I recently read The Outlaw Demon Wails by Kim Harrison (2008). This is Book Six of The Hollows series. I have not read the first five. For one thing, I only have some of them.
My aunt gave me several of Harrison’s books over the summer, and I’m just now getting around to reading them. Instead of trying to find Book One or even sort through the books I have to find the earliest one, I decided to dive right into the one with a cool gargoyle and bright red stiletto on the cover.
I don’t regret this decision because it was really easy to descend into the world of the Hollows. Of course there are plenty of references to events from previous books, but where they are pertinent, Harrison mentions them, so I never felt out of the loop.
I really love the main character Rachel. She kind of reminds me of the character Anita Blake from the Laurell K. Hamilton series in that she’s a kickass female protagonist with cool powers. They’re also both pretty emotionally repressed with tons of baggage that sometimes makes them over-analyze and/or do really stupid things.
If you like Hamilton, you’ll probably like Harrison.
Basically, Rachel is a witch living in Cincinnati. She lives in an old church with a vampire roommate and a family of pixies. Also a gargoyle, who totally did not get enough play in this book.
Her exact profession isn’t really explained in this book because it doesn’t have much to do with the plot, but I’m sure it’s clearer in the earlier books, so I didn’t really worry about it.
I’m really excited to read the other books in the series. I’m usually really anal about reading things in order, so it’s really nice that I didn’t end up completely regretting reading this one first.
My only real concern now is that if I go back to the beginning, I’m not going to like Rachel. Character arcs take time, particularly over a lengthy series. But considering the amount of bad things that have happened to her which are mentioned (either in passing or in detail) in this book, there’s definitely enough material to have changed her significantly since her first appearance.
I guess I will just have to see, though.
Next week: Blog, Inc. by Joy Cho