Saturday, September 13, 2014

The end of an era... #hollows #KimHarrison #review

Anyone else bummed he's not wearing his scarf and spelling cap?
No? Just me? But look at the elfin scruff face!! *siiiigh*
Because for all the changes, some things were immutable truths: friendship transcends all barriers, understanding trumps fear, and great power can always be surmounted by determination. And with Trent, Al, Ivy and Jenks beside me, we had all three. - Kim Harrison, The Witch With No Name

That quote? I think it summarizes all that makes this series so amazing and enchanting. Harrison takes immutable truths of human nature and superimposes them on to fantastic characters a reader can't help but identify with. As Trent once tells Rachel, when her world falls apart, everyone jumps in to try to help. When his falls apart, they try to find ways to pick apart the pieces of the corpse. Rachel proves again and again that no risk is too great and that fighting for love, friendship, compassion, and caring is sometimes the greatest battle we can worth it, even if we risk failure.

Ever since the kiss between Rachel and Trent in Ever After, I've been petrified to read the remainder of the series.  The possibilities hinted at with that one lip-lock, the years of watching those characters dance around each other...

The many, many years where I've escaped my reality to be drenched in the Hollows adventures...

I just feared being let down, really. I've been in love with Trenton and hoped he and Rachel would work things out for literally YEARS. And some paranormal series, well, they don't give me a satisfying end to that kind of relationship. Yeah, yeah, yeah, fictional characters, but books become the markers of our lives. Who doesn't hear a song, remembering that song was popular back when you read whatever book? Or have some quotes that not just fit the story, but also our lives and who we were when they read them?

I'm a book addict. I know. Whatever.

So, for my birthday I gave myself the gift of a day off work/school/responsibility. Instead? I cracked open my copy of The Undead Pool. Strap yourselves in, if you're opening that book! So. Many. Things. Happened!!

And I literally cried at some of the moments in the story. Much was payoff for years of watching these characters learn to be comfortable in their own skins. After reading Undead Pool, I again was tempted to just let it lie there. But I couldn't.

So I opened The Witch With No Name and it is KILLING me not to give spoilers away. I will say I cried, laughed, cheered, and otherwise became far more emotionally involved with this book than a normal person should. Characters we've loved? They showed back up on the page and we got to see how they've been doing.

Characters we've rooted for, hoped for happiness for even though everything said they couldn't have it? Things, so many things, happen to them.

And Rachel, Trent, Al, Ivy and Jenks?


Harrison did an OUTSTANDING job penning a book that simply couldn't have been written without the years of setting up this intricate and magical world. I finished the book simply traumatized...

Not because it wasn't satisfying, but because it ended an era. Never again will I crack open a new adventure with this paranormal family I adore so much. Never again will I get to read one for the first time, though finishing it makes me want to (and I will...oh yes, I will...) go back and read the whole series again, back to back, just so I can see it with the knowledge of what will be. So I can frame what I come to know in that last book around what came before, making little things so much more poignant. FANTASTIC series, FANTASTIC ending, and excuse me while I go cry in a puddle because it ends now.

So much in my real life parallels this (as has so much of this series, even if Rachel fought magical foes and I simply walked in a much more mundane world) story and so many things are ending in real life...

I kind of feel like this:

Some quotes that I loved from this series:

"Call me tomorrow," Al said seriously, "I've got a curse that will take care of that. Unless you like the snake in a turtleneck look" - Ever After

"Look," I said, my finger jabbing out to point at him. "I don't like you. Jenks doesn't like you. And Ivy wants to eat you. Start talking." - Every Which Way But Dead

"Itchy witch." - Al...a lot

"I am yours," Trent gasped through clenched teeth, and my hand sprang from him, thinking I was betrayed. Trent fell to a knee, looking up at me, pleading. "I. Am. Yours. Claim me, Rachel! Damn your morals and claim me!" -Ever After

"I want a chance at falling in love.”  My breath came fast. That was what I wanted too, and it hurt more than I thought was possible to survive. - The Undead Pool

"Is this a date?" I asked again, more stridently.
Silent, Trent sat there, his hands on the wheel as he stared at the front door and the neon bowling pins flashing on and off. "I want it to be." - The Undead Pool

I should give you a bunny.(Al) - Black Magic Sanction

"Not if I can help it," I snapped. "And not of a broken heart. If you could, I'd be dead already." -Black Magic Sanction

Good bye, Hollows. I'll visit you soon.

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