Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Where Demons Dare – review

Author: Kim Harrison

First Published: 2008

Contains spoilers

The Blurb: “To save the lives of her friends, Rachel did the unthinkable: she willingly trafficked in forbidden demon magic. And now her sins are coming home to haunt her.

“As Rachel searches for the truth behind a terrifying murder, an even greater menace threatens, for the demon Algaliarept will stop at nothing to claim her, and the discovery of a shocking family secret throws Rachel’s entire life into question. If she is ever to live free, Rachel must first walk willingly into the demonic ever-after in search of long-lost ancient knowledge.

“But when you dance with demons, you lay your soul on the line… and there are some lines that should never be crossed.”

The Review: This is book 6 of the series (I have previously reviewed book 4 and book 5) and, to be perfectly honest, if you are not already reading the series then the book is probably not for you.

This is not to attack the book in any way, but the plot is so dependant on the previous volumes that to read this casually would probably prove confusing. A cornucopia book, featuring many supernatural creatures, the book concentrates heavily on witches, demons and elves. That said vampires are a presence through the book due to the presence of Rachel’s business partner, the living vampire Ivy, the questions over the murder of Rachel’s boyfriend Kristen (also a living vampire) and the fact that Rachel has an unclaimed vampire bite that leaves her susceptible to the machinations of the undead.

Also drawn, from a vampiric sense, into this volume is Rynn Cormel – vampire politician and new master of the city. Very different from Piscary – the undead overlord from previous books – we do learn a little more about the undead vampires. We have previously heard that they can only act out love as they have lost the ability to feel it along with their lives (and souls).

What we discover is that many vampires do not last past their 30-year death anniversary as those who loved them when alive are dead themselves and most cannot form emotional bonds – making the blood of the victim weak and unsatisfying. It is Cormel’s hope that Rachel and Ivy’s unusual relationship will somehow save Ivy’s soul at death and thus usher in a new era for vampires.

The vampiric aspects aside this was a shifting ground novel, moving the character pieces into new formations for the ongoing series. Yet this was done with aplomb and kept an interesting story running through the volume (unlike similar 'shifting ground' volumes in other series).

If you are a fan of the series it is definitely worth a read. 7 out of 10.

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