“Wincing, Trent glanced past the pixy’s fitfully moving wings to the attractive shadow of five-foot-eight inches of bothersome redhead vanishing from his elbow. Rachel Morgan was gone— never having fully materialized. Just as well. Her surreptitious ogling made him self-conscious.”
“Million Dollar Baby” from the Anthology Into the Woods by Kim Harrison
Everyone who knows me knows I’m a bit obsessed with the Hollows. So when this anthology came out, I started reading it right away. To be honest, if you are not a huge fan of the Hollows or Kim Harrison, this buy may not be worth it. But if you love a generous dose of Trent, Kisten, and our favorite pixy, this is an excellent buy.
First, the Hollows(Spoilers for books 1-10 are mentioned):
Bespelled: 5/5 stars-Short story from Al’s POV about how he took Ceri. Great story that details just how evil Al can be. This story is a huge reason why I could never be an Al/Rachel shipper, but it also adds to the list of many reasons why he’s an awesomely written character.
Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel: 2/5 stars. I don’t think I rated anything in the Hollows as low as a 2 star, but this novella didn’t catch my attention at all. This is a short story from Rachel’s POV of when she was 18 and met Pierce. It was just boring, and I am not a fan of Robbie, and this story just made it worse.
Undead in the Garden of Good and Evil: 3/5 stars. This Novella is from Ivy’s POV, right before she met Rachel. Ivy is still dating Kisten, and her boss Art is a jerk. This story was good because we got to meet the man who killed Kisten. We saw why Art wanted revenge on Ivy (and Kisten), and we got to see some of the steam between Ivy and Kisten. Although the blood scene between the two was hot, I totally don’t think Ivy and Kisten had a true romantic relationship. They did good breaking up and being friends. We also got to meet Mia Harbor.
Dirty Magic: 3/5 stars. Short story told from the POV of Mia, the banshee from White Witch Black Curse. We saw how banshee’s feed and got to look into how Mia thinks. A bit creepy, but a solid story.
The Bridges of Eden Park: 5/5 stars. Short story from Rachel’s POV before A few Demon’s More. Rachel and Kisten are out on a date when Kisten gets a phone call for help. Oh, this story is my favorite in the whole anthology. It was delightful to see Kisten and Rachel in action again, both as a couple and fighting to save the day. It was gratifying to see Kisten alive and mischievous, loving Rachel as completely as he did.
Ley-Line Drifter: 4/5 stars-First Hollows short story I ever read. It is written from Jenks’ POV and everyone knows he has the best lines. We see how he feels as a father and the relationship he has with his wife. We don’t get to see that relationship much through Rachel’s POV, and it really adds dimensions to Jenks. It makes losing Matalina even more heartbreaking. We also meet Daryl, who gets mentioned in later books.
Million-Dollar Baby: 4/5 stars-The reason why we bought the book 😉 Novella from Trent’s POV of his and Jenks’ adventure from Pale Demon rescuing Lucy. Trent’s POV is fun. He thinks very intellectually and uses big words, which is such a contrast to Jenks’ potty mouth that it creates a fun dynamic. The best part is we get to see into the little cookie maker’s thoughts. Trent is so much more complicated now than he was when we first met him in Dead Witch Walking. Being in his twice now, we can see how much Trent struggles with his decisions and how he wants to be the kind of person Rachel can respect, and Lucy can love. (And if you haven’t checked out the bonus chapter from the paperback version of A Perfect Blood, go read it! WORTH IT!)
Beyond the Hollows:
Pet Shop Boys: 4/5 stars. This was a remarkably different story from Ms. Harrison. Cooper is working in the pet shop when a little girl comes in sell a bat. This was a fun story. Cooper is kind of a loser type of guy who falls into the hands of fey. It was a short and quirky story.
Temson Estates: 1/5 stars. Short Story about Dryads. Will is about to inherit a forest, but someone is standing in his way. I didn’t like this story at all. It fell flat for me. And I’m not sure what the purpose was. I didn’t get it.
Spider Silk: 2/5 stars. Novella about Lily, who has a crazy mother and two girls. Her mom keeps talking about some guy who is going to lure Lily’s eldest daughter away. This story had a strong start and premise. But the ending was abrupt and weird. Again, I just didn’t get it. Maybe dryads are not my thing?
Grace: 5/5 stars. Novella about a women named Grace who is trying to catch a kid who has uncoralled power. Wow, this novella makes me want to see more! Maybe because of the similarity Grace has with Rachel, but I adored her. Grace is a bit more introspective than Rachel, and her thoughts are a bit more cohesive. The magic of this world is electricity/energy of sorts. The material is original, and Kim Harrison can take this very many places. I hope she does!
Overall: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Series overall: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Next Book: Ever After comes out January 22, 2013!! (Less than 15 weeks!)