This latest entry in The Hollows Starring Rachel Morgan was amazingly fun. I don't think it would make a lot of sense if you were not participating in the series, however.
In this outing, Rachel Morgan continues to Use Her Brain and Plan Ahead. For instance, when the leprechaun offers her a Wish, she turns it down. When Bad Things Happen, she repeatedly sifts the available evidence as it changes. Rather than jump to a conclusion about who screwed her over and persisting in holding to it even as the evidence mounts against that conclusion, she maintains a list of possibilities and tries to adapt her plans to account for as many of them as she can. It Is Awesome.
The structure of the novel is also interesting, in that the battle in the garden/graveyard between the fairies and everyone else occurs smack in the middle of the book, immediately after the end of the encounter with Lee. So, immediately after Rachel reconciles with someone who has been a long-term enemy and problem for her, the church is attacked and her pixy partner and his family nearly wiped out entirely. She agrees to cast black magic with Pierce and Ceri (both ambiguous figures from earlier books) and then changes her mind, leaving their attackers damaged (and quite pissed about not having a more definitive ending to the battle) but defeated without being destroyed.
The incident is of a type with the rest of the book and, in some ways, the rest of the series: Ms. Morgan is attempting to balance on a knife's edge between multiple identities and the values associated with each of them, in the process creating a self which is not one or the other. The trick, of course, lies in staying alive through the whole thing and, as usual, she finds ways to threaten everyone enough to make them back off.
She even gets the shunning (at least temporarily) removed.
Is it all a bit messianic? Oh, hell yeah. And yet so much fun I can barely stand the idea of waiting for the next entry in the series. Specifically, I would _luuuuurrrrrvvvveee_ to see Nick finally get his. And I'm starting to feel optimistic that that might _really_ finally happen. Harrison is _such_ a tease, however, so probably not.