Every Which Way But Dead - Kim Harrison

Book Reaction (not a full review)

In the third installment of Rachel Morgan's adventures, she's mostly dealing with the fallout of some of the events of the previous book. Sadly, this means that the book has a heavy focus on vampires and demons, and in Harrison's world, that means that the book is all about seduction, temptation, and weird rapey vibes. An amusing side adventure involves Rachel acting as body guard for Trent because--wait for it--they believe that she can handle vampiric vibes better than, say, someone who wasn't bitten by one.

I continue to be not remotely okay with the vampire stuff. In this book, Ivy mostly gives up on flat-out trying to rape Rachel; instead, she explains that she's hovering around because she believes that given enough time, pressure, and guilt, Rachel will cave. She tells her that giving blood isn't sex, and that it's a sign of love, and that if Rachel *really* loved her, then she'd submit. In other words, Ivy is a manipulative bitch as well as being the female equivalent of a Nice Guy (TM). Kisten (what a name... so much bad pun potential) is hanging around, and being retconned. Even though he's a predatory sleaze, he looks almost good when compared against the batshit-crazy jealous unreasonable selfishness that is Ivy.

Also adding to the rapey vibes--and in this case it's overt--is Al the Happy Demon. I thought the demon's familiar bit was an interesting twist, and I'm a little sorry to see its consequences minimized. I did like the neat way one of the lingering issues of the last book was resolved, however.

Speaking of which, a lot of folks told me that this was UF, not PNR. To my mind, three serious love interests in as many books (two of which she's slept with, and that's not mentioning Ivy's rapey weirdness), plus a plot that tends to revolve around Rachel's romances, puts this firmly in PNR territory.

I still think a lot of my enjoyment has to do with the narrator, Marguerite Gavin. Even this pleasure, however, is no longer unqualified. Harrison introduced a character named "Ceridwen," and Gavin pronounces it as "Siridwen." (Wince.) Gavin's pronunciation of her nickname left me with an unfortunately apt mental portrait of "Ceri":

It's always interesting to consider the writing style of a book I listened to rather than read. It still feels engaging to me, but given the number of odd phrasings and word choices I stumbled over, I think most of that comes from Gavin's narration.

Overall, I think I'm rapidly becoming a bit disenchanted with the series. This book really isn't any worse than the previous two, and it has a lot of the same selling points: interesting worldbuilding, large cast of characters, and plenty of action. However, it hasn't developed into anything more. I think I'll stick it out through one more book and then give the series a rest.