Brown River Queen cover art

Sunday, March 20, 2011

What I'm Reading Now: Pale Demon

Nope.  No spoilers here, because I'm only a quarter of the way through the book.  So don't feel like you need to hit the back button if you're a Kim Harrison fan who hasn't read Pale Demon.

If you're a fantasy reader who isn't already a Kim Harrison fan, you should be.  She writes a great yarn -- fast-paced, unpredictable, imaginative, and just plain brilliant.  Her Rachel Morgan character is every bit as much fun as Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden.  And from me, that is high praise.

The Rachel Morgan books are the books I thought Laurell K. Hamilton was going to write with her Anita Blake novels.  I stopped reading the Anita Blake books after book three, I think it was -- too much were/vamp romance and angst and not enough, well, anything else.  Anita is in love with this guy, and this guy, blah blah blah.  If I wanted Twilight with an R rating I'd -- well, I have myself beaten to a pulp, that's what I'd do.  Twice.

But Harrison has avoided the bogged-down-in-drama pitfall.  I love the way she takes a simple premise and weaves a whole book around it.

I'm not giving anything away that isn't on the book blurb by saying this much.  Rachel, Jenks, and Trent wind up taking a very unlikely three-day road trip across post-Turn America.  There may or may not be assassins on their heels.  Trent and Rachel may or not be at each others' throats most of the time.

I'm only a quarter of the way through, but man is it good.  Magic is flying.  The tension is palpable.  The stop in St. Louis?

Somebody please make a movie out of this.

Most of the time, when I read a book, I find myself picking it apart, chapter by chapter, word by word.  If it's good, I want to dissect it, see what makes it tick.

I can't do that with Pale Demon.  The pages won't let you not turn them.

I'll probably read it a second time with an eye toward stealing Miss Harrison's pacing tricks.  But for now, I'm just sitting back and enjoying the ride!

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