THE WITCH WITH NO NAME
The Hollows, Book 13
By Kim Harrison
Harper Voyager/HarperCollins 09/09/2014
Hardcover & E-Book Pages: 480
Audio Narrated By Marguerite Gavin
Length: 17 hrs and 28 mins
Book provided by publisher for review. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own unless otherwise noted.
All good things must end . . .
After ten years and thirteen adventures, at last the triumphant conclusion to Kim Harrison’s #1 New York Times bestselling Hollows series!
The Witch with No Name
In 2004, Kim Harrison made her debut with Dead Witch Walking, an electrifying urban fantasy novel full of action, mystery, romance, and humor, which introduced bounty hunter and witch Rachel Morgan. Over the course of twelve books, Rachel confronted numerous threats, vanquished a range of cunning and powerful enemies, risked her heart, suffered haunting loss, and nearly lost her life. Now, in The Witch with No Name, Kim Harrison brings back her wildly popular heroine for one final, epic battle. www.harpercollins.com/9780061957956/the-witch-with-no-name
Rachel Morgan’s come a long way from the clutzy runner of Dead Witch Walking. She’s faced vampires and werewolves, banshees, witches, and soul-eating demons. She’s crossed worlds, channeled gods, and accepted her place as a day-walking demon. She’s lost friends and lovers and family, and an old enemy has become something much more.
But power demands responsibility, and world-changers must always pay a price. That time is now.
To save Ivy’s soul and the rest of the living vampires, to keep the demonic ever after and our own world from destruction, Rachel Morgan will risk everything.
I started a few books in the Hollows series. and then went back to read the earlier books; I’m always happy that I did because it is a series that is worth the effort. And, while I am glad Kim Harrison didn’t try to keep the series going past its expiration date and that she ended it before it became tired I am going to miss my annual dose of Rachel Morgan and friends.
When I look at a book in a series, usually I have to really look at the series. This is especially true of a final book.
As I read this final story, where Rachel finally is able to show that she is not at fault for every problem in the magical world, I was thinking how “every woman” this part-demon witch is. I loved how she is normal — worrying about her frizzy hair, but also has stellar qualities: She loyal to the end, accepting, and is even a source of redemption. Her developing relationship with Trent Kalamack is a big example of her redemptive qualities as he starts out as being a real bad guy but then she realizes his motivation and experience excuses some but not all of it. She falls for the good in him and recognizes everyone has some dark. Anyone who has ever been the scapegoat or treated unfairly (in other words, everyone) can identify with this woman of power and humility. She has always been a kickass heroine, unselfish and brave; unfortunately the ass she has kicked has often been her own.
Another important part of the series has been that it moves: there’s no perpetual limbo between one guy and another as there is in a non-paranormal example, the Stephanie Plum series. Instead, things progress, one event leads to another and that usually has repercussions in the next book. And, the entire series has excellent continuity. Kim Harrison has retained outstanding focus in her story lines as well. After a few years of reading other series while saying WTF, where did that come from! a lot, reading something with series focus, where the alternate world’s logic is the prime directive, and there are no deus ex machina, is a pleasure. This points to advanced plotting and professionalism in writing.
Kim had a lot of loose ends to tie up in this last book: Nina and Felix, Rachel and Trent, Rachel and Al, Rachel and everyone else in the world, or at least in Cincinnati. It is a formidable task to do that in one all encompassing plot with a well-known set of world rules and without introducing a “God in the Machine.” That’s a lot of material to get tangled and bogged down in. The complex magic, magical reasoning, vampire politics, and love problems left me feeling a bit swamped in a tangle. It felt repetitive; especially in Rachel’s repetition of how her relationship with Trent is doomed. But it was the detail of the spells and how they are each laid out with Hollows logic that I felt bogged it down. I love the complex world building, structure and continuity but,…
It is a complex alternate world, almost apocalyptic, but not with the exact same history.
But, of course, I loved it anyway and was on the edge of my seat with each chapter. Nobody sets up repeating climaxes followed by roller-coaster-like drops like Kim Harrison. And, there is nothing like the friendship and partnership between Jenks, Rachel and Ivy. And that’s what I am going to miss the most, as well as the romantic elements.
You cannot read this book without having read the series. And, you really can’t skip the earlier books because each is intrinsic in the development of this plot. I almost feel the entire series was outlined in, maybe, three separate parts. All of them do culminate in this one, and you can tell Kim had a lot of difficult decisions to make.
I have certain characters stuck in my head looking like particular people: Al, the demon who becomes Rachel’s teacher, is always Al Pacino, dressed in his best London mod. And Newt is the sea witch from Disney’s Little Mermaid with a slightly more human mien. Ivy is a cross between Lucy Liu in Charlie’s Angels, and Famke Jansen. Trent has never become anyone for me – but Aaron Eckheart could be a candidate. Rachel, well she is the woman on all the book covers. I think I see Jenks as Peter Pan. Rachel’s mom became Susan Sarandon in this last book.
The series is a must read and you will not want to miss this final volume, regardless of some of the issues I had. The quality of the writing throughout is high. Kim Harrison’s powers of description are stunning. It doesn’t have too much intimacy, and what is there is not at all gratuitous; the story certainly never depends on them to make the book interesting. I wouldn’t want to miss anything in THE WITCH WITH NO NAME; I just wanted it to be less mired in detail. I hope you all enjoy it!