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.
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.
Wench Donna on her Recommendation
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 are1. An imperfect protagonist.
2. Fantastic array of supporting characters.
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"
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 - 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.
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.
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
A Perfect Blood
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?
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