Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Book Review: Every Which Way but Dead by Kim Harrison

My rating: 3.25/5

From Amazon:

"There's no witch in Cincinnati tougher, sexier, or more screwed up than bounty hunter Rachel Morgan, who's already put her love life and soul in dire jeopardy through her determined efforts to bring criminal night creatures to justice.

"Between 'runs,' she has her hands full fending off the attentions of her blood-drinking partner, keeping a deadly secret from her backup, and resisting a hot new vamp suitor.

"Rachel must also take a stand in the war that's raging in the city's underworld, since she helped put away its former vampire kingpin—and made a deal with a powerful demon to do so that could cost her an eternity of pain, torment, and degradation.

"And now her dark 'master' is coming to collect his due."

This book started out slow, but that really didn't bother me.  The author isn't a bad writer as far as that goes, and she kept me hooked plot-wise.  Some things might even keep me reading the series, such as the introduction of a demon creepier than Algaliarept.  But as interested as I still am in Rachel's background and the secrets of her father and the ever-after and whatnot, I still don't like Rachel as a character, and that's a big problem. Sometimes she's alright, but other times she's just an irritating plot device instead of a person.  In spots that were meant to be character-driven, the book read a lot like fan fiction, in that I'm pretty sure the author wishes she were a witch with a mysterious background who could kick butt and be vulnerable and sleep with a vampire with no consequences.  This vampire, by the way, does the bidding of the master vampire who raped her roommate in the previous book and tried to (and nearly did) kill Rachel.  And Rachel knows all of this.  So her new relationship with him is, from this reader's perspective, inexcusable.  The guy even causes a bunch of deaths (and nearly Rachel's) and Rachel basically shrugs it off as not really his fault. She even makes a friend uncomfortable by overtly sexually flirting with the vampire, and she thinks this is funny.  This isn't normal person behavior.  I would also like to know why she keeps fantasizing about Trent when he tried to kill her in book 1.  That's not normal or relatable behavior either.

One of the best characters, Jenks, disappears midway through the book after getting into a huffy argument with Rachel too.  And that's it; no more Jenks for the rest of the book.  He's brought up a few times, Rachel feels guilty, etc., but it seems the author realized she had too many characters and got rid of one of the most interesting ones.  Harumph.

The first two books weren't completely vampire-centric, but this one verged on it, and I have a feeling the series is headed that way.  I'm tired of vampires, so I hope not.  I may continue reading the series, but I'll be giving it a break for a while.

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