The One Where Wench Donna Made Wench Angela Read a Book




We set ourselves a challenge (well okay I set the challenge) at the beginning of the year that each Wench had to recommend a book / series to another Wench. I was very fortunate to have Wench Donna make my selection for me. Many of us struggled to find just the right book that we hoped another Wench would love as much as we did.  There might have been the odd restless night as we tried to work out exactly what the perfect book would be. Books were discarded as not quite right. Other books because the Wench had already read them.  A tough decision on all of us, but in the end we managed to make our selections, so look out over the next couple of months as we reveal what we had to read, and if we liked the selections. Remember Wenches, the challenge must be completed in 2013. Nothing like a little bit of pressure.


Wench Donna on her Recommendation

I took my time deciding on a book for Angela. That's not surprising because I'm always slow to make up my mind. I weigh all my options and think things through from many angles.  Maybe I put too much pressure on myself, but I really wanted to pick out a book for Angela that she would LOVE.

I stalked her Goodreads account to see what she had already read. Many of my initial choices were eliminated because she had already read them. I considered different genres, but thought it risky. Ultimately, I gave myself some time. I continued to keep the challenge in the back of my mind and hoped the right book would fall into my lap.

I don't even remember how Kim Harrison's The Hollows series came on my radar. I do remember being instantly engaged. I kept reading one book after another - I was hooked! I love these characters!

Imagine how happy I was when I found out Angela hadn't read them! I felt like I had searched for the perfect present for someone and it was exactly right!

Check after the jump as to why Donna picked the perfect book series for me. Spoilers after the jump for the whole series.




So I had my pick in hand. The first book off the rack was Dead Witch Walking (The Hollows #1) I wasn't sure what to expect, but Donna and I usually like similar books, so I was pretty certain I would love whatever she selected for me. For the challenge I only had to read the one book; however, six months down the track I have read all the 11 published books and am up to date.  Oh, yes, sorry, not completely, as I still have to read the short story collection Into the Woods. I will get there. I promise!!!!!!!

I didn't read them religiously one after the other, but I did make a determined effort to get through them. Sometimes I needed a break from urban fantasy, and at other times there were new releases to be read. However, once I got down to the last three books, I couldn't read anything else. I had to know how it was going to play out. That was when the late nights occurred in the race to the finish. Unlike Wench Amanda, I am definitely not a book hoarder. Sometimes I wish I was, so I didn't have to wait a year or more for the next book.

Why was this series a great pick for me?

I love books with a fantasy bent. I have for a long time.  As the Wenches know, I'm pretty picky with my urban fantasy. Okay, I know, fussy is the better word. There are a few series in this genre that didn't rock my world, so I was delighted that this series seemed to tick all the right boxes for me. The Hollows was pure magic for me and Donna couldn't have made a better choice. I've found two fantastic series this year and this series is one of them. So thank you Donna.  A virtual pat on the back to you. Donna managed to combine my love of fantasy with my love of action, a great story and characters that I want to see survive to fight another day.

In The Hollows, the world has been devastated by genetically altered tomatoes which pretty much wiped out a large portion of the human population. The virus' name was "T4 Angel" and while the USA was less afflicted than the rest of the world, the virus still decimated large areas of the country, which was evident whenever the characters left the city. Most of the supernaturals were immune or came through it relative unaffected. But what it did do was bring the number of humans more into line with the number of supernaturals and as you can imagine there is a bit of conflict between the two.

The setting is Cincinnati, USA, in the future.   The supernaturals tend to live in a place called The Hollows and it's designed around their lifestyle. Up at night and asleep during the day. It also has the best pizza in the city. After all you have to have tomato sauce with pizza.

The elements that holds this series together are

1. An imperfect protagonist.
Rachel Morgan



Rachel Morgan - witch and attractor of trouble. As you can imagine her life isn't straight forward. Her job is initially as a runner for the Inderland Security (IS) and it basically entails keeping the supernatural community in line. Rachel Morgan can act recklessly, but she always thinks she is acting in the best way she knows how. This doesn't stop her getting her ass kicked. A lot. But she can also be wily and smart in order to get the better of her opponents. This doesn't mean she avoids heartache, injuries, bad luck or untrustworthy foes. What it means is that she stays alive.  She doesn't like to kill things, and while this is one of her greatest weaknesses, it is also what endears her to the reader.  She does get into some pretty hairy situations, but her sense of justice and her loyalty to her friends pull her through. This is despite the rest of the world seeming to be against her.  You always get the sense that Rachel has the capacity to overcome any obstacle. It just takes time.

2. Fantastic array of supporting characters.
Jenks



Jenks - the pixy who makes the perfect back up. He gets Rachel out of more scrapes than I could count here. He is also a friend who gets her and isn't afraid to tell Rachel how it is.  He, like Rachel, sticks up for his friends. Don't let his size fool you. He is formidable.  Plus he has 54 kids, you don't want to mess with him. Jenks doesn't have an easy path throughout the series, but he has saved Rachel's ass more times than I can count. Jenks has some of the best one liners and arguably the foulest mouth in the series.  A couple of my personal favourites are below and they are used repeatedly.
"Tink's a Disney whore"
"Crap for brains"

Ivy

Ivy - the vampire trying to save her soul when she becomes undead. Ivy is Rachel's best friend. She was a runner with Rachel in the IS. Ivy and Rachel, over the course of a couple of books, have a will they, won't they kind of relationship. Ivy wants Rachel, and while Rachel toys with the idea, in the end it isn't what she wants. This is one aspect that I didn't really like about Rachel. There was a sense that she was kind of toying with Ivy's feelings over a couple of books. I know the wanting a sexual relationship was mainly on Ivy's side and Rachel  is the cooler head in the end. She knows that having a sexual relationship with Ivy would, in the end, kill them both. 

Ivy is the planner of the trio and it is very much an asset that Rachel requires in her arsenal. There remains an undercurrent there as Rachel is being relied on to save Ivy's soul by vampire kind. There are two books to go in the series, so it will be interesting to see if it is doable. It is an issue which has yet to be resolved. I'm guessing this will play out in the last book.

Glenn



Glenn - Federal Inderland Bureau (FIB) cop and tomato sauce lover. An unbelievable concept as all humans are now wary of tomatoes given the destruction they caused. But once he has pizza with tomato sauce there is no going back. Glenn is Rachel's liaison with the FIB and she is often called on to help them. But he is also her friend and looks out for her. Plus she trusts the FIB a lot more than the IS. By book 11 Glenn is out of the picture in the current storyline. It will be interesting to see if he makes a come back in either of the last two books. I would hope he does; however, as in real life friends come and go. The world is a-changing throughout the series.

Trent Kalamack


Trent Kalamack - the elf trying to save his race.  Basically the elves and the demons had a massive fight. The demons ended up in the Ever After unless they were summoned out and the elves ended up having trouble carrying children to full term.  Trent is also a pretty shady guy. He does a lot of questionable things. Some I'm still not completely comfortable with. He is an extremely successful businessman, and ruthless is one of the traits that has helped him get to where he is. I still don't trust him, but have warmed to him as the series has gone on. He is a bit reckless as well. A trait Rachel seems to admire in men.

Algaliarept


Algaliarept (Al) - demon and lover of 18th century fashion. Picture frilly shirts and velvet jackets. He starts off as a shady character; however, over time you start to realise he isn't as "bad" as he first appears. He just does what demons have always done and Rachel Morgan is the curve ball in the equation. Ever an opportunist, he looks for any advantage and with Rachel, he finds a way to save himself from dire room conditions in the Ever After. Rachel causes Al plenty of headaches. He can do magic, he can make you laugh, he can keep kids amused and he can terrify you. Over the course of the series Al has become a friend to Rachel Morgan. And in usual Rachel fashion, she needs as diverse array of friends as she can.

David


David - werewolf and insurance adjuster. Well, he tries to keep people on the straight and narrow when it comes to their insurances. Rachel becomes David's Alpha in their pack of two.  Of course it has mutual benefits for them both. In Rachel's line of work it is essential to have insurance, after all. David comes and goes throughout the books, but he has helped Rachel out of a few issues both insurance related and helping with artefact concealment. I also had no intention of stereotyping Joe Manganiello, but he fit the description for David.

There are a few other characters that come and go over the course of the series. Basically the baddies. A few you might wish had died long ago, but Rachel hates killing things, so it makes sense that characters don't usually vanish immediately. The side effect is that they tend to come back to bite Rachel in the ass when she least expects it. Looking at you, Nick. Yes, I've plotted your demise. It ain't pretty either.

3. Demons. Demons. Demons.

Essentially the series is about demons.  It was refreshing after the amount of vampire books I've read in the last few years.  It is about Rachel Morgan realising that yes, in fact, she is a demon and she has to accept this fact and move on.  The Ever After is in trouble and the sense pervades throughout the later books that it is only a matter of time before the Ever After collapses or some major change needs to take place. It will, therefore, mean demons are not locked in the Ever After during the day.  Al is our main gateway to the Ever After and it is obvious that it's a dog eat dog world. It is a matter of pride is how much room space one can achieve. The bigger your rooms, the more prosperous you are.  A demon also seems to love nothing more than toying with humans. In the early books Rachel has to interact with demons, but for a long time it isn't something she is comfortable doing. After all, it takes a demon to outsmart one generally. Luckily for Rachel, she is the perfect candidate to show us the many faces of the demons and she may very well be the one to save them.

In conclusion.

As I've read the series, I have a couple of favourite books. Pale Demon, because it was the road trip from hell. A witch, a pixy, a vampire and a fairy stuck in a car. It could only equal a ton of awkward situations and plenty of action. Trent definitely isn't the easy person to be stuck in a car with.  My other favourite is Dead Witch Walking as it was this wonderful introduction to the series that got me hooked. You usually know by the first 50 pages or so if you are going to enjoy a series, after all.

There is a lot of action over the course of the series and it is really a thrilling read. Well, at least for me.  I love a kick ass heroine, and Rachel Morgan has that in spades. I also love a great supporting cast.

Thank you, Donna, for this recommendation. It really was a wonder discovery.

Books in order:

Dead Witch Walking
The Good, the Bad and the Undead
Every Which Way But Dead
A Fistful of Charms
For a Few Demons More
The Outlaw Demon Wails
White Witch, Black Curse
Black Magic Sanction
Pale Demon
A Perfect Blood
Ever After

There are also a few short stories and The Hollows Insider to complement the series.

Have you read The Hollows? What were your impressions? Do you have a favourite character?



Images : www.fanpop.com and www.askpop.com



Comments

  1. Oh my god, right from the get go I have always pictured Chris Pine as Trent. You are awesome! Just sad Kisten didn't get a special mention. Sob.

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    1. Sorry thetinydancer. I was still trying to not be too spoiler. You are so right!!! Kisten, I should have mentioned him.

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  2. I love the post!! It really shows how much you liked the books. I'm glad Donna made a good pick for you.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Shau. She sure did. It's making me think I need to get back into The Outlander series.

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  3. Love this series and your post is so good Angela! Your choice of actors for the characters is fantastic, I am with Thetinydancer, missing Kisten here, who could play him? Donna, great recommendation!

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    1. I know Merit. I feel a bit shamefaced that I missed him now. I'll have to ponder who could play him??

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  4. Great post, Angela! You are so welcome - I'm thrilled that you enjoyed the book(s) I picked out for you.

    I love Chris Pine as Trent - I admit I was thinking of Brandon Routh, but CP definitely works for me.

    OMG! Zac Efron as Jenks? Wow - I did not see that one coming, and thank you so much for that visual!

    I'm completely on board with Johnny Depp as Algaliarept. What a coincidence - both Al and Johnny are favorites of mine!

    I'm with you on your other choices as well. I'm getting a little tired of Joe M. always getting the werewolf nod, but he really does look like he would be a werewolf (if they were real LOL).

    Since you didn't pick a Kisten, can I? How about Charlie Hunnam - who is super hot and just got cast as Christian Grey? Hum? I think so!

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    1. Ooh agreed Donna. Charlie Hunnam would be great. I think I need to amend my post.

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  5. You owe Donna big time for introducing you to the Hollows!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Krista. It's been a great ride this year for sure.

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  6. Kisten is blond and blue eyed, as I remember.

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