Ted Nolan <tednolan>
2020-03-22 02:11:01 UTC
202 Black Magic Sanction (Rachel Morgan, Book 8) by Kim Harrison
Remember that last Hollows book? Me neither :-) Had something to
do with a banshee and Rachel being morose..
Anyway, this is the book the last one *should* have been, and if
you haven't read _White Witch, Black Curse, I advise you to just
skip it. It's almost as though Ms Harrison was reading the reviews
for _White Witch, Black Curse_ and responding here by fixing the
problems with that book. (I know that can't have been the case
though, this book would have already been in the pipeline by the
time WWBC saw print). She even made me start to like Pierce in
SOME GENERAL SPOILERS FOLLOW
While WWBC was treading water with a plotline that had nothing to
do with anything, we actually get a *lot* of forward movement this
time: Rachel's relationship with Al is explored rather than happening
off-screen, the Jenks/Matalina issue is finally brought to a head,
Rachel's shunning is tackled, Rachel's relationship with Trent is
advanced, as is hers with Nick.
We even get some long missing information about when "The Turn"
took place (about 1968/69 based on what we see), what year it is
in Rachel's world (the same as in ours) and in what fun way lady
witches' intimate anatomy differs from humans'.
This book is as long as the last one, but whereas that one felt
like a chore to wade through, I was enjoying every chapter in this
Of course as you see, this is a 4 star rather than 5 star review,
as I did have a few issues with the book, though they did not affect
my overall enjoyment:
1) Didn't Ivy used to be a major character in this series? Even
though she was there throughout most of the book, it was almost as
though she were a shadow who contributed nothing. She was useless
in the grocery store fight and then wussed out very inexplicably
at the "give Jenks will to live" moment. I can't believe Harrison
let Pierce share that with Rachel rather than having Ivy go. And
then Ivy gets totally left out of the climax.. (And pretty bad
news for folks on Team Rachel+Ivy this time round -- I can't believe
all that "blood balance" and will they won't they stuff had so much
to do with the first books and has totally gone by the wayside now).
2) Rachel's grand plan for the end of the book seemed.. well, I
admit I couldn't really undertand the logic behind it all. Maybe
it made sense somehow, but there were certainly a lot of moving
parts, and exactly how Trent was manipulated seems rather tenuous.
3) The whole shunning/coven thing is still very sketchy. I don't
think it was really thought out in advance, and it was very unclear
if the coven was a witch only body operating outside the law, or a
body with official sanction (as the climax would imply). At any
rate, since the nation is still the US I would expect the coven to
have to at least produce the *appearance* of due process before
kidnapping US citizens..
These are quibbles though, and I'm glad to have Rachel back on her