Published: Del Ray, 12th July 2011
Length: 172 pages (Hardcover)
Summary (from Goodreads):
When Ivy met Rachel, the result wasn’t exactly love at first sight. Sparks flew as the living vampire and the stubborn witch learned what it meant to be partners. Now Kim Harrison, the acclaimed author of Pale Demon and Black Magic Sanction, turns back the clock to tell the tale—in an original full-color graphic novel.
Hot-as-hell, tough-as-nails detective Ivy Tamwood has been demoted from homicide down to lowly street-crime detail. As if rousting trolls and policing pixies instead of catching killers wasn’t bad enough, she’s also been saddled with a newbie partner who’s an earth witch. It’s enough to make any living vampire bare her fangs. But when a coven of murderous witches begins preying on werewolves, Rachel Morgan quickly proves she’s a good witch who knows how to be a badass.
Together, Ivy and Rachel hit the mean streets to deal swift justice to the evil element among Cincinnati’s supernatural set. But there’s more to their partnership than they realize—and more blood and black magic in their future than they bargained for.
This is the first graphic novel I have ever read, so I have nothing to compare it to in terms of graphic novel quality. I chose to buy it because I am a massive fan of Kim Harrison’s Hollows series and I wanted it for sake of completeness of my collection. I am reviewing this more as a fan of the Hollows than as a graphic novel critique.
I acknowldeged before I hit ‘buy’ that the characters would more than likely not be portrayed as I imagined them from the novels – they never really are when transferred into any medium involving images, be it gaphic novel or movie – but I wasn’t too upset by it. In fact, there were only two characters I immediately had to double take to work out who they were. The portrayals of Ivy, Denon, Quen and Piscary were brilliant, in fact, I was surprised at how quickly I recognised and accepted them. Kisten wasn’t bad, but when I thought about it I couldn’t say why he wasn’t right so maybe it was just one of those things.
I wasn’t keen on the visual portrayal of Rachel but I don’t think that I was going to be happy with anything because I have such a solid picture of her in my head – in a way I’m glad that this novel preceeds the other books because Jenks and Trenton weren’t involved and so I couldn’t rage at how wrong they were!
As far as the storyline goes, it seemed a little thin on the ground compared to the traditional novels – I understand that the perametres are different with graphic novels but I know that they are perfectly capable of portraying deeper stories than this. It was a nice set-up of Ivy and Rachel’s ‘get together’ and showed their relationship begin to form along the dubious line of friendship, irritation and almost-romance that runs through the whole series.
Aside from that, the case of the mysterious werewolf deaths and black magic witch coven seemed a little consequential and glossed over – like it was only there because it really had to be, not because the characters really cared about it.
I think some of this distance was supposed to portray Ivy’s emotional confusion and psychological issues as it is set when she is firmly one of Piscary’s favoured pets, but it missed the mark slightly and felt cold and detached.
The thing I enjoyed most about Blood Work was the section at the back about how the characters had been developed by the artists based on Kim Harrison’s descriptions and the interview section about how she chose which artists to work with. It was an interesting insight into what work goes into producing a Graphic Novel and I was fascinated.
I enjoyed my dabble into the genre and may pick up another at some point in the future (definintely the other Hollows one some time, just to complete the collection) but I think I will choose one that isn’t from a familiar series. Start with a blank canvas so to speak.
My Rating: 3.5/5