“I have to save the world tomorrow,

and I don’t even know what I’m going to wear yet.”

– Ever After by Kim Harrison

 

 

 

Or does it?

 

 

The over-aching storyline is apocalyptic – the demonic realm of the ever-after is shrinking and Rachel is being framed for its looming demise as the psychotic demon Ku’Sox masterminds a plot that could change the balance of power in the real world forever.

 

 

The following sentence exemplifies the dark undertone of Ever After:

 

“The cold damp of the early evening soaked into me as I breathed in the coming night. Low clouds threatened more rain, and last year’s leaves rustled in the cold flower beds, mirroring my mood perfectly.”

 

 

“Who in hell bought a mug with blue butterflies on it!” I shouted, slamming it on the counter behind the stove. “We are serious people doing serious things! I don’t have time for butterflies!”

 

“I have to save the world tomorrow, and I don’t even know what I’m going to wear yet.”

 

I love this series. I love the ensemble cast of characters. I love Harrison’s sadly underappreciated world building skills and the way in which she can balance deep themes with irreverent humor.

 

http://www.kimharrison.net/images/elements/Kim%27s%20PR/PR1KimHarrison09.jpgWould I rank Ever After as one of my favorite novels in the series? No. But it is certainly one of the most significant. I didn’t particularly enjoy the first half of this novel – I suppose the word is lackluster – but the second that Ivy reappeared (page 252), everything changed. The magic in this series is the relationships and interaction between the core characters: Rach, Ivy, Jenks, Bis, etc. And without Ivy, that magic seemed  lessened somehow.

 

But it’s in Ever After that Harrison gives us tantalizing glimpses into where the series is ultimately going. She offers up insight into the long and bloody history between the elves and demons, she lets us know that the ever-after used to be – and could possibly be again – a paradise, and, of course, there is the very complicated relationship between Rachel and elven tycoon Trent Kalamack.

 

There has been a lot of speculation about who Rachel will finally walk off into the sunset with – and it is a HUGE deal, one that could have an enormous affect on the saga's legacy.

 

 How is arguably the most popular paranormal fantasy series of all time going to end?

 

The obvious answer, at least for now, is Rachel somehow getting romantically involved with Trent – a character whom I don’t particularly care for. At one point, I thought Rach and Ivy may end up together but after reading Ever After, I don’t think that’s going to happen. Pierce? No. Nick? No! Kisten? Sadly, no.

 

Personally, I think the most powerful ending would be Rachel ending up by herself. Not alone – she will still be surrounded by her friends – but happy and strong and not needing anyone else to make her whole.

 

Or maybe Rachel won’t make it to the end – maybe she’ll die heroically saving her friends, or the world…

 

Rachel Morgan is an iconic heroine. There will never be another character quite like our beloved demon witch. How will this series end? What will Rachel’s legacy be? We’ll all just have to wait and see….

 

 

How would you like the Hollows saga to end?

 

 

Paul Goat Allen has been a full-time book reviewer specializing in genre fiction for the last two decades and has written thousands of reviews for companies like Publishers Weekly, The Chicago Tribune, Kirkus Reviews, and BarnesandNoble.com. He is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. You can follow him on Twitter at @paulgoatallen and get all the latest Barnes & Noble book news from @BNBuzz.

Comments
by Lizzy_Funk on ‎01-27-2013 01:18 PM

So here is my take on this...

 

I really liked this book for one of the points you made in your write up - Rachel was forced do rely on herself through much of the book.  Ivy is missing through most of it and even when she returns she doesn't really jump in and help.  Quen isn't much help for obvious reasons and his judgment gets called into question because of the big incident that occurs and the one further in which damages a part of his spirit.  Trent loses his objectivity for the same reason and he functions as something we can all understand: a parent first and foremost.  Jenks also loses some of his spirit because he must do something to one of this children that makes him feel like he has turned his back on being a parent - which in turn causes him to lose some of his objectivity. Even Al is a mess.

 

All of the usual folks who would have jumped in to help Rachel for one reason or another are simply NOT there.  That is the reason why this book is so good because what many have been waiting for, what so many needed to see Rachel do finally occurs, she finally becomes more of the "hero" and strong woman she needs to be to function and really take charge or her life and the lives around her she is responsible for.

 

My take on the last books - Rachel can't die. The disposition of the Rosewood babies is going to depend upon her staying alive. 

 

My thoughts --- What if everyone figures out that the only way heal the rift, heal the ever after, and give all of the different races back the things they are missing is to have the Elves and the Demons come together and create life?  What if the only way to save everything and everyone Rachel loves, cares for and protects means that she and Trent actually create the race and species that will save them all?   Think about the magic Trent wields and think about the magic Rachel wields... wouldn't it be more probable that the two of them merging would save everyone?

 

 

 

 

 

 

by cat584 on ‎01-31-2013 08:38 PM

Hi Lizzie, I think you're on to something there. I also believe that Rachel will heal the ever after. I like your thoughts about Trent and Rachel bringing about peace between demons, elves and witches. And although I really liked Ivy like Paul, I think Ivy has grown and learned to accept herself and her needs and moved on while Rachel is still growing. Some of my thinking on this idea comes from comments the author has made regarding Ivy's reduced role in this book. And unlike Paul, I do like Trent now but think he still needs to grow some more. I think we don't fully understand what caused Trent to make some of the decisions he did in the past but we're starting to get a glimpse. Also, If you think about it, everyone Rachel has been involved with did horrible things in their past but had reached the point they were trying to be better people. This includes both Kirsten and Ivy and Pierce. I think Trent is doing that now. Whose to say that Trent has done anything worse than Ivy or Kirsten in their pasts? Their prior bad behavior didn't stop Rachel from caring about them.

 

So I think you're on the right track with how the series will end. I also think Rachel will find a way to give Ivy back her soul. In the interview Kim Harrison gave on the Harper website, she indicated that Rachel will resolve her love interest issues in the next book. And I don't see how anyone but Trent can be that to her. Look at Trent and Rachel's discussion on what they want in their significant other. But I don't think they will have a traditional type of relationship because that's just not Rachel.

 

Also I agree that Ever After is a pivotal book but I really enjoyed it overall despite some of the terrible things that happened.

by on ‎02-26-2013 10:25 AM

I have finished the book. And I am not sure how I want it to end. Rachel and Trent, I'm not sure that is the way it should be. All the characters are very strong and the family is the characters as a collective. They all support each other even with all their flaws. The next two books will be very interesting.

by 0198lilly on ‎04-08-2013 08:04 PM

I love this series.  I love the characters, they seem real to me, I can put faces with actions and come up with my version.  The growth is what keeps the characters fresh yet enough about themselves remains. The world building is unique and yet not so far fetched that I can't identify with it.  It has a nice balance between action and togetherness.  The tidbits that are found in past books continue to intrigue me, I like trying to figure them out and enjoy coming up with..or maybe's. The humor-enough said. The ending has to continue with the growth of the characters.  I hope she can find a connection, not neccessarily a relationship, that she feels comfortable in.  Someone she isn't always trying to run from in one manner or another.  I'm not sure who that is-Jenks, Ivy and Bis have already taken on familiar roles, so it can't be any of them.  Is Trent the one? I'm not sure maybe he's the brother she once had or wishes for.  Al, he's to fatherly.  I guess that leaves a resolved character flaw as happiness instead of a person.  Well I did say I liked the, or maybe's.

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