Harrison, Kim, Pedro Maia, and Gemma Magno. Blood Work. 2011.

Have any of you guys heard of the Hollows series?

*crickets and tumbleweeds*

I’m about to open new doors for you then 8D XD

The Hollows is written by Kim Harrison, and starts with the book titled “Dead Witch Walking.” It’s about a witch named Rachel, a vampire called Ivy, and a pixy named Jenks who start a runner (private detective) agency together. It’s set in an alternate universe in which a good chunk of humanity was wiped out in the ’60s by virus started with a genetically mutated tomato (yes, you read that right). That event, known as the Turn, was when the supernatural beings came out and helped the world run smoothly while the humans recovered. At the time of the Hollows books, humanity and the supernatural live and work together in relative harmony.

Two graphic novels were written as a prelude to the Hollows series, when Rachel was an intern under Ivy in the I.S. (Inderland Security), one of the two main police forces in the novels. This is the first.

Ivy enjoys working alone. Someone must be out to punish her when Denon, her boss, assigns her Rachel Morgan, an intern and a witch, to be her new partner. In fact… punishment is likely what it is, but who it’s from is anyone’s guess. Ivy has just put away her last boss for murder. She’s just started a blood fast, as well, and her master vampire Piscary is less than pleased with her.

Rachel is impetuous, innocent impulsive… and just plain annoying. She’s also very powerful, but has no idea. Ivy is instantly attracted to her unique mix of innocence and power. She has to get herself under control, however, resist temptation… lest she becomes just like Piscary, her master, whom she loves and loathes in equal measure…

To be honest, I wasn’t completely sold. The art is kind of subpar. Both women look like they have the same facial expressions most of the time, even under extreme stress. The anatomy is solid, just really stiff and blocky, and shows most in the fight scenes. The visual of Ivy “vamping out”, to borrow a phrase from the novels, is really cool. It was different from what I had envisioned in the novels and helped me understand it better. The characterization and writing is just as good as it was in the novels, but it felt really pared down. This is likely due to the format, but it almost felt… bare-bones. I’m attributing this to me being more used to Harrison’s writing as a book format, not as a flaw of the book itself.

It’s tricky to recommend this to someone who wouldn’t be at least familiar with the books, however. There are too many characters who have small parts but whom one might miss the significance of, and things that I could easily understand from having read the novels aren’t explained in great detail here. I think this one might be for fans only. Those who haven’t read at least the first 2 or 3 books might be lost. Hoping the second is better!

– Kathleen

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