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Review: The Hollows Insider by Kim Harrison

The Hollows Insider by Kim Harrison

Title: The Hollows Insider (The Hollows #9.5)
Author: Kim Harrison
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Harper Voyager (1st September 2013)
Blurb:

ENTER THE WORLD OF THE HOLLOWS LIKE NEVER BEFORE!

In the Hollows, the supernatural Inderlander rule, and humanity must abide by their conventions, or else.

To survive among vampires, witches, Weres, gargoyles, trolls, fairies, and banshees – to say nothing of demons – humanity needs a guide. And now, written by Kim Harrison herself, here is an insider’s look at the supernatural world of the Hollows, from an overarching new story to character profiles, maps, spell guides, charm recipes, secret correspondence from elusive Trent Kalamack, and much more.

One misfired spell that burned off his hair is all it took to send investigative reporter Devin Crossman on a mission to uncover all the secrets of Rachel Morgan and expose them to the world.

Collected here are all his notebook entries and a treasure trove of evidence, including maps, species profiles, magic spells, documents from Inderland Security, Takata’s song lyrics, Betty Bob’s recipes, Ley Line Charms, entries from the Were Registry, articles from The Hollows Gazette, and many more documents that cast light into regions of the Hollows that have never been revealed.

But Crossman’s one-man war has not gone unnoticed . . .

Rating: **** (4 stars)
Review:

THE HOLLOWS INSIDER by Kim Harrison is a guide-book come side story to her superb Urban Fantasy series THE HOLLOWS, which follows the story of Rachel Morgan. THE HOLLOWS INSIDER tells the story of investigative reporter Devin Crossman, who gets caught in a misfired spell. The book documents his research into the witch who cast the spell (Rachel Morgan) and the conclusions he draws. Unfortunately, Crossman’s research does not go unnoticed.

I found THE HOLLOWS INSIDER a really fascinating read and addition to THE HOLLOWS. It sits comfortable in between PALE DEMON (review) and A PERFECT BLOOD (review), although the story starts with Crossman’s first encounter with Rachel which happens before DEAD WITCH WALKING the first book in the series. I found the story told through Crossman’s journal entries really entertaining, and I enjoyed reading the different documents that he came across in his research. The addition of Trent’s emails added an extra dimention to the story, and it also gave a real insight into him as a character – as well as filling in a few blanks!

Devin Crossman is a curious character, a human living and working with Inderlanders. He narrates his story through his journal, in which he records his growing research on Rachel Morgan and her associates. Crossman comes across as a very clever – perhaps dangerously so – man, who wants to find the truth at any cost. Having read up to book 11 before reading this, I found Crossman’s journal entries to be a really intriguing outsiders look at the events I had read about from Morgan’s point of view. As a character, I had mixed feelings about Crossman himself influenced no doubt by my feelings for Morgan and her friends. Although on the whole I do think Harrison made him a brilliant journalist.

The documents Crossman included in his journal were fascinating. I enjoyed reading the IS’s internal documents on ‘Inderland Species Descriptions’. It confirmed some ideas I was playing with, and consolidated them. The Gazette fact sheets were interesting too. I also liked Betty Bob’s recipes and am tempted to give them a try… The information that Crossman collected himself on the people he saw interact with Rachel Morgan was fascinating for a number of reasons – not least, how much he managed to uncover (or not). I also enjoyed reading the Gazette entries, which included articles that Crossman himself had written.

The aspect of THE HOLLOWS INSIDER that I enjoyed the most as a long-time fan of THE HOLLOWS was the inclusion of secret correspondences from and to Trent Kalamack. I think they reveal a lot, both about him and the people close to him. I don’t want to spoil them for those who haven’t read this guide yet, so that’s all I’m going to say on the subject.

THE HOLLOWS INSIDER is a brilliant addition to THE HOLLOWS, and if you are a fan of the series then you should definitely check it out. Harrison has included some photos from series fans in the guide, which I think is a really nice move on her part. If you haven’t read A PERFECT BLOOD before you read this book, then I think it will set that book up for you nicely.

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  1. April 4, 2014 at 4:54 am

    I love these sorts of companion books — when I’ve read the series! Glad you enjoyed this one. (But what on earth is Rachel Morgan doing, standing on steel girders in stiletto heels?)

    • April 4, 2014 at 7:42 pm

      Book cover + realism doesn’t seem to be a thing at the moment – although to be honest, I hadn’t registered that particular one until you pointed it out.

  1. March 30, 2014 at 4:58 pm

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