“I liked beginnings better than endings.”
The Hollows has held a special place in my heart since I first started reading the series. I was enthralled by book one, Dead Witch Walking, with the second pulling me in even further. After that, each installment kept me hooked and reading, through ups and mild downs of the series, to where book six ended, making the journey even better. It’s unusual for a series to improve halfway through, but improve it did, and it was with a bittersweet emotion that I set down to read this very last book, The Witch with No Name.
I’m happy to say I enjoyed this one more than I did the 12th novel, The Undead Pool, for if I were as disappointed with the last book as I was with the 12th, that would have just been plain sad. I’m not sure the fangirl in me would have been able to get over it! It was especially nice to be able to meet the author for a book signing for this final book at Barnes N’ Nobles in Tampa.
Kim had massive loose threads to tie up – a mission she accomplished. I’m happy with what happened with the undead versus the living vampires; never would I have imagined THAT would have been what would have solved the issue all along. I don’t fully understand it, though, for how does it save Ivy when it’s her turn? Not spoiling here, just doesn’t make full sense to me. I can only imagine they’d have to choose a new living to step in, but then where would Nina…oh, well, my head is starting to hurt if I think about it too far. The demons were wrapped up perfectly. I’d have liked to hear more of worldwide changes with them besides the very vague – the author kept it to just Rachel and her very small surrounding of Al in the end. Newt was a surprise but I wasn’t too sad about it because it all seemed to fit in a way, as Rachel herself thought.
Rachel still doesn’t seem quite herself to me, but besides some bugging with her doubts about Trent through the most of the book (that old trend already had gotten old in ‘The Undead Pool’), she more generic. She used to have a spunk and spark that can be seen in battles and fighting, with overcoming and struggles, but not so much with anything else. She is now ready to cross boundaries and risks for people she loves that she never would have considered in the earlier books, such as working with so much soul magic, but this is a change I liked. However, she is too obsessed with relationships now.
Al for a change irritated me a lot of the book with grievances he would not drop, but he still remains my favorite, even if he doesn’t – along with most of the characters – feel as authentic as he did previous books. Ivy too seems a little bit of a shadow of herself and a small stereotype, but I was happy with her ending. I still don’t get the big draw with Nina and it’s weird how even Rachel herself goes from disliking her to then liking her.
I still find Trent rather boring – I hope the author wasn’t saying in the last chapter that basically Rachel just exists as his lover. I still don’t see him as a big hero who made sacrifices and is above everyone else as the author is painting. Jenks is still around and always loved. I was happy Kim brought back Rachel’s mom for a scene or so, always enjoyed her. Cormel seemed completely different than he did in the other books – yes, he was always a cad, but here he may as well have been twiddling a villain mustache. I loved the scenes with Felix, however, especially him in the Ever After (those scenes were well written and hard to shake from memory). I’ll always love the characters, even if I think they have become a little flatter.
Action wise there was plenty going on and the pace was strong. Tons of shifts to where it almost felt like reading two books instead of one, certainly not a filler. The beginning was addictive and continued on from there, where there were multiple climaxes, betrayals, battles, and the sand kept shifting under the feet of everyone. I’m happy the author gave fair attention to all the major inter-species. I loved the scene on the stage with Rachel, Al, Newt, and the crowd.
“Love died in the shadows, and it shouldn’t cost so much to keep it in the sun. But as Trent would say, anything gotten cheap wouldn’t last, so do what you need to do to be happy and deal with the consequences. That if love was easy, everyone would find it.”
The last chapter was a sweet wrap-up that a part of me liked, while another part of me just felt it was cheesy. There is one angle in particular that isn’t believable and too generic. Sometimes there were chapters that kept the original edge I loved so much about the series, but some chapters felt softer and more of what you’d find in an average story/series, which The Hollows had never been before.
The Hollows always stood out because it had a special edge, a grittiness that worked, and Urban Fantasy. The last two books have pulled it suddenly more into a paranormal romance type thing and gotten rid of a lot of the edge it once had. Not only the PR angle, which I think the fans who kept focusing on relationships so much and influenced the author had to do with, but also the strange obsession/love with the elves suddenly. Thankfully this book balanced that out more with the demons and not as bad as the previous book. I would have also liked to hear more about Rachel’s personal goals at the end other than romantic angles – did she continue any sort of exciting business like she always did before?
Even if I think the last two aren’t as genuine or as gripping in a special way like before, the series still help up surprisingly well overall and continues to be my favorite series. So glad she is now “the itchy witch” again – can’t wait for the October short story told through Al’s point of view!
“You all think that security and peace are born from destroying everything stronger than you? There is no safety. There is no peace but what you make, every day, every second, with every choice.”
“When everything seems to impact everything and there’s no easy answer, I ask myself: Will this decision take me closer or farther from you? And then it’s so clear. Even if it doesn’t make sense at the time.”