I used to keep all my Rachel Morgan books. I liked to go back and reread them from time to time but after reading Black Magic Sanction, I began to think that it was time for me to move on and so I gave my copies away. I wasn't done with the series, just... the old magic wasn't there. While Pale Demon wasn't as frustrating as Black Magic Sanction, it had its moments.
In this episode, Rachel, Jenks, Ivy, and Trent embark on a road trip. Rachel needs to get to San Francisco for what she believes will be a coven pardon as well as her brother's wedding and Trent needs to get to Seattle for some mysterious elfquest. Both are under a time limit - Rachel faces permanent banishment to the Everafter if she misses the Coven conference and the future of the elf race is dependent on Trent completing his quest in the specified time. There is lots of excitement along the way as various foes try to put a stop to the gang’s trek.
Now, there is nothing like a road trip for characters to get to know each other, while allowing the reader to learn more at the same time. We finally get to see the private side of Trent, the real person behind his slick public persona and y’know what? He’s a whiny jerk. Which makes him the perfect foil for Rachel, a character whose maturity decreases with each new installment. One of the pleasures of reading a series is to watch how the characters deepen, grow, and change over the course of the series. So it is a drag to watch Rachel regress. I mean, there comes a point when impulsiveness turns into whatthefuckery.
Look, Pale Demon was not a bad book. It was a disappointing book. I didn’t dislike the story per se but I found Rachel especially tiresome. I think she has bad judgment, poor impulse control and is a self involved screw up. So it's hard for me to remain invested in this series. Just thinking about Rachel makes me want to whine about Rachel which just goes to show how pervasive her self-pitying stylings are - they can infect the reader.