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The Hollows Insider: New fiction, facts, maps, murders, and more in the world of Rachel Morgan Hardcover – Oct 25 2011
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“I wouldn’t miss a Kim Harrison book for anything.” (Charlaine Harris)
“Fast-paced and entertaining.” (Publishers Weekly)
“The pace and tone of A Perfect Blood reflects its protagonist: a little more cautious, reflective and purposeful, and the book is more powerful as a result…Harrison provides the strongest and most self-assured Rachel we’ve seen yet.” (Miami Herald on A PERFECT BLOOD)
“You’ll love this bounty-hunter team. DEAD WITCH WALKING is a fun-fair ride through a fascinating version of our world.” (Charlaine Harris on Dead Witch Walking)
From the Back Cover
New York Times bestselling author Kim Harrison has won legions of fans with her sexy supernatural novels featuring bounty-hunting witch Rachel Morgan. And now comes a unique look inside her beloved Hollows series that no fan should miss. . . . The Hollows Insider
In the Hollows, the supernatural Inderlanders rule, and humanity must abide by their conventions, or else.
To survive among vampires, witches, Weres, gargoyles, trolls, fairies, and banshees—to say nothing of demons—humanity needs a guide. And now, written by Kim Harrison herself, here is an insider’s look at the supernatural world of the Hollows, from an overarching new story to character profiles, maps, spell guides, charm recipes, secret correspondence from the elusive Trent Kalamack, and much more.See all Product Description
Inside This Book(Learn More)
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From the first page to the last, it is clear that Kim Harrison put the same tender loving care into this Hollows guide as she does her web site. Clearly, Harrison is still having fun with The Hollows series.
The Hollows Insider is a gorgeous glossy compendium. There are lots of colorful documents from the Hollows Gazette, Inderland Security and Kalamack Industries - everything from birth certificates to expense reports to wedding invitations. There are also glossy black and white illustrations and photos throughout the book. (Fun Fact: The pictures in the Hollows Gazette articles were submitted by readers to the author for inclusion.)
Each chapter starts with a Kalamack Interoffice memo, followed by an entry from Devin Crossman's Journal. After these two mainstays, the chapters vary in content, showing supporting documents from Crossman explaining why Rachel Morgan is a menace to society. At the end of each chapter is an issue of the Hollows Gazette and another Kalamack Interoffice memo:
Chapter 1 - Inderland Security Internal profiles on everything from Banshees to Witches and Warlocks; Hollows Gazette April 5, 2006
Chapter 2 - Church Maps, Bairn's Article and Death Certificate, Rachel's Treaties, Internal Fact Sheets on Inderland Security, Federal Inderland Bureau; Character Descriptions of Rachel Morgan, Ivy Tamwood, Jenks, Keasley, Kisten Felps; Hollows Gazette Internal Fact Sheets on Trenton Kalamack, Captain Edden and Piscary; Hollows Gazette October 4, 2006
Chapter 3 - Vampire Charms Yellow Pages Ad, Earth Magic, Ley Line Magic, JOLLS - The Journal of Ley Line Studies, Hollows Gazette October December 16, 2006
Chapter 4 - Betty Bob's Recipes, Character Descriptions of Ceridwen Dulciate, Dorothy Claymore Simmer and Nick Sparagmos; Hollows Gazette May 31, 2007
Chapter 5 - Kisten Phelp's Death, Trenton A. Kalamack's Arrest, Kalamack/Withon Wedding Announcement, United Were Registry, Hollows Gazette July 30, 2007
Chapter 6 - Spells, Summoning a Demon, 101 Earth Charms for Home and Office, Incantation to Bind a Familiar, Pentagrams and their associated uses, Takata's Lyrics, Hollows Gazette November 6, 2007
Chapter 7 -Hand Drawn Maps - Cincinnati/The Hollows/Cincinnati Outskirts; Timeline, Character Descriptions - Bis, Marshal, Godian Nathaniel Pierce; full color Witch Weekly Solstice Issue December 2008, Hollows Gazette January 2, 2008
Chapter 8 - Demons - What they can and cannot do, Demon Curses, Hollows Gazette April 16, 2008
Chapter 9 - Winnie Gradenko's Letter, The Hollows Gazette June 20, 2008
While I love every word, illustration and photo, my favorite part of the Hollows Insider is the Witch Weekly Happy Solstice Issue - December 2008. It is hard not to crack a wicked smile reading these articles:
- 3 Wicked and Wonderful Brews for the New Year
- 10 Signs that you are in The Hollows
- 10 Signs your Room Mate is practicing the Dark Arts
- Interview with the Vampire Dating Guide Author Rynn Cormel
- Tunes to get your toes tapping
- `Twas the Night before Solstice
I cannot thank the author enough for taking time to create this beautifully illustrated guide to The Hollows universe - including the glow in the dark cover!
Diehard Rachel Morgan fans will love 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.
The theme is genius. It kicks off with the Hollows humor we all know and love, instantly drawing you in. It's basically told from the POV of an innocent bystander of one of Rachel's spells gone hilariously wrong in her early days as an I.S. Intern. He takes his grudge to the next level and spends time spying and collecting information on our favorite itchy witch and the supporting Hollows characters. He works for the local Inderlander paper and his goal is to expose Rachel. He's not having an easy time of it which makes things all the more entertaining, so in turn this is how we learn about everything from species facts, character profiles, maps, magic spells, demon curses, recipes, music lyrics and more.
Normally when I crack open a Hollows book I want a new story, but reading about the Hollows world is quite fascinating and surprisingly enough while I already knew some of the facts, I did learn a couple of new things when it came to character insights and spells. It repeats some lines a couple of times depending on the sections, but I didn't find it annoying. You can tell Harrison really did her homework. She references the smallest things from the previous novels, even Rachel and Ivy's mistakenly suggestive Yellow Page ad from Book 3. I also liked the clarification of the different magic types between ley line, earth, and demon magic. I wish there was a little more explanation about "wild" magic that the elves typically use, but that didn't stop my enjoyment one bit.
You can skim or skip sections if you want, or you can take your time and truly absorb the information. It's definitely an adjustment to have that option for The Hollows.
You pick it up and you really don't want to put it down. The layout and graphics are very nice to look at which helps a lot. Reluctantly, I couldn't read it in one sitting being the busy bee that I am, but it was on my mind until I could get back to finishing it. Heck, I want to read it TWICE and you will NEVER hear me say that about a text book!
If you're an ebook reader, don't despair. It's not available in ebook format due to numerous graphics and font variations. I cannot imagine this looking remotely appealing on my kindle, or even on a color e-reader. It's a reference text and I always find reading those on an ereader to be an awful experience because I often flip back and forth between pages; ebooks just don't hold up to that for me.
So yes, I found this to be a satisfying read and it no doubt sets the bar extremely high for any other world books I come across. This is highly recommended if you're a fan of The Hollows, though you will want to be caught up through Pale Demon because there are major spoilers.
lil side note, um... I think the bathrooms in the diagram are flipped (and possibly the tower is on the wrong side). Rachel's is supposed to be the one with the washer dryer, right? and Ivy's has the full bath and stuff. Me and friends actually recreated the church full scale in Second Life and we went over the first books with a fine tooth comb to get where each room was and what fixtures were inside, then put it together in 3D graphics. This was a few years back, and was the group effort of Bliss Crimson, Dilynrae Vandyke, Quincey Forder, and other fine people who play in Second Life. If you are in Second Life say hi!