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White Witch, Black Curse (The Hollows, Book…

White Witch, Black Curse (The Hollows, Book 7) (edition 2009)

by Kim Harrison (Author)

Series: The Hollows (7)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,461604,163 (4.18)66
Witch detective Rachel Morgan attempts to solve the mysterious death of her boyfriend by an emotion-sucking banshee. To exact her revenge on the killer, she brings in her PI partners--Ivy, a bisexual vampire, and Jenks, a pixie in existential crisis--along with empathic psychiatrist Ford and the banshee victim's father, Federal Inderland Bureau captain Edden.… (more)
Title:White Witch, Black Curse (The Hollows, Book 7)
Authors:Kim Harrison (Author)
Info:Harper Voyager (2009), Edition: Reprint, 564 pages
Collections:Urban Fantasy, Your library
Tags:fantasy, witch, vampire, pixie, magic

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White Witch, Black Curse by Kim Harrison



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Showing 1-5 of 60 (next | show all)
This review is also featured on Behind the Pages: White Witch, Black Curse

Rachel is beginning to heal, yet her memory remains scattered. Brief flashes keep surfacing, and she’s determined to remember what happened the night her lover was murdered. But a new predator stalks the streets of the hollows, and Rachel must put aside her personal quest for revenge. The I.S. has decided the death of a FIB agent is not worth their time investigating, even if it may have been Inderland related. It’s up to Rachel and the team to assist the FIB and tag the new creature. But the odds are stacked against them. And as Rachel begins to stir up the magic needed to bring it in, she might need something stronger than an earth charm. Can she remain a white witch and stir curses at the same time?

Kim Harrison’s characters have so many layers to them. I love the complexity that forms each of them. Rachel’s moral debate hovers in the background of this entire novel as she tries to do her best for the people she helps. She wants to embrace her strengths and use her abilities for the greater good. But society isn’t willing to overlook the fact she has smut on her aura, and without even knowing Rachel, absolute strangers treat her like garbage. Rachel’s plight is the fantasy version of what happens in the real world, where people judge a person for their looks instead of their actions. I connected with Rachel on so many things she had to face throughout White Witch, Black Curse.

But not only does Rachel have to deal with disapproving strangers, she also has to withstand the disapproval of her brother Robbie. Robbie who has been living on the west coast for years and doesn’t have a clue what Rachel has been dealing with. Let’s face it Rachel’s life doesn’t exactly leave room for family dinners. And when Robbie flies in for a visit and sees that Rachel’s life is a bit chaotic, he is quick to judge.

Hit from all sides with doubt, Rachel knows she can at least fall back on Ivy and Jenks to support her. Each of them carries their own burden, but together they hold each other up even when the worst hits them. When this series first began, Rachel was an inexperienced witch who stumbled into a lot of her jobs. Despite everything she has dealt with, she is quickly becoming a confident and capable character. She will do anything for the people she loves, and she is a worthwhile character to follow. ( )
  Letora | Jun 28, 2020 |
I cried when Rachel got her memory back, but it was good that they got to have some closure for Kisten. I'm still sad he's gone and probably always will be, but it's good he is put to rest now. It was upsetting but not shocking when Marshall left. Pierce don't like him, don't trust him. Ivy kind irked me with her "love" of Kisten (I know crazy right, but the whole Ivy/Rachel love thing irks me half the time anyways). I was happy knowing Kisten still loved Rachel after becoming Undead, and his sacrifice will always be remembered. Al he cracks me up and Trent, I would still lobe to see him and Rachel more. I've always like Trent for some reason, and I think he needs to be more involved in the books, I'm just saying. ( )
  hixxup79 | Feb 23, 2020 |
Still not getting over Kisten. What can I say, I really liked the guy and I liked how Rachel was with him. She doesn't have the best track record with relationships (see Ivy for a perfect example) but with Kisten she seemed to let go of some of her issues.

Speaking of Rachel's issues, y halo thar, Pierce. I've read the short story he featured in and I can completely understand how he's her standard for a man. It isn't just him or his behaviors, it's all tied into her father, because when she first conjured Pierce's ghost she was hoping to get her dad. Pierce was part of her first big magical adventure and part of one of her biggest sadnesses (that of not being able to see her father again). He means a lot to her.

I also really liked the banshee plotline. I've been fascinated with their portrayal in the Hollows since a short story and I liked getting another look at them. Trying to raise the banshee child as something other than a predator is interesting, though it may ultimately be futile.

It was a bit horrible finding out who killed Kisten and why. It truly was a business transaction, and it was someone from Ivy's past who we read about in a short story. It was a horrible person (vampire) doing horrible things because another horrible vampire (Piscary) allowed it. Kisten was nothing but a pawn and that really hurt. I've read reviews looking for some grand resolution or some "meaningful" death, but death isn't meaningful and this hurt way more.

I'm noticing that the things I liked came out of short stories, so I should note here that if you haven't read the short stories I suspect you'll be floundering. ( )
  tldegray | Sep 21, 2018 |
White Witch, Black Curse
3 Stars

Rachel Morgan continues her quest to regain her memories and learn the identity of the undead vampire responsible for the death of her lover, Kisten. In addition, she becomes involved in an FIB investigation into an attack perpetrated by one of The Hollows most dangerous supernatural creatures - a banshee, and also finds herself confronting a literal ghost from her past. Can Rachel unravel these mysteries without losing her soul or her life in the process?

Another installment in The Hollows series that feels more like filler despite the occasional plot twist or rare moment of character development. It should be noted that many of the story elements in this book have their basis in the different short stories associated with the series. As someone who refrains from reading these novellas, this is exceedingly annoying. It is disingenuous of authors to include important details in these shorts as many readers either choose not to read them or do not have access to them at all.

But on to the actual book...

To begin with, Harrison's banshee is nothing like its namesake from Celtic mythology (i.e., a female fae who heralds the death of a loved one with a keening cry); instead it is more of a succubus that drains its victims life-force in order to survive. Whether this discrepancy is deliberate or not, it results in a tedious and repetitive narrative in which Rachel repeatedly gets her ass handed to her by the more powerful creature.

Similarly, the search for Kisten's killer is comprised of one dead end after another, and the eventual revelation is uninteresting and anti-climactic (probably due to the fact that I did not read the short story that constitutes background for this information). Moreover, Rachel and Ivy are still caught up in their irritating melodrama, which really needs to end already.

While Al and Jenks do provide some much needed comic relief after some of the more emotionally intense events, Rachel's love life is as disappointing as ever. Marshall (who was never a real contender anyway) is revealed to be a weak willed coward; Trent is missing in action for most of the book, and the newcomer, Pierce (another character from a novella - argh!), gives off a profoundly smarmy vibe.

In sum, while the fact that I have made it this far into the series without giving up would suggest that I am more forgiving of the weaker aspects of the characters and the storytelling, White Witch, Black Curse really does not live up to expectations. As always, I am hopeful that the next book will live up to the tremendous potential of the series.

( )
  Lauren2013 | May 24, 2018 |
When reading reviews of White Witch, Black Curse, I found it interesting to note many view this as a type of “filler novel.” That’s not always a strict compliment, even if their ratings are relatively high and they still praise the series (how can a fan of it not?) In my mind there hasn’t been a bad book from it yet. And really, to me this is no way is a filler novel at all.

The Hollows is a world with intricate layers, curiosities, and dangers. Harrison clearly enjoys filling the pages with action-filled stories in the imaginary setting that plays such an important role it may as well be considered a type of character itself. But even with engrossing plots, it still stands strongly on its feet as a character-based, character-motivated tale. Not just for the heroine Rachel, but for the journeys with the her companions and enemies as well. To me this point is what makes it so successful as a series.

Rachel fights perhaps the scariest interlander ever in this one, a small mystery tucked within its edges. Mia is truly scary, almost ridiculously over powered, and her smugness (a trait I detest in real life, on the screen, and written on the pages) irritated me endlessly. Thankfully she’s there when she needs to be to pack the proverbial punch, and you’re not really supposed to like a villain anyway (although for strange reasons I sometimes do anyway.)

In between fighting Mia, Rachel deals with issues in her personal life, frantically trying to save the day, dodge enemy bullets, gets a slap in the face from society, and tries to regain her memory from a tragic night. Quite simply, to me this book rocks the plot AND character world and is no way a filler type deal.

Even if it’s a tad slow sometimes in the beginning, the memory recovery interests me. It was not only a major trauma and loss for Rachel, but for myself and other readers as well. The loss of the character is still hard to cope with. I was relieved to see Harrison return with a vengeance to that story with this one, focusing on bringing in bitter resolutions and answering some questions regarding that painful mystery.

I also don’t want another love interest in the form of Pierce. Most readers dislike the guy quite a bit. As soon as he appeared on page the questions arose if this would be a new man for Rachel. Honestly I find his way of speaking amusing, the mystery surrounding him and his morals slightly interesting, and his motivations a welcome change for friendship. But yes, friendship, I don’t want anything more from him. His different and unique existence appeals to me on a level as someone to be there sometimes, but never as a romantic replacement.

Unlike a lot of my Hollows minded friends, I hadn’t read the short stories before reading this book, so this was my first introduction to the brother Robbie, the one who was missing the rest of the books besides mere, occasional mention. I loved seeing the personal family interactions with him and the mother Alice. Alice just tickles me, she really does. She is like an eccentric, haunted version of an older Rachel. Her sense of humor is contagious, I love her protectiveness of her kids, and her open minded viewpoints make it easy to see how Rachel ended up the great heroine she turned out to be. Robbie is certainly flawed – he’s judgmental, disapproving, and a little unbending, but I still enjoyed seeing more of this side of her life, and as a character I in no way dislike the guy. I think it’s because when he is around, I saw another side of Rachel I hadn’t seen before, a younger, vulnerable form. Deeper and different somehow. Rachel’s youth came alive to me and made me smile with sentimentality. I hope Kim brings more of Rachel’s family back for a scene or two before the series finale.

What many were waiting for (me included – anxiously!) finally happens. Her memory of that horrible, good-bye night surfaces. I cried. I’m not ashamed to admit it. I cried in the book when it happened, I cried the next day, and I cried at the memory in this one too. It was depressing, emotional, had to be done. He went down with honor, the memory lining up with my previous impressions of his personality. It’s depressing that he died, but this proves he died a convincing hero in his own way. Magical stuff that’s helped along with Ford’s techniques and reliance, the surreal dream like quality as the memory attempts to emerge and then finally bursts through.

I approve that the author pays proper credit and mourning to characters. Lots of series have grief pass within the book it’s in and don’t mention it as much in the next one. Since Kim has written a realistic world she gives it a few books and time period to realistically play it out – not to dwell, not to overdo it, not to whine, but to show a natural, unforced character progression. It would be unrealistic only if Rachel was not heavily and forever impacted from such a major tragedy. Written any other way would be a poor choice – bad writing or else poor characterization, where it would not change her future choices and courses of action dramatically.

Every Hollows book holds a bit of humor in it’s pot, but this book – and the last few – are much grimmer as life has turned that way as well. Harrison has created a fascinating world with characters I’ve fallen in love with. Kudos. She shines with a dream-life quality which works well for the grief and flashbacks. Her way of creating convincing grief makes it that much more outstanding of a read.

Other characters get to shine as well. We get some Ever After and Al time (yes, yes!), and the scene at the end where they bring in the New Years together is one of the best scenes of the long standing series. Hilarious. Rachel, Trent, Al, Pierce, Jenks, and even Ivy bring in the New Year together, filled with violence and chasing, killer black dresses and heels, trickery and deals, what could be better?

“Pierce jerked his hand from Trent and pushed himself straight. “Kalamack Industries,” he said, expression twisted as he wiped his hand on his pants. “I knew your father.”

“I do not freaking believe this,” I said, shifting to stand where I could see both of them.

Al beamed. “Amazing who you can meet in an elevator.”

The short story at the end of the paperback definitely needs read when this story is done. What an awesome tribute and it brings even more to light.

As always, I recommend this Hollows book to all readers. Just be sure to read the ones which came before it. There wouldn’t be nearly the impact otherwise and you’d be lost in a sea of characters you know too little about and motivations wouldn’t make enough sense to you. Another great addition to the series.
( )
  ErinPaperbackstash | Jun 14, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kim Harrisonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Gavin, MargueriteNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To the guy who finishes my sentences and gets my jokes. Even the lame ones.
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The bloody handprint was gone, wiped from Kisten's window but not from my memory, and it ticked me off that someone had cleaned it, as if they were trying to steal what little recollection I retained about the night he'd died.
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Hell hath no fury like witch and bounty hunter Rachel Morgan when it comes to avenging her lover’s murder. Her quest for justice holds some significant realizations for her, too, such as the strength in her bond with vamp partner Ivy, who helps her withstand the waves of power coursing through her body in one of the book’s most emotionally gripping scenes. Through a welter of vampires, demons, pixies, and witches, Harrison conducts readers on a suspenseful, satisfying journey of payback, personal growth, and empowerment while setting the scene for Rachel’s new romance, which will probably commence in the next of this spellbinding series. --Whitney Scott

From the back:
Kick-ass bounty hunter and withc Rachel Morgan has crossed forbidden lines, taken demonic hits, and still stands. But the death of her lover struck her harder than she ever thought possible. She won't rest until his murder is solved...and avenged.

But a new predator is moving to the apex of the Inderlander food chain - and now Rachel's past is coming back to haunt her.

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2 editions of this book were published by Eos.

Editions: 0061138010, 0061138029

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