For A Few Demons More
by Kim Harrison
(Eos, $21.95, PG) ISBN 978-0-06-078838-4
**
For A Few Demons More is the fifth book in Harrison’s Rachel Morgan urban fantasy series and reads like it. Woe to the reader who innocently picks this novel up in a bookstore or library without realizing it’s a series, because they’ll be confused before the close of the first chapter.

Rachel Morgan is a witch living in Cincinnati, Ohio. Harrison’s world consists of the paranormal living among humans and there are witches, warlocks, demons, pixies, vampires and elves. Rachel is a “runner.” I’m not sure what this entails, but basically when she’s not bumbling through her personal life, she’s supposed to kick butt for a living.

The plot, such as it is, plays heavily on the last book in the series, A Fistful Of Charms. Rachel wakes up to find a demon dismantling the church where she lives with her sidekick pixie, Jenks, and a would-be lesbian lover (their relationship is complicated) Ivy. This freaks Rachel out since demons don’t just appear, they have to be summoned – and while Rachel can summon them, she didn’t summon this one.

A hundred pages later or so, it’s determined the demon probably wants this thing called the “focus” which is some statue of importance to werewolves. Everyone seems to want it, and Rachel has it.

It’s a fact of life that not every reader is anal-retentive. Books get read out of order, and readers discover new authors after they’ve written several books. It’s a rare thing indeed for readers to discover an author with their debut, but that’s what Harrison seems to be banking on. There is literally no back-story in For A Few Demons More. To have any understanding of who the characters are (and there are quite a few), how they relate to each other, the world building, and the previous complicated plot developments, readers are essentially required to have knowledge of the previous books. It’s nearly impossible to read this one otherwise. While one certainly doesn’t want an author to info-dump the entire series with each new installment, some hints would be nice. The uninitiated readers will have to start from the beginning, or just resign themselves to the fact that they’re going to be confused for 450 plus pages.

There seems to be some interesting ideas here, but it’s lost to anyone not already a fan. One gets the impression that that is who this book was written for – the fans. If you’re one, you’ll like this book. If you’re a newbie, consider this your warning. For A Few Demons More reads very much like it was written for the “in crowd.” The kids who jumped on the bus at the first stop. Anyone looking to join the party with book five should wisely consider starting with book one, otherwise it’s a frustrating and bumpy journey.

--Wendy Crutcher


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