I love Kim Harrison's early books, they had a unique flavor and she writes just beautifully. As her series went on, however, I became less enamored with the many impulsive "mistakes" of heroine and began to set the books aside more and more. The series is now beginning to develop the feel of an almost monotonous sequence of events: Rachel gets in trouble, is helped out, magic is performed, she pulls a rabbit out of the hat, her relationships continue to spiral out of her control, and life continues.
The most frustrating part of all the books is her continuously rocky relationships with almost everyone. Her relationship with her bisexual roommate is at once mystifying and frankly, cliched. Rachel goes from being very firm in her sense of self and beliefs to, of course, becoming ambiguous in order to shroud the friendship in an air of potential. Which would be fine, if only she hadn't been so hopelessly straight in the entire first four books, each lesbian encounter furthered only by vampire pheromones or extenuating circumstances. This character change has the horrible feel of a plot device, not an evolution of character.
The ending clinched my feelings of disappointment with this series - shock value aside, this series ONCE AGAIN ends with just enough loose ends that the author can keep us hanging indefinitely, since Rachel seems to make and break relationships from one book to the next.
I love this author's writing, she has a gift for plot and a subtle wit, but what started as a 5 star series for me has since dropped to an all time low of 1 star. If I read any other books in this series, it will only be to see how the author allowed Rachel to screw up something else so the books can go on.