Monday, June 14, 2021

Review: American Demon by Kim Harrison

by Kim Harrison
Release Date: June 16th 2020
2020 ACE
Kindle Edition; 473 Pages
ISBN: 978-0593101414
Genre: Fiction / Urban Fantasy
Source: Review copy from publisher
3 / 5 Stars
What happens after you've saved the world? Well, if you're Rachel Mariana Morgan, witch-born demon, you quickly discover that something might have gone just a little bit wrong. That the very same acts you and your friends took to forge new powers may have released something bound by the old. With a rash of zombies, some strange new murders, and an exceedingly mysterious new demon in town, it will take everything Rachel has to counter this new threat to the world--and it may demand the sacrifice of what she holds most dear.
My Thoughts
American Demon is the next entry the The Hollows, and while I was excited to learn there would be another entry in this series, it did take a while for me to wrap my head around that fact as it was made pretty clear the last book would be that last book in the series and I was not really prepared for this.  And then when I did start it, I was somewhat disappointed and couldn't get into it.  It's not that I didn't remember anything from the previous books and I thought the author did a great job at explaining the important information in such a way that I wouldn't have to re-read previous books, the whole atmosphere just, in a way I can't explain.  It actually took me three tries to finish this, and this has never happened with a Rachel Morgan book. Ok, yes, I was a bit disappointed with the last book in the series, but that was for different reasons.  
First of all, while I love Rachel, this Rachel drove me nuts.  When did she lose her spine and her will and her spunk....well, I think you get it.  She spent so much time agonizing over whether Trent really loved her as well as second-guessing all of her decisions that I was ready to scream.  The tough-as-nails Rachel was nowhere in sight and I really, really missed her.  Every time something went south on her, she would look to others to see what she should do rather than take decisive action, afraid of creating bad publicity for Trent and his evil cadre of elves (something I will get to in a moment), to the point where I wanted some serious ass-kicking and some serious take downs just to know that she could still do them.  The author spent so many books trying to get Trent and Rachel together that she has turned Rachel into this 'does he really love me or should he get together with Ellasbeth' silliness to take forefront and it's driving me crazy.  I think I preferred it when Trent was evil as Rachel was much more interesting in those books.  
Ok, Trent.  Don't get me wrong, I love his character, but then I love badasses and that's exactly what he was.  I never really saw them together and I'm not really sure this relationship is working for me the way it is as Rachel just seems so...compliant.  To keep them together, I think there needs to be some major power shakeups in this world to make things more interesting.  Something big needs to happen soon. No more teenage angst relationship nonsense that is, frankly, boring. 
And now the elves.  When do the elves ever get their comeuppance?  They create so many problems, and have for books now, but  Why not?  When are they finally going to get their due?  Why is it that Rachel gets lynched all of the time, but nothing bad ever happens to them?  And not just the elves, but it seems like the vampires are going to take a bite out of her as well.   I am not a violent person by nature, but I would have happily cheered to see Rachel destroy Landon first, and then the Order next.  It's been a few books and I am still at a loss as to why they have so much power and can just walk in and do whatever the hell they want to whoever they want whenever they want.  Rachel keeps talking about how Cincinnati is her city to protect, but I am seeing none of it in this book.  

The author is a solid writer and I always look forward to meeting old favourites and finding out what they are up to; unfortunately, there was little of Al or Ivy in this book and I was somewhat disappointed by that. Jenks and Bis though? Always have been my favourites!!   There were a couple of newer characters that I did like however, ones that I hope will shake things up in future books as I think the power structure in these books needs a really good shakeup to make things much more interesting and to drive the story forward. 

American Demon was definitely not a story for which I was expecting or hoping; Rachel spent a lot of time moping after Trent, trying to fix her home, and trying to figure out who was spying on her and why.  The story moved a bit more slowly than previous books and spent a lot of time on explaining different spells. And while a lot of characters jumped in and out of the story, I didn't really see a purpose for some of them other than to remind us who they were so this story really felt a filler, setting up something for the future.  I am really hoping this is the case as both Rachel and Trent were irritating in this book, and I would like the see the annoying, but ballsy, Trent and the kick-ass Rachel back on these pages.  I will be reading Million Dollar Demon (releases June 15th) as I got it for review, but I think if it doesn't improve, this series and I will finally part ways which makes me sad.