Black Witch Sanction by Kim Harrison

What I notice about Kim Harrison’s Hollows series is if you read one out of order, you can catch up on what’s going on.  I should know.  I started this series on book 5 by accident.  I picked it up because it seemed interesting.  I went back to read the others because the tidbits Kim Harrison put in to keep me from getting lost in the book intrigued me to want to know more.

So here I am in book 8 in the series.

Written in first person, we see the life of Rachel Morgan.  She’s a witch in a modern day world.  As in things like witches, vampires, werewolves, pixies and other once fictitious things come out of hiding after a disease almost destroys humanity.  Hmmmm… crap.  We’re getting close to that happening aren’t we? *cough* Since the book is in first person, we only see the things Rachel Morgan does.  The only issue with this tense is we never get to see in the head of the other characters so our interpretation of them is a little askew.  Well, forming an opinion is possible.

Now down to the meat of it.

The men in her life are still there to wreck havoc.  She pines over the death of Kisten, sees her ex Marshall (who dropped her when the Coven shunned her), Pierce the once-ghost, and Nick.  Oh let’s start with the last one, shall we?

Rachel has flashes of brilliance that almost make up for wanting to smack her over the head.  Almost.  Then she trips over Nick.  In her warped mind she doesn’t see through all his lies.  Sure she makes a good show of it but at the end she doesn’t have the ability to stop caring for him.  Even at the end of the book, after Ivy and Jenks prove to her otherwise, she still has a slight pang that Nick isn’t as bad as everyone thinks.  It’s a real face palm moment.  Especially when you count in the fact he tried to kill her.

Pierce, on the other hand, she doesn’t trust.  Just because he’s a practitioner of black magic?  Something she can do?  Even after she shown by the Coven two white spells can kill someone?  Seriously?  No, seriously?  It takes a night alone in a hole in the ground after he saves her (AGAIN!) and some monkey sex for her to trust him.  She’s a thick one and trusts the instincts of ‘down under’ more than the grey matter in her head.

I began to wonder why Rachel Morgan is so adamant against using black magic.  She justifies it by saying she’s not taking life yet so much is revealed that it’s not all black magic is about.  I suppose in killing plants for white magic is okay because you don’t hear them scream, right?

With the spark with Pierce, fans can put to bed anything happening between Ivy and Rachel.  The never-ending Matalina is going to die storyline gets laid to rest as well.  This has been dragged out for too long, almost like Kim Harrison wasn’t sure how to have it happen.  Her ‘breakthrough’ worked, IMO.  I don’t think her a Trent will be the best of friends but at least they have a better understanding of each other.  That’s fine.  I don’t want her to not have a character she has tension over.

Things that stuck out to me:

The use of the word ‘eying’.  It was used too much and while ‘eying’ is the American way of writing ‘eyeing’ it looked odd to me and I kept thinking it was spelled wrong thought both versions are acceptable.  Just a quirk, nothing more.  Using other words would have spiced it up.

Adverbs.  Maybe this is a first person thing but since I’ve learned the ways of “ugh…adverbs bad’ they irk me more.

No real beginning-middle-end.  The story chugs along at a good pace and is interesting but it’s like reading a diary more than a story.  No real extreme time lapse.

Rachel’s patented “It’s Not Fair!” rants.  Life is fair?  I didn’t get that memo.  The character as a whole needs to get a grip on what she is.  That doesn’t mean turning into evil incarnate, it just means she has other ways of doing good.  Using good to do good isn’t always the best method either.  Learn it, live it, love it.

Good book and this washed the bad taste out of my mouth of book 7.  I just wish that there was more of a climax in the book before the ending BLAM!

Next book up…. Bite Me by Christopher Moore