Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Book 53: The Good, the Bad and the Undead

The second book in The Hollows series continues to follow the adventures of Rachel Morgan.  At this point, Rachel reminds me a quite a bit of Harry Dresden as she is continuously just barely getting herself out of scrapes, and very good at making enemies.  Also, as this novel shows, there is clearly something about her own history and family background that she doesn't know.  It was already established in the previous novel that her dad died mysteriously, and this one throws out a few more small clues about things he may have been involved with.
Given the title, it probably isn't a surprise that vampires play a large role.  Ivy's struggles to maintain her humanity and not give into her vampire side continue in this novel, and actually get worse as living with Rachel takes its toll.  Rachel also finally meets Piscary, famous old vampire, restaurant owner and relative of Ivy.  Nick and Rachel have been dating since the last novel, but Rachel is surprised to discover three months in that Nick has continued to summon the demon that attacked them in Dead Witch Walking.  He basically thinks he has it figured out, and never gives the demon any important information.  Rachel sees the world in a very black and white way, so she is less than happy about this arrangement, though she continues to happily date Nick.  I think it is only the reader (and all of Rachel's friends) that have any issues or doubts about the character.
The case of the week in this novel surrounds the deaths of various ley line witches.  The only link between them that the police (or what counts as police in this world) have found is that they all had the same professor, a woman that once kicked Rachel out of her class, telling her she was inept.  Rachel has spent the last two novels explaining that she is an earth witch, believing that ley lines make the lines too blurry, but her connection in FIB, Edden, enrolls her in the class to get closer to the professor.
For the most part, I had fun while reading this but Rachel's ability to jump to conclusions and not follow directions was irritating.  Her first suspect in the murders is Trent Kalamack, and she remains completely fixed on this notion despite lack of evidence.  While in a lot of these types of novels, the characters sometimes have hunches that go against the evidence, usually there is some type of real justification to them.  I have a hard time following Rachel in her hunches because I think she's obsessed and jumps easily jumps to the wrong conclusions.  In fact, it is sometimes surprising why her partners are all so supportive of her.  However, the series is immensly readable and I can't help but want to know what happens next.  At least Rachel does tend to at least start to redeem herself or pull back just when I find myself becoming incredibly annoyed with her actions.  I've also heard from Malin that is mainly in the first few books that Rachel has a tendency to be a bit stupid.  I'm starting to realize that I thought the character was older than she actually is - though she worked for the IS for seven years and has mentioned taking college classes, she is only 25 rather than the late twenties I had originally assumed, and four years can still make quite a difference in maturity and personality at that point.

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