(WARW (Write a Review Wednesday) is something I started because I have a habit of putting off writing reviews. As an author, I know how important reviews are for the success of a book, so I’m making a concerted effort to write at least one review a week. Reviews might not always be about books–they could be about games, podcasts, online classes, etc–and I’d love it if you guys linked to one of your reviews (of whatever you want) in the comments. If you want to see all my WARW reviews, click WARW.)

blackmagicsanctionFinished the book this week! I enjoyed it a lot more than the previous book. And I really want to talk about it and the characters. So if you’ve read this book, read on, then definitely let me know what you think.

I read the previous Hollows book, White Witch, Black Curse, back in January of this year. I had to read my Goodreads review to refresh my memory, and apparently, I wasn’t excited about running out and reading the next book. The previous two books have been good, but they were missing something that the beginning of this series had. I think I’ve finally identified what made me set this series aside for years (Seriously, years. I read For A Few Demons more in 2008. I didn’t read the next book, The Outlaw Demon Wails, until 2015. That’s 7 years between the books, folks.). The thing that has made me enjoy the series less is the death of Kisten.

I loved Kisten. Even before Rachel did, and his death bothered me so much. Not only was I sad, but he took something to the grave with him, some spark in the story that I definitely miss. Since then, Rachel has fallen into a relationship or almost-relationship with several guys who I don’t care about at all. Lets talk about them, shall we?

Marshall: He’s a witch and he’s a nice guy, but good God, he is boring. I never felt any chemistry between him and Rachel like I felt between Rachel and Kisten. In the last book, when Rachel was shunned and Marshall decided he had to leave, I cheered. Rachel could move on to someone more interesting. Like Trent. Only she didn’t move on to Trent. She moved on to…wait for it…Pierce.

Pierce: Pierce is a ghost that found a body in White Witch, Black Curse. He had no real opinion of him. I thought he was a minor character who would just fade into the background, but much of Black Magic Sanction was about him. He was coven way back in the day, but he was buried alive for using black magic. And he still uses black magic. A lot. So he kind of understands Rachel and it’s very, very clear he has a thing for her. Rachel is physically attracted to him, but I’m definitely not. There’s no sizzle there! He’s a cool character with lots of tricks and skills. He seems more powerful and competent than Rachel. Just like Ivy is more powerful and competent. So is Jinks. Like, really, all of Rachel’s friends seem to have more power and skills than her despite all her demon-y stuff. She really, really is lucky to have those friends. Anyway, there is now a relationship between Rachel and Pierce. I have to say, I didn’t see it coming. I really thought Rachel wasn’t going to get entangled with him. So when they got together in that hole, I was disappointed. I do like Pierce a lot, but like Marshal, I’m not feeling the chemistry.

Trent: Let’s talk about Mr. Kalamack. I don’t remember when I started liking him, but I still really do. There’s chemistry between him and Rachel, even if that chemistry is a sizzling hot rage. There’s just a lot of tension there and it’s so entertaining. In the previous book, I was disappointed he barely had a role. He barely had a role in this book, too, but every time he was on the page, I read with much more interest. It’s weird that I want these two to work out. Trent has done some horrible, unforgivable things. But I do still want them to get together.

Nick: Alright. I have to talk about Nick. Mr. Crap-for-Brains has always interested me. Even with his betrayals, I always felt like he’d come back and reveal that he had good intentions or was doing it to protect Rachel or something. I don’t know why I’ve felt this way for so long. Maybe Kim Harrison just did a great job with their relationship in the beginning? Anyway, when he entered this book, I was excited. I thought maybe he could possibly redeem himself. But it’s clear Kim Harrison isn’t going to do that. Kind of disappointing because there’s something sexy about a thief. (Ohmygod, did I just say that? There’s nothing sexy about thieves in real life, but in fiction? I don’t know. There’s an attractive Ocean’s 11 vibe to it.)

Jenks: Okay, the pixie definitely isn’t a love interest, but I couldn’t talk about this book without talking about him. He has totally grown on me over the series. At first, I thought he was a bit of an annoying sidekick, but his little quirks and comments have started to entertain me. I love him now! And I’m so sad for him. I’ve known and expected since the beginning of the book that Matalina was going to die. I was kind of looking forward to it because I wanted to get it out of the way (I’m a horrible person for thinking that!), and I really didn’t think I’d be affected at all by her death. I WAS WRONG. I totally cried. I haven’t cried because of a book in a long, long time. I think it was Jenks’ reaction to her death that got me. I just love the happy, funny guy, and to see how terribly sad he was shook me up. I guess I’m still glad I got her death over with, but it definitely got to me. Mega props to Kim Harrison for writing such a sad, moving scene. Also, big thank you to her for not dwelling on it. Jenks is kind of his old self for the rest of the book, but it’s clear that he’s depressed. I just don’t like it when characters dwell on depression (though in real life, everyone does). Rachel dwelled about Kisten’s death for a long time, and it always made me a little less interested in the books.

So those are the major characters I wanted to talk about. I guess I should mention the plot. To sum it up, this book is about getting the coven off her back. They shunned her, making her life hell, and now they’re trying to kill her because they found out she’s sort of a demon. Rachel is trying to stay alive and out of Alcatraz, and she finally comes up with a scheme to get them off her back. Pretty simple plot. It could probably be told in a hundred pages, but the thing that’s gripping about this series is the characters. That’s why we’re always coming back to it, right? We want to know what happens to Rachel and the people in her life. That’s what the rest of the book is filled with, and I enjoyed this one much more than the previous two books.

I’m debating now whether I want to go straight into reading the next book or if I want to change things up and read one of the books I’ve downloaded to my Paperwhite. I’ve heard the next book might have a lot of Trent in it, and that makes me excited.

I’d love to hear what you guys thought of this book and the characters. Are yall as bored by Marshall and Pierce as I am? Do you guys completely hate Nick? Did you guys cry when Matalina died? Link to your reviews if you have them. Or link to reviews of other books or things that you’ve reviewed recently.

Reviews of previous books: 
The Outlaw Demon Wails
White Witch, Black Curse