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Review: Pale Demon by Kim Harrison

Review: Pale Demon by Kim Harrison
Pale Demon by Kim Harrison
Series: The Hollows #9
Published by Harper Voyager
Published on: February 22 2011
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 453
Source: Purchased
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New York Times bestselling author Kim Harrison takes her indomitable heroine on a wild journey of dark magic and supernatural adventure.

Pale Demon
Condemned and shunned for black magic, Rachel Morgan has three days to get to the annual witches' convention and clear her name, or be trapped in the demonic ever-after...forever after.

But a witch, an elf, a living vampire, and a pixy in one car going across the country? Talk about a recipe for certain disaster, even without being the targets for assassination.

For after centuries of torment, a fearsome demon walks in the sunlight - freed at last to slay the innocent and devour souls. But his ultimate goal is Rachel Morgan, and in the fight for survival that follows, even embracing her own demonic nature may not be enough to save her.


So I’m pretty sure that I’ve said this several times already, but just in case you missed it—Pale Demon is my FAVORITE book in this series.

Things have been building, and Rachel’s life has been getting more complicated, but by the end of the last book, it looks like she’s finally going to catch a break.

Oliver, the new head of the coven of moral and ethical standards, has verbally agreed to remove Rachel’s shunning at the upcoming Witch Convention, as long as she shows up to said convention and apologizes publicly for her use of black magic.

So that’s the plan . . . BUT . . .

As much as I needed to do this, I was so-o-o-o not looking forward to it. I mean, I’d been accused of being a black witch–of doing black magic and consorting with demons, both of which I did. Do. Whatever

So yeah . . . life is still complicated, and Rachel (being Rachel) is going to have a hard time apologizing for something that she, 1. is still doing, and 2. is seeing as less and less of a problem. She doesn’t deliberately try to make things as difficult for herself as she can, but she does have a certain knack for it, doesn’t she?

And that’s not all, b/c we soon find out that the coven of moral and ethical standards (CoMaES) is a bit more slippery than anticipated. Rachel actually has to get to the convention for the shunning to be removed, you see, and it’s evident that the CoMaES is going to try to prevent that when Rachel is kept from boarding her flight to CA where the convention is being held.<——NOT nice.

But not entirely unexpected as Ivy and Jenks took the liberty of packing Rachel’s suitcases with old magazines, and repacking her things in different bags, so that when the airport “lost” her luggage, it wouldn’t be a problem.

Did I mention that Trent is trying to catch a ride with Rachel to the West Coast?

I didn’t? Hmmm . . . that’s odd.

TRENT is trying to CATCH A RIDE with RACHEL to the WEST COAST.

That’s like . . . DAYS in a car with Trent. Trent the sexy elf. Trent whom I love to hate. DAYS. With TRENT.

And, of course, she says, “NO,” b/c Rachel, but, of course, she changes her mind . . . b/c Rachel.

“Why does Trent need to catch a ride with Rachel to the West Coast?” you ask, and that is an excellent question. It is, perhaps, the most excellent question I have goaded you into asking thus far. And when I tell you to READ THE BOOK, I mean it more in this situation than any other time I’ve told you to READ THE BOOK.

Trust me. You NEED to know. N-E-E-D.

I can tell you that the Withons (Ellasbeth’s parents, and presumably Ellasbeth, herself) are doing everything in their power to prevent Trent from getting to the West Coast, including, but not limited to, sending ASSASSINS.

So that’s fun.

I’m reluctant to say much about the biggest problem they encounter on the road, b/c it first appears well after the 10% point, which is where my cut-off is for mentioning specifics, but suffice it to say, that there is a BIG problem. A problem so BIG that it’s probably not possible to resolve it entirely in a single installment.

And then there’s the Big Deal. The thing that makes Pale Demon my favorite book in the series. The thing that makes me go back and read an entire passage over and over (and over) again. Yes, the plot is awesome, and yes, there is awesome character development—especially where Al, Rachel, and Trent are concerned—but those things alone are not what push this installment into the 5 star zone.

If you’re even remotely interested in this series . . . if you’ve let yourself fall behind, and tell yourself that you’ll finish the series eventually, if you are either of those things, this is the book that makes it all worthwhile, and you are doing yourself a MAJOR disservice by not catching up and reading it. It’s frickin’ awesome. It’s on the same level as Kate Daniels #3 in its epic amazingness.

Hopefully, you’re convinced, but if you’re not . . . well, you can lead a horse to water, blah blah, and all that. That is all. *runs off to read that entire passage one more time*

The Hollows:

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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. I can’t believe we are almost to the end of the story with A Witch No Name coming out in just over a month. I wish I had time for a relisten before then, but that isn’t going to happen. I will probably listen to the entire series at some point. Great review.
    Melanie Simmons recently posted…The Book of Life Audiobook by Deborah Harkness (Review)

    • Thanks, Melanie! And I know—this series ending is going to kill me, LOL.

  2. oOH wow 5 stars. I’m so behind on this series. But I have a copy of this particular one signed cause I went to her book talk when she was in town. I need to get back to reading this series.
    Julie S. recently posted…Rebel Belle Review

    • LUCKY!! I was really hoping she stopped in Atlanta on this book tour but she doesn’t 🙁 And yeah, this series is totally worth it.

  3. So you really think I need to read NINE friggen books so I can figure out what the big deal is?

    Well, maybe I will. Someday.
    Nathan ( recently posted…YA Review: ‘Ruin and Rising’ by Leigh Bardugo

  4. It has been SO long since I’ve read this one, but I remember it being a pretty intense and exciting one. I am dying to know which passage you are talking about. Shoot a girl a page number? LOL
    Tanya recently posted…Cover Reveal ~ My Viking Vampire by Krystal Shannan

  5. Hah, Jessica, I adore your reviewing style. I stopped after book 2 with this series, but I have every intention on continuing, perhaps on audio. And the fact is, even this early in the game, I ship Rachel and Trent very hard.

    • Thank you, Maja! I’ve shipped Trent and Rachel from the beginning too. There were times when I didn’t see how it could ever work out, but MAN, I wanted it too 😉

  6. AH! The car ride with Trent! Yeah, this really was a great story — one of the best in the series, if no the best. I know I said this with your last Hollows post but I need a full re-read!!
    Mary recently posted…Pre-Squee: Outlander on Starz

    • And I said this last time too—YES, you do need a reread 😉 It’s between this one and Black Magic Sanction for me. I like Pale Demon better, b/c SWOON, but plot-wise, they’re both amazing.

  7. So many series I should start!
    blodeuedd recently posted…The Novice / The High Lord – Trudi Canavan

  8. Dammit Jessica, why do you have to be so convincing?! I had given up on this series after Kisten, but now I feel like I’m missing out on Trent. I WANT TO SPEND DAYS IN THE CAR WITH HIM TOO!!!! *sigh* Back to the beginning I go I guess 😉 Looking forward to getting caught up!

    • Yeah, it sucks about Kisten, but Rachel was never going to end up with him long term. It just wasn’t in the cards. TRENT is SO much better, and no pesky need to get blood/sex elsewhere. I WANT TO SPEND DAYS IN THE CAR WITH HIM TOO!! And I hope you do, Jenny, b/c AMAZEBALLS.

  9. Bahahaha! NEED to know about Trent, eh? I totally agree. People should definitely just pick up this whole series, and take a wild, sexy, mysterious and magical ride with Rachel, Trent, Ivy, Kisten, Jenks and the others. Best series ever, and your review is great, Jessica 🙂 I’m so excited for The Witch with No Name!
    Lexxie recently posted…Review: Dash of Peril – Lori Foster

    • Thanks, Lexxie! And I am too! FIVE WEEKS. Five weeks until HEA for EVERYONE, or I will . . . do something very, very bad. I don’t know what, so lets just hope it doesn’t come to that 😉

  10. I have loved following your reviews of this series!!! You have firmly put this series on the ‘need-to-acquire-soon’ radar 🙂 *hmmm.. when am I going to the book exchange again*

    Great review and post as always Jessica 🙂
    Chene Sterckx recently posted…~ MWYA 1 Year Blogoversary ~

    • Thanks, Chanzie! I’ve loved rereading them . And I hope you make it to the book exchange soon 😉

  11. WHAT, what…what happens?!! I know you can’t say – I must catch up one day soon. LOL. Trent, car ride and epic problems to come. I’m glad Pale Demon was such an amazing read for you Jessica! 🙂
    Kim { Book Swoon } recently posted…Waiting On Wednesday: Suspicion by Alexandra Monir

    • Pale Demon is an amazing read for EVERYONE, Kim! I hope you do catch up b/c awesome 😉

  12. You are making me crazy with all of these fabulous reviews for this series Jessica! I really want to pick it back up now but I just don’t have the time. It would be different if these were light reads but I think most of these are 400 pages plus. *shakes fist at you*

    kindlemom1 recently posted…WoW Pick of the Week

    • I know . . . if I hadn’t started the reread months ago, I’d never finish it in time. I’m SORRY! Someday . . . maybe . . . 😉

  13. Why Jessica whyyyyy?? Why do you have to make me want to start this series when it is already in its 9th book!!!

    But damn it, it sounds interesting and fantastic!!
    Adding to the wish list for sure!
    Pili recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday #53!!

    • B/c AWESOME, Pili! *snickers* This series is actually about to be in it 13th book 😉

  14. “A witch, an elf, a living vampire, and a pixy in one car going across the country.” That certainly sounds like a unique book.
    Stephanie Faris recently posted…Q&A with Author Lara Chapman, The XYZs of Being Wicked

  15. This book is my favorite too! And I got a signed copy of it by chance from Kim’s Manic Monday a couple months ago. You should have seen the way I squealed when I opened that package and saw it was this one. Everything about this book is just so damn good – I mean I love the series in general, but this book just wraps up in one neat package all the reasons why. I seriously wish I had time for a reread before the Witch With No Name. It’s just so many books!

    On a side note – I’m currently thinking about how I need to read Kate Daniels still, based on that book 3 reference… Great review 🙂
    Berls recently posted…Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout | #COYER Audio Review

    • LUCKY. You and Julie both, man. I was really hoping she’d stop in Atlanta on this last book tour, but NOPE. Oh well . . . maybe when whatever comes next for her happens. *crosses fingers* And yeah, this series is great anyway, but THIS BOOK.

      Kate Daniels is even better than Rachel Morgan. IMO. FYI. 😉
      Jessica recently posted…Question: What Was Your First?

      • Not to brag, but I lucked out this year. She’s going to the speaker at a charity literacy event right here in Dallas. Yeah I had a seat reserved BEFORE the official tickets went on sale, because my book club bought a table 🙂 Now I’m trying to decide if I want to be one of those people. You know, the ones that show up with tons of books for the author to sign. Because I have two hardbacks in the series signed already, so I’d kind of like the complete set…
        Berls recently posted…Life of a Blogger | Favorite Outings

      • DUDE. I am TOTALLY going to be one of those people. Hit my VERY FIRST signing yesterday, and now . . . now I think I’m forming a habit 😉

  16. I promise you, after I read Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews, my next “big author that I MUST read and have always wanted to read but have somehow shamefully put it off for much too long” will be Kim Harrison 😉
    Mogsy recently posted…Book Review: Frostborn by Lou Anders

  17. I’m so jealous, you’re fast and I’m slow! I need to continue and finish the series as well mainly as it’s so good and continue to be like that. I’m glad you had a good time again. Great review!

    • Thanks, Melliane! This series IS so good, and I hope you do manage to finish it some time 😉

  18. I totally agree. This is still my fav book in the series to date. The chemistry between and Trent and Rachel in this one is amazeballs. I loved this one. I loved it so much that book nine was a disappointment, but I promise things are back on track with book ten. I loved that one too. I have the last book to read and I am scared to start it as I don’t want this series to end.
    Heidi recently posted…Blog Tour: Mortal Danger by Ann Aguirre

    • “The chemistry between and Trent and Rachel in this one is amazeballs.”<------YEP. Me too. Once we got the Trent POV chapter, it was better, but still it was pretty disappointing. AND I was super annoyed at Rachel's chickenness. And if you're lucky enough to have book 13, you had better read it! *glowers* *shakes fist* 😉

  19. I have the first book which is now staring at me with hands on it’s hips (well, if it was sentient and had hands, hips, and eyes) wanting to know why I haven’t started it especially since you loved this one! See! Getting me in trouble with my books. No, I’m not crazy… just way behind on my reading and letting you know you pushed that first one up my tbr. 😀
    Melissa (Books and Things) recently posted…Audio Review: Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor

    • I get you, Melissa. I’ve got several dozen of those myself 😉 I hope you check it soon—SO GOOD!

  20. This is definitly one of my fav of the series too. OMG, Trent, God I love/hate him so much. This book stressed me out so much. Rachel can never catch a break. It’s so frustrating.
    Jennfier Bielman recently posted…Review: The Romance Novel Cure by Nina Ceves

    • I love to hate to love Trent. YEP. My relationship with Trent is VERY complicated 😉

  21. Damn it, Jessica, I don’t have time to start another non-review series right now! But you flash these crazy covers and tempt me with your pretty words…

    I keep meaning try this author. Will you kick my butt if I haven’t picked up the first one by the end of the year?
    Wendy Darling recently posted…Silver Shadows: review

    • Hahahaha!! “But you flash these crazy covers and tempt me with your pretty words…”<------LOVE this. Is that a request or an inquiry?

  22. Whoa that cover is pretty badass! I’ve not started yet but going to try to get book one under my belt in August (reader fingers crossed it’ll happen!). I feel so left out not having read them yet. lol
    anna (herding cats & burning soup) recently posted…The Bucket List (2)–Closets & Cross Stitch

    • Hop on the bandwagon, Anna! Plenty of room 😉 And YES, that cover is pretty badass.

  23. I LOVED this one. I need to listen to Ever After and The Undead Pool soon!! I’ve already pre-ordered the last book on audio.
    Jennifer recently posted…Necessary Force by D. D. Ayres

  24. Whoa whoa whoa, lady. You can’t just toss around comparisons to Kate Daniels like that! It makes me NEED to read these books. First Jane Yellowrock, now Rachel Morgan? Fine. Fine! I’ll do it. Book 1 is getting signed out. Just know that when I write my review and comment on its cheesiness (which you’ve warned about, thank god) your name WILL be mentioned! 😉
    Danya recently posted…Haul Vol 2: I Just Can’t Help Myself Edition

    • 😀 I will admit that it takes a while to get there. Book 5 upset a LOT of people, but honestly, I didn’t see how it could have gone differently, ANYWAY, if you even remotely like the series in the beginning, then it is definitely worth the patience it takes to get to the REALLY good stuff.

  25. This is the last one I read (told ya I was behind) and I loved it. I loved having so much time with Trent and Rachel together. Yep. Just loved this book.

    • Me TOO. Clearly, LOL. I hope you get caught up before book 13 comes out—FIVE WEEKS. 😉

  26. Gosh, Jessica. I don’t even want to start another series I can not commit to finishing but I am so intrigued by that passage you keep on rereading. I know I should just open my doors wide for a Kim Harrison novel but I don’t know… *checks on Goodreads* HNNG, OK I’ll try this series out as soon as humanely possible. Lovely review, Jessica! 😀
    Sarah recently posted…Review: Evil Faeries Love Hair by Mary G. Thompson

    • LOL. Thanks, Sarah! This series is definitely daunting, but the good news is that it’s concluding in a few weeks, and after that, it’s not going anywhere 😉

  27. I agree with you, this book was great. It made me want to go on a road trip with Rachel, Jenks and Trent… minus the assassin and the other thing that happened and… You get the idea.
    Did you read Million-Dollar Baby?
    BookaholicCat recently posted…CATS-ilicious Thursdays

    • YES!! I did read Million-Dollar Baby! So GOOD. And I will go with you that road trip 😉

  28. Kyaaaa!!! I KNEW some Trent action would happen!! *mwahahaha* Because Rachel, for sure, and that says it all, haha.

    So freaking pumped to read this baby, but I’m on #5 right now… getting there xDDD Starting to believe I might actually get to date by the time the last one comes out, har~har.
    Livia recently posted…The Mystery of Moutai by G.X. Chen Excerpt

    • You will! You won’t be able to help it, LOL. Once you hit book 6 . . . you might already really the series, but you ain’t see nuthin’ yet 😉

  29. Another series I haven’t read yet, but you make it sound SO good. Definitely adding this to my wish list! I must meet this Trent and Rachel! I don’t like audio books, and there’s not enough time to read all the things I want to read — I need books to come in IV form so I can just plug it into a vein and know all the things. Another fab review!
    Michele recently posted…Review: Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #2) by Laini Taylor

    • I don’t like audiobooks either, and yeah, ever since I saw The Matrix however long ago it came out, I’ve been waiting for a way to download info (and therefore BOOKS) straight into my brain. Why has no one done that yet??

  30. yeah so I’ve only got one thing to say….Shower Scene
    Tabitha (Not Yet Read) recently posted…Fan Art Up! (16) – Everness, airships and a dragon doodle

    • SERIOUSLY. And changing his shirt scene. And cat burglar suit wearing scene . . .

  31. I LOVED this one too! I loved all the snarky road trip humor, and Trent, and the drama that unfolds, and Trent. 😉 Now I want to go back and listen to this one again. Hey…I still need to review this whole series so there’s a reason why I should. 🙂
    Ginny recently posted…Meet and Greet and #Giveaway with Author Kayla Curry

    • There you go! This is probably my first time through books 1-8, but this is the first time I’ve reviewed them. And I loved all the snark too. And trying to figure out who was eating the milk duds, LOL.