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Literature: The Hollows
"The cuffs are used for work."

"Hello. You've reached Morgan, Tamwood, and Jenks of Vampiric Charms, independent runners."

''Our history is that of humanity's. We didn't just drop out of the sky in '66; we emigrated in through Ellis Island. We fought in the Civil War, World War One, and World War Two—some of us in all three. We suffered in the Depression, and we waited like everyone else to find out who shot J.R..

But dangerous differences exist...''

"We're all pulling for you. The odds are running two hundred to one you make it through the week. Personally, I give you a hundred to one."

The Hollows is an ongoing urban fantasy series by Kim Harrison detailing the professional and personal adventures of Rachel Morgan, bounty hunter and witch, along with her partners: living vampire Ivy Tamwood, and Jenks, a pixie.

The books are set in an alternate universe where various supernatural beings known collectively as "Inderlanders" have lived alongside mundane humans since ancient times, but kept their identities secret from the masses until the 1960s, when a virus from a genetically modified tomato wiped out a quarter of the human population in an event known as "The Turn". Since the Inderlanders were mostly unaffected by the virus and found their combined numbers were now close to that of humanity's, they decided to reveal themselves to the world, a move that further changed the already altered post-pandemic society.

Works in the series include:

Novels:
  • Dead Witch Walking
  • The Good, The Bad, And The Undead
  • Every Which Way But Dead
  • A Fistful of Charms
  • For a Few Demons More
  • The Outlaw Demon Wails
  • White Witch, Black Curse
  • Black Magic Sanction
  • Pale Demon
  • A Perfect Blood
  • Ever After (January, 2013)
  • The Undead Pool (February 25th, 2014)

Short stories:
  • "Undead in the Garden of Good and Evil"
  • "Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel"
  • "Dirty Magic"
  • "The Bridges of Eden Park"
  • "The Bespelled"
  • "Ley Line Drifter"
  • "Million Dollar Baby"

Graphic novels:
  • Blood Work
  • Blood Crime

Warning: Due to the author's extensive use of The Reveal in the series spoilers abound.


This series contains examples of:

  • Absurdly Youthful Mother: It's been mentioned a few times in the series that witches age slowly once they reach adulthood, which presumably leads to a lot of this. Case in point: Rachel's mother is past retirement age for a human, but can pass for Rachel's sister with the right clothes.
  • Action Girl: Rachel, Ivy
  • Affably Evil: A favorite trope of the series with examples including Lee, Minias, Rynn and Trent. Even Al has risen to the occasion at times.
  • All Girls Like Ponies: Rachel was one such as a little girl, and Trent is bringing a bit of it back in her during the present day.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Rachel... over and over
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Rachel's relationship with most other Inderlanders.
  • All Witches Have Cats: Rachel lives with a cat, though the cat technically belongs to Jenks.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Piscary owned the church Rachel, Ivy and Jenks live in. He even tried to get them evicted before his untimely end. Now played for laughs as Jenks owns the church and pretends to be a strict landlord.
  • All There in the Manual: Several characters and plot threads that appeared for the first time in White Witch, Black Curse were originally drawn from several short stories written by the author for another series.
    • The author's website also has two essays supposedly written by Rachel herself detailing some supernatural races for the FIB, David pack's tattoo and the recipe for Trent's waffles among other things here.
    • The website also offers a monthly newsletter called the Hollow Gazette that includes articles written from the perspective of reporters in Hollows. These give additional details about the setting and certain events in the novel.
  • All Trolls Are Different
  • Alternate History: The history of the world the Hollows is marginally different even before the public revelation of the Inderlanders. For example genetic engineering became the focus of scientific research instead of space exploration or nuclear energy only to be banned after the 'Angel' virus epidemic. The timeline of those changes can be found here.
  • An Offer You Can't Refuse: A specialty of the many of the series Manipulative Bastards including Rachel on occasion.
  • Animal Eyes
  • Another Dimension: The Ever-After
  • Artistic License - Biology: Rachel is turned into a mink, which is repeatedly described as a rodent and being fed carrots and so on. Minks are carnivorous mustelids. Retconned/lampshaded in Black Magic Sanction, as an in-universe error on Trent's part.
  • Back Story: Several of the short stories of the series provide this. May provide mild forms of Retcon.
  • Bad Ass Book Worm: David, possibly Nick.
  • Bad Ass Decay: Kisten
  • Bad Boss: Art, Denon and Piscary.
  • Bad Cop/Incompetent Cop: The I.S. and FIB, respectively.
  • Baleful Polymorph: Rachel is transformed into a mink in Dead Witch Walking.
  • Batman Gambit: Some characters try to plan their way to victory, and more often than not they e lost and fail.
  • Beastly Bloodsports: In Dead Witch Walking, Rachel is transformed into a mink and placed into bloodsport matches against other animals.
  • Beta Couple: Jenks and Matalina
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Ceri. Until she ambushes Quen and Trent and even makes the reader terrified of crossing her.
  • Bi the Way: Ivy, possibly Kisten at least with Piscary.
  • Big Bad Friend: Ivy was originally The Mole for Piscary until he raped her. This resulted in her turning against him.
  • Big Sister Mentor: Ceri is a female mentor for Rachel.
  • Biker Babe: Ivy owns a motorcycle and often wears leather.
  • Black Magic: Each type of magic has a more powerful black side to it except for demon magic which is all black. Subverted in that black magic is not inherently evil but does create what is termed "smut" on a person's aura. Despite that many people still use the presence of smut as a negative Karma Meter. Use of black magic is illegal. Later on it is revealed some witches are legally sanctioned to use it.
  • Black Magician Girl: Ceri and Rachel later on.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Ceri, Ivy and Rachel.
  • Blond Guys Are Evil: Trent Kalamack, though becoming father to two daughters has shifted him some along the Sliding Scale Of Good Vs Evil.
  • Blood Magic: Charms and rituals for witch and demon magic requires blood of their species's blood to activate. This is due to the enzymes in the blood rather than a more metaphysical explanation.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Jenks
  • Book Dumb: Rachel, underscored by her fiery personality and aversion to authority figures. Her father intended to prevent her being taught ley line magic because it would start her down the path to becoming a fully-fledged demon.
  • Broken Bird: Ivy, Ceri and arguably, Rachel.
  • But I Would Really Enjoy It: Rachel and Kisten in the elevator. Later Rachel and Pierce in a cave.
  • By-the-Book Cop: Eddens, Glen and by extension the FIB. This usually bites them in the ass.
  • Catch Phrase: Jenks's Tinkerbell-themed expletives. Rachel also uses the word swell in narrative form.
    • She's also fond of sarcastically describing herself as feeling "all warm and fuzzy" during lousy situations
    • "Don't touch the baby."
    • And who could forget the Catch Phrase Running Gag in the first three books: "You look like a hooker."
  • Character Development: Arguably the primary focus of the series as opposed to a more traditional plot driven one. Rachel in particular.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Subverted completely in "Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel". Pierce demonstrates some very cool magical amulets to Rachel but they are never used or referred to again- even when they would have been very useful in confronting the story's Big Bad.
    • A long version of this is Ivy's wish. Introduced in the first book it doesn't become relevant for another seven years. The results? Not so good.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Art
  • Chess Master: Most characters have tried their hand at this role with varying degrees of success most notably Al, Minias, Trent, Nick, Piscary, Rynn and even Rachel. Subverted in that none of their plans have ever been highly successful and killed at least one of them.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Nick
  • Clear My Name: One of Rachel's motivations, accomplished as of the end of Black Magic Sanction.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Ivy around Rachel, Rachel around Ivy and Skimmer around Ivy, especially regarding Rachel.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Newt
  • Contract on the Hitman: Rachel was originally a runner for the I.S. When she quits they put a death mark on her head to make an example of her.
  • Cool Old Guy: Keasley
  • Cute Witch: Rachel, sometimes. And though not technically a witch, magic using elf Ceri can be awfully adorable.
  • Da Chief: Edens, and now the as yet name unrevealed leader of the MWDNB.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Rachel, Ivy and Kisten.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Black Magic is considered by most to be evil and produces smut on the aura. As the series progresses and Rachel begins using it it seems that that it is not evil but merely harmful to the person who uses it. Even so, many people consider black witches to be evil.
  • Dark-Skinned Blond: Trent again.
  • Dark World: Arguably the Ever After, although it closely resembles the normal world.
  • Darker and Edgier: Arguably the direction of the series since Fistful of Charms.
  • Deader than Dead: The soul of living vampire is destroyed when they become undead. When they die again they cease to exist entirely rather than go to an afterlife maybe.
  • Deal with the Devil: A specialty of the demons, naturally.
  • Death Seeker: Jenks briefly after Matalina's death.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Rachel and Quen. Inverted in that it was Rachel who was defeated.
  • Demonic Possession: Demons can possess people though it seems diificult for them to do so without consent. Mild subversion in that the ability is in not inherent but simply a very powerful spell. Newt attempts this on Rachel and Lee allows Al to possess him as part of a scheme for revenge on Rachel.
  • Devil but No God: Consecrated ground and the effect crucifixes have on vampires are created by magic rather than the effect of divine influence. Demons on the other hand are very much real and very evil.
    • Played with as Demons are just another race of supernatural beings who live an alternate dimension. Likewise, as we later learn, the Ever-After is far from Hell. It has cafes!
  • Disappeared Dad: Rachel's died when she was younger. Trent also lost his.
    • Subverted in Rachel's case in that she learns that it was her adoptive father that died. Her real father is still alive.
  • Doom Magnet: Rachel
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Minias. Word of God say that he was likely abruptly killed by Newt between two of the books.
  • Emergency Transformation: Rachel is part demon or all demon as a result of the genetic cure for Rosewood syndrome when she was a child. The same is true for one other person.
  • Emotion Eater: Banshees
  • The Empath: Ford
  • Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: Ivy's mother.
  • Evil Gloating: Al, Minias, Trent and Piscary are big on this.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: Summoning and dealing with demons is a very, very bad idea. Several people in the series including Rachel learn this the hard way.
  • Evil Matriarch: Ivy's unnamed mother.
  • Evil Mentor: Piscary for Ivy and Kisten. Later Al for Rachel.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Kisten's choice when Piscary orders his death. Slightly subverted in that he returned as an undead vampire, only to perform a Heroic Sacrifice and end up Deader than Dead.
  • Fairy Companion: Jenks for Rachel and Jax for Nick. Subverted in that they are pixies, and fairies are their sworn enemies.
  • Familiar: Many witches make use of animal familiars. Demons on the other hand use humans, witches, elves or even other demons as familiars.
  • Fantastic Arousal: Vampire have a number of unusual triggers. See I Didnt Mean to Turn You On below.
  • Fantastic Racism: Inverted to some degree in that the greatest racists are the Inderlanders themselves. Vampires hate werewolves and vice versa but there are other mutual racial hatreds: fairies and pixies, elves and demons, banshees and everyone else. Ironically while humans are understandably wary of the prenatural abilities of the Inderlanders there has been little actual overt racism on their part.
    • Until you get to A Perfect Blood, when it's revealed that the racist humans are extremely nasty and shown to dance merrily across the Moral Event Horizon line when they start mutilating innocent Inderlanders to create demons.
  • Fatal Flaw: Humans, even the FIB, tend to fear being around and Inderlanders due to their association with tomatoes, which initially were the transportation vehicle for the fatal T4 or 'Angel' virus. Glenn is instantly wary of Rachel and Ivy when it's revealed they use tomatoes for cooking.
  • A Father to His Men: Literally with Edden and Glenn.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Al
  • Female Gaze: Rachel is always noticing and describing in detail the attractive men that she meets.
  • Fiery Redhead: Rachel, of course.
  • Finding Judas: Nick uses his relationship with Rachel to get favors from Al- by selling him detailed information about her.
  • A Friend in Need: A common plot point.
  • Friend to All Children: Ivy reads to hospitalized, terminally ill children every week. Also, this is an oddly common trait in vampires, who instinctively protect the weak, helpless, and children. It is said to be a way of preserving their food source and/or shadows.
  • Friendly Enemy: Trent, later Al, Newt and Minias. Arguably the demon race in general toward Rachel when it is revealed she is part demon.
    • Also Quen, who is probably the best example in the series.
  • Friendly Neighborhood Vampires: Ivy, then Kisten. Other vampires, not so much.
  • Full-Name Basis: How demons typically address people.
    • Demons address people based on how many of their names the demon possesses. And if the demon comes into a position of superiority, it may address a person however it wishes.
  • Functional Magic: Mostly of the Rule, Force and Device type. A little Inherent Gift magic exists in that some demon and witch magic require enzymes from their blood to activate.
  • Fur Against Fang:
  • Game Face: Vampires' eyes go pure black and their fangs extend when overcome with bloodlust.
  • Genki Girl: Ivy's younger sister, Erica.
  • Geometric Magic: Many magicians in the series make use of magic circles.
  • Girl of the Week: Gender inverted with Marshall's brief relationship with Rachel
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Despite being Shape Shifters all demons have glowing red eyes in any form. They often use sunglasses to disguise this.
    • However, demons can change the eyes if it is important: In Black Magic Sanction, Al takes Rachel's form complete with green eyes, when the coven summons Rachel under Al's name and expect to get her. Rachel and Al had traded names back earlier to prevent this.
  • Go Karting with Bowser: Despite the fact that he occasionally tries to kill her and that she occasionally attempts to put him in jail, Trent and Rachel have a rather active social life together.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: Arguably, the demons' attitude toward Newt.
  • Government Agency of Fiction: The novels' two law enforcement agencies, Inderlander Security (I.S.) which covers Inderlander crime and and its human counterpart the Federal Inderlander Bureau (FIB). Rachel once worked for the first and now works with the other from time to time.
    • The witch Coven of Moral and Ethical Standards also qualifies.
  • Happiness in Slavery: Arguably, Ceri during her time with Al.
  • Haunted Headquarters: A ghost named Pierce revealed himself through Ford as to be living in the church for at least a year.
  • Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?: Rachel repeatedly mentions not being "wired that way" regarding Ivy.
  • Heel-Face Turn: Lee
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: Ivy most often, although Rachel often feels and acts more badass upon wearing leather.
  • Hemo Erotic
  • Hermetic Magic
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Rachel, more so in the latter novels to the point she gets shunned
    • She has arranged the shunning to be removed.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Kisten
  • He Is Not My Boyfriend: In book 10, Rachel says exactly this about Trent.
  • Hold Your Hippogriffs: "You look like the vamp who drained the cat" amongst others.
  • Holy Ground: Rachel and her pixie and vampire roommates live in a church that is on holy ground. It has twice been blasphemed by the presence of an extremely powerful demon and needed a priest to come re-consecrate it.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Rachel in regards to Nick.
  • I Am What I Am: Rachel accepting that she is a black witch and then later, part demon. And later still, an honest-to-god legally recognized demon.
  • I Didnt Mean to Turn You On: Vampires can lose control of themselves if given certain 'intimate' signals by others. This was a early problem between Ivy and Rachel. There is actually a guide on how to turn on - or more importantly how not to turn on - a vampire.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: Al toward Rachel until she became his student.
    • In a serious squick inducing way, Piscary toward Ivy.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: With the exception of Dead Witch Walking, all the novels and stories are named after Clint Eastwood movies
  • Immortality Seeker: The motivation of the demon race. Justified in that an elven curse prevents them siring pureblood demon children and they don't want to go extinct.
    • It has also been pointed out the Rachel that as she has demon DNA she could also gain immortality. She hasn't decided if that what's what she wants yet.
    • Although it has been hinted she will live forever already by Al and I think Newt, not that they're reliable.
    • Rachel herself has theorized that she and other demons gain immortality through the use of vanity curses such as her were and size changing curses as they appear to reset the biological clock back to vitality upon deactivation.
  • Incompatible Orientation: Ivy is bisexual whereas Rachel is straight. Rachel herself in the earlier books constantly mentions "not being wired that way" in terms of sexual orientation and as a means that she and Ivy can't be together.
    • Though with Rachel's vamp scars, any vamp regardless of gender can play upon them, inducing orgasmic feelings without physical sexual stimulation. This does muddy the waters a bit in regards to Rachel and Ivy's relationship and how far it could go, but it would work better if Ivy were able to separate blood and sex.
  • In Harm's Way: Rachel is an adrenaline junkie and often seeks danger to feel alive. Less so now after almost getting Ivy, Jenks and even Trent killed as a result.
  • Interspecies Romance: Rachel rarely dates other witches. To date she has a relationship with a human and a living vampire. This seems to be a theme. David used to date humans exclusively until he accidentally turned them into werewolves and Ivy briefly dated the human Glenn. Ivy also briefly appeared to have an unrequited crush on David.
    • Rachel did briefly switch to witches, but now seems to be starting a relationship with Trent the elf.
    • Jenks and Belle the Fairy seem to be starting one up.
  • Jerk Ass: Trent, Al.
  • Jurisdiction Friction: The IS and FIB have competing jurisdiction for crimes relating to Inderlanders. Partially subverted in that the corrupt IS often doesn't care about solving some crimes and dumps them into the FIB's lap.
  • Karma Houdini: Al, Trent, Lee and Newt are examples of this trope. Al is the king of them having raped the dog publicly and loudly so often its not just crossing the line twice, he's taken atrocity up to eleven and has no intent of stopping. Mildly subverted in that he suffered a minor reversal of fortunes in demon society. This however was due to letting Rachel live with knowledge of demon magic as opposed to any ill deed he did.
    • Nick could count as well, considering he's clever enough to avoid Trent and Rachel, after trying to steal Trent's priceless elf porn statue, conspiring against both of them, and disappearing from a cell in Trent's grounds, possibly all For the Lulz. Not to mention the faking his own death as an escape and then giving Rachel the focus.
  • Kill It with Fire: Rachel burns Kisten's murderer and accomplice into ash. Subverted in that they were already dead.
    • First played straight and then averted in Black Magic Sanction: Rachel, Pierce, and Ceri almost burn Rachel's garden in order to kill the fairy assassins who had invaded; Rachel breaks the spell because she doesn't want to be a killer, but by then the spell burned off the fairies' wings. When she realizes that the fairies killed Matalina, she regrets not killing them, but then she and their leader Sidereal talk, and come to an agreement in which no one has to die, and both sides have earned the other's grudging respect.
  • Killed Off for Real: Piscary, Kisten, Matalina, Ceri, Pierce (again), and Nick.
  • Kiss of the Vampire: Neurotoxins in vampire saliva can provide a blissful experience for those bitten.
  • Ladykiller in Love: Literally with Kisten and Rachel.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: The series has "forget charms" that can remove specific memories. Rachel has had these used on her twice so far. That she knows of.
    • Subverted in that there are also Pandora charms that can restore the lost memories.
    • In A Perfect Blood, the new, unnamed human organization try to erase Trent and Rachel's memories with a forget-chemical created by Trent's labs. They both come out unscathed; Trent because he has the antidote, and Rachel because she used a demon curse designed to prevent any and all induced memory loss.
  • Leprechaun Rachel's trying to tag one in the opening of the first book. The same one comes back in Black Magic Sanction.
  • Lesbian Vampire: Ivy and Skimmer.
  • Ley Line
  • Light Is Not Good: Rachel discovers to her chagrin that experienced witches are quite capable of using lethal White Magic.
  • Littlest Cancer Patient: Matalina. Several literal versions of these also appear in White Witch, Black Curse to deliver a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming for Rachel and Ivy.
    • Rachel herself was one as a child with the fatal Rosewood Syndrome until cured with illegal genetic treatments by Trent's father.
  • Living Lie Detector: Ford
  • Love Redeems: Arguably, Kisten and Ivy with Rachel.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Takata is revealed to be Rachel's biological father.
  • Lust The motivation for most of the villains. Trent and Lee lust for power while Piscary and Skimmer seem motivated by lust for Ivy. Rachel is often motivated by good-old-fashioned lust for sex.
  • Magic Mirror: Demons and demon summoners can use enchanted mirrors to communicate with each other.
  • Magic Misfire: Due to Rachel being Book Dumb in regard to magic this happens quite a bit.
  • Magic Wand: Played straight by various witches. Surprisingly, Rachel doesn't use one.
    • She would if she could afford it.
    • In The Outlaw Demon Wails it is mentioned that wands are one-spell wonders making using wands an expensive practice for someone like Rachel who values versatility.
  • Mama Bear: Mia is a rare villainous version of this. Her mate Remus is a villainous Papa Wolf to boot. And whatever you do, "don't touch the baby"...
  • Manipulative Bastard: The series has a number of these including Trent, Piscary, Minias, Nick, and even Rachel's had her moments.
  • Masquerade: Upheld by most Inderlanders before The Turn.
  • Millionaire Playboy: Trent.
  • Mind Control: Living vampire pheromones create a low level of this. This is stronger in those already infected with the vampire virus. Undead vampires can use a more powerful version of this termed 'pulling an aura'.
  • Mind Rape: Piscary does this several times to Ivy.
  • Mind Screw: A favorite ploy of the villains especially Al, Trent and Piscary.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Rachel whenever Ivy introduces her as a friend. People assume she's with Ivy in that way.
  • Monster Mash: To date the novels have included witches, vampires, pixies, fairies, werewolves, werefoxes, trolls, leprechauns, demons, elves, banshees, and ghosts living alongside humans.
  • Motive Decay: Trent. Though he claims that the motivations for his crimes is to finance his illegal genetic experiments and to save the elven race he often commits entirely unnecessary crimes such as breaking the will of and murdering subordinates, keeping Rachel trapped in the form of a mink and entering her into illegal rat fights, murdering several innocent werewolves to try to get the demon focus and various other acts unrelated to that goal.
    • In Black Magic Sanction Nick also suffers this with his changing sides several times for no obvious reason or profit.
      • Nick is a thief. His motivation for things is as much for adrenaline and lulz as it would be for profit.
  • Must Have Caffeine: Rachel, so much so that she gets headaches. To a lesser extent, Al — who likes her coffee better than the coffee in his realm.
  • Must Make Her Laugh: Jenks with Rachel and Ivy.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Skimmer's plan for Rachel.
  • My Death Is Just the Beginning: Living vampires will rise as more powerful undead vampires when slain.
  • Naked on Arrival: Pierce. Twice.
    • Black Magic Sanction: Rachel, after untwisting the curse that made her small, presents the priceless elf porn statue to Trent on stage. In front of a crowd. And news cameras.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: In Christian Demonology, Algaliarept is the highest ranking general of the armies of Hell.
  • New Old Flame: Skimmer for Ivy and Pierce for Rachel.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Ivy's well intended gift of a wish to Mia has unforeseen and horrible consequences...
  • Not So Extinct: It's widely believed that elves were wiped out in the Turn, but a few survived, including Trent, Jonathan, and Quen.
  • Odd Couple: Rachel and Ivy.
  • Our Demons Are Different
  • Our Elves Are Different
  • Our Ghosts Are Different
  • Our Presidents Are Different: Rynn Cormel who not only is a Magnificent Bastard President, he's also a vampire. Slightly subverted in that he is an ex-president.
  • Our Souls Are Different
  • Our Vampires Are Different
  • Our Werewolves Are Different
  • Overly Long Name: Piscary's full name. Ptah Ammon Fineas Horton Madison Parker Piscary.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Ivy.
    • Nick fits this trope better, especially concerning hollow eyes and a near-starved frame. Ivy is more Aloof Dark-Haired Girl, complete with aloofness.
  • Pen Name: Kim Harrison is an alternate persona of Dawn Cook.
  • Perky Goth: Ivy's younger sister Erica.
  • Plot Line Crossover: Happens with remarkable frequency. Some notable examples are the elven childhood cure for Rosewood making Rachel a part demon, Ivy's long ago disgraced boss Art killing Kisten and the demon focus being key to several parallel plot lines among many others.
  • Police Are Useless: It seems Rachel tends to solve more Inderlander crimes for the FIB than their actual employees. The IS on the other hand simply covers up Inderlander crime as opposed to enforcing the laws.
  • The Power of Blood: Type AB.
  • Power of Love: When trapped in the Ever After, Rachel uses her feelings for Ivy as an anchor to return to the real world.
  • Power of Trust: Rachel initially worked alone but has gradually learned to rely on Jenks and Ivy to help her out in tough situations. This has also begun to include Ceri.
  • Power Nullifier: Special restraints prevent witches from being able to access ley-line energies for their magic.
  • Psycho Lesbian: Skimmer.
  • Put on a Bus: Nick, in A Fistful of Charms. He comes back in Black Magic Sanction.
    • Keasley aka Leon Bairnes as of Black Magic Sanction.
  • Rape As Back Story: Ivy and possibly Kisten at the hands of Piscary.
  • Red-Headed Hero: Or heroine, in Rachel's case.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Kisten.
  • Redemption Quest: Ivy trying to escape her life as a vampire through Rachel.
  • The Renfield: Shadows are people bound to vampires by their bite.
    • Vampires can also create a similar bond to create a "scion" which still binds a person but leaves them much more free will. Scions can also draw on some of the energy of the vampire they are bonded to. Conversely the vampire can freely Mind Rape the scion, so it is not always an ideal relationship.
  • Relationship Ceiling/Bury Your Gays/Ship Sinking: As of A Perfect Blood, Rachel and Ivy have stopped trying to make their relationship work. There are still many ways of working out their problems but Rachel seems less interested in this as the books go on. Now the books seem to be pushing Rachel toward Trent.
    • It is speculated that the publisher or even Harrison herself is uncomfortable with Rachel having a same-sex relationship, since the readership is comprised mostly of women. Perhaps they believe such a relationship would drive them away.
  • The Reveal: Usually at least one major one and several minor ones a book. These have included but are not limited to Ivy setting up the church as a trap for Rachel under Piscary's orders, Piscary revealed to have molested Ivy for most of her life, Rachel received illegal genetic treatment for a fatal disorder as a child, Keasley being the legendary long-thought-dead runner Leon Bairnes, Trent being an elf and the elves not being extinct, Piscary being behind the assassination attempts against Trent and Rachel, Trent's and Rachel's fathers being partners and both being killed by Piscary, revealing Nick to be thief, Rachel's father being Takata, Rachel's adoptive father dying trying to reverse the transformation into a vampire, Pierce haunting the church for over a year, Ceri's pregnancy and the father's true identity, Rachel's mother being nowhere near as senile as she lets on, witches being the genetically damaged descendants of demons, Rachel being given the cure to Rosewood syndrome as a child which now makes her a demon and many, many more.
    • Kim's biggest reveal to date is that "Kim Harrison" is a pen name for Dawn Cook. This has surprisingly created a degree of Internet Backdraft.
  • Resurrected Romance
  • Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: Arguably Rachel and Ivy have an adult version of this. Played more straight in back story with Ivy and Skimmer.
  • Running Gag: <task> is what Jenks is <increasingly high number>th-best at. Guess what he's best at?
  • Scarpia Ultimatum: At one point, Piscary promised to let Rachel live if Ivy returns to him. Of course he twists this to mean making Rachel his shadow.
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Rachel's attitude to Trent's periodic attempts to bribe her.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Trent Kalamack, Piscary.
  • Sexy Mentor: Pierce for Rachel.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: Ivy and Rachel.
  • Shoot the Dog: Rachel tricks Al into taking Lee as a familiar instead of her, dooming him instead of her to a Fate Worse than Death.
    • Later in order to fake the death of Nick Rachel agrees to a plan to kill a willing terminally ill living vampire disguised as Nick despite it violating her Technical Pacifist stance. Double angst points in that Nick intentionally blows the operation and then immediately fakes his own death again in an attempt to double cross everyone making it a Senseless Sacrifice.
  • Shorter Means Smarter: Inverted here with the taller Ivy being the smart planned out one and the shorter Rachel the impatient riskier one.
  • Shout-Out: Al once references 'burning bunnies' in a memorable quote. This is a Catch Phrase of the author and members of her fan club often wear burning bunny pins to her book signings to identify themselves. You can find an example of the pin a little further down this page.
    • Perhaps the most obvious shout out is the titles of the books. All except the first are derived from Clint Eastwood films due to the author's love of the actor's work. As a result, fans enjoy speculating on what the titles of upcoming books will be.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Rachel and Robby, Ivy and Erica.
  • Signed Up for the Dental: David tries to recruit Rachel as his on-paper partner using this tack.
  • Single-Target Sexuality: Skimmer's attitude towards Ivy.
  • Smug Snake: Second string villains tend to be this including Art, Denon and Nick.
  • Spell Book: Rachel has several.
  • Spell Construction: The series uses all elements of this trope in one way or another.
  • Start My Own: The series begins with Rachel, Ivy and Jenks quitting the I.S. to start their own independent runner agency.
  • Summon Magic: Demons must be summoned by a magician to enter the real world. The exception is the demon matriarch Newt in an example of Screw the Rules, I Make Them!.
    • Ghosts can be also summoned and given temporary solid form by magic and given permanent physical form by demon magic and killing a live member of their race.
      • Since Rachel bears demon blood she can be summoned if someone knows her summoning name. This becomes a major plot point in Black Magic Sanction.
  • Suddenly Always Knew That: Jenks tends to reveal "traditional pixy skills" as the plot requires. To date these include but are not limited to being a computer hacker, knowing how to disable security systems and creating explosives from pixy dust and common household chemicals. How a short lived generally-illiterate species managed to acquire such technically advanced skills is never addressed.
    • Considering that Jax learned to read or at least learned his AB Cs in under a week by watching Sesame Street, we're probably supposed to assume that pixies are really fast learners.
  • Survivor Guilt: Rachel and Ivy, to a lesser extent, when Kisten dies.
  • Sweet Tooth: Jenks around honey, to the point it gets him drunk.
  • Technical Pacifist: Rachel.
  • Theme Naming: Jenks' family. All given J names after him (rather than M names after his wife Matalina).
  • There Are No Good Executives: Played straight, even with Trent... Until you get to Pale Demon, and suddenly Trent is being less and less of a jerk. Comes to a head in A Perfect Blood when Rachel spends most of the book actively working with Trent because he's the only one she can trust to watch her back.
  • Three Wishes What the leprechaun bribes Rachel, Ivy and Jenks with. Each of them gets one wish. Just don't ask about Ivy's.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: Rachel when she realized she was part demon.
  • Tome of Eldritch Lore: Rachel has several tomes of demon magic with some rather disturbing spells. However being that she is a bit Book Dumb they tend to collect dust more than see use.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Arguably, Rachel at times. Justified in that she is a adrenaline junkie.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Rachel does this periodically. She starts as a simple earth witch and every other book or so learns a new type of magic to add to her arsenal. First she learns ley-line magic, then black magic, then demon magic secondhand from Ceri and now is learning it first hand from Al.
    • David is another example. First he starts off as a bookish werewolf insurance investigator who wanted to form his own pack to avoid werewolf politics. Later he ends up beating several werewolves at once from his old pack who challenge him. He takes another level in badass when he absorbs a demonic curse that can create werewolves from human beings which makes the equivalent of a super-alpha wolf.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Nick. Oh, dear Lord, Nick.
  • Troubled, but Cute: Kisten.
  • Two First Names: Rachel Morgan.
  • The Stoic: Quen.
  • The Unmasqued World
  • The Unpronounceable: Demon summoning names.
  • Urban Fantasy
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: Rachel/Ivy, Rachel/Trent.
  • Unusual Euphemism: "Turn" is regularly used where one would expect Cluster F-Bomb or something similar.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Rachel more often than she'd like.
  • The Virus: The vampire virus is a rather multifaceted version. Non-vampires bitten have their DNA rewired to become addicted to the "rush" of a bite and highly vulnerable to vampire Mind Control pheromones. A vampire can also bind a non-vampire to their will with a bite to become their Renfield or make them a more free-willed version known as a scion. Humans but not other races infected with enough of the virus become low-blood vampire or "ghouls".
    • The worst aspect of the virus is that when a living vampire dies, the virus will consume their soul and cause them to rise as a soulless undead version of themselves. Kisten may have avoided this fate. Word of God hasn't decided yet.
    • Another virus appears in the form of a demonic focus that can transform a human into a werewolf. David accidentally transforms a number of his girlfriends this way.
  • Vampire Bites Suck: Normally neurotransmitters make vampire bites pleasant but the vampire can make it painful or even paralyze a person with their bite.
  • Vampires Are Sex Gods: Kisten and Ivy, especially since she can't separate blood from sex.
  • Vampire Detective Series: Or more accurately a witch, vampire and pixy detective series.
  • Victoria's Secret Compartment: Rachel sticks her cell phone here for a wedding, since her dress lacks pockets. It rings loudly and rudely. Takata finds it amusing when she says she "had it on vibrate. Really."
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Trent and to a lesser degree Lee and Piscary.
  • Villains Out Shopping: Played straight and literal once with Trent.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Skimmer several times, most notably when Rachel and Ivy visit her in jail.
  • Walking Disaster Area: Arguably, Rachel.
  • Warm Bloodbags Are Everywhere: Vampires, especially Ivy, can have self-control issues with regards to other races.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Trent Everything he does is to resurrect his species and lift the genetic curse that affects and kills their infants.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Ivy doesn't want to become an undead vampire but instead wants to keep her soul even if it means dying. Also, Ceri after 1000 years as a demonic familiar is now content to age and die naturally.
  • Will They or Won't They?: Rachel and Ivy. Less so later in the series.
    • Rachel and Trent. As of The Undead Pool, they did.
  • Willfully Weak: At the start of the series Rachel is doing this, by doing only white earth magic spells. White spells are less powerful than black spells, and the line is clearer with earth magic than ley line magic. However, circumstances keep forcing her to use black magic and demon curses.
    • Later in Black Magic Sanction it is shown white magic can be as strong as black magic, but requires greater skill to do so. Rachel isn't much for studying though and thus chooses to use black and demon magic as a short cut when she needs power. This is beginning to have some rather negative long term implications.
    • And then there is A Perfect Blood: For about half of the book Rachel cuts off her access to ley lines with a charmed silver bracelet courtesy of Trent. She goes through a lot of anguish trying to decide what the best course of action is: take it off and be hunted and persecuted by the general populace, or leave it on and be magically castrated for life. Eventually, she realizes that she is a demon, and she can't change that, so she removes it.
  • White Magic: What Rachel practices. Mostly. Originally.
  • Witch Species: In the series, witches are separate species originating in the Ever-After. Though they look just like humans, their genetics are completely different and the two species cannot interbreed.
    • Later it is revealed that the witch species arose from stunted demon children suffering from a elven curse.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Newt
  • Word of God: Kim Harrison maintains a Yahoo group and a website where she often answers questions or clarifies details of the stories
    • The author reserves the right to answer any question with her Catch Phrase KSR1 or "Kim's Standard Reply 1" which is "I'm not telling".
      • Update: Kim has removed herself from her Yahoo group due to Internet Backdraft after her revelation that "Kim Harrison" is a pen name. She still maintains a presence on her website "Drama Box".
  • Working the Same Case: Played with a twist in that more than once one of Rachel's antagonists is investigating the case she is as well but for different motives.
  • You Called Me X, It Must Be Serious: Especially evident with Al.
  • You Can't Miss It: Rachel is given directions like this in A Fistful of Charms.
  • You Have Failed Me: Trent's policy for firing employees.
  • You Killed My Father: Slightly inverted in that Trent blames the death of his father on Rachel, whose adoptive father also died.


The Gardella Vampire ChroniclesVampire FictionThe House of Night
The Heroes of OlympusUrban FantasyThe House of Night
Hollow Kingdom TrilogyFantasy LiteratureThe Homeward Bounders
Hollow Kingdom TrilogyLiterature of the 2000sWhere My Hat Is At?

alternative title(s): The Hollows; Dead Witch Walking
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