The Outlaw Demon Wails is the upcoming sixth book in the outstanding Rachel Morgan series by Kim Harrison. Rachel is a white witch who works with a living vampire and pixy as a type of paranormal bounty hunter. Harrison has created a parallel universe to ours where the Turn came in the late 60’s as humanity battled a bio-engineered tomato, and the paranormal species (weres, vampires, witches, elves, pixies) came “out of the closet”. Rachel, Ivy, and Jenks live in The Hollows, a neighborhood with a high Interlander population. They work helping protect Interlanders and humans from the bad guys, often assisting the I.S., but their techniques can be rather unorthodox, and are often misunderstood.
In The Hollows, there is very little black and white – no one is purely bad, and no one is purely good. Rachel’s main nemesis is a politician she has known since childhood – Trent Kalamack. However, Rachel has been forced to do some “bad” things, and sometimes Trent has done “good”; they are sometimes forced to work together, too. All of Harrison’s characters are so multi-dimensional it’s hard to put them into only one category. Reading her novels makes you feel as if you took a trip through to Rachel’s world; the descriptions are incredibly vivid, creating a strong mental image. Your mind holds tight to the illusion that you have been pulled into The Hollows, smelling the spells and coffee, and making it impossible to put down The Outlaw Demon Wails or any of its predecessors.
This chapter of Rachel’s life takes place a few months after the end of For a Few Demons More, during the time around Halloween. Al, a demon Rachel had bested, has found a way out of his jail, and is breaking demon laws by trying to kill Rachel, her family, and her friends – and they can’t all hide in her sanctified church home/office. Rachel needs to track down who is summoning Al, plus Rachel’s friend Ceri has a predicament that requires her help, there’s a new guy in town who’s interested in her, and there are a lot of surprises that pop up along the way.
Each of the sub-plots of The Outlaw Demon Wails is intertwined, bringing Rachel to an inevitable conclusion. This was originally planned to be the end of the series (but it’s not!), and it is the end of one segment of Rachel’s life. She is forced to accept things she never expected, and do things that are far outside of anyone’s comfort zone. It is, however, the beginning of a new life for Rachel, a time when she is growing up and realizing that her actions have consequences on the lives of her loved ones. The Outlaw Demon Wails is a very intense book, one that challenges the reader and the characters – I can’t count the number of times I was on the edge of my seat!
While I strongly recommend reading each of the Rachel Morgan novels, you could read The Outlaw Demon Wails as a compelling stand-alone book as well. Kim Harrison does a great job balancing background for a new reader or one who has forgotten aspects of earlier books without cluttering the book.
If you enjoyed her earlier books, you will love The Outlaw Demon Wails. If you were saddened by the ending of For a Few Demons More, you’ll enjoy the sense of closure in The Outlaw Demon Wails, and should also listen to this interview with Kim Harrison, and read the exclusive Kisten short story in the For a Few Demons More paperback. If you haven’t had a chance to read the other books by Kim Harrison, if you haven’t read much paranormal literature, and/or if you really enjoy mystery and suspense, you should pick up a copy of The Outlaw Demon Wails. I savored The Outlaw Demon Wails, knowing I would have a long wait until book 7. I look forward to rereading the whole series, picking up the early clues that later turn into important plot points. Kim Harrison spins a tale that catches you in its web, and you are caught in her world long after the novel ends.
This book was received from the publisher for review. Eos Books is celebrating a decade of publishing sci fi/fantasy. Check out the Eos blog and Eos Books for information, free ebooks, and previews as part of their celebration.