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Mini Reviews: White Witch, Black Curse & Black Magic Sanction by Kim Harrison

Mini Reviews: White Witch, Black Curse & Black Magic Sanction by Kim Harrison
White Witch, Black Curse by Kim Harrison
Series: The Hollows #7
Published by Harper Voyager
Published on: February 24 2009
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 516
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
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New York Times bestselling author Kim Harrison returns to the sinister and seductive Hollows for the newest blockcuster adventure featuring Rachel Morgan, witch and bounty hunter.

White Witch, Black Curse

Some wounds take time to heal...and some scars never fade.

Rachel Morgand, kick-ass witch and bounty hunter, has taken her fair share of hits, and has broken lines she swore she would never cross. But when her lover was murdered, it left a deeper wound than Rachel ever imagined, and now she won't rest until his death is solved...and avenged. Whatever the cost.

Yet the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and when a new predator moves to the apex of the Inderland food chain, Rachel's past comes back to haunt her.



White Witch, Black Curse introduces us to a new type of Inderlander—the banshee. Well, introduces us directly. Mia (the banshee) shows up in a couple of the novellas, but in the seventh installment of The Hollows, she is front and center. And not in a good way.

Harrison’s version of a banshee is more like a succubus or a psychic vampire. They’re seen before a person dies, not b/c they’re a herald of death, but b/c they’re doing the killing. By sucking the life force, or aura, from a person, and after that’s gone, the soul. They’re dangerous, apex predators, and their ability to feed is strictly monitored by the Inderlander community and strictly policed by other banshees.

Or at least that’s the claim. Personally, I don’t think the book backed up that idea. I.S. (Inderlander Security) didn’t do a damn thing to stop Mia’s rampage, and as far as I could tell, the only reason another banshee got involved was b/c she wanted Mia’s child (Holly). If there had been no Holly, I’m not convinced they would have gotten involved at all.

Banshee shenanigans aside, LOTS more Big Things are going on.<——it’s kind of a trend at this point, yes?

Ford (the maybe human empath) discovers that there’s a ghost in the church, and Rachel figures out that she can see the ghost, if they’re both standing in a ley line at the same time.

Pretty cool, right?

Until Al shows up and snatches the ghost. Demons apparently have ways of getting a new body for a ghost, and this isn’t just any ghost, no, it’s the ghost of Gordian Nathaniel Pierce, aspiring killer of demons. Al’s pretty sure he can make quite a bit of money selling Pierce as a familiar.

Which, of course, makes Rachel lose her mind. Underdog and all that.

Oh. And Rachel gets SHUNNED. I’m not sure why. At first I thought it was all of the very public confrontations with demons, but now I think it’s b/c of something else that doesn’t become an issue until the next book, so not telling.

And finally, in the showdown with Mia, Rachel remembers what happened thatnightwedonotspeakof. When she remembers, Rachel loses her mind again, and as a result something happens with her and Ivy and their auras that I’m pretty sure is going to turn out to be HUGELY important in the final book.

AND that, my friends, is why I reread these long-running series before the last book comes out. There’s still time. You’ve got six weeks. Just sayin’ . . . *wink*

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Mini Reviews: White Witch, Black Curse & Black Magic Sanction by Kim Harrison
Black Magic Sanction
Series: The Hollows #8
Author: Kim Harrison
Publisher: HarperCollins
Published on: February 23 2010
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format: 594 pages, eBook
Provided by: Purchased


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In New York Times bestselling author Kim Harrison’s most complex and nuanced adventure yet, bounty hunter and witch Rachel Morgan fights a deadly battle – mind, body, and soul.

Black Magic Sanction

Rachel Morgan has fought and hunted vampires, werewolves, banshees, demons, and other supernatural dangers as both witch and bounty hunter – and lived to tell the tale. But she’s never faced off against her own kind…until now. Denounced and shunned for dealing with demons and black magic, her best hope is life imprisonment – at worst, a forced lobotomy and genetic slavery. Only her enemies are strong enough to help her win her freedom, but trust comes hard when it hinges on the unscrupulous tycoon Trent Kalamack, the demon Algaliarept, and an ex-boyfriend turned thief.

It takes a witch to catch a witch, but survival bears a heavy price..


So check this out.

Rachel and Ivy are minding their own business, doing a bit of grocery shopping, when this blonde chick in a frumpy suit starts making eyes at Rachel.

Or so she thinks.

And Rachel’s a little bit embarrassed, a little bit flattered, but not even a little bit interested . . . so that’s AWK-ward.

Except Frumpy isn’t checking Rachel out! Frumpy is a member of the coven of moral and ethical standards, and she’s trying to take Rachel into custody.

Pfft. Like that’s going to happen. But the attempt does make quite a mess (one word—PRODUCE). And wait a minute, what’s going on? Yeah, Rachel’s been shunned, but there’s a world of difference between shunning a witch and actively pursuing her.

I smell a rat . . . (<——did you see what I did there? *snickers*)

A couple of books ago, Rachel very sneakily stole Al’s summoning name so he couldn’t be called out of the Ever After and let loose on her or her loved ones. They’ve since resolved their issues . . . *snorts* mostly . . . but Rachel still has his name.

And that is how we find out not only can Rachel’s blood kindle demon magic, but she can also be summoned like a demon, and my, doesn’t that complicate things.

Especially when the previously thwarted coven of moral and ethical standards becomes privy to this information, using it to, yes, summon Rachel.

Which puts her in a bit of a JAM. (<——I did it AGAIN). B/c strawberries . . . in the grocery store . . . never mind. *sighs*

It also makes her angry.

It makes me angry too, b/c guess who summoned Rachel for the straight-laced coven (whose members would rather DIE than have a bit of smut on their auras)? Go on . . . guess . . . I’ll give you hint—his name has four letters, and is also slang for stealing, which is ironic, b/c that’s what he does.

YEP. Nick just can’t stay gone. Which is unfortunate, b/c I HATE HIM. *takes a calming breath*

Black Magic Sanction is my favorite book in the series up to this point. Al and Rachel grow in their new roles as teacher and student, and Rachel finally shows some caution on the romance front. Trent is consistently NOT evil, and even shows that he values Rachel as a person. (<——YES!!) And Rachel finally starts to accept what she is, understanding that it’s who she is that matters. LOVE it. Love it ALL.

The Hollows:

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Jessica Signature

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My name is Jessica and I live in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I’m trying my hand at writing, but mostly I read. My favorite genres are Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy, and the YA versions of those genres, but if there is a book of a different color getting lots of buzz, I’ll read it too, just to be informed. If I’m not reading or writing, I’m probably on Goodreads or Pinterest or baking blueberry pies because I love them.



  1. Such a commitment! The only series that I would drop everything for is JR Ward’s BDB. And I’m glad she only puts out one book a year. There are some very interesting paranormal elements to this series that if I were a regular reader, I could be persuaded to jump into the bandwagon.

    Glad you’re enjoying these immensely!
    Joy (Joyousreads) recently posted…Catch a Falling Star by Kim Culbertson

    • Yeah, The Hollows only puts out one book a year too, I’m just in the middle of a reread, b/c the LAST book in the series comes out in September. But the length of this series is definitely daunting to new readers. I came in at book 7 😉

  2. I do a re-read of this series before every new book. I usually do the re-read on audio, but I picked up the e-books during the big read along before the Undead Pool and want to read those so I can highlight my favorite parts. I finally got started and am chugging through book 2.

    Black Magic Sanction was my favorite when it was released. Took the place of book 3.

    • I did too, but I purposefully didn’t the last couple of years, b/c I knew the end was coming. I’m especially glad for making that decision since finding out book 13 would be hitting shelves in September instead of February. Enough time has passed that it’s almost like reading it for the first time again. LOVE it. And I think 3 was my favorite until 8 too. Pale Demon has been my favorite since it came out though 😉 Happy to meet another big-time Hollows fan, Stephanie!

  3. #7 in the series?! My TBR pile is way too long, so I’m sticking with one-book commitments right now unless it’s something from an author I really like.
    Stephanie Faris recently posted…Sidelined Author Kyra Lennon Discusses Self-Publishing

    • Pfft. The last book in this series comes out in September, and that is book 13. Seven is the number of books that were available in this series when I started reading it five years ago 😉

  4. I must say that jam and strawberries mention has me curious! But these series are so long, and I doubt I’ll ever have time to read them 😛

    Great reviews!
    Hafsah recently posted…Weekly Roundup (IMM #190) — A LITTLE SOMETHING ENDLESS

  5. Oigh, Jessica! Don’t make these books sound so interesting and make me want to start a series that it’s on it’s 8th book already! My TBR is immense as it is!! *adds series to wish list anyways*
    Pili recently posted…Showcase Sunday #42!!

    • Feel free to delete this comment, it posted for some strange reason before I was done commenting!
      Pili recently posted…Showcase Sunday #42!!

      • Whoops! I answered the first one, before I read this one. Oh well . . . no big 😉

    • Hahaha!! Yes, it definitely hard to get started on a series this big when your TBR is already out of control, but I think this series is worth it. I hope you manage to fit it in sometime 😉

  6. Oigh Jessica! Don’t go posting reviews for a series that’s already on its 8th book and making me want to read them! My TBR list is already immense and my TBR pile is getting dangerous too!

    I’m glad to hear that you’re enjoying the series and re-reading it in preparation for the final book!
    Pili recently posted…Showcase Sunday #42!!

    • I’m LOVING it, and I can’t wait for the final book. I started reading this series 5 or 6 years ago, so it feels like the end of an era, LOL.

  7. I REALLy need to start this series
    blodeuedd recently posted…Author Post: Kathryn Freeman

  8. I so love this series. I hope I get a chance to do a complete relisten before the last book comes out. Great reviews.
    Melanie Simmons recently posted…How the White Trash Zombie Got Her Groove Back Audiobook {Review}

    • Thanks, Melanie! I hope you do too. I’ve coming across all kinds of things that I think are going to be important for the end of the series that I had completely forgotten about 😉

  9. Here you go, you’re so far and I’m still with book 7 to read… I’m so curious and impatient to start them after your reviews, I’m sure I’ll have a wonderful time with them!

    • I know that I said book 5 is the turning point for the series, and it is, and it’s really good, but books 7-9 are the BEST in the series, so you are right there, ready for it, Melliane! I hope you manage to fit them in eventually 😉

  10. Oh wow Jessica! I really admire your dedication for this series! The fact that you’re willing to wait and read all 7 books is remarkable to me; considering I’m not much of a series reader. I’m glad you’re enjoying them though! 😀 I haven’t heard of this series yet, but if your dedication to this series is an indicator of how good these books are, then I’m in!

    Thanks for sharing, and, as always, BRILLIANT review! <3
    Zoe recently posted…Falling Into Place

    • Actually when I started the series, the first seven books were available. A few months later book 8 came out, but since then, the year-long wait between books has been KILLER. Almost over now though 😉 Thanks, Zoe.

  11. I love this series! I wish I had time to reread before the next one, but I have too many books I want to read for the first time. I’ll just relive them through your reviews 🙂 I had forgotten about that aura thing, so keep putting little details like that in these reviews please! LOL – awesome reviews!
    Berls recently posted…The Cipher by Diana Pharaoh Francis | #COYER Book Review

    • Thanks, Berls! And yes, I’m happy for you to relive Rachel and Co. vicariously 😉 I’m trying to make a point of mentioning those key details too. SO EXCITED (and scared) to see how it all ends!

  12. I love how you are re-reading this series before the last book comes out. This is one series I haven’t read yet, but I think I need to. Fab reviews Jessica!

    Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace
    Naomi recently posted…Nomi’s Weekly Wrap Up #97

    • Thanks, Naomi! I hope you give this series a try some time. I think it’s pretty great 😉

  13. All of your wonderful reviews are really making me want to start this series again Jessica!
    Lovely review!
    kindlemom1 recently posted…The Sunday Post

  14. I really want to read this series and it’s been on my radar. And you know me, once I dive in, I’m committed!! It’s like there’s no turning back…look what happened with your recommendation on Ilona Andrews!! Now I’m obsessed. And don’t even get me started on FANTASYLAND. Back to this series…maybe I will start this series once the last book comes out. ☺️Stunning review as always my friend!!
    Cristina recently posted…On the Edge (The Edge, 1-4) by Ilona Andrews

    • Thank you, Cristina! I love this series, but you really have to be patient with it. I’m not sure I would’ve stuck with it if I hadn’t found it long before my TBR got out of control. I still think you’d love Jane Yellowrock 😉

      • Jane Yellowrock…oh! I forgot about that one. I know it’s on my TBR but I’m moving that one up. 🙂

      • WORD. Jane is almost as kick-ass as Kate.

  15. Banshee?? So cool! Man, REALLY need to pick book 2 up again. But not now…now I want to read more books published in 2014-2013 coz I haven’t read many! Fun reviews, Jessica!
    Lola recently posted…Review of The Storybook of Legends (Ever After High #1) by Shannon Hale

    • Thanks, Lo. And YES, Banshee. I hope you go back to the series eventually, but I get you. I need to be reading more recently published books myself 😉

  16. Glad to hear you are enjoying your rereading before the new one

  17. Ohhhh my, that jam pun. Pure gold. I don’t know whether I’ll pick up this series anytime soon, but I have to say that I’m really enjoying your mini-reviews/re-caps. Witches are one of my favourite supes though…these reviews are bringing me closer to reading this series every time’re they’re posted!
    Danya recently posted…Review: Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone

    • Puns are fun 😉 And awesome. I hope you do give them a chance eventually. BUT . . . this is a series that requires patience. A lot of people don’t think the first few books are anything special (not bad, mind you, but not amazing either), and even for me, the series didn’t get REALLY good until book 5 . . . I don’t know that I’d have fit them in, if I hadn’t discovered them years prior to Goodreads 😉

  18. oooh this series sounds juicy!! It has been on my TBR pile for way too long but I am enjoying following your reviews 🙂

    Chanzie @ Mean Who You Are.
    Chene Sterckx recently posted…Mini Book review: Whispers from the Past (Charmed #4) by Rosalind Noonan

    • Thanks, Chanzie! I hope you try it sometime . . . when you have a LOT of time to dedicate to it, LOL.

  19. Is the tv series deal still on the table? I didn’t like the first book, DNF it actually but I will watch the show f it didnt fall through
    Braine recently posted…Broken Heroes & Desired by Stacey Kennedy

  20. So going with your grocery theme thoughts in Black Magic Sanction – I’m going to say that it sounds like once again Rachel finds herself in a real pickle <—–LOL. I couldn't resist being silly either. Wonderful and fun reviews, Jessica! 🙂
    kim { Book Swoon } recently posted…Adult Book Review: The Winter King by C.L. Wilson

  21. Such commitment Jessica! LOL i wouldn’t be able to reread all those books LOL i get too lazy and my review pile is so crazy i wouldn’t find the time!
    Lily recently posted…Blog Tour: Breathe, Annie, Breathe

    • There are only a couple of series this long that I can reread. And even those, I have to take breaks, LOL.

  22. I love this series and now, after reading your minis for these two, have the urge to reread the whole thing before that final book (sadness!).
    Mary recently posted…Review: Wildflower by Alecia Whitaker

    • Which is exactly what I’m doing 😉 Book 13 is going to mark the end of an era for me. I think this was the first UF series I ever read.

  23. Ok yea it sounds like I need to give this series another chance and keep reading 🙂
    Julie S. recently posted…Chat Between Chapters: Are you a serious reader?

    • Yeah, maybe 😉 It’s pretty good . . . that’s all I’m sayin’ . . .

  24. Okay this is it! I’m ready one of Kim Harrison’s stories soon. You’ve got me. These two sound so good and I haven’t seen any banshee in a while. I need to get back to them. BTW, I’ll probably get hooked, right?
    Tanja recently posted…Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

    • Yeah, you don’t really hear a lot about Banshees. And Harrison’s take on them is pretty cool.

  25. This series is on my to-read list, I’ll get to eventually! It sounds really good though. Way to go on the all the re-reads before the next book comes out! That’s awesome!! Great reviews!!
    tricia recently posted…Sinner (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #3.5) by Maggie Stiefvater

    • Thank you, Tricia! It’s daunting some days, but I’m glad I’m doing it. I’ve been reading this series for like 5 or 6 years now 😉

  26. I can’t believe how much I have forgotten about this series. You are making me remember so many things. Thank you for re-reading them.
    BookaholicCat recently posted…Review: Poison Promise by Jennifer Estep

  27. Thanks for the reminder, once again the books have blended together a bit. It’s nice to be reminded of what happens in each. I really do love this series!
    Candace recently posted…Adult Review: Scene of the Climb by Kate Dyer-Seeley (Pictures Included!)

    • Yeah, I think it’s my #2 UF series. And it’s been YEARS since I’ve done a reread, so it was time.

  28. Hah double stacking em up huh! Seeing you reading them and doing your overviews totally makes me want to do a reread but I just haven’t the time. Though I swear I do need an urban fantasy fix right now. I think I’ll read the BLACK ARTS Faith Hunter Book I’ve been saving.

    Tabitha (Not Yet Read) recently posted…ARCs – What’s acceptable to do with them? – The feedback from Publicists

    • DUDE. Faith Hunter is interviewing Ilona Andrews on Booktalk Nation tonight, and I CANNOT wait. I am EXCITE. And I’ve been wanted to get caught up with Jane too. I think I’m going to hit Max Gladstone first though 😉

  29. Omigosh! I’d forgotten about Gordian, Jessica! LOVE him! I’d also forgotten about how Rachel got her memories back for that night. I didn’t really like the Mia storyline either, but I guess it was good for that one thing…if you want to look at it that way. :/

    I love how you used rat in your review, my dear. Nick…ugh! I reeaaally don’t like him. But Black Magic Sanction is probably my favorite book in the series up to this point as well.

    Love the reviews!!

    • You love Pierce? I can’t believe I’m saying this, but he was a bit TOO cavalier for me, LOL. And nobody likes Nick. And if they do, they better not tell me . . . *glowers* KIDDING! Kind of . . . 😉

      • See?!? I’d forgotten he was called Pierce! Gah! But yep, I liked Pierce. I guess I like cavalier. 😉 Nick…you liked him at first, right? Before we found out what a rat he really was?? Or did you know from the start?

      • You mean before he bailed? Yeah, I liked him. That’s part of why I hate him so much. I can’t nurse a seriously nasty grudge against a character if I don’t feel betrayed. Jerk. 😉

  30. This is just evil!! Here I was, so freaking excited I’ve gotten to book #4 (it all started last weekend with #2, and from there on, I can’t be held responsible for my actions, hahahaha), and now you’re doing 2 at a time???? This is evilness!!! Though it does make me wanna keep reading all the more xDDD You’re so enabling my addiction right now, you have no idea 😀

    Can’t wait to get to these!! *flails flails*
    Livia recently posted…A Native’s Tongue by Michael D. Dennis Excerpt

    • #sorryimnotsorry

      I have to post two at a time, LOL. Otherwise, I would be able to review anything else. But I’m glad you find it motivating. Once you get passed book 4, that’s when things get REALLY good. Brace, lady 😉

  31. I love reliving these books with you. These ones were pretty epic. Oh God, the Nick reappearance. I hate him so much, every time he showed his face again I had to put the book down.
    Jennifer Bielman recently posted…ARC Review: Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews

    • I have a lip curl that I developed solely b/c of Nick<------true story. HATE him. I wish he'd get turned back into a rat and then I don't know what, but something bad. BUT I'm glad you're reliving the series vicariously b/c book 13 . . . it's gonna be EPIC 😉

  32. *shakes head AND fists at Jessica* Those reviews are so evil, Jessica! I read these books not that long ago, but now, you had to go make me want to read them again, didn’t you? To see if I would think of that other thing that might have gotten Rachel shunned? That is not nice, not nice at all! I’ll try to think a bit to see if I can figure it out without a re-read, because I just don’t have time right now!
    I hate Nick, too. I wish he’d just shrivel up and die already.
    Great reviews, Jessica 🙂 You managed to make me crave The Hollows like there’s no tomorrow – with strawberries on top 😉
    Lexxie recently posted…Teaser Tuesday #30 – How The Scoundrel Seduces

    • LOL!! Well, if it makes you feel any better, I haven’t read these books in a long, long time. I purposefully put off a series reread the last couple of books, b/c I knew the last one was coming, and that I’d want to do a reread before it was all over. I’ve been reading this series since 2008 😉 As for Nick . . . I’ll hold him, you start swinging, the we’ll switch 😉

  33. Okay, Jessica. As daunting as this series is, I purchased the first book. ALL BECAUSE OF YOU AND YOUR AWESOME REVIEWS. Please stop now. I kid, I kid — don’t ever stop. I’m really excited to start these as soon as I catch up on some other reading obligations! Great reviews, my friend!
    Michele recently posted…Review: Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #2) by Laini Taylor

    • HOORAY!! *touchdown dance* I hope you LOVE it. And don’t worry, I’ll never stop 😉

      Thanks, Michele!