Of course, as a long-time fan, I cannot say there is a Hollows book from Kim Harrison that I do not like. Million Dollar Demon takes us back into the Hollows of Cincinnati with all the inter/intra-species conflict and action that Harrison fans love. Even in the fifteenth book, she still manages to keep the world fresh and the characters even fresher. Kim Harrison mixes both the new and the old flawlessly leading to another awesome story of Rachel Morgan’s kick-ass-ery. Keep reading to get my inside look at the most recent developments in the Hollows series.
The new master vampire of Cincinnati has arrived . . . and she wants Rachel Morgan out. No matter where Rachel goes, Constance is there–threatening Rachel’s allies, causing city-wide chaos, and, to add insult to injury, even forcing Rachel out of her current quarters. Ever since Rachel found a way to save the souls of vampires, the old undead’s longtime ascendancy has been broken. Now Constance sees eliminating Rachel as the key to consolidating her own power.
Rachel has no desire to be enthralled or killed–and she’s terrified of what may become of the city if Constance forces a return to the ancient ways. But even a witch-born demon can’t stand against the old undead–at least, not alone. And if Rachel refuses to claim the role of Cincinnati’s master demon, the city will tear itself apart, taking her and all those who stand beside her with it.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
Whether she is using her magic to severely irritate a master vamp encroaching on her city or to stop the Ever After collapsing, Rachal Morgan is always open for business. In Million Dollar Demon, Rachel and her constant foul-mouthed pixy companion, Jenks, have to deal with the new (and certifiably insane) master vampire assigned to Cincinnati who is hellbent on bringing Rachel to heel and kicking her out of town. Meanwhile, demons are just now coming into their own on this side of the ley lines after centuries of being shunned and feared, and Rachel has to grapple with a possible new responsibility as the demon sub-rosa, essentially the demon mafia boss. Tensions are high amongst different Inderlander groups as wolves, witches, and some vamps have been evicted to make way for the new master vampire, Constance, and her camarilla, including her scion, Pike. Long friendships and relationships are left broken or strained, leaving Rachel in the middle (Read: Rachel, Al, and Hodin friendship triangle).
Something I truly love about Harrison’s writing in the Hollows series is her ability to add more to the universe without making it feel inorganic or forced. We still learn more about the Inderlanders and the supernatural throughout this book in a way that does not make it seem like she was trying to arbitrarily stretch out the world to account for new things. Harrison builds more layers into her urban fantasy universe without making the reader feel like she is making things up to fit her narrative.
Unfortunately, some parts of Million Dollar Demon felt a bit hollow (seriously, no pun intended) with the absence of two key characters. Best friend and one-third of the trios in crime, Ivy, and evil demon turned teacher and friend, Al, are mostly missing throughout this book. It had the feeling of when you are watching a TV series and for part of the season some cast members are gone because they are either filming something else or are pregnant. While they technically both had legitimate in-story reasons explaining their absences and to a certain extent had some cameos, their absence was certainly felt by the reader. I’m unsure if Harrison is wanting us to miss them and feel that emptiness, or if by inviting more characters into the fold she didn’t want to overwhelm the storyline. Not having Ivy and Al consistently through the book did leave me wanting more.
Regardless of that qualm I have with the fifteenth installment, I still feel like Harrison is killing it with her creation of captivating new characters. Her personalities, motivations, and general characterization of new and old characters are very compelling as always. She does a great job of weaving in nods to old characters and even seemingly forgotten plot points — looking at you, minky Rachel. Harrison is still able to create unfamiliar elements and have them sit well and be comfortable (or intentionally uncomfortable) in an increasingly familiar world of the Hollows.