Reading Corner: The Hollows series / Kim Harrison

The Hollows is a series of supernatural mystery novels written by Kim Harrison and narrated by Rachel Morgan, who is red-headed and reckless. To gloss over the self-consciously absurd history of The Hollows universe, basically in this world, supernaturals have ‘come out of the coffin’ in recent decades and are living in an uneasy truce with humans.

dead witch walking_our paracosm

In the first book, Dead Witch Walking, we learn that Rachel is one such supernatural; a witch and also a law enforcement officer, of sorts. In the first pages, though, she quits her job and this leads to all sorts of trouble. The agency puts a contract out on her so that she’s constantly dodging attacks on her life, and she also needs to find a new source of income. So Rachel starts to work as a private bounty hunter with some classic lovable misfits: Jenks, a potty-mouthed pixy, and Ivy, a high-strung vampire who’s sworn off blood.

After the simple style of some of the YA/supernatural/mystery stuff going around these days, The Hollows series has some cracks and rough spots that hold a certain appeal. There’s no real romance in the first book, which seems odd for this genre. The pacing is a bit off somehow, too, with unexpected peaks and troughs that make the plot more unpredictable. And while some things are over-explained (the absurd alternative history involves a lot of talk of tomatoes), the rich detail of this imagined world is evoked densely and intensely.

This series makes an entertaining, oddball reading experience, and Rachel holds her own as the Stephanie Plum of the supernatural sphere.


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