Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder*'s Reviews > The Hollows Insider

The Hollows Insider by Kim Harrison
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's review
Jan 27, 2016

really liked it
bookshelves: urban-fantasy, a-own-book-form, 4-star, reviewed
Read in July, 2013

4.5 stars

This is the first guidebook I've actively sought out for purchase. But, as a massive Hollows fan, when I heard this was to be released last October, I was excited for months and has this one pre-ordered. My rating fluctuates between four and five stars for various reasons, which will be explained below.

First, the book is told mainly through the investigative research and slander of a Hollows Gazette writer who was on the bus when Rachel's spell to catch a were backfired, causing everyone on the bus to lose their hair. This is explained after the fact in the first chapter of the first book, Dead Witch Walking. It's later found out that Devon as her superior has been causing her spells to backfire, eager to get rid of her from her position at the I.S., which is why the spell really went wrong.

First the reporter, Devin Crossman, is concerned about them not dealing with her potential danger properly, but then intrigued by her connections and ties with Kalamack, Piscary, and starts investigating Ivy, Jenks, her church, and her spell books. He digs out some Interlander Species guides from the I.S. and FIB, which are presented in the book.

The other bulk of the book are inter-office memos from Trent to Quen, to Jon, and to Maria, the editor of the Hollows Gazette. These letters are extremely short and to the point.

While it's a cool method to draw it altogether, I found these sections less interesting than the other goodies.

My favorites of the extras (NOT IN ORDER) are:

A few pages from 'Betty Bob's Everyday Recipes for the Stovetop Idiot' - shows Kim's recipe for Maple Candy, Trent's Waffles, and Brimstone Cookies. Some of these are already available on her website.

Spells - With faux book covers for each, 'Noncontact Extensions Using Ley Lines' explains how to make certain spells such as Allergy Relief, Summoning a Demon, and Calling a Familiar; '101 Earth Charms for Home and Office' are mainly white Earth magic spells such as charms to straighten hair; 'EARTH CHARMS: Practical Applications', a cool bonus being explaining with drawings the different pentagrams referenced in the book - Summoning dead from purgatory, etc; 'HERITAGE LOST' - which is one spell to find unmarked graves, as used in the second Hollows book; 'LYRICS BY TAKATA' - Presented like it's the cover of a notebook, here are the covers for his celebrated song Footprints of the Ghost, The Long Breath, Shattered Spirit, and Pierce's Lullaby (which isn't by Takata so weird it's here, but I always liked the lyrics); and Demon Spells, my favorite part because the papers look old and have notes made by Al, such as the scrying mirror.

There's also a mini Witch Weekly with a cute cover, and three pages, of which my favorite section was '10 Signs your roommate is into the black arts.' I was interested too in the mini interview with Ryn Cormel on why he wrote the Vampire dating guide. And of course delighted with the two drinks provided "Dead Man's Float" served on Saladin's boat and Demon Coffee/Tea submitted by our favorite coffee barista Mark. Honestly the recipe isn't quite right from when they were in the coffee shop with Minias and later with Al, so confused about that unless Mark got it wrong? :)

I also liked Rachel's short sheet that Devin took a picture of listing all the Latin incantations and what they mean, and also his observation of some of Jenk's common "Tink curses."

Why not a full five stars then? All these goodies made this book invaluable, but I feel Devin's notebook and articles, along with the Kalamack Inner Office Memos, make up too much of the book. I would have liked to see something a bit more personal and in-depth on some of the other characters. There are guide sheets on all the species - which is in-depth and intriguing, Rachel's articles submitted to the FIB about Undead Vampires and the differences between Pixies and Fairies. I wish we could have had a breakdown list of Jenk's wings too and all the colors from it.

I also think the ending with what happens with Devin is a bit unrealistic and trying to steer the reader's sympathies a little unrealistically toward Trent.

Overall this book is incredible, and what's also amazing is the cover. IT GLOWS IN THE DARK! The moon glows in the dark well. I'm a big moon person and the large moon which dominates the color sheds off it's own light when the switched is turned off. How cool is that?

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Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder* Had an irritating surprise last night - ordered this and a digital camera two weeks ago in time for my trip. Was wondering where the hell my packages were. Figured out it was linked to an older email account on amazon. Checked the email adn found out my gift credit card was rejected (even though it seemed when I ordered it went through), and that Amazon had canceled both my orders :( Reordered this morning, but of course it's only a day before the trip now and no camera for it and no book grrrr

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