Home Series Ratings - Quick View Excerpts Anxiously Awaiting Review Policy Disclosure Policy

Reviews of books in a series, with a focus on urban fantasy.
Other genres include mystery, paranormal romance, and crime thrillers.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Black Magic Sanction (Rachel Morgan, Book 8) by Kim Harrison

I blogged about my feelings about the HarperCollins' decision to not release the ebook version when they released the old-fashioned-kill-all-the-trees hardback version here. So today I'll just be talking about the book, the part Kim Harrison can control, and I'll try to avoid further ranting about her publisher.

This is one of my favorite series, though I haven't completely forgiven Ms. Harrison for killing Kisten a few books ago.

There is a lot in Black Magic Sanction that I've wanted to see, that I've been waiting to happen, but I won't say this is the best book yet. I've wanted to see Rachel take claim to what she is. I've wanted to see her learning from Al in the ever after. I've wanted to see her and Trent find a way to co-exist without trying to get the upper hand on each other. Though honestly, I'm not sure we've made it all the way to that last one, but a truce with a conditional end date seems a good place to start.

Here's my bit of speculation - Kim Harrison said a while back that she knew who Rachel was going to end up with. I've decided that whoever it is, they are going to have to be able to go back and forth from reality to the ever after as she does. They are also going to have to be her equal in some way. I think this means that, at this point in the game, she's most likely to end up with either Pierce or Lee, and somehow, I don't think it's Pierce. I have a hard time seeing it as Lee either, but after the events of Black Magic Sanction maybe it's not as impossible as I once thought? Yeah, actually, maybe it still is. I dunno. We'll find out eventually. I think we're being teased that it could be Al, but I can't see Rachel going to live in the ever after permanently, and Al can only be in reality during the night time hours. Unless Rachel does something to change that.

Back to the review: I expected the plot we got this time, it was the logical next step after the previous books, plus the title basically told us what the book would be about. While I didn't have a problem with the plot, or the action (lots of good action) - I had a bit of a problem with the ending, though it's going to be hard to explain why, exactly. Sometimes an author paints themselves into an impossible corner and then pulls out a "simple" solution, and it somehow messes the things up, almost cheapens the events that led up to that point. Right? The solution here wasn't necessary a simple solution, though some of it was a bit too easy (too scripted? maybe that's the word I'm looking for). Perhaps it will be easiest to just say that the ending wasn't terribly satisfying for me. I'm not positive it was a solution, it's possible it was just a temporary stopgap measure. (I'm trying really hard to review the book without giving any spoilers.)

Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed Black Magic Sanction, the pacing was excellent, the story was entertaining, the world building continues to blow my mind, and the metaphysics really make you think about things at times. And I'm pleased with the direction Rachel's adventure, the long term series arc, seems to be heading.

I've given the series a 10 of 10 in the past, and I'm keeping the series there. After going back and forth between an 8 or a 9 for the book, I'm settling on a 9 of 10 for Black Magic Sanction. HarperCollins gets a 1 of 10 for not understanding the changes happening in their own industry, but I said I was going to try to not rant about that in this review, right?

Book Rating: Black Magic Sanction: 9 of 10
Series Rating: Hollows / Rachel Morgan: 10 of 10

I do not see that Kim Harrison has announced the title of book nine yet.

1. Dead Witch Walking (April 2004)
2. The Good, the Bad, and the Undead (January 2005)
3. Every Which Way But Dead (June 2005)
4. A Fistful of Charms (June 2006)
5. For a Few Demons More (March 2007)
6. The Outlaw Demon Wails (February 2008)
7. White Witch, Black Curse (February 2009)
8. Black Magic Sanction (April 2010)

No comments:

Post a Comment