Today's review is a little different. I'm about six books into The Hollows series by Kim Harrison. I'd read the first four some years ago, and decided to re-read those and then catch up on the rest of the series. And they are FANTASTIC. They start with Dead Witch Walking. Dead Witch Walking introduces Rachel Morgan, Ivy Tamwood, and Jenks. They all leave the I.S. (think a supernatural FBI/police force) to form an independent investigator firm. Rachel's a witch, Ivy is a living vampire, and Jenks is a pixie.
The books remind me a lot of Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series, before they devolved into porn. The Hollows has a few romance side plots, but they are definite side plots. They're not the main drive of the books.
So far I've read Dead Witch Walking, The Good, the Bad, and the Undead, Every Which Way But Dead, A Fistful of Charms, For a Few Demons More, and I've just started The Outlaw Demon Wails. The action does not stop in these books!
I thought the take on vampires was especially interesting in this series; there are living vampires and undead vampires; you can be born a vampire or bitten and turned. That makes you a highblood or lowblood living vampire, respectively. Once you die, you come back as an undead vampire without your soul. Through the use of vampire pheromones, the undead and living vampires manipulate those around them. They wind up being a very abusive family, where the undead vampires use and abuse all around them, their only thought being for their own welfare/pleasure, while the living vampires strive to please their undead masters because the pheromones make them think they love them.
I could see it being triggering for someone who'd been abused or lived through a similar situation. The author mentioned in an interview that she intentionally styled them after abusers/abused; where the living vampires struggle with their feelings of love for their abusers while fighting the instinct to pass the abuse on. The relationship between Ivy, Rachel, and Piscary (Ivy's undead master) is a good example of this.
The series continues with White Witch, Black Curse, Black Magic Sanction, Pale Demon, A Perfect Blood, and, on January 22, Ever After.
I'm hoping to be caught up with the series by the time Ever After comes out, and I'm making good progress.
If you're looking for a good supernatural series that ISN'T all about the sex (there's a few sex scenes, but mild ones) then you should take a look at the Hollows series!