(Release Date: February 22, 2011)
From the Cover:
Condemned and shunned for black magic, Rachel Morgan has three days to get to the annual witches’ conference and clear her name, or be trapped in the demonic ever-after . . . forever after.
But a witch, an elf, a living vampire, and a pixy in one car going across the country? Talk about a recipe for certain disaster, even without being the targets for assassination.
For after centuries of torment, a fearsome demon walks in the sunlight—freed at last to slay the innocent and devour their souls. But his ultimate goal is Rachel Morgan, and in the fight for survival that follows, even embracing her own demonic nature may not be enough to save her.
Rachel Morgan has been shunned, but she's made a deal with Oliver. At the annual witches conference, she's going to be exonerated. The deal is made, it can't be undone, right?
When has Oliver ever been truthful or trustworthy?
Trent Kalamack needs to get out of Cincy and to the west coast, to retrieve something his ex-fiance has stolen away and refuses to return. Her family will go to any length to keep what they've claimed as theirs. He'll need help to get to Seattle, and who's he going to call? Rachel Morgan.
Rachel plans on flying out, but will the shunned black witch be allowed to climb abroad a plane? So, after being denied access to her flight, she takes up Trent's offer of a job. If she has to drive, she might as well get paid, right? But, Trent has been taking up something too, the art of magic, elven magic, wild and unrestrained, and he just might get them killed.
Pale Demon by Kim Harrison continues Rachel Morgan's adventures in and around the Cincinnati area. In this story, Rachel has made a deal to have her shunning absolved. But, Al is his deviousness also has made a deal, if Rachel's shunning is taken away, he'll leave her alone, but if her shunning is left in place, Rachel has to come to the ever-after to live forever after. She's sure her shunning will be lifted, the deal is struck. On her way to San Diego, where the conference will be held, adventure abounds. Jenks is pixy-napped by a band of wild pixies. Trent Kalamack calls and releases a day walking demon, powerful enough to not only kill all those around him, but he's demon made, cursed and bound to stone. Trent releases him and then uses him, without taking any of the smut on himself, leaving Rachel to accept the blame and the smut, her soul is already blackened, right? Add to the mix spies from the Council, dirty white witches, one black, and maybe demon born, white witch, and it's a wild ride that just doesn't quit!
Pale Demon is an excellent addition to the Hollows Series. Rachel Morgan finds herself up to her neck in demons, and maybe even more, she discovers that not only can she twist curses, but she can..... well, you're going to have to read the book to find out what else she can do. It's frighteningly foreign and mind blowing too. I will say that Newt plays a big part, and maybe she's not as crazy as everyone thinks she is.... maybe she's hiding instead. Pale Demon and Black Magic Sanction explain a lot about what has happened in Rachel's childhood, things she's been made to forget. Trenton, though he denies the use of black magic, manages to release a sun walking demon and eventually, saves Rachel's soul. If you have an affinity for witches, vampires, pixies, elves, and demons, this is a series not to be missed. There's excellent world building, and with each book, easy to slip back inside the story, take up residence in the church with pixies buzzing around your head and vampire incense permeating the space. No matter what happens to Rachel, she always manages works her way out. Even this time, when I was sure the day walking demon, able to take on Al and Newt, would be the death of Rachel Morgan... Trenton Kalamack somehow saves the day. It's not often that Trent is one of the truly good guys, and he's certain not in this book either, but he does save Rachel with the use of elven magic. I've always wondered what it would be like to see Trent and Rachel together, and in this book we're given a tiny taste... and I have to say, it was delicious. If you haven't read the series before, start with Dead Witch Walking and work your way forward. There are only nine books to date, and each is a fantastical read, page turning quick, filled to the brim with action, excitement, adventure, magic, and romance. The book covers are beautifully done, not disappointing in their depictions. If you're going to read only one urban fantasy series, this is the series to choose, you won't be sorry. It is the one of the best of the genre.
I received this ebook from the publisher, Harper Collins, and Net Galley for review. All opinions expressed are my own.