âMillion Dollar Demon (The Hollows # 15)â by Kim Harrison. Ace (Penguin Random House), 2021. 464 pages, $ 28 (hardcover).
(Spoiler alert: If you haven’t read any in this series, it will reveal some intrigue. This is the 15th book, after all.)
In the 15th installment of “The Hollows”, Rachel Morgan is faced with her next problem in Cincinnati – a new master vampire named Constance who really doesn’t like her and has decided that Rachel must leave town or die. So no matter where Rachel goes, Constance is there, threatening her, threatening her friends, causing endless chaos and even kicking Rachel out of her current home. The old living dead have lost some of their power because Rachel has found a way to save souls from vampires – and Constance believes getting rid of Rachel is the key to reclaiming that power. Rachel doesn’t want power, but if she lets Constance take over Cincinnati, what will happen to her house and her friends? Rachel knows she can’t be alone, not even as a wizarding demon. Rachel must make a choice: become the demon master of the city or leave him to her mad vampire master and go.
Because she was presented with this choice from the start, this book is more about Rachel which makes perfect sense. Rachel learns that those around her come to her defense because they know she will do what she can to protect them, as she always has. But the question is, can Rachel make this decision to take a position of power? And does she want it? I appreciated that she struggled with this decision.
As always, Kim Harrison absolutely delivers with her world Hollows and Rachel Morgan. Because it’s set in Cincinnati, there are some familiar places. Harrison has also built this world of magic very well – there are little details about how to summon charms, how spells work, whether you can break a circle that builds on top of each other and helps us. to be part of Rachel’s world. Rachel meets someone over running water, because technically she shouldn’t be able to do magic there. It’s a detail that is part of building the world of Hollows, and one of the things I love about fantasy and sci-fi books and series. This can also be said with character details, from how vampires react to little things like eating crunchy food, or having their necks covered, to why demons insist on rituals and why as we learn about them. more about their story, things in previous novels start to take on a whole new meaning.
One of my favorite things about this series is the supporting cast. How Harrison manages to juggle and write so many fantastic characters is beyond me, but I really want to learn his secrets. I still love Trent and Rachel together, and their romance fills me with comfort. They work so well together. I can’t wait to see where it goes and what their next explosion might be; after all, Rachel and Trent fight so well. She pushes him to be a better person, and I think together they really balance each other out.
As for the demons in this novel, I’m sad that Al is still not around at all, and still very angry. I want to know more about this story and hope to see it in the future. However, Rachel seemed a bit bland about her stance with Al / Hodin and that drove me a bit nuts. One minute, she was determined to have nothing to do with Hodin, so she could see Al, and the next, she was talking to Hodin as soon as he showed up (although I understood his reasoning). I really love Hodin and I was really happy with the way it worked – so I hope he doesn’t stab us all in the back! I’m also a little worried about the history between him and Al, and the rest of the demons.
Jenks is still awesome as ever, and he and Rachel get the much-needed punch to get them to discuss an issue they’re having. Communication is key – don’t just assume you know what the other person is feeling / thinking! If something happened to Jenks, I could lock myself in the room and cry for days on end. By the way, my other favorite supporting character, Ivy, is a lot less present in this book – which I understand for her character / story / and Rachel’s own growth. I hope she comes back for more in the next novel, although I will understand if that part of the story has moved on (as long as we keep the occasional mentions!). I also very much appreciated the evolution of the Church in this one.
All in all, it was a really great installment. There are very few book series that I could go on reading 15 and be this happy with all of them. I even cried a little once – but not as much as I sobbed for “American Demon” (the 14th book). There are a few more important storylines that need to be wrapped up, and one that I really wish had been resolved in this one, so I can’t wait for # 16.
– Reviewed by Fallon Willoughby, first year instructor, Southcentral Kentucky Community & Technical College.