Saturday, August 8

The Outlaw Demon Wails - Kim Harrison

This is the seventh in an eight (to date) book series set in an alternate universe where a plague carried by genetically modified tomatoes wiped out a significant percentage of human life, allowing Inderlanders (witches, werewolves, vampires) to come forward. Rachel Morgan is a white witch who, over the course of the previous novels, has become a little sooty - she has dealt with demons, lives with a vampire, and has subverted the law.
The Inderlander/Hollows series is certainly more complex, and twice as long as anything written under her own name, and perhaps that's why the whole exercise has become so unwieldy. I suspect that following in Patricia Briggs' footsteps and creating a spin off from her main series, would allow her writing to regain the immediacy and freshness the first few novels had.
Harrison attempts to seamlessly integrate an increasingly complicated and convoluted history into the opening scenes, but I found it forced, and keeping track of it all was just too complicated. I thought at first that it was a combination of length of time between reading this and its predecessor, and ennui relating to real life that made me put The Outlaw Demon Wails to one side only a few pages in. On checking the review I wrote for A Few Demons More, however, I see I was disenchanted then. I believe there's another in the series in the works, and hope this time that I'll remember that Harrison has, for me, jumped the shark. It's particularly a shame because googling her I learned that Kim Harrison is a pseudonym for Dawn Cook, an author whose work I quite enjoyed and who I've extensively reviewed here. - Alex

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