The Undead Pool - Kim Harrison

How is Rachel Morgan doing after her last adventure in Ever After? Well, not too bad if you think about. Am I going to give you spoilers? Why yes. Yes I am.

Witch and day-walking demon Rachel Morgan has managed to save the demonic ever after from shrinking, but at a high cost. Now strange magic is attacking Cincinnati and the Hollows, causing spells to backfire or go horribly wrong, and the truce between the races, between Inderlander and human, is shattering. Rachel must stop the occurrences before the undead vampire masters who keep the rest of the undead under control are lost and it becomes all-out supernatural war. However, the only way to do so is through the ancient elven wild magic, which carries its own perils.

I feel a little guilty about just now writing this review, as I read this book back in April. I think part of that has to do with the face that I wasn’t too sure how I felt about this book. I loved it. I did. But, some part of me feels like it was simply filler. Which, I mean, let’s get real. That’s going to happen some point in a book series that goes over six books. The Undead Pool is book number 12 in the Kim Harrison’s Hollow Series. I love the world that has been created by Kim Harrison. I love the alternative history she has created and it’s so fun and exciting and action packed…even when Rachel royally screws up.  But something about this book, it was different than the others. I understand, it should be different as the story line is different.
But to me, it felt a little too domestic. Too much romance. Where’s the action and the inner conflict? Yes. The action is there. And there is inner conflict, but it all had to do with her feelings for Trent. Which, can we have a brief and spoiler filled conversation about that whole bit? Can they be any more inappropriate and awkward about their feelings towards each other? First, they make out in a room full of dead vampires. Second, when they finally bone, it’s something you would see a high school teenager do. Really? Shuffling from the kitchen to the living room with your pants around your ankles? Geez. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to see two characters that have been mooning over each for who knows how many books get it on, but I expected something not so…juvenile? Yeah. I think that’s the word I’m looking for.
Other than that, I did like the story line. It was nice to have a book devoted to the elven society of The Hollows World. I like how the elven society and magic counters Rachel’s own and her beliefs. The idea of the Goddess and her essence being trapped inside of Rachel makes for an interesting conundrum for Rachel as a day walking demon. And the undead vampire Masters not waking up? Well, causes a lot of issues in Cincinnati. The Free Vampires (which, I felt was kind of a floundering story line to cover up the diabolical plans of an Elf Priest) running around biting folks and drinking blood and that brings in Ivy and her new girlfriend Nina fighting and battling her former hold on her Vampire Master. It is a good story line for what it provided for Rachel: full of action and ka-bow which is always awesome.
The one things I was bummed about is that Al and Newt really only appear at the end. Newt is brilliant and Al is angry. The way I love them. And we did see more of Newt and her craziness, but we got a deeper understanding of what she went through…and how much it is just like Rachel is going through with essence of the Goddess floating around in her head. And Al…geez! I just wish there was more of that guy. He’s so complicated and angry. He’s wonderful. And I miss him. I do hope to see much more of Al and Newt in the upcoming and final book for this series.
I do love this book, however, I didn’t feel it was up to par with the previous books. It felt like corn: filler but no substance (or nutritional value). Ever After was amazing and probably my favorite in the series.I suppose I got a little over excited. And I know this last little statement is totally first world problem and nitpicky…but I hate the cover. I hate it. Why is Rachel blonde? She has red hair? And Trent…totally not what I pictured. On the cover, he looks like he’s out of an 80’s movie about power brokers and Wall Street scum. I just can’t get with it. Vain and silly? Yes. But I don’t apologize for my book snobbery. It is what it is.
I cannot wait to read the final book in this series, Witch With No Name. I am hoping for complete and utter epicness swimming in awesome sauce….oh please deliver….please?
Until Next Time. Remember to always be yourself...unless you can be a pirate.
Then ALWAYS be the PIRATE!