Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A Perfect Blood by Kim Harrison

A Perfect Blood
Kim Harrison
The Hollows #10
Published February 21, 2012 by Harper Voyager

Bite-Sized Review
While it wasn't quite as amazing as Pale Demon, and there were a few oddities and loose ends, A Perfect Blood was a good book to continue the magic of The Hollows, filled with excitement, danger, and what has definitely been established as one of the best UF worlds out there.

King-Sized Review
**SPOILER WARNING: Contains minor spoilers for A Perfect Blood**

First things first. I really enjoyed this book. I love how Rachel has evolved over the course of this series, and she's probably the only character who can get away with doing things that are really dumb and annoying and still make me love her. There was a lot of Trent in this one, which was fun – he's changed quite a bit, too – though Rachel's complete obliviousness did occasionally make me want to scream.

The storyline in A Perfect Blood was definitely interesting – a magic hate group, HAPA, is trying to get demon blood to use for their spells, so of course the IS wants Rachel, the world's only demon not bound to the ever after, to fix the problem. Though this is the first we've seen of hate groups in The Hollows, most of the major urban fantasy series have them, and they do seem like something that would emerge from this kind of world, so it's good that The Hollows finally caught up with the rest. There was, however, quite a bit more Kim Harrison could have done with HAPA other than just use it to provoke Rachel into making a necessary decision. The group's backstory was rather bare, there were intra-organization conflicts that were never really explained or resolved, and in comparison with, say, the Lighthouse Keepers in Magic Slays, their goals seemed limited as well as irreconcilable with their mission.

That general feeling of incompleteness was a staple of A Perfect Blood. None of the loose ends or issues were large enough to detract terribly from my enjoyment of the book, but A Perfect Blood just didn't seem as polished as it should have been. Things like Al's reaction to Rachel's appearance, the sudden appearance of Wayde, the "men-who-don't-belong," and Marshal's sudden reappearance just didn't quite fit. They could have been tied up much more neatly and believably, but instead they just seemed sort of random and out of place.

For now, I'm okay with these issues. The Hollows has always been one of my favorite UF series and continues to be enjoyable. Plus Pale Demon was easily my favorite book of the series, so I'm confident that we're getting there. A Perfect Blood wasn't as good as Pale Demon, but definitely was fun, exciting, and overall a great read, and it was wonderful to see Rachel finally accept who she is and all the power and responsibility that comes with that. I can't wait to see what she does next.

Quality: Acceptable
Enjoyability: Excellent

The Hollows is similar to these series:
The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher
Kate Daniels by Ilona Andrews
Mercy Thompson by Patricia Briggs

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