Kim Harrison‘s The Hallows Series, is one of my absolute favorite series. Tthat and Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files Series are probably my all time favorite top series. A Perfect Blood is Harrison’s latest book in The Hallows Series and I requested it immediately from my library. Being a library, it took a couple of weeks to get to me, but once it was in my hands I absolutely devoured the book as voraciously as Ivy devours blood, got drunkenly excited about the plot like Jinks gets drunk on honey, and yelled in frustration at the characters’ choices just as Rachel howls in frustration when she deals with the consequences of her decisions.
**SPOILERS IF YOU HAVEN’T READ PRIOR BOOKS**
I really really liked this book. The characters are, as always, engaging. Rachel is drawn into a dangerous game where she must track down humans who have taken up black magic, are trying to make demon blood, and seem to be calling out Rachel. Jinks and Ivy are there to help, but Rachel’s bodyguard Wayde is against her investigation and run against the hate group. He rightly so, thinks her life is in danger.
It was interesting to get back to following Rachel and the gang along on a run, and this book really shows how things have changed for Rachel as she leans on people she wouldn’t ever have trusted in the first couple of books. Who do I mean, why Trent of course. After going on a car trip across the U.S. with him, helping him rescue his daughter, and all the other unique and amazingly out of the ordinary adventures in Pale Demon Rachel’s attitude towards the overlord of Cincinnati has changed. But will her change in attitude and her shift in actually preparing the big guns for fights being a big enough change to save her from her normal brash impetuous nature?
Not so much. One complaint I have about Rachel, and the reason I wanted to reach through the pages of the book grab Rachel around the neck and shake her silly head, is her inability to grow the Eff up. I appreciate that her character has definitely grown, she had learned many hard lessons, and she makes less mistakes, but she still acts like a spoiled little child who doesn’t understand why her favorite toys keep rising up out of their doll beds and bopping her on her head. Bop harder toys, BOP HARDER. Does this make her an extremely interesting and engaging character? It does. And Harrison’s redeeming trait is that Rachel actually has grown, that she learns a lesson here, but that she has more to learn.
What I also really like about Rachel is that she owns her mistakes, hers and no one elses’. She makes way more mistakes than I think someone in her line of work and with her years of bad-things-happening and with the amount of experience she has, but I almost buy that it is her nature and a lot of it can’t be helped. I guess I just keep waiting for a character that makes good decisions that still turn out wrong (one reason I really liked The Event), rather than a character that keeps making stupid mistakes to keep the drama moving forward. The only female character I can think of that sort of does that is Katniss in The Hunger Games.
Also, can authors please stop having my favorite characters get beaten up constantly? Honestly, despite no background in self defense or violence, I think I could jump into these universes and beat the crap out of characters because they can never seem to hold their own even though IT IS THEIR LINE OF WORK TO GO AFTER BAD GUYS! I’m looking at you Jim Butcher, Laurell K. Hamilton, and a host of others! The worst part is that Rachel walks around talking all big and bad and then doesn’t back up her mouth. The only person to actually, with finality, kick some ass was Trent. Yay for Trent!!! OMG character crush!
Solid action, plot line movement, and engagement characters make A Perfect Blood a wonderful read. I do think Pale Demon one of my favorite books all time, and of this series, but A Perfect Blood is very solid follow-up. Rachel and Trent establish a new dynamic in their tentative work relationship, Rachel learns who she is and begins to act on that, and the minor characters of the series have enough play to stay relevant and true to their parts. If you haven’t picked up this series (you shouldn’t have read this review, but if you did and you still haven’t picked up this series), go get A Dead Witch Walking right now!!!