Stephanie's Reviews > The Hollows Insider

The Hollows Insider by Kim Harrison
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's review
Mar 06, 2012

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Read from March 05 to 06, 2012

I purchased this book as a reference, and it is quality construction as a reference book should be. The jacket cover illustration is repeated on the hard cover. It is about the size of a textbook. As you may know, the Hollows is a series fantasy in an alternate reality. It is one of my favorite series. The back story and the rules under which this world operates are complex. The length of time between books makes points, spells, species particulars and events hard to remember.

The OUTLANDER COMPANION by Diana Gabaldon, is a reference work for her series. It has synopses of the books written up to its printing and an index. It is organized as reference tool. I was expecting that, which is my own fault. I could have looked more closely at the particulars.

Quite readable, THE HOLLOWS INSIDER is written in a series of purloined files, letters, clipping and journal entries of a blogger turned newspaper reporter named Devin Crossman. In DEAD WITCH WALKING, the time period but not necessarily the book, Devin was hit by a misdirected spell Rachel threw as an Inderland Security runner. Unable to file a complaint with I.S. due to stonewalling, he gets a bug up his you know what and makes stalking her a priority.

He gets hold of a bunch of Federal Inderland Bureau files scheduled for shredding and he is off. Eventually everyone and everything catches his eye, including Trent Kallamack. It's a mistake to tick him off.

Eventually, he writes dossiers on Rachel, Ivy et al., and, while the information is good I did not like the illustrations used to depict the characters. I don't know if they are intended to be amateurish to demonstrate Devin's sub rosa behavior in stalking Rachel and his unlikeable nature, I just didn't like the pictures.

The Table of Contents is detailed, but every reference work needs an index and this doesn't have one. And, it's less of a reference than it is a fictional background in the form of a epistolary narrative.

For example, I was reading A PERFECT BLOOD and wanted to see precisely what had been meant when Trent says he is Rachel's Sa'han. The only others I had seen use this term were Jonathan (Trent's former HR director) and Quen (his Security Director). I took it to be an honorific placing them in his sphere of protection and under obligation to him, like a servant would use master in 19th century England or how the doggens in J.R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood address the vampires and humans who they serve as sire . It is not explained in THE HOLLOWS INSIDER at all and could easily have gone in the species description of elf, or under Trent's dossier as part of some weird linguistic foible.

The upshot: An entertaining read that accompanies the series but which does not give us all the back story or a glossary. If you are looking for a encyclopedic reference to The Hollows world, this is probably not it. If you want to learn about the Hollows in a story-ish format it may be a great choice. It's not that I didn't enjoy the book, I did, it is just not what I was expecting.

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