Review: The Good, the Bad, and the Undead by Kim Harrison

Posted May 25, 2014 by Jessica in Jessica, Reviews, Urban Fantasy / 76 Comments

Review: The Good, the Bad, and the Undead by Kim Harrison
The Good, the Bad, and the Undead by Kim Harrison
Series: The Hollows #2
Published by Harper Voyager
Published on: January 25 2005
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 464
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
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Rachel Morgan, sexy witch, independent bounty hunter, prowls the downtown Cincinnati for criminal creatures of the night. She can handle leather-clad vamps and a cunning demon or two. But a serial killer who feeds on the experts in the most dangerous kind of black magic is an ancient, implacable evil that threatens her very soul.


If I still had any doubts about The Hollows when I finished the Dead Witch Walking, The Good, the Bad, and the Undead laid them to rest.

Book 2 begins with Rachel and Jenks in the middle of a run. Several months has passed since the first bookΒ ended, and without a death threat hanging over her head, Rachel is free to pursue her new career as an independent runner. Nick is now officially Rachel’s boyfriend, and the roommate situation with Ivy seems to have calmed down now that Rachel knows what Ivy’s triggers are and not to pull them.

And things just keep swimming merrily along. (<—–did you see what I did there? *snickers*)

Riiiiiight . . .

Even if (for some strange reason) you were hoping things would calm down for our new favorite witch, when Glenn shows up as Rachel and Jenks’ ride after the run (instead of Ivy), and insists on taking a detour to the FIB (Federal Inderland Bureau—the human version of police enforcement), it seems HIGHLY unlikely.

Even MORE unlikely when you learn the reason for the detour is that Sarah Jane (Trent’s new secretary) is there being questioned after reporting her missing boyfriend.

A serial killer is on the loose in Cincinnati, you see. And serial killers have VERY particular tastes. This one has been viciously murdering ley line witches . . . and guess what Sarah Jane’s boyfriend happens to be . . .

SO many things happen in this book.

Rachel shows an uncommon aptitude for ley line witchcraft. This is distressing for her, b/c as she has stated (on numerous occasions) she is strictly an earth witch. Ley line magic isn’t as black and white as earth magic, and Rachel has seen too many friends slide down that slippery slope from white, to gray, to black b/c POWER lurks in ley line magic. POWER that tempts and overwhelms, and Rachel wants no part of it.

We find out what Trent is. Not telling. READ IT. *poke*

Rachel discovers links between her father and the Kalamacks. Not telling that either. *pokes again*

And not lastly (not by a long shot, but if I were to list all of the Big Deal things that happened in this book, we’d be here all day, AND I’d probably get smacked from all the poking), Rachel makes a deal with a demon that sets up for book 3 rather nicely. And by “nicely” I mean “holycraphowisshegoingtogetoutofthatone?!”

In addition to SO many things happening in this book, SO many characters are further developed and/or introduced.

We meet Rachel’s wacky mother (who accidentally alludes to a HUGE secret that gets revealed later on), and Piscary (hey, I just noticed “scary” is in his name . . . wonder if that was on purpose . . . hmmm . . . ), the scary master vamp. We also meet the several times mentioned, but never actually seen Quen (one of my favorite secondaries). Trent is shown in a less diabolical light that makes him a much more complicated individual, and Nick . . . well, Nick’s moral code is revealed to be even more nebulous than previously suspected, but due to certain other events, I can’t help but feel a bit sorry for him. That whole situation is just a MESS.

And again MORE. Too much to cover all of it, but believe me when I say that it was very well done.

There wasn’t much on the world-building front, but then it wasn’t really necessary. Pretty Β much everything you need to know was covered in the first book. I still find it slightly ridiculous every time Rachel goes out of her way to hide evidence of tomato consumption from the humans, but what are you going to do?

Tomato ridiculousness aside, The Good, the Bad, and the Undead brilliantly avoided the book 2 slump that so many series fall prey to. It was another artful combination of humor, action, danger, and flirtation, and BONUS all of this took place within a well-developed and identifiable plot! I know! It so rarely happens that I don’t know what to do either!

That’s not true, I know exactly what to do—read the next book. *wink*

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.


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76 responses to “Review: The Good, the Bad, and the Undead by Kim Harrison

  1. You are really making me want to re-listen to this series. Don’t you understand that I already have too many to listen to and don’t have time for another re-listen right now? LOL

    Great review, as always.

  2. Okay, so to begin with, I suck. I’ve been reading a couple romances this week and didn’t read The Good, the Bad, and the Undead, as I’d planned. BUT I’ll have time next week to read it and the 3rd one πŸ˜€ I hope πŸ˜€

    Of course after reading your review I wanna read the novel all the more, and I’d planned to watch some movies today instead of reading (which I did yesterday, like, the whole day, lol!!). I foresee my plans getting dumped and new ones happening instead… ^_^

  3. I have a confession, I didn’t like this series all that much until reading book two, in fact if it wasn’t for a few people that promised me I would like it more after book two, I might not have even continued the series. I am so glad you liked this one. I am so behind on this series I don’t know if I will ever catch up.

    • I hope you do! I’ve probably already said this, but if you quit before Pale Demon . . . just, you have NO idea what you’re missing. Best. Book. Ever. I hope you pick them up again someday πŸ˜‰

  4. Great review! Quen is one of my favs…actually I have lots of favs from this series. I’m super glad you’re are enjoying The Hollows. I’ve liked every book in this series. I think you will enjoy seeing how things progress with everyone.

    • I know, right? They’re ALL my favs. And I KNOW I will enjoy how things progress b/c this is like the 4th or 5th time I’ve read these books (LOL). I’m getting my reread on before book 13 gets here πŸ˜‰

  5. Well I was intrigued after your review for the first book but now you’ve got me really interested. I love how the characters are developed and it seems to me that everyone is getting a right space πŸ™‚ Great review, Jessica πŸ™‚

  6. I wish Rachel would just take a big bottle of ketchup with her when she goes out to eat…whip it out of her purse…and watch everybody freak out. LOL!! Love the review Jessica πŸ™‚

  7. Skimmed through this one (although I am sure it was lovely ;)) because I CANNOT GET SPOILED! Gosh cannot I just skip to the second last book? .-. I am not going to be very happy about the boyfriends along the way to the main love interest.. (since I remember one of them died? .-. *sigh*) since I am not going to be able to fully enjoy their characters knowing that they won’t be ‘the one’.


  8. Okay, please tell me more about this tomato consumption. I actually went to the book’s goodread page and sifted through other reviews to see what that’s all about, you can’t throw out something random like that and expect me not to wonder. πŸ˜›

    • It’s b/c genetically tinkered with tomatoes were the carrier of the disease that killed off all the humans. 40 years later (even though that kind of genetic tampering is illegal now) eating tomatoes (and therefore pizza, ketchup, etc.) is a major taboo with the humans, but it didn’t affect the creatures, so they of course still eat them. Rachel’s boyfriend is a human, and so is the guy she works with in FIB, so she throws tomatoes ripening in the window out the window, so the human doesn’t freak out, or alternately waves a bottle of ketchup under the human’s nose to freak him out. It’s distracting and ridiculous.

  9. Christy  

    Woot! I want to reread the series. Your review makes me want to SOOOO bad. The tomato thing is funny. The fans got a kick out of it when years ago there was that whole fiasco with tomatoes – people getting sick.

    • LOL! How did I miss the tomato sickness?! When was this? I started reading the series in 2010, so if it happened between then and now, I’m going to be really mad at myself for not paying more attention! And you totally should. Just say, “Forget you, arcs! Forget you, other books!” That’s what I did πŸ˜€

    • Oh my goodness, Naomi . . . every, single book in the series is like that. It’s one of my favorite things about Harrison. Sometimes you’ll read a book, and a lot is going on, and it gets really complicated or even convoluted, and you start getting annoyed and wish you had a direct line to the author, so you could yell at them to focus. That NEVER happens with her. Everything has a point, everything is connected, and everything makes sense. I hope you try these books some time; they are seriously fantastic.

  10. Like a kid who has already hit the candy store, I’m smiling thinking back to how much book-yumminess is coming in this series. Rachel and the ley line witchcraft changes so much! I’m a few books behind still, but your reviews have me wanting to get back to this world ASAP, Jessica! πŸ™‚

  11. Haha I wanna read it just to know more about this tomato consumption O_O This sounds like an action packed series, anyways! Book 2 slumps are sucky and very bad lately I’m finding! Glad it wasn’t the case with this one!

    • This is definitely an action-packed series, and that is only one of the MANY things I love about it. The tomato thing is that tomatoes are taboo b/c a genetically modified tomato carried a disease that killed-off the humans black plague-style πŸ˜‰

  12. Faye M.  

    This is the second book of the previous review you’ve written, isn’t it? The one with the heroine who is the most growingest? πŸ˜‰ This sounds like a series that gets better with every book. There should be a TV show of this one if there’s nothing yet (I only know of Buffy…)

    Faye at The Social Potato Reviews

    • Stephanie H.

      The books were optioned to the CW for a tv show, but the network ended up passing. Most fans of the series agree that was for the best in the end. They wanted to make huge changes! Granted that happens more times than not, but it was going to be hardly recognizable.

    • Yes, this is the second book in the series with the growingest heroine, LOL. and Stephanie is correct—it was optioned, but it didn’t work out. You should check out Lost Girl. It’s on netflix and it’s a fairly awesome UF TV series. When I first saw it, I was convinced that it was based on a book series that I had somehow missed, and it took like half an hour of google searches to convince me otherwise.

  13. This book really sets the series in motion. You get to meet so many important characters like Al! I hope you are loving it!

  14. I really liked the first book but I was bored by this one. πŸ™ I could only read a chapter at a time and then I had to read something else. Weird. I hope the next one is better for me since this is a fun series. Glad you enjoyed it πŸ™‚

  15. Gurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrl, I can’t keep up! LOL πŸ˜‰ I take it based on your review that this is another one that I should add to my TBR. Although I will be tackling Kate Daniels before this one or do you suggest the other way around? GAH! If only all my decisions were of this kind! Stunning review (like always) my friend! πŸ™‚

  16. bookaholiccat  

    Love this series, loooove it! Funny thing is I don’t like tomatoes, maybe my body knows something and is trying to protect me… πŸ™‚

  17. Michele

    Well, I can’t say no to a good poke — especially if you’re going to end it with a wink. LOL This was so much fun, and you have me sooooo curious about this series! I’m excited to get to it! Great review, Jessica!

  18. I’m loving reading these reviews because I LOVED this series and I doubt I’ll have time to reread before the last one – *crying* – comes out in September. I forgot how much happens in this book! Man! It’s no wonder I flew through it! Poor Nick. I kind of liked him, even if he really was pretty shady. And Quen is so awesome! And you’re right, I flew into the next book because I too was like “holycraphowisshegoingtogetoutofthatone?!”

    LOL Great review Jessica!

    • Thanks, Berls! And yeah, I liked Nick in the beginning too. It wasn’t until the focus incident, and later on the Trent heist that I REALLY started to loathe him. I’ve had to take a short break from my reread, but I hope to get back to it soon!