Author: Kim Harrison
Series: The Hollows- 14 books in the series (13 books and 1 official prequel, The Turn) with an additional 2 graphic novels (prequels), a series world book, and several Hollows shorts in numerous anthologies
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series Rating: 5 Stars
Series Synopsis: The Hollows series (also called the Rachel Morgan series) is a series of fourteen urban fantasy novels available in print, digital, and audiobook formats. The series takes place in an urban fantasy alternate history universe and set primarily in the city of Cincinnati and its suburbs. The alternate history is built upon two premises: the recent open existence of magical and supernatural species, primarily witches, vampires, and werewolves, with the human population; and the historical investment of Cold War military spending in genetic engineering as opposed to the Space Race, which resulted in the accidental release of a genetically modified tomato in the 1960s that killed a significant portion of the human population. The series is set approximately forty years after this plague, referred to as ‘The Turn’ within the series.
The series is told in the first-person point of view of Rachel Morgan, a detective/bounty hunter witch who works with local law enforcement agencies and faces threats both mundane and supernatural in origin. The series also focuses on Rachel’s relationships with her partners, a living vampire (Ivy) and a pixy (Jenks), as well as her personal relationships with males of different species, most significantly a demon (Al) and (no supernatural label as to not spoil the surprise) Trent.
Series Review: Hold on for a trilling, addictive, smart, funny, emotional, action-packed ride in The Hollows series by Kim Harrison. This series is one of my top three favorite urban fantasy series. So much so that I’ve read the complete series four times and will do so again in the future because I love the characters, the mysteries/quests, the romances, and the twists and turns of this world enormously.
The evolution, and sometimes complete transformation, the characters undergo in this series is handled authentically and impressively. Rachel Morgan starts out as a struggling, ass-kicking, goodhearted, girl-next-door type nobody (if witches lived next door) who morphs into a determined, confident, bad ass who plays a pivotal role in her universe. She’s flawed, and can be infuriating at times, but she is also genuine and honorable and steadfast in her beliefs of right and wrong. You can’t help but to love and root for her. The cast of essential secondary characters are equally as complex and compelling as they go through their own trials and personal changes. The characters, and their dialogue, are smartly written with an abundance of snark, humor, and fierceness that kept me reading chapter after chapter and book after book.
This series includes paranormal species from the witches, vampires, werewolves, and pixies to the fae, demons, gargoyles, and trolls. It’s captivating to read how the political dynamics of these diverse groups influences the interactions between themselves and the humans (who are no longer at the top). There is plenty of tension and discourse to keep the various plots merrily rolling along.
The Hollows is a fast-paced, imaginative, well-plotted series that must be read in sequence to fully grasp character motivations and various story lines that span several books. I liked every book in the series, but some books I absolutely loved (even the ones that made me cry). For me, The Hollows started strong and only got better. I read the books in order of publication date. Meaning, I read The Turn last, even though it’s officially a prequel. I read them this was the first time around because I was reading the books as they were published. When I re-read the series I kept the reading order the same. It’s akin to the Star Wars franchise. I don’t think I’d ever watch the movies in any other order than by release date.