Review of THE OUTLAW DEMON WAILS by Kim Harrison (see her website)
RACHEL MORGAN BOOK 6
Eos, February 2008
Al is supposed to be in demon prison, but prisons don't keep demons in when someone summons them out, and someone is summoning Al every night, then letting him free to hunt down Rachel. The demons who serve the function of police aren't especially happy about it, but they aren't unhappy enough to make it stop--leaving Rachel to deal with it. Fortunately, she doesn't have to deal with all of these alone--she's got her sidekick/pixy Jenks, all four inches of him, for help.
Author Kim Harrison (see more BooksForABuck.com reviews of novels by Harrison) starts the story off with a bang--demon arrival as Rachel and her mother shop at a spell store. And the final third of the novel is a roller-coaster ride of danger, new facts revealed, character development, and bargains that will swing the series off in whole new directions. I like the chemistry between Rachel and Trent--positive hatred on Rachel's part that only partly disguises the lust and completly grudging respect she feels for him.
In contrast to a dynamite opening and ending, the middle of THE OUTLAW DEMON WAILS did sag a bit. Rachel spent way too much time experiencing the feelings of loss for dead boyfriend Kisten, going out on happy-dates with potential new boyfriend Marshal, running with werewolf buddy David, and not dealing with the gargoyle in the attic. There were several points where I considered putting the book down--and once that happened, it wasn't going to get picked up. Fortunately, I stuck with it because the payoff was worth the price. Still, I would have prefered not to have to wade through the middle, even if the ending is worth it.
Too generous? Too stingy. Or did I miss the whole point? Send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll publish the best letters I get so let me know if I can use your name.