Katie Michaels's Reviews > The Hollows Insider

The Hollows Insider by Kim Harrison
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's review
Aug 10, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: arcs, hollows, urban-fantasy
Read from August 10 to 12, 2011 , read count: 1

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
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Reading Progress

08/11/2011 page 30
8.0% "I love the Hollows!"
08/12/2011 page 55
14.0% "Have read part of this on my nook and part on Digital Editions --It looks so awesome on the computer!! A big difference."
08/12/2011 page 85
22.0% "A list of Jenks' favorite sayings! I love it!" 3 comments
08/12/2011 page 87
23.0% "OMG. I love that there are illustrations of some of the characters. Trent = squee." 3 comments
08/12/2011 page 384
100.0% ""It is not always what we do, Sa'han, but who we love that makes us who we are.""

Comments (showing 1-11 of 11) (11 new)

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message 1: by jD (new)

jD Will it help me understand and like Ivy? I dropped the series because of her. I have wanted to pick it back up but she is still a primary character but I miss the rest of the crew.

message 2: by Katie (last edited Aug 13, 2011 02:09PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Katie Michaels Not really. I think the best Ivy backstory is in the short story "Undead in the Garden of Good and Evil" in the Dates from Hell anthology. At what point did you stop reading? For me, it just gets better and better. Pale Demon has been the best yet.

I'm not a big Ivy fan either. Her issues stem in part from her past abuse and in part because she is a vampire. I don't know that she'll ever get over them completely. But by the most recent book she has moved on, at least romantically.

This insiders guide does contain spoilers for all the books released so far, so be aware of that if you're not up to date. (That includes a massive spoiler if you haven't read For a Few Demons More, which was a huge turning point in the series.)

message 3: by jD (new)

jD The last thing I recall was the boyfriend turned on her. Ivy's was with the lawyer. There was a new demon on the scene...a crazy woman if I recall. I think I read 3 for certain and a portion of a 4th one. Spoilers don't bother me. Actually I want to keep going with the series based on where it is now. I really hate Ivy that much. LoL

Katie Michaels I think For a Few Demons More is book 5. I cried and cried and cried. If you resume the series, that one is worth reading --but make sure you get all the way to the end.

The Ivy angst isn't over by that point, but beyond it, other developments in the series do start to crowd it out of the forefront.

I didn't love this series from the beginning. But it is now one of my top 5 favorites.

Let me know if you pick it back up.

message 5: by jD (new)

jD I know I checked that one out at my library but must not have read it. I am going to check it out because you haven't led me astray yet. I'll let you know what I think. Right now I am trying to decide what to read tonight. I still haven't cracked the cover of Lover Unleashed or Deeper Than Midnight, faithful series installments but no fun.

Katie Michaels Lover Unleashed disappointed me, though I am a huge fan of the BDB series... I've never read the Midnight Breed books, though they are in my TBR pile.

Be advised that For a Few Demons More doesn't start out epic. But the last quarter of the book... well, it changes the course of Rachel's life.

message 7: by jD (new)

jD I think I may know what happens. I am pretty sure I read some of it. I just need to grab it at the library again.

Katie Michaels I think so too. It sounds like this was the book you started and stopped before you got to the end. I promise you, the book picks up steam... from the point Piscary (view spoiler). Worth it even if you just skim over the first half to reacquaint yourself with it, then read the last 100 pages or so.

VampireNovelFan Wow, Net Galley had this available? How the heck did I miss it?!

Katie Michaels It was only offered through email, not in the general catalogue.

VampireNovelFan Jen wrote: "It was only offered through email, not in the general catalogue."

Aaah okay. Thanks.

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