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VINE VOICEon October 9, 2012
The first seventy percent or so of Into the Woods collects a number of stories set in Kim Harrison's Hollows world. One of them, Million Dollar Baby, the story of Trent's elf-quest told from his point of view, is new to this collection. The others are reprints, collected from other sources.

The Hollows stories gave me a deeper, better understanding of characters I thought I knew pretty well. They do exactly what you most hope an ancillary short story or novella will - enrich and enhance your understanding of the books, take nothing away, spoil nothing. I finished these stories impressed by Kim Harrison's craft.

The Bespelled: the story of how Al takes Ceridwen as his familiar, from Al's POV. Mostly interesting for the hints of honest affection Al feels towards Ceri.

Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel: Novella-length story about Rachel summoning Pierce as a teenager. I was never a Pierce fan, so I could take or leave his presence in any story. But the insight into Rachel as a teenager was really fantastic. She's in the process of applying to work at the I.S., still struggling to overcome the effects of her childhood illness, and we get a really clear picture of how her character was formed, why she became the Rachel Morgan we all know and love. Neat.

Undead in the Garden of Good and Evil: Novella-length story with Ivy as the POV character.This one started out really, really slow for me. I love Ivy, but her intense angst can be exhausting (view spoiler). The story picked up for me with the arrival of a banshee subplot and finished strong, with a great explanation of how Ivy ended up as Rachel's partner at the beginning of DEAD WITCH WALKING. I ended up really enjoying this novella.

Dirty Magic: brief story about Mia, the banshee. Fun, short, with a great twist. Especially enjoyed Harrison's intro at the beginning, where she explains how she re-imagined banshees as "apex predators".

The Bridges of Eden Park: Short interlude with Rachel and Kisten and a little action to liven things up. In her intro, Kim Harrison describes this story as a farewell to Kisten and we really see him at his best - troubled but solid, sweet but strong. It's been a long time since I missed Kisten, but this story is wonderfully bittersweet.

Ley Line Drifter: longer short story/not-quite-novella about Jenks taking a case on his own. In so many ways, Jenks is the heart and soul of all the Hollows books and reading a story from his perspective is heartwarming and heartbreaking. He's such a family man, he takes pride in such little things - teaching his children to read, for example - and seeing his happiness with Matalina, and how badly he wants her to live, might bring a tear to your eye (it did to mine). I'd love it if Kim Harrison did a whole spinoff series from a pixy's perspective - maybe one of Jenks' kids?

Million Dollar Baby: Trent's elf-quest with Jenks. Story is made of awesome because Jenks' proximity to Trent naturally results in many hilarious expletives involving Tinkerbell's privates. But, in all seriousness, this story catches Trent at a turning point in his life. If we're only going to get one peek into Trent's mind, this is the one to have.

Reading the stories set outside of the Hollows world reminded me a lot of the first time I started Dead Witch Walking - I hated it. In fact, I set it aside unfinished for quite a while before, in a bored moment, I picked it up again, finished the novel, and became completely enthralled &, of course, now I pre-order every new Hollows book the second Amazon throws up the button.

Something about the way that Kim Harrison starts a story just doesn't capture me. In these non-Hollows stories, I found the initial chapters off-putting...but by the time the novellas were done, I was ready to keep reading, and I was disappointed that they couldn't continue. I especially enjoyed Pet Shop Boys and Grace. Temson Estates and Spider Web didn't quite capture me.

Pet Shop Boys: shortish novella set in a world featuring a vampire/fairy hybrid species. Starts off a little slow, with a hapless guy who gets caught up in events he doesn't understand, but by the end I was wishing I had a whole novel to read instead of just a short.

Temson Estates: Another short, only a few chapters long. This one's about a young man who inherits a forest. He plans on having the trees cut to finance his graduate studies, until he discovers there are dryads in the trees. The mythology is interesting but the story itself is very rushed, the characters thinly drawn, and there's a fair bit of infodumping. Could be interesting if it were worked into a proper story, but it's not.

Spider Web: A novella about three generations of women - grandmother, mother, two young girls - who live on a property inhabited by a dangerous forest spirit. Intergenerational squabbling leaves the women vulnerable to the spirit's manipulations. The story just didn't work for me; Harrison's descriptions of the farm and woods were incredible, and while the trials and strained relationships among the characters felt real to me, the characters themselves didn't stand out as interesting or unique.

Grace: Urban fantasy novella about a special subset of the population who can "throw" electricity, for purposes as varied as blowing out lights to re-starting hearts. The throws themselves are either drafted into a government organization or "deadheaded", stripped of their abilities. The heroine, Grace, has stalled in her career because she's so good at what she does that nobody wants to promote her up the line. Her job is to collect unregistered throws; in this case, the target is older, with a fair amount of control over his ability, and absolutely does not want to be forced to tow the party line. There's a subplot involving an ex who moved up in the ranks faster than Grace, and another about her aging partner.

I received a free copy of Into the Woods from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review
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This book is filled with seven novellas from the Hollows--all but one has already been published in anthologies or an extra in an earlier book--as well as four new to us that have nothing to do with the world the Hollows exist in. All of the stories are good, although whether or not this would be worth it for you to purchase will depend a lot on your likes and desires.

If you like having all novellas from a series in one book, this is definitely the one you want. The addition of a new Hollows novella as well as the non-related four other novellas, well for me it would have been worth the price. It was on my To Buy list until I was able to get an ARC. Of course if you haven't read any of these novellas these stories will be a special treat since they offer you a different look or insight into the secondary characters as well as Rachel's experience as a teen that helped shape who she is today.

The Bespelled is a very short story that tells us how Al got Ceridwen. And it's nothing like you would have expected. It was published at the end of the paperback version of The Outlaw Demon Wails.

Two Ghosts For Sister Rachel was first published in Holidays are Hell and is a pre-Hollows story about Rachel as a teen and how she accidentally summoned Pierce when trying to get her father. You'll have a new appreciation for Rachel's determination from this story.

Undead in the Garden of Good and Evil was seen in the Dates From Hell anthology is also a pre-Hollows story about Ivy and Kisten. With this one we see the struggle they face both with Piscary's machinations as well as Art, Ivy's boss at the IS.

Dirty Magic had been published in the Hotter Than Hell anthology and is about the banshee, Mia and her child, and loving a human to death.

The Bridges of Eden Park was included in For a Few Demons More. It's about Kisten and Rachel meeting for breakfast on the bridge and a fight that breaks out to save his nephew. It also showcases how difficult it is for Rachel to stay out of the news.

Key Line Drifter (I'm reading an unproofed ARC and know the story as Ley Line Drifter) was in the Unbound anthology. Jenks is approached by another pixy asking for his help. Pixies NEVER ask an outsider for help. Both Jenks and Bis investigate how the pixy's children are being killed by two statues sitting on a ley line. You might have noticed numerous mentions of one of Rachel's spell bowls being dented. The bowl is dented in this story.

Million Dollar Baby is new to us, and tells the story we didn't get to see in Pale Demon about Trent and Jenks working together to kidnap Trent's daughter. I especially enjoyed this story because it was both new, and we finally learn more about Trent.

The non-Hollows novellas were written a while ago and it's possible we could see a series develop from any of them. The stories are all decent, but the first 3 didn't immediately grab me. They start off kind of slow.

Pet Shop Boys has vampires and the fey in it, but not like ones we've seen before. It's about a guy who works for a pet shop and is invited to a fancy place he's always wanted to see, by a customer. But he immediately starts noticing that things are really weird.

Temson Estates is a story about a man who just inherited the woods around an estate that went to his great-aunt. Only she needs to show him just why he can't sell and cut down the woods.

Spider Silk is a different take on dryads than Temson Estates showed us and is about a woman with two young daughters who are hearing stories from their grandmother about how they need to fear Penn, a dryad. The woman prefers to be in denial until her children are at risk. The ending was a surprise.

Grace is probably the non-Hollows story that I enjoyed the most. Some humans are born with the ability to manipulate energy, although they need to find and train them from an early age to keep something bad from happening. Grace and her partner have this ability and are collectors, going after ones that detected notice until they were older, stronger and more dangerous without having learned balance.

Read as an ARC from Edelweiss/Above The Treeline
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on October 9, 2012
Introduction:
When I saw that there would be a novella collection by Kim Harrison, I was incredibly excited. Even though I knew that I would have already read many of the ones included due to my obsession with reading everything from the Hollows world. It would just be awesome to have all that yummy goodness in one place. Of course I will admit that it was the new stuff that excited me the most, but I still would have purchased it without it. Yes, I'm that big of a fan. Onto the stories...

The Hollows:

The Bespelled: While I had previously read this novella it was nice to read it again. It does show a much more abusive Al than the one he has grown to be since being influenced by Rachel for so long. I really love that demon, even if he was rather horrible to Ceri, but then again she really doesn't have anyone to blame but herself as this novella showed her choices.

Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel: This was another previously published novella, but one I hadn't read prior to this collection. It was really interesting to see how very different Rachel was back when she was still weak from her childhood. I feel like after reading this that I understand why she is the way she is and her choices so much better. It was in this novella that she learned taking risks is really the only thing that makes her feel truly alive. Also, even though I'm not the biggest Pierce fan, it was fun to see their initial introduction.

Undead in the Garden of Good and Evil: Another novella that I had read before, this one shows Ivy in the past right before she met Rachel. I'll admit that I wasn't thrilled about the Kisten and her parts as in my mind he always belonged to Rachel. That being said, this novella gave a really good picture of the mental abuse that both Ivy and Kisten endured over the years. The manipulation is absolutely horrifying, but this novella seemed to show the turning point for Ivy as she finally started to want something more for herself.

Dirty Magic: This one was a new one for me, and while it was enjoyable for the closer look into Mia, I can't say it was my favorite of the Hollows novellas. I'm just not the biggest fan of Mia, so seeing her use someone so cruelly only turned me off even more.

The Bridges of Eden Park: I had read this one before, and it still makes me so sad even now. I just miss Kisten so much. His death really stunk, and while I am far enough past it that I can understand Kim Harrison's reasoning that he needed to go, it still is hard. That being said, this is a very enjoyable little outtake between them with both action and sentimentality. Man I miss that guy!

Key Line Drifter: Again, another I had read previously. This novella shows Jenks with his first solo/personal job. I felt like it really accentuated just how unusual he is compared to other pixies. Of course those differences are what make him completely awesome. It also was fun to see him team up with Bis and the trouble they get in to.

Million Dollar Baby: If nothing else, this collection is absolutely worth reading just for this novella alone. I am a huge Trent fan, in fact he is the only male character I have even come close to accepting since Kisten's death. It was really enjoyable to get a better look into his head. I found it interesting to see just how much Rachel's opinion of him matters. He always seems so closed off, it was amazing to realize how much turmoil is going on beneath the surface. Trent really hates the things he has had to do to protect his race, and wants to do anything he can to stop the deaths that seem to surround him like a heavy shroud. I also loved seeing him meet his daughter for the first time, definitely heart wrenching!

Beyond the Hollows:

Pet Shop Boys: I absolutely loved this novella. There was just something so yummy about the characters having the characteristics of both vampires and the fey. Seriously, anyone who is tired of vampires due to the heavy market saturation, will absolutely love the premise behind these guys. I really hope something more becomes of this story because I think that would be a truly awesome series to read!

Temson Estates: This story was my least favorite of the bunch. It just didn't really spark my interest or attention. The story is about dryads, only in a scientific way, and that's probably where my interest was lacking. I just prefer magic to science in my books.

Spider Silk: I loved this story. It was so creepy and mysterious, definitely another one with full series potential. That being said, I felt like it ended rather abruptly, with things left too open-ended for my tastes. But then again, those unanswered questions do leave things more open for more stories, so I guess I shouldn't complain.

Grace: This story was awesome, and the premise behind it leads to so many possibilities. I think this is the series Kim is considering on diving into next, so I have to say that I'm really happy about that. Grace seems like such an amazing character, but she also is a spitfire like Rachel, which will keep things more than interesting. However, unlike Rachel, she easily sees her own flaws and instantly takes steps to correct them. It made her rather admirable.

Conclusion:
I may be biased, but I think Into the Woods is an absolute must buy for fans of The Hollows, as it gives deeper looks that we don't get to see in the main series. It also was really great to see some of her work outside of The Hollows, since it is winding down and will be soon time to move on. After reading these novellas, I have even more confidence and excitement for what is in store next.
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on October 10, 2012
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, just 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 playful, 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

Quote: "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."

Next Book: Ever After comes out January 22, 2013!! (Less than 15 weeks!)
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VINE VOICEon October 9, 2012
What it's about: Into the Woods is a collection of short stories set in the Hollows world and a new novella. There are about seven Hollows stories and three shorts that go beyond the Hollows. Kim has always been magical when it comes to her writings, and this is definitely a must-have anthology for any Hollows fans.

Why you should read it: Have you ever become curious about a character in a book who wasn't the focus? Ever wondered what happened to them once the main characters left? Into the Woods is a great way for some minor characters and secondary characters to get more life breathed into them. We get a story about Mia the Banshee (book seven) and Ivy while she was still in I.S. We get to see Rachel when she was 18, and Al and Ceri 1,000 years ago when he first "bespelled" her. It's highly enjoyable, and I definitely recommend!

Check out USA Today's HEA blog to read about why Kim loved writing Into the Woods!
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on May 13, 2014
This is a nice addition to those who have read the other Rachel Morgan books. Some of the stories are interesting and some are just plain weak, almost like they were cast off ideas for the author. I find myself skimming through paragraphs as the author tends to get a little too excessive with descriptions at times (I don't need an entire page to describe what someone is wearing). I enjoy the Hollows series of books and was hoping these stories had more of the characters in them than they do. Several stories are about other types of creatures and have nothing to do with Rachel or the other Hollows characters, so that was somewhat disappointing as the title of the book made it sound like the stories would be about Rachel, Trent, Ivy, etc.
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on June 3, 2013
This is filled with different short stories that give a little more insight into our favorite characters. Each story takes places at a different point in the series. We learn about Rachel dealing with the death of her father. Ivy before she met Rachel and how Piscary affected her mental state. It was also a chance to have Kisten back in the series. He wa one of my favorite characters. Seeing things from Jenk's eyes was a surprise for me.

It also goes into a new stories that could be part of a new series in the future but that is only my opinion
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on December 28, 2013
Into the Woods has to be the best anthology I have ever gotten my hands on! I loved reading more about The Hollows cast, in these all new stories where the readers got to see some things that happened behind the scenes in the novels so far in the series. It is an excellent way to get to know Ivy, Jenks and even Trent better. And of course, the writing is awesome as usual, so Into the Woods was a real treat to tide me over until The Undead Pool is released.

You should definitely not read Into the Woods before you have read the first ten book in the series, because some of what happens is not explained in the novels, and it could definitely spoil things if you read it out of order. I am so in love with this whole world, and even if there was very little Rachel in Into the Woods, there was so much about the other characters that I came to enjoy them even more, and that’s also how it will be when I read the next book in the series.

There are only good things on my mind as I think about how to review Into the Woods, and I don’t really know how to share my love without spoiling anything – so I’ll just keep on fangirling for now :) If you enjoy The Hollows, I think this is a must-read. It’s exactly in the same line of story as the whole series is, but the focus is not on Rachel, and I especially appreciated Trent’s story in here :) I am liking him more and more each time he shows up in one of the books!

The stories that are not from The Hollows universe are awesome as well, and I would not be averse to reading more about some of the characters that I had never met before.
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on September 19, 2013
Being the big dork - and rabid Hollows fan - that I am, I wanted to start this book in the back and work my way to the front. This way I got the Non-Hollows stories out of the way first and then ended with stories from the Hollows series as the big bang. I was curious about ALL the stories of course, but the Hollows spoke to me the loudest, exciting me the most.

An easy five stars for the wonderful short stories told in different perspectives or different stages in Rachel's life. The other shorts - four of them - all tell different tales that are original and intriguing.

I had it pre-ordered before it's release and started it in October, so finishing in December is quite sad. I think I wanted to slowly savor every word and drag it out since once it was done, I knew it would be done. That sad feeling when a beloved series is at the last page of the newest book? Yeah, that feeling.

NON-HOLLOWS STORIES

Pet Shop Boys

The main character, a man, had an awful lot of hang-ups. First he didn't want to date the woman because she was too pretty and he thought it wouldn't work, then he didn't want to because she had a kid. He then thought she might have an ex and come with too much baggage. At the party, he found she had another kid and then didn't want to be with her because that's even more baggage. Sheesh. The guy really over-thinks a first date!

He was an okay person to read about, but clearly not the most charming color in the palette. I actually felt more for the "baggage" woman, a beautiful lady who despises her life due to her (avoiding spoilers here) bizarre nature, needs, and world. The kids were charming as much as they could be considering how the surprise turned out

I dug Harrison's writing style and tone with this one. It's not filled non-stop with relentless action or anything, but it really doesn't need that either. I almost felt like it was not a planned story, but she was writing it as it went along, coming up with ideas for it along the way. The story slowly unfolds at a make-sense pace, and even if the ending was a bizarre wrap-up, I could see how this one could possible evolve into a full length book if done right. The story behind the circumstances of the "villains" is unusual enough to stay interesting and want me to keep reading further.

Temson Estates

Unusual story with Dryads. This one almost felt more like a few scenes to prove an emotion rather than a short story. It was written well and I loved the impact the characters felt through the lure and mystery of the legend. Overall it was okay but probably the one I enjoyed least in the book. An interesting tale that was told, but nothing too dynamic happened if this makes sense. A happy sort of story, almost like a romance in a way. I realize Kim Harrison must be incredibly interested in Dryads as she has two stories with different viewpoints on them, and also a different sort in the Hollows series as well. She also seems enamored with the woods and spirits, stories surrounding them.

Spider Silk

What a yummy story! This was my favorite of the non-hollows. The villain? Brr. Imaginatively wicked, unusual, exciting, and the family thrust in the middle of it fascinated me. THIS is a story that would make a cool full length book as well. There's a lot that can be done with this type of creative villain. It's almost like a blend of fairy tale and poetry.

There is one thing about this that bugged me though, and I almost hate bringing it up. But the writing style itself greatly bugged me until halfway through. It's almost as if Kim Harrison was hesitant or a new writer with this one. I saw a lot of repetitive mistakes with writing skill that took me out of the story. She doesn't write like this with the Hollows and her other stuff so I have no clue what was happening here! It was just awkward.

That twist at the end, too - man! I would have loved to be able to read more of this one. The writing did improve as the story progressed. It was stunning. Would completely buy a book like this one if she wants to take this idea and run with it for a full-lengther.

Grace

She created a very different sort of Urban Fantasy type world here. Even more than any of the others, I could see not only a full length book, but a series being born. You have the unusual world, the lead female heroine with flaws and strengths, a potential romance angle you want more of when the story is over and done, a beginning that spurs changes you want to keep reading about. It almost read like the first part of an Urban Fantasy book rather than a short story. I didn't fall in love with Grace - she was likeable enough but very average. It was the story and the possibilities I fell in love with.

THE HOLLOWS STORIES

Bespelled

I'm a huge Al fan and I devoured this one. Set in the time when Ceri was first taken by the demon. It adds an interesting background on more reasons she went with him and was in the situation. Also told some backlore with the elves back then, and all told through the point of view of Algaliarept, emotionaless, self-driven, and cruel over 1,000 years ago. The only thing I can say about this story is I wish it had been longer! I was excited about this one and it exceeded all my expectations.

Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel

This story was amazing. I've seen lackluster comments on it but I don't understand why. Maybe it's because a lot of people dislike Pierce so he turned them off in the story. I found him endearing here. I loved seeing Rachel in a younger, much more innocent light. She was vulnerable and untainted. It's great to see her then and know how far she evolved by the time you opened the first page of the first Hollows book. I don't want Pierce as a romantic interest, but I do like him in general and it's clear in this story what a massive role he played in turning her into who she became. Her mother - always loved her quirky mother and can see where she gets her strength from. Digs very deeply into her emotions over her father's death and how this also spurred her on to follow in his footsteps. Her brother is rarely mentioned and not often interacted with. Seeing their banter and hangsup and relationship in this book was awesome to behold. It's made clear how sick she was and her lack of self esteem before the Hollows was born. She's certainly grown a lot - one of my favorite stories.

Undead in the Garden of Good and Evil

This one was also good but not a favorite. I liked seeing through Ivy's head but she is wrapped up in the strange vampire politics which I find fascinating. Fleshes her out a lot as a character and I dug her here. Kisten didn't seem like himself but this could be because it's from a different perspective or situation, pre-Rachel for both. There was an incredibly hot scene in here!! Loved the ending and what it hinted toward.

Dirty Magic

Told through the point of view of the minor villain Mina (from Black Magic Sanction). Banshees sure sound like a freaky interlander spcies to be avoided. The end held a surprising note for me. The writing with this one was almost hypnotically poetic and hauntingly beautiful. Nasty creature but she seemed realistic and had added depth and dimension from this telling. One of the shorter stories of the series.

The Bridges of Eden Park

I will forever love and miss Kisten. One of the top three best short stories from The Hollows. This sweet line made my heart both melt AND break: "I told you, Rachel," he said in my ear to start a warm spot in me. "I've got your back. Nothing alive will ever hurt you if I have breath in me. And nothing dead will hurt you if I don't." Beautiful.

The story was a scene of sweetness between the two. Makes me recall the bridge from other book moments. Also nice to see Rachel dig into her magic and fighting spirit. Meeting Kisten's sister and nephew also intrigued me. Showed how messed up his life was and how sadly tragic it may have also been meant to end. As for the nephew, I'm curious about him. He reminded her of Kisten then, I wonder if he always shall, and I have to wonder if he'll always remember the woman who stood before vamps defending him, staring at her in awe as she boiled the water?

Bittersweet but wonderful story.

Ley Line Drifter
Greatly enjoyed. Jenks has always been one of my favorites. I hope he always stayed Rachel's right-hand man. Ivy may have to move on as situations change but I hope she's always as close to Jenks in the same way she is now. And, I LOVE Bis but find him terribly underused in the series. Having him as a focus was great. Ivy was enjoyable here too as a loyal friend and sultry character. Finally good to read about Daryl coming into the picture and who she actually is.

What won this story over so much too is it was told through Jenks POV, so you get that feel of the pixie world that you never did as much before. The perspective is much stronger.

Million Dollar Baby

I know this was many peoples favorites. Not mine. Good story but to me a bit long winded. Almost bordering on melodrama at times but carried out too long with certain scenes, like the grandmother and internal monologue. The action scenes themselves rocked, though, and Rachel is always right that Jenks is the perfect bodyguard and sidekick. His humor lightened the story and added much needed explanation. Personally I find a lot of the elven traditions a bit disturbing, and this was another one of them. It ended on a happy, powerful note that left good, impressionable feelings.
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on September 19, 2015
I don't often find a series I enjoy but this is definitely one a like very much. Harrison's character grows and changes throughout the series. The characters are fleshed out and enjoyable. I always like a bit of humor woven into the drama, too. This series is a winner. I strongly recommend reading the books in order so you get all the fun and excitement. Of course, each book will stand on its own if you want to miss the story development.
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