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White Witch, Black Curse
Kim Harrison
Narrated by Marguerite Gavin, unabridged
Harper Audio, 18.5 hours

White Witch, Black Curse
Kim Harrison
Born in the Midwest, Kim Harrison has been called a witch, among other things, but has never seen a vampire (that she knows of). She loves graveyards and midnight jazz, and wears too much black.

Kim Harrison Website
ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: The Outlaw Demon Wails
SF Site Review: For A Few Demons More
SF Site Review: A Fistful of Charms
SF Site Review: Every Which Way But Dead
SF Site Review: The Good, the Bad, and the Undead
SF Site Interview: Kim Harrison
SF Site Review: The Good, the Bad, and the Undead
SF Site Review: Dead Witch Walking
SF Site Review: Dead Witch Walking
SF Site Review: Dead Witch Walking

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Jennifer McCann

Kim Harrison's latest installment of the misadventures of Rachel Morgan kicks off at the beginning of the end -- the end of Kisten's life (or unlife). Kisten's murder at the hands of an unknown assailant has haunted Rachel since she woke up with no knowledge of what happened. Working with a psychiatrist, Rachel begins to put things together but is still hampered by Jenks' "forget" spell.

Meanwhile, a close friend is hospitalized after what appears to be a banshee attack. Rachel, Ivy and Jenks are on the case. The intrepid trio runs up against the toughest customer to date, a mad momma banshee trying to "feed" her baby and keep her small family, with serial killer hubby, together. Baby banshee does not live by Gerber's alone; she "feeds" off of the emotions of the people with whom she comes in contact.

With more angst and upheaval than a junior high school dance, Rachel is a taste treat. Still trying to get over the loss of Kisten, coming to terms with the wants of Ivy, taking the first steps toward a relationship with Graham and discovering that an old boy friend haunts their church, Rachel is one big walking supernatural soap opera. Move over Dark Shadows. Not to mention, she is now the student of the charming and totally untrustworthy demon Al, which makes her persona non grata with the local witch covens.

Kim Harrison has returned to her roots. With all the drama of Rachel's love life aside, Harrison comes back to what has made this an enduring series, which is Rachel, Ivy and Jenks working together to solve the mystery and capture the bad guys.

Marguerite Gavin gives an unobtrusive audio performance. She seems to slip this character on like a comfy pair of old jeans. She just is Rachel. Her portrayal of Jenks gets a bit shrill, but all in all, it doesn't break the spell.

One drawback is the constant dwelling upon the imminent death of Jenks' wife, Magdalena. It is much like living with a geriatric pet. You know that they are going to die but you don't face it every moment of the day. Unfortunately, Harrison tends to hit upon the subject a great deal.

The reveal of Kisten's murderer is a bit anticlimactic. The build up with all the possible candidates and the vampire politics involved really could have been a storyline unto itself, but it comes across as just an afterthought. But overall, this book ends with the feeling of a new beginning. Old storylines are tied up, not a neatly as one would want, but extraneous characters are pruned away and new personalities are introduced. It will be interesting to see what Rachel will get herself into next.

Copyright © 2009 Jennifer McCann

A belly dancing, dyslexic wife and mother who in her spare time works as a library clerk. A full and rich life is lead through the books she listens to and/or reads. Dyslexics Untie!

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