Monday, March 15, 2010

Kim Harrison's - Black Magic Sanctioned - is a Busy Story

Life has been stressful lately.  Work is busy.  Family members are in crisis.  Money is tight.  Instead of food, alcohol or drugs to cope I turn to books.  I have been reading like mad.  The strange thing is I haven't really been interested in blogging about 90% of them.  They have been fluff.  Light airy, sometimes silly books that don't have enough substance to keep them in my memory long enough to care about reviewing them.  Nora Roberts Bride Series is on that list as well as Kresley Cole and Gena Showalter's offering, "Deep Kiss of Winter." I did however find a book that required a little more effort on my part to pay attention  and that was Kim Harrison's new Rachel Morgan installment, "Black Magic Sanctioned."
Wow!  This book moved like the Wild Hunt was after them.   Rachel is on the outs with the witches, (not unexpected).  She is on the outs with Trent Kalamack, (not unexpected).  She is on the outs with law enforcement, (not unexpected).  No one seems to like her anymore, except for Al the demon, (ok, this one is a bit unexpected).  She has been his student learning ley line magic, curses and trying to get those pesky demon marks off her.  She is broke and broke down.  Her only friends, Jenks and Ivy are supporting her, financially and emotionally.  She is just about at her wits end.  So what happens?  Yep, you know.  She gets into more trouble that she can't control.  Rachel is more powerful than she realizes but others are very aware of her potential.  The white witches coven of moral and ethical standards have a warrant out for her. They consider Rachel a threat to their very existence now and in the future. They want her imprisoned, incapable of reproduction and insentient.  Rachel carries demon DNA.  She isn't a witch but she isn't a demon either.  She is the missing link.  The witches want her to stay missing.
You might remember in her last book "White Witch, Black Curse", Rachel saves Trent's butt by making him her familiar and she switches summoning names with Al.  Both of these will be used to try to control her and kill her in "BMS."  She is surrounded by people and creatures who will either own her or kill her.  She is on the run and kicking butt from page one until the very end.
The story races through ley lines of Cincinnati to a special witches prison in Alcatraz.  Yep, they found a new use for the big house on the rock.  She is forced to accept assistance from her old lover and now nemesis Nick. The problem is for every helping hand moment forward with good Ol' Nick there are 10 steps backward of betrayal.  When is she going to learn!? She gets friendly with her demon mentor Al which is creepy and definitely making me worry for the future.  Thanks to a charm of Trent's that almost kills her she is starting to remember more of her youth.  Pierce, the ghost who took over a dead witch's body is back and playing protector extraordinaire to Rachel's damsel in distress.  There is a scene in a hole in the ground that, for me, epitomizes the creepy wonders of the paranormal genre. Can you say sex in a grave?
All the while her best friends, Jenks and Ivy watch her back and save her on a regular bases. As I type this I can feel my pulse race a little faster just thinking about everything that happens in this book.  Not one of our favorite friends or enemies are left out in this installment.  Tragedy strikes a loved one and they have to come together to get through the grief.  Love strikes in the most unlikely places and this time they are taking a little more time to decide if it is right.
One of my favorite quotes comes from a spaghetti commercial referring to how chocked full something is:  "Like Prego! It's  in there!"  And just like a great plate of pasta "Black Magic Sanctioned" is really satisfying.

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