By: Kim Harrison
Performed by: Marguerite Gavin
Publisher: Harper Audio
Copyright Date: 2011
Number of Discs: 14
Format: Urban Fantasy
Reason for Reading: I find The Hollows Series generally infectiously entertaining.
Rating Book: A
Rating Audio: A
I discovered the first book in the Hollows series at the library about six months ago while on the hunt for something new to read. Though I found the cover kinda cheesy (yay for Nooks!) the book itself was addictive. I mean that. Truly addictive-like the best most nom-nom-nom chocolately kind of brain candy ever. I have since devoured the series-Pale Demon brings me up to date with the rest of Kim Harrison’s devoted fandom.
In Pale Demon, our intrepid heroine Rachel Morgan takes the great American Road Trip from her home base of Cincinatti, OH to San Francisco, CA. With her vampire friend, Ivy, her elf friendish non-friend Trent, plus Jenks, the badassiest of all pixies, it’s a crowded car. And with their conflicting missions (Rachel wants to 1-clear her name and remove her official shunning by the coven and 2-make it to her brother’s wedding on time while Trent has something secretive up his sleeve he seems disinclined to talk about) and big-size personalities, it was already challenging enough. Add in a day walking demon who seems virtually indestructable and you have the ingredients for one big hot mess.
My Thoughts about the Book:
Kim Harrison’s Hollows series is a sweet bit of urban fantasy set in an alternate reality where the human population, almost wiped out due to a virus from a genetically modified tomato, lives uneasily with the supernatural population who stepped in and rescued them, creating order amidst the chaos.
Pale Demon is a thrilling entry into the Hollows ‘verse. The action kicks off pretty quickly and Rachel’s new understanding about the politics of coven leadership bring some new character growth and development. Jenks finds a new purpose and Ivy comes to an important decision. But it’s the character development of Trent Kalamack that makes the story. At once ruthless and kind, he is a fabulous foil to Rachel’s adherence to law and her naive assumption that others are as good-hearted as she. I highly recommend this series, but if you haven’t started it yet, do yourself a favor, and go back to the first book.
My Thoughts about the audio performance:
Ms. Gavin was the audio performer for the first book in the series, Dead Witch Walking, and the reason I fell so hard, so quickly for this series. She has a fantastic voice for Rachel, resonant without being manly and feminine without being girly. She sounds like she could be a bad-ass witch in real life, but she also sounds like she could be your favorite girlfriend you like going shopping with. After I finished that particular book, I read nook editions until I hit book 6. Mistake. New performer and I loathed, loathed, loathed her performance as Rachel. And Jenks!!! Gah! She ruined him for me with that high-pitch squeal. So imagine my delight when I discovered that Ms. Gavin was back for Pale Demon and just as good as ever. I can’t praise this performer enough. She has terrific vocal chops and uses just slightly different intonations for each character so that they come alive for me. If Ivy doesn’t have that deep smoky voice in real life, I’ma be highly disappointed. (Yes, I do know it’s fiction, play with me here.) Between the sarcastic jibe to Jenk’s voice and the strained quality to Trent, I felt like I was there with the characters in the car wondering just who in the hell was eating all the milk duds. Ms. Gavin does full justice to Kim Harrison’s epic story.