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UF BOOK CHAT > Kim Harrison/Rachel Morgan Series (Possible Series Spoilers!)

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message 1: by Nichole (DirrtyH) (last edited Jan 12, 2009 05:31PM) (new)

Nichole (DirrtyH) (dirtyh) I thought I'd start a thread to discuss Kim Harrison's Hollows series, since it's so popular. I'm having a hard time figuring out what makes these so addictive to people. I'm currently about halfway through A Fistful of Charms and I'm remembering why I put this series on the backburner. In fact, the last two times I picked it up, it put me to sleep.

I'm not here to be a hater, but I wanted to start a discussion and give people a chance to tell me why I'm wrong. I keep reading these books because I want to like them so much. They have such a great premise and so much potential.

message 2: by Melissa (new)

Melissa For me, I think it's all the action. I like the momentum of her books. I also really like Rachel and for those who don't "get" her, I can see that this series wouldn't be enjoyable. I love the world Harrison has created, too. I like that the books are long because once I'm in the Hollows, I'm glad I get to stay awhile. I'm a big fan of mystery books and paranormals, so this series combining them both is one of my very favorites.

message 3: by Jessica (new)

Jessica | 169 comments I found the first book to be my least favorite. To me, that first book screamed "cheesy female Dresden-clone series".

In later books the characters develop so much more and that's what kept me reading. they came together as more than a dresden clone with Jenks and Kist topping my favs list.

Nichole (DirrtyH) (dirtyh) I think it's the action that turns me off.
Jessica, I agree with you that the characters are what keep me reading. I also really like Jenks and Kisten. I've decided that I prefer stories that are more character driven, so when we're getting info about characters and interaction between characters and relationship development and what not, I find myself more engaged than when it gets too actiony.

I was liking A Fistful of Charms, and then she got to the werewolf island to save Nick and that's when I started falling asleep.

And yeah, I guess I just don't get Rachel. I don't particularly like her... she just does really idiotic things too often for my taste.

message 5: by Melissa (new)

Melissa I think it makes Rachel more real for me though that she screws up or that her feelings get in the way sometimes. I'm still surprised at how much of a different reaction these books get.

message 6: by Jessica (new)

Jessica | 169 comments I most enjoy balance of quality characters and pulse-pounding action. IMO the books really do get better as you get further into the series.

If you never really connect to Rachel, though, I don't think you'll ever be able to truly appreciate the series. I know it was like that for me and the Kitty Norville series as well as the Urban Shaman series. I wanted very much to like them both. But I just made zero conenction with the main characters.

DarkHeart "Vehngeance" (darkheart) | 113 comments I've read this thread with interest, having just finished Dead Witch Walking today. I enjoyed it and will continue to read the series, but at the same time I had no problem putting it aside to read some other books - which I don't usually do. I think the series has a lot of promise though, so will definitely add The Good, the Bad, and the Undead to my next book order.

message 8: by Lori (new)

Lori  (moderatrixlori) I just finished A Fistful of Charmsand I liked it but found myself wishing I could just finish it quicker so I could move on to Swallowing Darkness (Meredith Gentry 7). I like the characters but I'm not as emotionally invested in them as I am is some of my other favorite series. I find myself struggling sometimes to understand the vampire society she has created which can be a little frustrating. I will continue reading them but they will never be at the top of my TBR pile.

Nichole (DirrtyH) (dirtyh) Melissa, you have a good point about Rachel's screw-ups making her more real. Keeping that in mind helps me like her a little bit more, but I still struggle.:)

I think my other frustration with these books is that I don't fully understand the world she's created. It seems so rich and imaginitive, but I don't really get all the rules, particular her vampires. I don't understand her vampires, and it makes me very confused by her relationship with Ivy, and even Kisten.
I don't get how she can be friends with Ivy when it seems like she has to walk on eggshells with her all the time. Are they friends? It confuses me.

message 10: by Theresa (new)

Theresa  (tsorrels) I've read all of the books in the series and Rachel's relationship with Ivy always confuses me too. Especially in the beginning.

Nichole, A Fistful of Charms was my least favorite book in the series. Right about when Rachel got to the island, I found myself drifting and getting bored. Although, I never liked Nick so maybe that had something to do with it?

Nichole (DirrtyH) (dirtyh) Theresa, glad to know I'm not alone.
I powered through last night, and it got a little better once they got off the island. But this series just doesn't excite me the way I want it to, and the way it seems to do for other people. Maybe I should just accept it and move on, but I want to like these books so much!

Nichole (DirrtyH) (dirtyh) Lori, I just saw your comment! I somehow totally missed it. But I agree with you completely; her vampire society is confusing and I don't connect with her characters the way I'd like to.

Though I will say the stuff I read last night helped clarify some of that, particularly Rachel and Ivy's relationship.
I have a little over 100 pages left, so my goal is to finish this one tonight and move on!

message 13: by Melissa (new)

Melissa I agree with all the comments about not understanding the vampires. I'm still not sure and I've re-read some of the early books. I like all the magic and the ley lines and the demons the most. I really like the author's sense of humor to. Like when she stole the fish and turns out it was the wrong fish! There are some laughable moments amongst the dark drama. The vamps don't matter much to me, nor do the werewolves. By that I mean that they aren't the main draw for me in this series.

message 14: by Theresa (last edited Jan 15, 2009 08:48AM) (new)

Theresa  (tsorrels) Jessica, you need to put a SPOILER notice before your message. Some people might not be that far along in the series.


DarkHeart "Vehngeance" (darkheart) | 113 comments LOL, thanks for that, Theresa. I'm going to try and pretend that I didn't read it and hope I forget by the time I get to it. =)

Nichole (DirrtyH) (dirtyh) Not only was that a spoiler, but it doesn't actually happen in this book... :)

I finally finished book 4 last night. Hooray! Anyone who might be interested in even more of my opinions (I don't know, maybe you're super bored? lol.) can read the review I just posted. It's pretty long; apparently I felt pretty strongly about it!

message 17: by Nikka (new)

Nikka (nikkam) | 4 comments I enjoyed this series, and I have Kim Harrison (KH) as one of my favorite authors, but I don't know if I would put it in my favorite series, if that makes any sense. I really like KH's writing style, and like I said I enjoyed the series, but I connected better in other series. I continue to read it because it's enjoyable, but I'm willing to put it off if another book in another series comes up that I'm more interested in.

Dannii (lilbob1980) | 11 comments I continue to read this series and to be honest, I like very few of the characters. The action and overall stories are great, but Rachel annoys me. The problem is I don't really know why I need to continue with the series, I don't rush out to get it, the latest won't be on top of my TBR list, but within a month or two of release into my local library I will hunt it out and then curse myself for taking so long reading it as I would rather be reading something else.

I think it is the lack of connection to the characters that spoils it for me, but can see that it's the characters that make it for other people.

message 19: by Michael (new)

Michael (ramaloke) | 18 comments I really like the series, It has a nice balance for me.

The protagonist enjoys her job, she kicks ass, but she's always faced with taking the high or low roads to success.

Its got a great system of magic, and the lore/mythos/whatever is well done.

There is a connection to all the characters, Rachel and Ivy in their comfortable silences, Jenks is hilarious, Rachel and Trent is an interesting dynamic.

The thing about Rachel and Ivy is, Rachel loves Ivy, as a friend and possibly more but is unwilling to experiment. Ivy loves Rachel and wishes she would be willing to experiment but is afraid to drive Rachel away.

Rachel is somebody who loves Ivy for who she is not what she is. Rachel doesn't love Ivy because she is strong (physically), or can bring amazing amounts of pleasure/money/power to her. For Rachel, Ivy is just Ivy.

Ivy is somebody Rachel can trust, and she's never had that before, the same with Jenks.

message 20: by Shanon (new)

Shanon (boban) Michael - I think you just described a lot of the reasons I love this series.

The Hollows is one of my favorite series. I am currently reading White Witch, Black Curse & am loving getting reaquainted with & meeting all of the diverse characters Harrison has created - both old & new.

Harrison has created a world that I feel so emotionally connected to. I don't know if it's because none of the characters are perfect - they all make mistakes - or if it's because we get to see so many sides to their personalities.

There are parts that make me giggle, just as parts get me teary eyed, and other scenes that I want to shout in anger or excitement. Just the thought of what Jenks will go through if/when his Matlina passes is heart wrenching. And watching Rachel struggle with feelings of not being good enough - when we all know damn well she is!

Anyways... I could talk about The Hollows for hours (mostly b/c I'm reading it right now). But I'm really excited for Harrison's next series to come out. Once Dead, Twice Shy A Novel comes out later this year & it looks like it's not going to be your cookie-cutter type of story.

message 21: by Donna (new)

Donna (deety) | 34 comments I like the action-heavy style, and I like a lot of the characters. But at times it seems like some aspects of the story are drawn out too much and start to get boring. For example, I'm completely over the Ivy/Rachel drama. Some of the scenes between them get too repetitive.

Despite that issue, the series had been one of my favorites. But I hated hated hated the end of For a Few Demons More. It really dampened my enthusiasm for the books, I stopped going back to reread the previous ones. I keep hoping that it'll get undone somehow...

That's one of the biggest pitfalls of a series to me - knowing that the characters or story end up going in a direction I hate can really hurt my enjoyment of the earlier books.

Nichole (DirrtyH) (dirtyh) And see, I liked the end of For A Few Demons More because even though I really loved that character and was upset about what happened, I need a book to have an emotional impact if I'm going to love it. If the author shies away from certain things because it's going to be sad or difficult, to me that just undermines the story. The fact that Harrison went somewhere that real, that emotional and that dark even though she knew a lot of fans would be really upset, actually made the series better for me. FAFDM was the only book in this series that I gave 4 stars instead of 3. I just started The Outlaw Demon Wails last night.

You said: "Rachel is somebody who loves Ivy for who she is not what she is. Rachel doesn't love Ivy because she is strong (physically), or can bring amazing amounts of pleasure/money/power to her. For Rachel, Ivy is just Ivy.

Ivy is somebody Rachel can trust, and she's never had that before, the same with Jenks."

The relationship between Rachel and Ivy is something that always bugged me, because I didn't get that sense from it. For the first several books, all I really got was that Rachel sort of put up with Ivy because of the protection she provided, but she was mostly really scared of her for reasons that I didn't fully understand. I never got the sense that Rachel loved Ivy, or even particularly liked her. It was a frustrating relationship to read because I just didn't get it.
That started to get sorted out in A Fistful of Charms, and got cleared up even more in FAFDM, which is another reason why I liked that book so much and why I'm feeling better about the series as a whole. I finally feel like I'm starting to understand Rachel and Ivy's relationship, and I am finally seeing some kind of connection between them.

Sorry, that was more of a thesis than a post... ;)

message 23: by Donna (new)

Donna (deety) | 34 comments I agree that it definitely had an emotional impact. I'm not always against that kind of thing happening, in this case it just seemed a bit senseless.

To me, it felt like that decision was made more because of the impact than any other reason. I don't ask that difficult things be avoided entirely, just that, if they're necessary, they feel like they serve a purpose beyond shaking up the life of the characters.

The event that Piscary caused was a consequence of an action from several books earlier. If this consequence had been immediate, it would still have been sad but I'd have been okay with it. I'd also have been fine with the consequence if it was just as delayed but at least followed some clear, major contribution on the part of that character. A combination of the distance and the muddled action made it extremely unsatisfying in addition to sad.

There's a line between things that are tough on a character but work really well and things that feel senseless and kind of mean, and I felt like the end of that book ended up at least a little in the second category. Especially considering the memory issue, which at this point seems like it was largely there to give both Rachel and the reader false hope.

Even now I'm trying to justify a big case of misdirection, although if that was the case then we'd need to hear about it sooner rather than later to keep it from feeling gimmicky. I'll admit that part of it is my attachment to the character, who's probably my favorite in the entire series. But part is just my dissatisfaction with the way things went down. For such a high-impact sacrifice to feel right, I need to see it, and I strongly prefer to see a choice to accept it.

(I'm really wishing for spoiler tags right now!)

message 24: by [deleted user] (new)

You guys have made some really interesting points, and I'm glad I took the time to read them. I quit reading at the end of the book which came before...that THING that happened to THAT CHARACTER whom you're speaking of, because I was annoyed...irritated...oh hell...pissed off, with Rachel's behavior in regards to Kisten.
In addition, I never really liked Ivy, and felt, as Nichole did about her in that Rachel mostly put up with her for the protection she provided. On the other hand I understood why Rachel was scared of Ivy. Let's face it, the vampires in these books tend to be more in tune with their inner predator, than with their inner child.
I still don't think I'm going to pick up where I left off and start reading again, but I'll live vicariously though you all. ;)

message 25: by Dawn (new)

Dawn (dawnv) | 367 comments Personally I am sick of the Ivy Rachel thing I am like do it or forget about it I just need closure.

message 26: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Wadsworth (jeniferj) This is a very interesting thread. I ADORE the Hollows books; I've read and listened to them several times. My husband read the first two and said he was sick of listening to Rachel whine. Everyone likes different things, which is good.

I feel a very strong emotional connection to the world and the the characters. I didn't have trouble understanding the "rules" of the world and really enjoy it. The complexity of the relationships between characters fascinates me. Rachel makes mistakes and is learning about herself but she doesn't devolve into a total bitch. Through the course of the books, she realizes she's a thrill-seaker, and that makes her make some bad decisions. But she does get better. And once you've read enough to understand her background, it makes a bit of sense (don't skip the short stories--they're important).

In any case, they all feel like good friends to me, people I really care about. And I think that's what it takes, for me anyway, to really love a book.

Nichole (DirrtyH) (dirtyh) Jennifer,
The redeeming quality of this series is that as it goes on, Rachel does seem to figure some things out. There's a definite character arc, and she learns and she grows and becomes a better person. I started The Outlaw Demon Wails not too long ago (and then had to give it back to the library, so I haven't finished it yet), and the series is getting much better in my opinion because the characters are actually showing some growth and maturity, Rachel in particular.

But the first three books especially were difficult for me to get through. I liked them okay, but couldn't figure out why people LOVED them so much. And Rachel drove me nuts.

message 28: by Jessica (new)

Jessica | 169 comments Why people loved them so much? That's easy! And able to be clarified in one word-


message 29: by mlady_rebecca (new)

mlady_rebecca Donna wrote: But I hated hated hated the end of For a Few Demons More. It really dampened my enthusiasm for the books, I stopped going back to reread the previous ones. I keep hoping that it'll get undone somehow...

I was really disappointed in that turn of events, as well. Even more so when it was barely mentioned in "The Outlaw Demon Wails". But I was pleased that they came back to the issue and gave us some level of closure in the latest book, "White Witch, Black Curse". Not perfect, but I feel better about things.

Jessica wrote: Why people loved them so much? That's easy! And able to be clarified in one word- JENKS!

LOL. Jenks is the best.

message 30: by Shanon (new)

Shanon (boban) Jessica wrote: "Why people loved them so much? That's easy! And able to be clarified in one word-


That is actually pretty accurate! He's hilarious!!

There are some good things about other characters that keep me coming back too - but Jenks is great!

message 31: by Dawn (new)

Dawn (dawnv) | 367 comments I think I just love the whole world. I love that it is all gray and you can have someone allegedly doing something to benefit man kind yet it is really evil and then you can have someone doing evil but it is really for the good.

And Jenks is GREAT

message 32: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (drmish) I just finished book one and started book two...this series reminds me of I Am Legend (or the old Omega Man movie. I like Rachel...I am just not sure of her wardrobe choices :-) I cannot wait to find out about the demond and and how he applies in the other books...

message 33: by Jessica (new)

Jessica | 169 comments Don't worry, you'll be seeing a LOT more of Al

message 34: by Michael (new)

Michael (ramaloke) | 18 comments Im hoping Rachel gets more demonic, and spends more time with Al, in the last book I was disappointed that there wasn't even a training scene in the ever after. I was really hoping for that.

At least this last book tied up allot of loose ends, though I think they next book is likely to be more Jenks centric, either helping Matalina get better or helping Jenks get past the 20 year mark. Something tells me "crap-for-brains" might make another appearance too.

message 35: by Shanon (new)

Shanon (boban) Let see.... is "Crap-For-Brains" Nick?? If so - I'm betting he'll eventually reappear. Maybe he'll even be a good guy - there's hope for everyone right???

Nichole (DirrtyH) (dirtyh) Crap-for-brains is definitely Nick, lol.
I think he's a much more interesting character when he's being a scumbag. I'll be interested to see what ways he can come up with to screw Rachel's life up next!

message 37: by Donna (new)

Donna (deety) | 34 comments Since Rachel is the one who's currently responding to Al's summoning name, I've been suspecting that Crap-For-Brains will accidentally end up summoning her...

message 38: by Dawn (new)

Dawn (dawnv) | 367 comments Donna wrote: Since Rachel is the one who's currently responding to Al's summoning name, I've been suspecting that Crap-For-Brains will accidentally end up summoning her...

That would be classic!

I would love to see Pierce and Rachel run Al and perhaps Newt crazy in the ever after.

message 39: by Michael (last edited Mar 25, 2009 08:14AM) (new)

Michael (ramaloke) | 18 comments I could just imagine how it would start.



message 40: by mostunexpected (new)

mostunexpected J. Benjamin Suarez | 161 comments I would love to see Rachel get more demonic. The last book didn't even mention that Trent is wearing Rachel's mark. He probably doesn't know that Rachel is the one who owns it.

I would love to see Rachel deal with not being allowed to lie. I'm surprised they didn't say something right away.

The thing that I would like to see resolved with Nick is the prices he paid for info. Like who wanted a kiss intended for Rachel, and how would that be useful to a demon.

message 41: by VMom (last edited Mar 26, 2010 07:15AM) (new)

VMom (votermom) | 23 comments Just read Black Magic Sanction (Rachel Morgan/The Hollows, #8) by Kim Harrison . Woot!

Anyone else who has read it -- shall we start a thread to discuss it with spoilers?

message 42: by Carolyn F. (new)

Carolyn F. | 182 comments I loved this book. I'm wondering if this Jasmine is going to be important later. Trent had said a lot of elf children were sent to the camp. Also, I'm not sure about Pierce. I like him, but I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop.

message 43: by Lisa M (new)

Lisa M | 311 comments I'm mixed on these books. I've read all but the last two. My favorite part about these books is Jenks (of course), Trent and Ceri. And Al, to a lesser degree. The other characters don't interest me as much. And I'm just bored of the Rachel/Ivy drama.

I love what Harrison has done with demons, pixies and fairies, but I find some of the other paranormal species lacking. The vampires are kinda confusing, altho it's an interesting take on them. Werewolves (my favorite UF creature) are just meh.

Eventually, I'll probably read the new ones, but they're not high on my TBR list.

message 44: by AH (new)

AH | 71 comments I started reading this series a while ago and I am on the third book. I love the characters. Who else could get away with calling a demon Big Al? I also like how the unexpected always seems to happen to Rachel. And Jenks and his family....always entertaining. Rachel is tough, yet vulnerable. That's the attraction for me.

message 45: by mostunexpected (new)

mostunexpected J. Benjamin Suarez | 161 comments A few books ago I accepted that it's more like a soap opera then the epic series I had been hoping for. It's still good enough to keep reading though.

The thing I loved the most is the world she created, but she keeps getting that wrong. She keeps breaking her own rules.

message 46: by Dawn (new)

Dawn (dawnv) | 367 comments mostunexpected wrote: "A few books ago I accepted that it's more like a soap opera then the epic series I had been hoping for. It's still good enough to keep reading though.

The thing I loved the most is the world she..."

Funny you say she is breaking her own rules, I thought that was just me so I started rereading the series.

message 47: by mostunexpected (new)

mostunexpected J. Benjamin Suarez | 161 comments Dawn wrote: "Funny you say she is breaking her own rules, I thought that was just me so I started rereading the series.

Yeah. The big one this time was when Al was forced to obay someone because they had him in a circle.

You can force a deamon to leave or stay, but you have to negotiate for favors.

message 48: by Alice (last edited Apr 01, 2010 10:02PM) (new)

Alice (thegoodqueen) | 87 comments mostunexpected wrote: "A few books ago I accepted that it's more like a soap opera then the epic series I had been hoping for. It's still good enough to keep reading though.

The thing I loved the most is the world she..."

I hadn't thought about it before, but all book series are soaps. Maybe that's why we like them. Even the epic series; 'I, Claudius' for example.

message 49: by Simon (new)

Simon Does anybody know in which book Jenks gets drunk and sings naughty limericks?

message 50: by Crystal (new)

Crystal (crys25) | 90 comments Susie, you know I can't remember but that was absolutely hysterical! How about the 12 Days of Christmas-Pixie style?

@Alice-Totally agree with you. Some ppl are addicted to reality series or Soaps-series books of any type are basically literary soap operas. If it was good enough for my grandma it's good enough for me-LOL.

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