Christal's Reviews > Into the Woods: Tales from the Hollows and Beyond

Into the Woods by Kim Harrison
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Mar 17, 2015

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bookshelves: anthology, short-stories, urban-fantasy, arcs
Read on October 05, 2012

Into the Woods is a collection of short stories by Kim Harrison set in the world of the Hollows and beyond. I was a little disappointed going into this novel because I expected more than one new Hollows story. I had read the others previously in other anthologies, though I did reread them to give an accurate review. The non-Hollows stories were interesting, but they didn't feel fleshed-out enough or finished. Though I appreciate Ms. Harrison sharing new and different ideas with us, I think this novel would have benefitted from a few more Hollows shorts. I do have to say that I really enjoyed the author's notes at the beginning of each story. They were insightful and showed just how much Ms. Harrison loves what she does.

The Hallows stories are as follows:

1. The Bespelled explains just how Al was able to trick Ceri into becoming his familiar. I really enjoyed this one and liked that we got to experience both Al and Ceri from a different perspective. I feel like it gave Al more depth and showed how Ceri's background shaped her personality in the Hollows novels. 3.5 stars

2. Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel is the story of a much younger and inexperienced Rachel. It is also the first appearance of Pierce. He was never my favorite character, but he was tolerable here. I like the familial insight we received about Rachel's life and her illness. Her relationships with her mother and brother were both funny and touching. 4 stars

3. Undead in the Garden of Good and Evil was my very first introduction to the Hallows series and was what drove me to pick up the first book. This is Ivy's story, personally my favorite, and still held up under a reread. Ivy is in the IS and trying to work her way up without sacrificing her blood or her body. The is a revenge story on her boss Art and he got what he deserved. Her interactions with Kisten were gut-wrenching (I still miss Kisten) and her terror of herself so palpable. 5 stars

4. Dirty Magic is a background story for Mia, the banshee. She's a pretty ruthless character and this story shows the lengths she will go to protect her family. 3 stars

5. The Bridges of Eden Park is a Rachel and Kisten short. I loved seeing them work together and experiencing Rachel's motherly instincts. 3.5 stars

6. Ley Line Drifter focuses on Jenks and Bis and introduces the character of Daryl, who had a minor part in A Perfect Blood . It was nice to see Jenks interact with more of his children and to learn a little more about each of them. 4 stars

7. Million Dollar Baby is the long-awaited Trent and Jenks novella. Trent hatches a plan to take his daughter Lucy away from Ellasbeth, her not so nice mother. Jenks is along for the ride to provide backup. I really enjoyed this story and hearing things from Trent's perspective. He and Jenks worked really well together and had a hilarious back-and-forth going. This one was worth the wait. 5 stars

The second section of the book is called Beyond the Hollows and includes the following stories:

8. Pet Shop Boys had a confusing world that was inhabited by hybrid vamp/fae type creatures. I was a little confused throughout and very disappointed with the way it ended. 3 stars

9. Temson Estates is one of two stories about dryads in this novel. Here, the dryads are presented as shy and mischievous. It is implied that they should be protected and their forests saved. It was a very short story and the characters fell pretty flat for me. This was probably my least favorite of the stories. 2.5 stars

10. Spider Silk is the other dryad story, but this time the spirit is pretty evil and wants to entrance a little girl. I liked the build up and the different characters, but the ending just fell apart. There was no real closure or explanation for what happened. 3 stars

11. Grace was my favorite of the non-Hollows stories and one that I could see becoming a series. Grace was a strong heroine who stood up for what she believed in no matter the cost. The magic usage was unique and the enforcement system interesting. We even got a little taste of romance and a cute sidekick, Grace's dog Hoc. I could definitely see this turning into a full-length novel. 4 stars

Thank you to Edelweiss and Harper Voyager for providing an ARC copy of this book.
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Reading Progress

10/05/2012
62.0% "Awwww yeeeeah! Trent and Jenks!"

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

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message 1: by AH (new) - rated it 4 stars

AH I'm reading it now, too!


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