barely noticed their absence. You'd think that with such a diverse cast, the book would feel overcrowded, but Kim expertly juggles all the different characters and groups, giving each a vital role to play in the story without the story itself feeling weighed down or cluttered. What's more, she doesn't skip a single beat while doing it. The book's pacing never falters, the writing is as smooth as ever, and there's a perfect balance struck between riveting action scenes and quieter "human" moments.

There's incredible character development as well. After twelve books, it's impossible for any reader not to become attached, and I'm no exception. I am terribly invested in the lives of Rachel, Ivy, Jenks, Trent, Al, Newt, David, Bis, Edden and everyone else who strides through the pages of the Hollows books. They've all come such a long way since the series started, and they continue to flourish in The Undead Pool. Rachel in particular has matured as a character, no longer recklessly rushing off on her own, straight into the arms of danger. She's impacted so many lives, and you really feel that in this book when everyone comes out of the woodwork to help her. Ivy has changed, too. She's still struggling to be her own vampire, but she's found love at last and even if she has to fight tooth and nail for it (which she does), she's more at peace than I have ever seen her. Or how about Trent, the once-murdering drug lord who has slowly but surely become a trusted friend, ally, and a hero worthy of the name?

Now, you may have noticed I haven't said anything about romance. There's been one brewing for a while now, and the burning question on all of our minds is, "Will they or won't they?!" We're aching to find out if Rachel will get her HEA, and we've got very definite opinions about who she should get her HEA with. And that, my friends, is why The Undead Pool is THE BOOK. After what seems like the longest romantic draught in literary history, Rachel's love life finally gets some attention. As for what happens, and who it happens with.....you don't really expect me to tell you, do you? C'mon now, you know me better than that! But trust me, it's absolutely, positively worth all the years of waiting.

There is so much more I could say and a thousand more praises I could sing about this book, because it's just that good. I've read it twice now and I'm still finding new bits to highlight and bookmark. Pretty soon my entire copy will be marked up, and you know what? I'm totally okay with that.

The Undead Pool is another gripping Hollows adventure that is guaranteed to thrill and enchant fans, and I predict many (if not all) will end the book in a euphoric daze, their faces wreathed in smiles and their minds whirling as they try to process the sheer awesomeness of what they just read. Or maybe that's just me ;).

5 Stars ★★★★★

ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Darth J .
417 reviews1,247 followers
August 11, 2016
Review also published at My Bookshelf is Ready.

Okay, so basically a bunch of mystics find Rachel and make her a Goddess or something?? Harrison's often choppy writing style can be a bit hard to follow sometimes, so that bit was unclear. Anyway, Newt pulls them out and I guess puts them in a jar because they look like fireflies. Meh.

Harrison is setting up for a finale which I think may be kinda lackluster. There will be some political and religious troubles with the elves and Ellasbeth up against Trent, who is losing his material power. I'm pretty sure Jenks is gonna die, just 'cuz. There's still this business of Rachel fixing Ivy's soul or whatever trope stolen from Buffy. Is Rachel out of a job? Because I don't remember her doing many runs in the last few books so there's also that. Al is pissed at Rachel because he had feelz for her and then she went and slept with Trent. Also, pretty sure that Trent and Rachel are going to have a kid because of the fixed genes blah blah blah. And surprise, surprise: Newt isn't all that crazy after all. There's just a lot of loose ends that the author has to clean up for the last book at this point.
March 1, 2014
Trent is totally yummy and I have been waiting for books now for them to hook up! 2014 is torture!!!! :) love this series!

FINALLY! I have been waiting for Rachel and Trent to hook up! I want more!!!
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