Friday, March 21, 2014

The Undead Pool by Kim Harrison

 I really feel like I need to put together a plot synopsis, complete with spoilers, for this book, as a number of important things happen, I believe, for the future of The Hollows series. Rachel has been working security for Trent, while Quen is away guarding the girls at Ellasbeth's in San Francisco. The elven community is evidently not terribly happy about Trent's involvement with a daywalking demon, and this causes a great deal of the plot conflict.

Strange, powerful waves of wild magic begin to flow across Cincinnati, causing spells cast while they are in motion to behave erratically and usually destructively. Something about the magic is also putting the master, undead, vampires into a deep slumber, and their living minions are getting out of control, attacking humans indiscriminately. When Rachel and Trent investigate, they discover that the source of the wild magic seems to be Rachel's new ley line, and the waves are somehow following her in her travels around the city. But Rachel is not the person responsible for causing them, and as the surrounding city turns chaotic, she and her allies are forced to deal with the mess when the authorities are nearly powerless.

On the personal side, the growing attraction between Trent and Rachel is driving them both about half crazy, as they pretend it doesn't exist, for the sake of politics and "the children." Bis, the gargoyle, is growing larger and more skilled in riding the ley lines, Jenks' children are growing up and moving on, Ivy is trying to free her lover, Nina, from her possession by a powerful master vampire, Felix. And Newt, the insane elder stateswoman among demons, appears to be a little more savvy about the realities of the situation than anyone has previously given her credit for.

We get up close and personal with elven theology, when the leaders of the religion show up to confront Trent and ostensibly to help the FIB and IS get to the bottom of the wild magic attack on the city. We get to know the leader of the Free Vampires all too well, as he is involved right up to his bloodshot eyeballs.

To keep the vampires from dying, and the city from being destroyed, Rachel bites off far more power than she can chew, becomes all too closely acquainted with the Elvish Goddess, and risks ending up as nuts as Newt. She and Trent finally succumb to the inevitable, and suffer the consequences of angering the elven council, and the things Rachel must do to win permanently destroy her relationship with Algliarept, her demon mentor.

Seems like there's still some room to run in this series. Harrison still writes an entertaining yarn.

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