Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Review: The Hollows Insider

Reviewed by Jen
I don't usually seek out Insider's Guides... even for the series that I like. Most of the time, they are just a rehash of information we already know. But I think I would read a book about Rachel Morgan doing her laundry. And like it. So when I was presented the opportunity to get my hands on this book, there was no question that I had to read it.

I'm happy to say that was much better than watching Rachel wash her whites. Granted, we're not exactly breaking a lot of new ground in the Hollows world, but it was entertaining for me as a fan.

You may remember back in Dead Witch Walking, Rachel mentioned an incident on a city bus where she threw a potion at a Were she was chasing, and accidentally hit a couple of passengers, causing them to lose their hair. After that, she knew the bus drivers were wary about picking her up. What she didn't know was that one of those passengers was a blogger, not content to be a victim. His name was Devin Crossman. He gets a job as columnist for The Hollows Gazette and decides to learn everything he can about the witch who hit him with the potion. This Insider's Guide is, essentially, the culmination of his research.

That research includes information about all Inlanders.  Crossman breaks down the various races. He journals about Rachel's life... from the events of Dead Witch Walking through Black Magic Sanction. Interspersed with his notes are illustrations, files from the IS and FBI, memorandums from his boss, and even copies of the Gazette that were published. The book has the feel of an overstuffed binder or scrap book. It's visually awesome.

My favorite parts included correspondence among Trent, Quen & Jonathan, monitoring Crossman's investigation. And I LOVED the pictures. We got renditions of almost everyone: from our friends at Vampiric Charms to the big names at Kalamak enterprises... from the Weres to the IS staff and then some. Harrison's approach was creative and fun.

There were a couple of places that dragged. We had an excerpt from a cookbook that didn't do much for me. And all the spells... I found myself just skimming over them. (The notable exception to that was with Al's notes in the demon text. Very funny, as Al's observations usually are.)

There were no great revelations, though I did pick up new details here and there that I'd never heard before, including a little backstory on Trent's dad... as well as some particulars about the different species. I really liked hearing Trent's voice in those memos. It's as close as we've ever come to something in his POV.

And the last line was fantastic. "It is not always what we do, Sa'han, but who we love that makes us who we are." You tell him, Quen. I can't wait for A Perfect Blood.  A little more than 4 stars.

P.S. The formatting on my nook did not do this book justice.  It really made a mess of the whole thing.  But it displayed beautifully in Digital Editions.

*ARC Provided by NetGalley

Click to purchase: The Book Depository or Amazon
The Hollows Insider
by Kim Harrison
Release Date: October 23, 2011
Publisher: Harper Voyager

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At Tuesday, October 4, 2011 at 11:12:00 AM CDT , Blogger Christy LoveOfBooks said...

I'm not usually into insider guides either, but I want this one. This is my favorite series. I cannot wait for A Perfect Blood!

At Tuesday, October 4, 2011 at 11:18:00 AM CDT , Blogger Jen at Red Hot Books said...

Me too!! I want that book more than any other coming out in 2012!!

At Tuesday, October 4, 2011 at 9:33:00 PM CDT , Blogger Patti (@TheLoveJunkee) said...

I went to one of her signings in Houston earlier this year and she talked about how this was coming out and it sounded really, really good. Glad to hear it is!

At Tuesday, October 4, 2011 at 9:58:00 PM CDT , Blogger Jen at Red Hot Books said...

I'm jealous! I love Kim Harrison!


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