“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.
Would 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.