Book Review: Ever After

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My Rating: 9.5/10

Synopsis: The ever-after, the demonic realm that parallels our own, is shrinking, and if it disappears, so does all magic. It’s up to witch-turned-daywalking-demon Rachel Morgan to fix the ever-after before the fragile balance between magic users and humans falls apart.

Of course, there’s also the small fact that Rachel is the one who caused the ley line to rip in the first place, and her life is forfeit unless she can fix it. Not to mention the most powerful demon in the ever-after—the soul-eater Ku’Sox Sha-Ku’ru—has vowed to destroy her, and has kidnapped her friend and her goddaughter as leverage. If Rachel doesn’t give herself up, they will die.

Forced by circumstance, Rachel teams up with elven tycoon Trent Kalamack—a partnership fraught with dangers of the heart as well as betrayal of the soul—to return to the ever-after and rescue those she loves. One world teeters on the brink of interspecies war, the other on the brink of its very demise—and it’s up to Rachel to keep them both from being destroyed

Review: Firstly, can I just say wow? I’ve been actively reading Harrison since day one, and waiting for each and every entry into the Hollow series has always been pure torture (but totally worth the wait). With Ever After, Harrison continues to deliver fine story-telling and notable character development into a neat action-packed, tension-filled supernatural world.

Without spoiling too much, I’ll just say that this was the book we’ve been waiting for (if by ‘we’, you are ‘me’). The ending chapter alone is something that had me screaming aloud and rereading a few times to make sure I wasn’t accidentally reading some fan-fiction. (Not that I do that. Often). Wait a minute – now that I brought it up, what would Hollow Series fan-fiction be like? 30 Shades of Amber? A Tale of Two Demons? Elven Tied*?

Okay, I’m completely getting off topic here – but basically, we get to see some really neat things in this entry. We get an inside look into the world of gargoyles (which have always fascinated me) and a hilarious view of Bis’s extended family. In my opinion, they’re kind of the heroes of this book and the one thing that provides both comic relief and heart-felt sympathy. While there’s a lot of good in Ever After, there’s also some pretty tragic stuff here – I won’t give it away, but there’s something that happened that left me pretty teary-eyed and shell-shocked. Harrison’s not afraid to turn things on its head, that’s for sure. There’s also a lot of Demon politics involved here, as well as some back-and-forth inner soul-searching from Rachel. It’s not uncharacteristic for her to self-doubt, but we finally get to explore her true feelings for Trent**.

Out of all the urban fantasy books I’ve read, Rachel has always been one of my absolute favorites. She’s your typical kick-ass heroine that can throw down with the best of them, but she also comes with a particularly unique brand of humility that’s usually lacking in most modern day urban fantasy heroes. I remember picking up the first entry around the time I began reading some Laurel K. Hamilton and Charlaine Harris (and we all know what happened with those books) and highly enjoying Harrison’s alternative spin on the supernatural world and its rules. To be continually impressed with each and every installment in a series (especially after about a decade now), is a rarity in general especially amongst urban fantasy. Honestly, each book does get better and better and I sadly can’t say the same for the most of the other authors in that genre. I’m pretty easy to please, but the fact that I haven’t even picked up the last four Hamilton books speaks volumes.

Harrison manages to seamlessly develop the story into something more and more complex, and draws out the sexual tension between characters to the point where we, the reader, are practically begging for some kind of release. I mean, let’s be honest. At this point, I’ve pretty much fallen in love with Trent and Al, and I’d be hard-pressed to mention another character that holds that kind of appeal continuously. Harrison has presented a game-changing installment with Ever After; prepare to be pleased and uh, teased. (You read it? Yeah, you know what I’m talking about). How can I wait another year?!

*Random anime reference that you probably don’t care about; see: Elfen Lied
**Hearts and googly-eyes are dotted around his name just fyi

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