The Outlaw Demon Wails
Published 2008 455 pages
Note: The Outlaw Demon Wails is published under the title of Where Demons Dare in the UK.
Summary (from the book jacket)
To save the lives of her friends, Rachel did the unthinkable: she willingly trafficked in forbidden demon magic. And now her sins are coming home to haunt her.
As Rachel searches for the truth behind a terrifying murder, an even greater menace threatens, for the demon Algaliarept will stop at nothing to claim her, and the discovery of a shocking family secret throws Rachel’s entire life into question. If she is ever to live free, Rachel must first walk willingly into the demonic ever-after in search of long-lost ancient knowledge.
But when you dance with demons, you lay your soul on the line… and there are some lines that should never be crossed.
The Outlaw Demons Wails is the sixth novel in Kim Harrison’s Hollows series, featuring kick-ass protagonist Rachel Morgan, freelance runner and witch, and her (mis)adventures in magic. If you haven’t read any of Kim Harrison’s books before I wouldn’t recommend starting here. You really need to read the novels in order before you can fully understand the complex path that Rachel has travelled that has lead her to her current path. The phrase “paving the way to Hell with good intentions” somehow springs to mind…
The Outlaw Demon Wails marks a welcome return to five-star form by Kim Harrison. It rivals her earlier offerings, The Good, The Bad and The Undead and Every Witch Way but Dead in both pace and action and lacks the endless soul-searching and emotional dithering that made A Fistful of Charms and For A Few Demons More slow going in places. With less emphasis on Rachel’s complicated relationship with Ivy, her living vampire roommate, and more time spent building a strong, fast paced plotline this latest addition to the Hollows series is Kim Harrison’s best book yet.
The summary of the novel from the book jacket is a little misleading. The terrifying murder that Rachel is investigating is Kisten’s. And it happened over three months previously – at the end of For A Few Demons More to be precise. And she isn’t really investigating it – it’s more like she’s still reeling from the shock of it.
The realisation that Kisten died in order to stop her from being bound to an undead vampire seems to have a profound effect on Rachel’s desire to find dangerous excitement in her relationships. This epiphany marks a change in her relationship with Ivy and she makes the decision that she can not risk being bitten by a vampire, even Ivy, ever again.
This decision is reached in a most decisive manner, and readers who struggled with Rachel’s constant, yet indecisive, soul-searching and angst about her relationship with Ivy through A Fistful of Charms and For A Few Demons More will be pleased to note that there is none of that here.
Relationship with Ivy sorted out (at least for this novel!) Rachel has much more time to devote to find out who is summoning Al out of his demon prison and freely releasing him every night to harass Rachel and her family. Along the way she also rediscovers her relationship with her mother, who as it turns out has more secrets than Rachel could have ever imagined.
It’s not just Rachel kicking-ass either; all of the other characters in The Outlaw Demon Wails are on top form too. In particular Rachel’s favourite enemies, Trent and Algaliarept, are fleshed out and the reader is given insight into their motivations and gains some empathy for them as a result.
Sharply plotted with an exciting and concise storyline The Outlaw Demon Wails is everything Hallows fans have been waiting for and a brilliant return to top form by Kim Harrison. Fantastic!
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