White Witch, Black Curse (Rachel Morgan, Book 7)
by Kim Harrison
Review by Gayle Surrette
Eos Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9780061138010
Date: 01 March 2009 List Price $25.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
Rachel Morgan is still mourning the loss of Kisten and has sought the help of a psychologist to help her regain her memories of the night he was killed. She wants his killer brought to justice though, by vampire rules, his death would not be called murder. As her memories come back she learns more, but maybe not enough, because an old nemesis, Tom Banson, seems to be wrapped up in the near deadly attack on Glenn Edden and that issue is taking priority. Glenn had his aura nearly ripped from his body by a banshee as he was expertly beaten to make the emotions sweeter for the banshee.
As usual there is a lot going on over and above the central plot, which is two-fold: find Kisten's killer and stop the banshee who is on a killing spree to feed her child. There's also the fact that Rachel's brother is visiting, her mother intends to move closer to her brother and their biological father, Takata, leaving Rachel feeling abandoned. Jenks wife is ill and possibly dying. Ivy is continuing her struggle with her living vampire nature, and Rachel is experimenting with ways to help her keep her soul after Ivy becomes undead. Then there's her weekly lessons with Al the demon which are adding smut to her aura, causing her to be labeled a black witch, even though every thing she's ever done has saved lives and helped people.
Once again Rachel and her friends are up against some supernatural baddies with powers that require planning, because a straight battle could leave the good guys dead and the baddies free to do as they please. Turf wars between Inderland Security (IS) and the Federal Inderland Bureau (FIB) are allowing crimes to go unpunished. FIB has hired Rachel and company to help them since they're ill equipped to deal with the supernaturals. That FIB doesn't fully understand the nature of the creatures they are trying to apprehend, and believe Rachel, Ivy, and Jenks can work miracles, doesn't make things any easier.
With each book, the series just gets better. Rachel doesn't get more and more power as the series goes on, she only learns to use the powers she has more effectively and adds a few more spells to her arsenal. However, the interpersonal relationships between the characters gains depth with each book as they share the highs and lows of the work they do. And, while they believe they're doing good, many people don't see the results, they only see the mayhem involved in capturing the bad guys.
This is in some ways a darker book than the others, not because of the major plot lines but because of the personal cost of the characters as threads from previous books are tied up and or continued with new information.
If you're a fan of the series, you'll enjoy this new adventure. If you have never read any of the Rachel Morgan series you could pick up with this book but there will be additional richness and understanding if you start at the beginning, so read this one and go out and get Dead Witch Walking.