The Outlaw Demon Wails
Eos Publishing (HarperCollins Publishers)
Hardcover, 455 Pages, $24.95
Review By Keith Eure
Ok, I’ll get this out of the way first – I like this series. It’s kind of a guilty pleasure. Like saying you did (or still) listen to ABBA. Or disco. Which I do, on occasion. Not that it’s a bad thing if you still listen to ABBA or disco. You just don’t shout that information from the rooftops. Many bookstores tend to shelve this series in the romance section, which I avoid like the plague. Lately I’ve been finding it in the fantasy section, which is a much better home.
I’ve been reading this series from the beginning and have watched author Kim Harrison grow and become more confidant as a writer. And while I call this a guilty pleasure, I have no problem telling anyone that this series is very well written and fun to read. Author Harrison obviously has a thing for Clint Eastwood as her books in this series all have names that are a play on some of his movies. The Outlaw Demon Wails (The Outlaw Josie Wales), Every Which Way but Dead (Every Which Way but Loose). You get the idea. The titles are catchy and were one of the reasons I picked up the first book to give it a look. I can honestly say that I’ve not been disappointed by any of the books in the series.
Rachel Morgan is a witch living in “Cincy” which, if I’m not mistaken, is Cincinnati. She lives in a place called the Hollows in a church with her business partner Ivy, who is a vampire and her other partner, Jenks, who is a pixy (think of a male Tinkerbelle with lots of attitude…). This sixth outing to the Hollows finds Rachel having to deal with the consequences of trafficking in forbidden demon magic. A demon is after her and she must also go into the ‘ever-after” where the demons live to find and bring back a blood sample that can be used to help the elves that live in Cincy. As you might be able to tell, in this series witches, werewolves, pixies, vampires, etc. all exist alongside humans. Rachel has a bad habit of rushing into things without thinking them through and this gets her into plenty of trouble throughout the series. Her boyfriend, who was a vampire, has been killed and she is still mourning the loss. She also finds out that her mother married her father out of obligation, not love and this brings about another twist when we find out who the other man in her mother’s life was and still is.
I can’t go into much more detail as it would give away too many plot points. Each book can stand on it’s own but I would recommend reading them in order. The Outlaw Demon Wails appears to be Harrison’s first hardcover which means the series is selling well enough for the publisher to spend the extra money for hardcover and all the promotion that goes with it. Kudos to Harrison for writing such an engaging character, supporting cast and location. I hope to keep visiting the Hollows for many years to come.