Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Review: Black Magic Sanction by Kim Harrison

In New York Times bestselling author Kim Harrison's most complex and nuanced adventure yet, bounty hunter and witch Rachel Morgan fights a deadly battle—mind, body, and soul

Black Magic Sanction

Rachel Morgan has fought and hunted vampires, werewolves, banshees, demons, and other supernatural dangers as both witch and bounty hunter—and lived to tell the tale. But she's never faced off against her own kind . . . until now. Denounced and shunned for dealing with demons and black magic, her best hope is life imprisonment—at worst, a forced lobotomy and genetic slavery. Only her enemies are strong enough to help her win her freedom, but trust comes hard when it hinges on the unscrupulous tycoon Trent Kalamack, the demon Algaliarept, and an ex-boyfriend turned thief.

It takes a witch to catch a witch, but survival bears a heavy price.

So, this is the 8th installment in the Rachel Morgan series and it's pretty action packed. What keeps me coming back to this series is the growth of the characters, especially Rachel, the lead character. She's always been a fly by the seat of her pants kinda girl and she's always tended to make snap judgments about people and situations. While these tendencies have served her in some situations, in others they've led to trusting the wrong people, alienating people she shouldn't and getting herself in a boat load of trouble at every turn.

In this book we find Rachel really having to lean on her friends and some of her possible enemies for help. We also see her doing a lot of soul searching (HA) and questioning her motives and decisions before she acts. In some ways it hurt to watch her doubt herself, but I could also see that she was being less apt to just write people off because she realized that it could just be an immature impulse and not the fact that they're actually bad that's driving her actions. The relationships continue to grow in this one, which is good to see. I'm glad that Ivy and her relationship is less angsty and destructive. There were times in the beginning when Ivy was emotionally and physically abusive in my opinion. I got irritated because I felt that if Ivy were a man more people would have been upset by her behavior instead of laying it all on Rachel's door. Now, they seem to have more boundaries (though it's still annoyingly open ended in some ways) and they coexist better. It's great how Ivy and Jenks always have her back, no matter how many scrapes she gets in.

Can I just take a moment to gush over two characters that I love and was so glad to see more of in this book? Trent. I love the interaction between Rachel and Trent. Somehow they always bring out the inner 12 year old in each other and it cracks me up. Yet, they also have been known to work really well together when they can scrap all the baggage and pissing contests they have going on. Trent was great in this one and I loved every scene he and Rachel shared.

Al. Al the awesome and wicked demon. He cracks my ass up in this book. He totally made me break out laughing at 1:30 in the morning before I could stop myself. The fam might not share my humor when I wake them with my middle of the night cackling. *sigh* Fascists.

Ceri was in this one, but too briefly. I love her. I have to admit that I wish Rachel could be a little more pragmatic and tough like Ivy and Ceri and even Jenks. Her whole squeamishness to kill people kinda drives me nuts. I know, I shouldn't want the lead character to kill things (though I've been known to cheer for the killing of things before) but ya know, when these people are bad and trying to hurt you and your friends, you can't be afraid to get your ninja assassin on. I'm just sayin.

Nick was also in this one and all I have to say is, why can't he have died? I mean, really. This dude is a piece of work. He definitely brings the drama in this one.

Overall this was a solid entry in the series. I do kinda resent the perpetually AWOL status of David, but that's just me. There was action, suspense, character development and humor in this one and I really enjoyed it. If you haven't read this series, I recommend that you do and if you have read the previous books then what are you waiting for? Go get this one. Seriously.

Final grade: B

Happy reading!


Brooke Reviews said...

"getting herself in a boat load of trouble" lol LITERALLY! Great review, I loved this book. :)

Smokinhotbooks said...

I have to read Kim Harrison but the fact that this is the 8th book scares me off. But if I don't start now pretty soon it'll be the 10th book O_o.

The Queen B said...

@Brooke Reviews *gushes* I loove your name ;)
Yeah, I kinda thought some ppl might catch that um...boat reference, lol.

@Smokinhotbooks I know that it can be daunting to start in the middle of a series, but at the same time, I love starting a series with a few books out because when I get addicted I don't have to wait long to get a hold of the next one ;)
I think you'll like this one. Lots of action and cool paranormal stuff.

Gigi's Consignment Closet said...

Great review! I can't wait to start reading it.

Brooke Reviews said...

Thanks :D

@smokinhotbooks I didn't start this series until the fourth one was out, so it's definitely not toooo late. It's the best Urban Fantasy series for me. :) What's good is that now most of them are out on paperback, so you wouldn't have to get hardcovers.

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