Ever After (Rachel Morgan Series #11)

Ever After - Kim Harrison Rachel is faced with a crisis that hits very close to home – Rosewood babies are being kidnapped. Babies like her, with too many demon enzyme who normally die very young, are being stolen – each with the potential to become a day walking demon.But it is just one move in Ku’Sox’s plan against her – the created and lethal supposed saviour of demon kind has his eyes fixed on Rachel and is determined to bring her – and, in fact, all of the Ever After down with him. The demon collective is too afraid to dare challenge him, and willing to accede to his demands even as his plans set to destroy the Ever After, render demons extinct and even end magic itself.And he’s using children – those nearest and dearest to Rachel and Trent – to get his way, forcing hard choices and sacrifices on the people she cares for. It seems she can keep no-one safe and the entire force of the demon collective is poised to fall upon her as they panic and the Ever After shrinks.There was a lot to love here. The world building grew immensely – but never in a way that derailed the plot or even slowed it down (though there were other factors that put on the breaks). We learned so much more about the world – the history of the gargoyles, the history of the ley lines and the Ever After and, most stunning of all, the history of the demon/elf conflict and the demons’ origins. The full nature and revelations of the demon/elf war, its origins and the nature of the demons who managed to survive since then was a wonderful shift in our perceptions of who the good and bad guys are – and suggests strongly that good and bad are just far too simplistic for this conflict. It added a lot of wonderful nuance and depth to this world. I’m sitting here rewriting this paragraph several times over because I am desperately trying not to spoil the awesome revelations but equally desperately want to talk about them – because they were so good. Even aside from the main plot line, Jenks and Belle’s ongoing revelations of fairy and pixie culture and Ivy’s storyline showing exactly what they mean when they say older vampires tend to kill themselves – it’s now very evocatively shown rather than just told.And we got a full sense of that nuance and the epic implications of what these revelations meant in the story. Trent wants to make peace with Dali, which he’ll consider – but, given Dali’s own history – he can’t just accept the outstretched hand. Rachel’s epic speech about common demon history, about what they’ve endured, matching her own experiences to that and using it to shame Ku’SoxWe’re also definitely going to see more about the Elven goddess – which I really want to see.The story itself was a roller coast – despite some elements I’ll discuss in a moment – it was very good at building tension and emotion. I won’t spoil, but some of the things that happened outright shocked me and added to the demand for action and excitement this book built excellently. There were also some excellently emotional scenes – the mourning, Rachel’s speech, Trent’s revelations that, for all his lofty goals, he’s a father first, Al’s drunken little binge, Rachel’s look into Al’s dreams, the rings – there was incredible emotion throughout this and I really felt for the charactersI have to criticise the writing and pacing of the middle of this book – but preface this with saying that part of the problem with this is how well written some of the rest of the book is. See, throughout this book there’s a strong sense of a big epic show down coming up. Something epic is coming. The Ever After rests in the balance. The future of magic rests in the balance. Rachel’s life rests in the balance. Not only that, but Ku’Sox has done some things (which I won’t spoil) that will make anyone who has read the Hollows series from the beginning want him dead. Twice. Slowly. The emotion is very well maintained and made me desperately want to read Rachel’s vengeance against this demon. I was eager for that show down – very very eager. The pacing was set with a tight deadline, everything was delicately balanced and had to be solved in time!So when we hit the great big flabby pudding of writing in the middle of the book it was like getting stuck behind a tractor on a narrow road when you’re running late. Why is it going so slow? What is this? Get out of the waaaaay?! MOOOOVE! While some of these delays were spent with Rachel’s emotional state – that was already apparent and didn’t need so much time spent on it; we were already shown, abundantly, what she was feeling, we didn’t need to be told repeatedly. Ivy came back with her whole new storyline encompassing Felix as well – and while I can understand a hint about it, a hint and then moving it to the next book would have been far better. It was a distraction in this book and, with me waiting for the big show down with Ku’sox, I was yelling for Ivy to get her story out of the plotline so we could move forwards. Then we had the theft at the museum. It was fun, it was a nice little reminder to earlier Rachel adventures as well – but it didn’t add anything. Quen could just as easily got those rings from the original owners as was initially planned. It was an unnecessary scene in a long book that could have been cut to get us to the epic conclusion I was hungering for.Read More