My Initial Reaction…
yowza! Reading The Undead Pool is like the opening a gift that you’ve been dying to get for years. When you start to pull on the wrapper and see bits and pieces – like the cover including Trent – you get so excited because it’s finally happening!! You shake with excitement and then you start discovering your new gift. Really getting to know it and its 100x better than you could have dreamed. Yep – The Undead Pool was that good.
*Folks this is book 12, so I’m sorry, but there will be series spoilers.
One of the things that makes The Undead Pool so great is the way Kim managed to incorporate pretty much everyone I’ve loved since day one. Of course, that pretty much makes talking about the characters in any thorough yet succinct way pretty much impossible. So I’m not even going to try. Instead let’s just talk Rachel, Ivy, Jenks, and of course, Trent.
As is usual, Rachel drove me mad in The Undead Pool. She has finally come to the realization that she cares deeply for Trent. But she’s also continuing her ridiculously annoying path as martyr. She knows that being with her isn’t the “right” thing for Trent as a leader among the elves and she’s willing to let him go for his own good. While this made for some incredibly fabulous sexual tension, I think I was ready to pull my hair out by time all was said and done. But that aside, Rachel continues to be someone that you can’t help but love. And it’s a theme that really pulls through in this book – for a demon, she’s managed to surround herself with an incredible number of people and species who would literally risk their lives for her. I admit it, I cried a little. Imagine what I’ll do when the series ends?
Ivy has grown so much over the series and I really love where she’s at now. She’s gone from being insecure, self-loathing, and lost to someone who has confidence and is actively working to save someone else – Nina. Watching the way Ivy is with Nina brought tears to my eyes – both for what Nina was going through and because of the way Ivy was able to help her. It was heartwarming and I think we’re really seeing Ivy approach her HEA. I want it for her and I hope that the next (and last *sobs*) book will give it to her.
Jenks is the rock in this trio. Despite being technically younger than both of them, he’s always been the parental voice. I love that he continues in that role and yet, so much like a parent, I see him stepping back a little. He knows that his kids are growing up. Which, coincidentally, his pixie kids are too. Yet another somber note for me in The Undead Pool, seeing Jenks’s garden emptying has left me with lots of questions about Jenks’s future. How will he hold such a large garden as the last of his kids leave?
I’ll wrap this up with Trent. I’ve been waiting to see Trent become this guy since book one. We’ve been gradually seeing more and more of him, but in The Undead Pool - as the cover makes pretty clear – Trent is front and center. He’s finally crossed over to being an essential part of the team and he’s pulling his weight. He’s grown so much and it becomes so clear in The Undead Pool as you start to see why he’s made the decisions he’s made since way back in book one. More importantly, you see him changing the way he thinks in really crucial ways. I think I fell in love with him all over again.
Alright so as is the case with pretty much every Hollows book – there are tons of magical problems afoot in Cincinnati and somehow Rachel is at the heart of them. In The Undead Pool magic is basically misfiring – you’ve got simple charms acting at 10x their intended intensity. And what do you know? The problem seems to be somehow connected to Rachel and maybe even her line.
I really don’t want to spoil the different elements that unfolded, since I found each one surprising and exciting. What I will say is that some of the elements get a little weird, but for me it was in a really great way. I absolutely loved the mystics – parts of the elf goddess – and the quirky element that they brought to the plot.
What made this plot particularly exciting for me was the way that it brought in everyone – Rachel, the demons, humans (at the FIB), the pixies, the elves, the vamps, the gargoyles, and even the weres (which I feel tend to be more in the backseat) are all working together – and sometimes against each other – to bring Cincinnati out of an extreme crisis. It was non-stop fun – whether it was the action, the magic, the mystery, or the sexual tension - something exciting was always happening.
I loved every minute of this penultimate book in the Hollows. The Undead Pool definitely felt like a series coming towards it’s close, letting us see a bit of all our favorite characters and marching them towards their – hopefully happily – ever afters.