Every Which Way But Dead by Kim Harrison

Reviewed by OBS Staffer Heidi.

This book is the third installment of The Hollows Series; that follows a bounty hunter witch, Rachel Morgan, and her two business partners, jovial pixie Jenks and tough as nails vampire, Ivy.

In this book; Master Vampire and leader of the underworld, Piscary, has been sent to prison thanks to Rachel and the testimony she convinces the demon, Algaliarept, to give.  But with demons everything they give has a price and the price for this one’s testimony is for Rachel to be his familiar, aka the being that he channels all his magic through to keep himself safe from harm.  But in order for him to use her properly he must bring her into the ever after with him.  There’s just one problem…Rachel negotiated to keep her soul, which means she has free will and refuses to go to the ever after with him.  So if she won’t go willingly, then he’ll just have to bring her by force, if he can.

Meanwhile, Rachel’s relationship with her boyfriend, Nick, is going downhill fast and he leaves town.  He says he’ll be back, but Rachel knows a brush-off when she sees one.  So she does the only thing she can do…goes on a “platonic” date with her roommate’s very sexy and very deadly vampire friend, Kisten.  Only to find out that he had an ulterior motive.  He uses her as back-up, unbeknownst to her, while dealing with the guy, Saladan, who is vying to take Pascary’s place as leader of all things inderlander.  When Saladan sends a coven of witches after them, Kisten is forced to fight, giving Rachel a glimpse of just how dangerous he can be.  But she will always be grateful for him protecting her and keeping her alive during the whole ordeal.
And if all that wasn’t enough to keep her busy…she’s also been keeping a secret from Jenks.  She knows what Trent Kalamack is, when nobody else in town can figure it out.  When she lets it slip in front of Jenks that she knows, he quits and moves him and his family out of the church they all share.  He is devastated that she didn’t trust him with the secret.  Will she ever be able to convince him to forgive her?

After Saladan leaves Trent and Rachel, trapped on his casino boat to die, Rachel devises a plan to bring Saladan to justice.  But she never expected him to take her into the ever after to finish their duel.  It’s up to her to outsmart him and claw her way back to the other side and the ones she loves, before Algaliarept can sink his claws into her.

For the most part, I thought this book was pretty good.  It has a much faster pace and more action than the two previous installments had.  If you gave up on this series after reading books one and/or two….you should definitely give this series one more chance and try this one on for size…you won’t be disappointed!!  It has a better plot, more action, and even a little romance thrown in for good measure.

I was hooked early on in this story…and this book made me fall in love with Kisten.  You see a more tender side of him, and he brings in some more humor that I greatly enjoyed. I loved their date, even if he wasn’t being completely honest with his motives.  I really hope that we see more of Kisten and Rachel’s budding relationship in the following books.

I did find the confrontation at the end of the story to drag on a bit…and that is the only thing that kept this from being great in my eyes…but it still is very good and is worth the time to read it.  This is a book I could see myself reading over and over again.