Much like Daughter Of Smoke And Bone, I got my first Kim Harrison book (Dead Witch Walking) from my Mum’s book catalogue as a ‘pick a random book’ choice.
It turned out that my impulse choice based entirely on the cover art and catchy title opened my eyes to what was to become one of my all time favourite series of books: The Hollows.
Gritty, urban fantasy, The Hollows is a series following kick-ass heroine Rachel Morgan on her journey of self-discovery and (mostly) survival as she works to crack crimes in a world where the creatures from the legends are all real and humans are all petrified of tomatoes. (Due to a tomato-carried disease that almost wiped them all out years ago, obviously.)
I love Rachel Morgan as a character because Kim Harrison has created her with just the right balance of awesome and useless. Yes, she is a survivior and can hold her own in a fight but she is also hot-headed, stubborn and ridiculously clumsy. This makes her easy to relate to and keeps the books from being too serious as there are plenty of laughs along the way.
The cast of characters spanning the series is quite large but this is okay as there are 13 novels in total so there is time to get to know them all as you go along. I am in love with a good half of them for various reasons – some are just plain eye candy, some are interesting, some are super-powerful, some are adorable – there is something for everyone!
I have written before about my favourite character, Jenks the pixie, in a post explaining why he is the fictional character I most want to marry and even though I wrote that piece 3 years ago, it is still entirely true. It is a title he still holds, even though I have many, many book-crushes.
My love affair with this series extends so far that I even own two graphic novels from it – I don’t read graphic novels but any excuse to dive into the world of The Hollows is a good one. (Having said that, I still haven’t read the last two novels in the series because they somehow slipped under my radar when they came out. I usually preorder them but didn’t even know they had been released this time!)
I have always toyed with the idea of getting a tattoo, much to my parents’ distaste, and even though my brother designed me an awesome tribal wolf one I have never been brave enough to actually go through with it (My wolf desgin is framed and up on the wall by the stairs instead of on my shoulder…) However, if I do ever go through with it, the design I will have is based on these books. Kim Harrison designed a tattoo for Rachel Morgan that struck a chord with me on a level I have never been able to shake – three dandelions: one in flower, one in the closed stage and one as a dandelion clock all in front of a rising moon. The image of the three dandelions – the same flower in three states, all different but all beautiful in their own way reminds me of life: you start out beautiful and innocent and bright, then life happens and it gets a bit ugly for a while, then you come out the other side, completely different and yet the same and somehow even more beautiful. And the moon is because the tattoo is a symbol for a werewolf pack so it gets my wolf reference in there too 😉
Maybe one day. Probably when I have a mid-life crisis and get bored of dyeing my hair pink.
Paranormal crime novels that cover everything from illegal drugs, blackmail, murder, black-magic covens, kidnap, turf-wars and everything in between, Kim Harrison has created a series that has kept me coming back for more year after year and I half don’t want to read those last two novels because then it will be over and I won’t really know what to do. (That’s a lie, I will go on a hunt for all the short-story collections and things that I don’t have yet. Then I won’t know what to do.)