Review of Every Which Way But Dead by Kim Harrison

Posted November 8th, 2011 in book review / 3 comments

Every Which Way But Dead

Book #3 of the Hollows Series

by Kim Harrison

Published: Harper Voyager – July 2005
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 501 (paperback)

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Rating: ★★★★★ (5 stars)


There’s no witch in Cincinnati tougher, sexier, or more screwed up than bounty hunter Rachel Morgan, who’s already put her love life and soul in dire jeopardy through her determined efforts to bring criminal night creatures to justice.
Between “runs,” she has her hands full fending off the attentions of her blood-drinking partner, keeping a deadly secret from her backup, and resisting a hot new vamp suitor.

Rachel must also take a stand in the war that’s raging in the city’s underworld, since she helped put away its former vampire kingpin—and made a deal with a powerful demon to do so that could cost her an eternity of pain, torment, and degradation.

And now her dark “master” is coming to collect his due.

The Good
Big Al, the demon, is coming to collect after Rachel made a deal with him to become his familiar. He may be a scary son of a biscuit, but he’s also freakin’ hilarious. I think Al really made this book interesting. His determination to get Rachel into the ever-after (demon realm) fuels this book with intense action and heart-pounding moments that will terrify you.

In this book we get to learn more about elves and werewolves. And we meet a lot of new people or learn more about current characters. Werewolf David Hue seems like an interesting character. He’s an insurance adjuster, and, in Harrison’s world, there are a lot of werewolf insurance adjusters. Yup, very weird. Mr. Keasley is Rachel’s next door neighbor and he is more than he seems. He helps Rachel out in this book by taking in Al’s old familiar, Ceri, who is also quite odd herself. Then there is the bad guy, Lee Saladan, who has something in common with Rachel and it ain’t a sparkling personality. Oh, and we can’t forget Ellasbeth, Trent’s fiancee. Very unpleasant. She’s the kind of person you want to punch in the throat (Why the throat? Well it hurts for one, but it also makes it damn hard to speak afterward. So you shut them up and cause them pain at the same time. Win-win; two birds, one stone; some other cliche saying.)

I really liked the Kisten and Ivy aspect. Rachel and Kisten’s relationship seems to be going somewhere, much to Ivy’s chagrin. Then Ivy’s old lover comes into town, and that storyline just takes us on a whirlwind of fun and awkward.

For me the best part of the book is when Rachel is hired to become Trent’s bodyguard for the night. This scene really entranced me, and I couldn’t put the book down. 

There are so many aspects, so many bad guys in this book you are simply left shocked that Rachel can survive her many enemies attempts to either kill her or enslave her. How the heck she gets herself out of these situations leaves me no choice but to give Harrison major props in her story telling.

The Bad
Same thing as before: Rachel’s tendency towards stupidity and whining gets annoying. But the other characters make up for her downfall as a protagonist. And, as is Harrison’s style, many scenes dragged, but I loved the book enough to not care.

The Snuggly
There is one sex scene that is hot but not over the top.

Harrison seems to be getting better and better as she creates a world with a variety of supernaturals that get more fascinating per book. Every Which Way But Dead is the kind of book that you lose sleep over. Especially in the first chapter and the second half were most of the action takes place. Highly recommended.

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3 Responses to “Review of Every Which Way But Dead by Kim Harrison”

  1. Jennifer L. Bielman

    Yeah, Harrison really knows how to drag a scene. Luckily, I liked this book so much I didn’t notice as much this time around. I hated Trent at first but he is growing on me.

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