A Perfect Blood
Published 2012 438 pages
Summary (from the book jacket)
Ritually murdered corpses are appearing across Cincinnati, terrifying amalgams of human and other. Pulled in to help investigate by the I.S. and the FIB, former witch turned day-walking demon Rachel Morgan soon realizes a horrifying truth: a human hate group is trying to create its own demons to destroy all Inderlanders, and to do so, it needs her blood.
She’s faced vampires, witches, werewolves, demons, and more, but humanity itself might be her toughest challenge yet.
A Perfect Blood is the tenth book in the Kim Harrison’s bestselling Hollows urban fantasy series. As series fans are already aware, these books follow the magical investigations and adventures of witch Rachel Morgan, a private investigator and runner in the Hollows. Fans should not be disappointed by this solid addition to the popular series which continues the action from a few months after where the events of Pale Demon (book nine) left off. If you are unfamiliar with the series this book will make no sense to you – start reading with Dead Witch Walking, secure in the knowledge that you’ve got ten mostly top-notch urban fantasy stories to catch up on.
A Perfect Blood sees Rachel battling against HAPA, a human-run hate group that loathes magic and would like to see all Interland species exterminated. There goal is to put humans back at the top of the food chain. Paradoxically demon magic is their chosen weapon. Most of the previous books have been concerned with paranormal foes and this is the first time that Rachel has been pitted against a humans. For a witch who has won fights against far more deadly foes (undead vampires, demons, witches and even a banshee) you would think that a bunch of humans would be an easy target… but hampered by her denial of her demon heritage Rachel’s lay line magic is cut off and she is left with nothing but a few magic charms and her wits to fall back on.
In the past I’ve criticised this series for character stagnation. Early on the author found the winning formula – hapless witch lurches from one magical or romantic disaster to another to the vast entertainment of the reading audience – but there are only so many times you can see a character keep taking the same dumb actions before it starts to get very samey. Throw in a lot of whiny introspection about the character’s love life and samey gets tedious. The last book worked to pull Rachel out of her samey rut and A Perfect Blood extends this further with good character development that shows readers Rachel growing up, making mature decisions and not whining about it. That alone makes A Perfect Blood a pleasure to read, throw in some romantic tension and high stakes fantasy action and this book is a winner.
For all of Rachel’s new grown up considered approach to her problems readers can still expect disaster to strike – a splat gun goes wrong and Rachel is once again in a bad situation (kidnapped by the bad guys) but this leads to plenty of opportunities for excitement as Rachel first plots her escape and later becomes their new target. From an initially slow start the plotting soon gathers pace and the second half of the book is just about unputdownable.
Some series fans may be disappointed that Ivy and Jenks get less face time in the story. This is in line with Rachel’s important realization that Ivy and Jenks are moving on with their lives and that she isn’t getting on with hers. However, Trent (Rachel’s new romantic interest, maybe) more than makes up for their loss and Al (everyone’s favourite demon) makes a welcome return too.
I like this series more with every book I read. Exciting, mature and well thought out, A Perfect Blood makes a great addition to the series and leaves me wanting to read more. What more can I say?
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