THE UNDEAD POOL: the Penultimatum for Rachel, Trent, Ivy and Jenks



Harper Collins/Harper Voyager
E-Book/Hardcover: Pages: 432
ISBN: 9780061957932; ISBN10: 0061957933
E-Galley provided by publisher via Edelweiss for review purposes. No remuneration was exchanged, and all opinions expressed herein are my own except as noted.

Supernatural superhero Rachel Morgan must counter a strange magic that could spell civil war for the Hollows in this sexy and bewitching urban fantasy adventure in acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Kim Harrison’s Hollows series.

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 this dark necromancy before the undead vampire masters who keep the rest of the undead under control are lost and all-out supernatural war breaks out.

Rachel knows of only weapon to ensure the peace: ancient elven wild magic, which carries its own perils. And no one know better than Rachel that no good deed goes unpunished . . .

Book Description

#1 New York Times bestselling author Kim Harrison returns to the supernatural adventures of Rachel Morgan in the penultimate book of the Hollows series

Witch and day-walking demon Rachel Morgan knows magic—earth, ley line, even the forbidden demon magic—and that knowledge has saved her life more than once. But now something—or someone—is attacking Cincinnati and the Hollows, causing spells to backfire or go horribly wrong while living vampires attack humans and Inderlanders alike.

The pressures build when the city is quarantined to contain the unreliable magic, and Rachel must stop the attacks before the undead vampire masters who keep the rest of the undead under control are lost and it becomes all-out supernatural war.

The only way to do so is through the ancient elven magic, but that carries its own perils—for magic always has a price, and gods do not come lightly when called. Harper Collins Book Page

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My Take!


I really love the characters in this series: Rachel: the underdog, but tenacious, scape goat for all supernatural screw ups; Trent: the good guy behind the arrogant elf; Jenks: the proud, foul-mouth pixie; Ivy: the poor, little rich vampire; and even Algaliarep, the Pacino-esque demon in the crushed velvet coat.

These people have become Rachel’s family as her biological family pretty much abandoned her a few volumes back as her problems, her very existence expanded to encompass two realms and the paradox of potential paramours with difficult pasts.

We’ve always seen Rachel take a beating — in the press, in the courts, in the public eye — there are only a few places she didn’t become the scapegoat, a  few people who know she is the fulcrum of events not the cause of them.   It always bothers me when a character takes the brunt of all woe; takes all the blame. Rachel Morgan is a sort of Inderlander Charlie Brown, with the rest of the supernatural world always  pulling the football out at the last minute.

In this second-to-last entry in the series, the whole gang is gearing up for the last book. The series has had a few story arcs and I hope they all get wound up at the end. The question here was which of them would be taken care of in this book and which would be reserved for the last. I started reading this at a fast clip, but as is often my way with books I love, at two-thirds of the way in I started to apply the brakes so it would last longer.

I thought I understood the whole world of Post-Turn magic, but in THE UNDEAD POOL  I was confused by the first death, second death of living vampires versus undead vampires, versus Ivy who was born vampire.  Some of it could have been that I had a truly uncorrected galley (because if not the next book is going to reveal this one was a dream:  Elves do NOT smell like SHORTBREAD and wine) and some could be that I have simply lost track of some aspects of the series.

Otherwise this is a smashing story where we fans of the series will possibly get what we’ve been waiting for for some time.  Of course there are a few things we’ve been hoping for so you’ll have to wait to see which of those are realized. And, it gives great build up for the ULTIMATE entry in the series which will hopefully provide satisfaction on all counts.

Harrison makes a try for some heavy-duty symbolism — Positing a collective creative force, a kind of Stark Trek Borg-collective but less malevolent, less intelligent as well. It’s  confusing and strange because, well, that’s what it is.  I wasn’t entirely sure where she was trying to go with it though.

We do get to see more of Newt, the crazy demoness, and Al, Rachel’s demon teacher.  There’s a newly contentious relationship dynamic there. There are A LOT of new relationship dynamics.  For that reason alone it is a MUST READ in the series which on the whole is a MUST READ for any lover of Urban Fantasy with a Paranormal romance chaser and kick-ass heroines with good hearts.

She’s kind of like Dr. Who for this alternate history Earth, only instead of being based in the Tardis she lives in an old church outside Cincinnati, and she can’t go back and forth in time..  The world doesn’t appreciate her quite as much as it should for what she’s done and sacrificed.  And what’s great about her is that she doesn’t even see that.

Well, I appreciate Rachel, these have been really good reads which I will miss. I both look forward to and dread the last book.