Tag Archives: The Hollows

The Good, the Bad, and the Undead by Kim Harrison

Overview
The Good, the Bad, and the Undead by Kim Harrison

Title: The Good, the Bad, and hte Undead
Author: Kim Harrison
Series: The Hollows #2
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Strong women, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 4th October – 28th November 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Eos
Year: 2005
5th sentence, 74th page: Brow furrowing, I looked down at my red blouse, black skirt, nylons, and ankle-high boots.

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Synopsis

It’s a tough life for witch Rachel Morgan, sexy, independent, bounty hunter, prowling the darkest shadows of downtown Cincinnati for criminal creatures of the night.

She can handle the leather-clad vamps and even tangle with a cunning demon or two. But a serial killer who feeds on the experts in the most dangerous kind of black magic is definitely pressing the limits.

Confronting an ancient, implacable evil is more than just child’s play – and this time, Rachel will be lucky to escape with her very soul.

Thoughts

Finishing this novel gave me a pretty major book hangover… there is just something about Harrison’s writing that has me absolutely, totally and utterly hooked. And in love. And just in my general, serious happy place. It took me a little longer than usual to read this, because I knew that once I allowed myself to sink into the story, I wouldn’t want to look away. Which is exactly what happened. And then, when I finished it… I didn’t really want to read any other stories…

Trent seems to me like he’s completely winning the battle of wits between Rachel and himself. It makes me wonder if he’s maybe not truly the evil, devil man that I originally thought. And, after reading The Turn, I have SOOOOO many questions about what happened to him between the two storylines… I mean, there are so many unanswered questions and… well, things to be answered! It gives me hope that maybe he’s not as truly, deeply evil as I thought, and just messed up and morally grey… although I can definitely attest to the fact that Piscary is most definitely evil. Which is nice. It’s always good to have at least one clear, cut, and dry villain.

Rachel is probably one of the most accident-prone characters that I’ve had the pleasure of reading in a long time. Not accident prone in the sense of physically… but circumstantially? Yeah. She tends to find herself in one horrible situation after another. It serves to not only be an entertaining read, but draws you further and further into the storyline. Completely powerful, completely unforgettable and so much damn fun.

Ivy and Jenks kind of felt like they stole the show a little bit in Dead Witch Walking. They didn’t so much in this, they fell strongly into the secondary character role. That’s not to say that they didn’t still shine. Jenks is still funny, witty and fiercely loyal and independent. I absolutely adore him for that fact. And Ivy? Well, Ivy is one of the most complex and tragic secondary / supporting characters that I’ve had the pleasure of coming across in quite a while. She’s also a terrifying best friend. I mean, who doesn’t want a best friend who kind of wants to eat you all the time?

I seriously loved this novel, and I can’t wait to get through the TBR that is currently sitting next to me so that I can sink my teeth into Every Which Way But Dead. I just need to finish the monster TBR piled next to me first… otherwise, it could fall on my head while I sleep…

<- Dead Witch WalkingUndead in the Garden of Good and Evil ->

Image source: Goodreads

Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison

Overview
Image result for dead witch walking book cover

Title: Dead Witch Walking
Author: Kim Harrison
Series: The Hollows #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Strong women, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 15th June – 2nd July 2019
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Harper Voyager Fiction
Year: 2004
5th sentence, 74th page: “Piscary’s.”

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Synopsis

All the creatures of the night gather in “the Hollows” of Cincinnati, to hide, to prowl, to party… and to feed.

Vampires rule the darkness in a predator-eat-predator world rife with dangers beyond imagining – and it’s Rachel Morgan’s job to keep that world civlized.

A bounty hunter and witch with serious sex appeal and an attitude, she’ll bring ’em back alive, dead… or undead.

Thoughts

I’ve been hanging to start this book for quite a while. There is just something which draws you in about the idea of The Hollows and Rachel Morgan. Plus, I kind of needed a storyline with a little bit of sass and attitude. I’ve been reading too many cutsey stories lately, and they were starting to grate on me a little. So Rachel’s gumption, sass and independence was exactly what I wanted to read, though tearing myself away from her adventures at night before bed was incredibly difficult.

Kalamack is one of the most hated villains I’ve ever read. Like, I’ve actually never wanted to reach through the pages of a book more and strangle a guy. And that was when I read The Turn. So I was both excited and disappointed to find him appearing again in this story, which takes place over forty years after the original story. I was really, really hoping that Rachel was going to take him out… although the fact that he wasn’t really the villain in this story kind of made it a little exciting as well. He was just another obstacle in the way, and his power-hungry ways are sure to continue messing with the people of The Hollows as the series unfolds.

I’ve read a few of the novellas in this series, and the prequel novel. And even though I really enjoyed them, they weren’t anything compared to the actual series featuring Rachel. It was everything that I look for in an urban fantasy and I can see myself sinking into many of these stories whenever I need a good paranormal fix. This entire novel is filled with highs and lows, every time you think you can relax, a new obstacle is thrown in the way. Which of course makes it almost impossible to put down and one of those stories that I will enjoy reading again and again.

 <- Blood CrimeThe Good, the Bad, and the Undead ->
Image source: HarperCollins Publishers

Undead in the Garden of Good and Evil by Kim Harrison

Overview
Image result for dates from hell book cover

Title: Undead in the Garden of Good and Evil
Author: Kim Harrison
Series: The Hollows #2.5
In: Dates From Hell (Kim Harrison, Lynsay Sands, Kelley Armstrong & Lori Handeland)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Strong women, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 22nd – 27th June 2019
Pace: Fast
Format: Novella
Publisher: Avon Fiction
Year: 2006
5th sentence, 74th page: Jerking in sudden decision, she dropped the pen and pulled out the Yellow Pages, looking for the biggest insurance ad that wasn’t connected to one of Cincinnati’s older vamp families.

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Synopsis

Ivy and vampire Art are partners on homicide case for Inderland Security.

Thoughts

Ivy’s framing of Art is mentioned a number of times in the Hollows graphic novels, and Dead Witch Walking. Enough so that I was intensely interested in the why, the how and the every single moment of why she would do such a thing. Especially considering it is so at odds with the character that I’m steadily falling in love with as I read my first full length novel in the series. This novella explains her motives absolutely perfectly.

Normally I will read a novella in less than an hour. One sitting that will leave me with a smile on my face. Because this tale dealt with the darker side of Ivy and her bloodlust, I didn’t just read it cover to cover. Rather, I found that I’d read two chapters, then have to put it down. Harrison’s ability to bring her characters to shocking reality made my heart ache every moment that I spent in this world. In the best way possible.

One of the aspects of vampirism that seems to continuously come up in the stories that I read is their love of politics. Undead in the Garden of Good and Evil shows the depths and complexity of this. In a quite brutal manner. But, since I’m not the kind of person who generally feels comfortable with politics, it also drew me in completely – no consequences.

 <- The Good, the Bad, and the UndeadEvery Which Way But Dead ->
Image source: Harper Collins Publishers

Blood Crime by Kim Harrison

Overview
Image result for blood crime kim harrison book cover

Title: Blood Crime
Author: Kim Harrison
Series: The Hollows #0.3
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Graphic novels, Paranormal fantasy, Strong women, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 14th June 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Graphic novel
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: 2012

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Synopsis

You can’t tell the story of how it all began for supernatural cops Ivy Tamwood and Rachel Morgan without telling how it all nearly ended. The fiery living vampire and erstwhile earth witch never asked to be paired up in the first place. And having to work Inderland Security’s crummiest beat—busting two-bit paranormal street punks—sure didn’t sweeten the deal. But when it counts, Ivy and Rachel always have each other’s backs. They’d better—because someone just hung targets on both of them.

It doesn’t take a hotshot homicide detective to know that nearly getting flattened by a falling gargoyle or impaled by a lead pipe aren’t on-the-job accidents. But it doesn’t seem possible that the class of crooks Ivy and Rachel routinely collar could kill anything but brain cells. So who put Cincinnati’s tough and tender twosome on their “to do in” list? Is Ivy’s vampire master, the powerful and seductive Piscary, jealous of her growing bloodlust (and just plain lust) for Rachel? Or have forces unknown—living or undead—made the partners prey in a deadly witch (and vampire) hunt?

Before this case is cracked, Ivy and Rachel will face down vicious dogs, speeding locomotives, rogue bloodsuckers, and their own dark desires; spells will be cast and blood will be spilled; and Kim Harrison’s hair-raising, heart-racing, dark urban world of magic and monsters will leap howling from the pages of her second electrifying, full-color graphic novel.

Thoughts

I finished off Blood Work feeling really tense. Although I know that Ivy and Rachel must have a good, ongoing relationship after this first case, I still was seriously concerned for Rachel’s health. Blood Crime helped to continue on this origin story where you understand a little more of Ivy’s obsession and dark past. It also highlighted the strength of Rachel and the potential fun and sass of future cases.

The vivid imagery throughout this graphic novel completely swept me away. As did the total darkness of the storyline. Obsessive love is constantly featured. Actually I wouldn’t even really call it love. Just obsession. An obsession that is all consuming and seriously not healthy. I expected it from Piscray. I didn’t expect Ivy to mimic and mirror many of these emotions. Alright, Ivy’s thoughts and feelings came from a much nicer place, but they’re still totally not okay, and kind of seriously creepy.

The crime story throughout this is kind of interesting. But the part that I loved most about this was the darkness. The revealing of the damaging relationships between vampires and the ways in which there is constant abuse. It was completely blood curdling. Yet when I started reading Dead Witch Walking, I was ten times more committed to the characters within the first page.

 <- Blood WorkDead Witch Walking ->
Image source: Goodreads

Ley Line Drifter by Kim Harrison

Overview
Image result for unbound book cover kim harrison

Title: Ley Line Drifter
Author: Kim Harrison
Series: The Hollows #7.5
In: Unbound (Kim Harrison, Melissa Marr, Jeaniene Frost, Vicki Pettersson & Jocelyn Drake)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Strong women, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 29th March – 4th April 2019
Pace: Fast
Format: Novella
Publisher: EOS
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page:Startled, Jenks turned in the air even as Daryl caught her breath only to start coughing.

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Synopsis

Pixy Jenks faces murderous dryad locked inside statue.

Thoughts

I never realised that I was missing stories about pixies from my bookshelves until I read this novella. Now I want to see if I can find any story that involves these little sprites… and dig myself further into this series that has them as supporting characters. After all, Jenks isn’t a lead character, but he does (apparently) feature in the other Hollows stories and there was a lot of background to his character that I just haven’t got yet… but I’m trying to fix that right now.

Just before reading this novella, I had the privilege of sinking my teeth into Circe, so Greek mythology and stories were in the forefront of my mind while reading this. Which means that the moment that nymphs and dryads were mentioned, I started grinning like a school girl with a crush. The fact that the nymph is a warrior and a little unhinged and ran around with a great big sword made me all the happier. I always enjoyed a good mental case running around with a sword… it adds a sense of humour and entertainment to the storyline.

Harrison is able to add a great deal of detail in a very small amount of pages. I particularly loved the cultural and social backstory of pixies in this story. The creation of an entire paranormal race with their own motives, movements and beliefs is something that can be quite difficult to highlight by itself, but adding in a few fights with a sword-wielding nymph and a bit of a conspiracy that doesn’t really end in the best way… well, that is some fantastic writing.

 <- UnboundReckoning ->
Image source: Harper Collins Publisher

Blood Work by Kim Harrison

Overview
Image result for blood work kim harrison book cover

Title: Blood Work
Author: Kim Harrison
Series: The Hollows #0.2
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Graphic novels, Paranormal fantasy, Strong women, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 16th April 2019
Pace: Fast
Format: Graphic novel
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: Damn, she was fast.

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Synopsis

When Ivy met Rachel, the result wasn’t exactly love at first sight. Sparks flew as the living vampire and the stubborn witch learned what it meant to be partners. Now Kim Harrison, the acclaimed author of Pale Demon and Black Magic Sanction, turns back the clock to tell the tale – in an original full-color graphic novel.

Hot-as-hell, tough-as-nails detective Ivy Tamwood has been demoted from homicide down to lowly street-crime detail. As i f rousting trolls and policing pixies instead of catching killers wasn’t bad enough, she’s also been saddled with a newbie partner who’s an earth witch. It’s enough to make any living vampire bare her fangs. But when a coven of murderous witches begins preying on werewolves, Rachel Morgan quickly proves she’s a good witch who knows how to be a badass.

Together, Ivy and Rachel hit the mean streets to deal swift justice to the evil element among Cincinnati’s super-natural set. But there’s more to their partnership than they realize – and more blood and black magic in their future than they bargained for.

Thoughts

I felt hooked on this series before I opened the first novel. But if I was kind of on the fence about whether to buy more of these books and truly sink my teeth into them… this graphic novel made me feel much more certain about my newest obsession. I was almost late to a meeting because I was so absorbed in reading through this. The imagery and the storyline just swept me away beautifully.

I’ve been reading a few graphic novels lately and this one was a little more sexualised than the others that I’ve been reading. A little more expected from the medium than the other contemporaries which I’ve been absorbing. But I didn’t find it much of a problem. There was sexualisation, but it wasn’t disturbingly so. Actually, it worked incredibly well since this is aimed at more of an adult audience and there is a very sexual component to the storyline and characters anyway.

I’m not sure if I was supposed to read this before or after the first Hollows novel. It provides great back story, but since it was published after Dead Witch Walking, I’m very uncertain. Luckily, I absolutely loved this story and it won’t be a large time gap between reading this and the first novel (when the first novel arrives on my doorstep that is).

 <- The TurnBlood Crime ->
Image source: Goodreads

The Turn by Kim Harrison

Overview
Image result for the turn kim harrison book cover

Title: The Turn
Author: Kim Harrison
Series: The Hollows #0.1
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Strong women, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 4th – 16th April 2019
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Pocket Books Fiction
Year: 2017
5th sentence, 74th page: Hesitating, she went over it again to make sure the holes were filled.

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Synopsis

Can science save us when all else fails?

Trisk and her hated rival, Kal, have the same goal: save their species from extinction.

But death comes in the guise of hope when a genetically modified tomato created to feed the world combines with the government’s new tactical virus, giving it an unexpected host and a mode of transport. Plague rises, giving the paranormal species the choice to stay hidden and allow humanity to die, or to show themselves in a bid to save the human race.

Under accusations of scientific misconduct, Trisk and Kal flee across a plague-torn United States to convince leaders of the major paranormal species to save their supposedly weaker kin. Not everyone thinks humanity should be saved, though, and Trisk must fight the prejudices of two societies to prove not only that humanity does have something to offer but also that long-accepted beliefs against women, dark magic, and humanity itself can turn to understanding; that when people are at their worst, the best show their true strength; and that love can hold the world together as a new balance is found.

Thoughts

I really, really wanted to give this novel a much, much lower rating. Actually, when I first put it down I did… but the more I think about it, the more I realise that I loved it. Alright, I wasn’t a huge fan of the ending (hence the slightly tanty that I threw when I finished this), but it was an incredibly powerful and intense story. One that I won’t forget at any point soon. And one that I will definitely read again and again and again…

I have honestly never wanted a character to die more than I did in this novel. I even had to stop reading this for a while because I was getting so damn ragey at Kal. And it’s probably because his villainy and actions hit a little too close to home. After all, every single horror in this story comes from the jealousy of a man, and his pride and belief that a woman cannot possibly be smarter than him. Better than him when she doesn’t fit the roles that he assigns to her. Like I said, it struck way too close to home. And it made me want to smack him around the head, and make sure the vampires and witches actually managed to kill him… I’ve really never gunned for a villain to die so badly. I’ve cheered before when they have… but I’ve never screamed when they haven’t…

This might be the first book I’ve read that features a female scientist. At least, the first fantasy tale (I’ve read plenty of non-fiction stories by female environmental scientists, but never a fiction tale). I may be an environmental scientist as opposed to a geneticist, but the drive to publish and create new avenues of research for myself is still there. I completely understood why Trisk was so determined to get her name on her own research, and the fine line that she had to walk. Alright, I don’t have to deal with many of these issues because the story is based in the 60’s, but there are echoes of them in every researchers life. Which is probably why I was so aggressively determined to see Kal end, and painfully if I had my way.

It’s obvious that I’ve been reading a lot of gushy, happily ever after tales lately. Because I fully expected that of this story. I didn’t for one moment think that I might not be happy with the ending. And I really didn’t consider that it would make me roar a little bit in rage (my poor partner was more than a little confused at my reaction). But, the more I’ve thought of it, the more I’ve actually liked it. After all, there aren’t the happy ending, everything tied in a neat bow finales in real life, so why shouldn’t there be less-than-perfect endings in the novels?

 <- More Kim HarrisonBlood Work ->
Image source: Goodreads

Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel by Kim Harrison

Overview
Holidays Are Hell

Title: Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel
Author: Kim Harrison
Series: The Hollows #5.5
In: Holidays Are Hell (Kim Harrison, Lynsay Sands, Marjorie M. Liu & Vicki Pettersson)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: ChristmasParanormal fantasy, Urban fantasy
Pace: Fast
Format: Novella
Publisher: Harper Fiction
Year: 2007
5th sentence, 74th page: The cold hit me, and I held my crossed arms close now for warmth.

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Synopsis

All Rachel wants to do is join local magical enforcement. But her brother has other ideas for her. When a séance to find out their father’s wishes goes wrong, all hell is about to break loose…

Thoughts

I read this because it was in a Christmas collection and I really wanted to get into the Christmas spirit. Yet, I’m still completely unaware as to what this has to do with Christmas. Other than the fact that all of the action takes place on the solstice.

Regardless of the fact that I specifically wanted a Christmas story, and didn’t get one… I thoroughly enjoyed this novella. And can’t wait to discover more of The Hollows series. Rachel is an independent and strong woman. But in a way that is completely different to every other strong woman I’ve read about. Normally they are physically able, and can kick box and karate or whatever form of self defence… but Rachel is actually incredibly physically weak. Yet, this is what lends her so much strength and power. And makes you root for her as she rushes around the city, after a ghost, trying to find a missing girl and a creepy, demented vampire.

 <- Holidays Are HellRun, Run, Rudolph ->
Image source: Harper Collins Publishers