I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Into the Woods by Kim Harrison
is a Urban Fantasy
in the The Hollows #0.1, The Hollows #0.2, The Hollows #9.5, series.
This edition was published by Voyager on October 12, 2012 in hardcover and has 513 pages.
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An anthology of eleven stories: the first seven are Hollows short stories that have already been published, and it doesn’t include the latest one, “Trouble on Reserve”. The remaining four are “Beyond the Hollows”.
A very worthwhile book to buy as it holds all the shorts. And mostly in reading order!
“Bespelled” (The Hollows, 0.1; also at the end of The Outlaw Demon Wails, 6)
“Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel” (The Hollows, 0.2; also in Holidays are Hell)
“Undead in the Garden of Good and Evil” (The Hollows, 0.5; also in Dates from Hell)
“Dirty Magic” (The Hollows, pre #8; also in Hotter Than Hell)
“Bridges of Eden Park” (The Hollows, 4.5; also in the mass market edition of For a Few Demons More, 5)
“Ley Line Drifter” (The Hollows, 7.5; also in Unbound)
“Million Dollar Baby” (The Hollows, 9.5; an e-release)
The Seven Hollows Shorts
“Bespelled” is a prequel and tells of Algaliarept’s seduction and capture of Ceridwen Merriam Dulciate. Whew…I found myself hoping she’d escape his seductive words even as I knew she didn’t.
“Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel” is still living at home with her mom and building up her strength from a lifetime of weakness due to the Rosewood syndrome. Robbie has come home and she’s trying to get him to support her decision to apply to the I.S. He makes a bet that if she can perform a certain spell, he’ll help. Only it goes a bit cockeyed when she summons Gordian Nathaniel Pierce.
This one really brings it home on what a toll the syndrome has been for Rachel and her family.
“Undead in the Garden of Good and Evil” introduces us to Ivy Tamwood’s issues with blood and sex as she struggles to figure out how to keep her honor and still get promoted from under her scum sucking boss, Art. It’s a nice of bit of turnabout as Ivy and Kisten use the trap? test? Piscary had set for Kisten to end Art’s machinations.
This one takes place just before Ivy partners up with Rachel.
“Dirty Magic” is Mia the banshee’s story of her need for emotion and the lengths to which she will go to get it. I so don’t like this one. The writing is excellent as always, but just too sad for me.
This one is before Black Magic Sanction, and it doesn’t involve any of the regular cast of characters from The Hollows.
“Bridges of Eden Park” features Rachel and Kisten as they thwart a kidnap attempt of Kisten’s sister’s child, Audric.
I hate what Harrison has to say in her commentary before this story…I want Kisten alive!!
“Ley Line Drifter” finds Jenks taking on his first solo job when he helps a pixy whose family is being killed off one by one and they’ll have to fight Daryl, a guardian dryad, who does not care who dies as long as Sylvan stays imprisoned.
Jenks also learns the value of a partner with Bis and Ivy’s help. Daryl enters the cast of characters.
“Million Dollar Baby” is the tale of Jenks and Trent’s sub rosa adventure after Rachel escorts Trent cross country in Pale Demon. It’s a challenge Trent really cannot resist. Not if he wants a voice in the future of the elves.
Another pip of a story!
The Four Non-Hollows
“Pet Shop Boys” is a prequel for a possible new series involving vampire types, an elf, and a post-graduate pet shop man. Harrison builds up a back history and sets Cooper up for a more vigilant future, which he will be better prepared for after his almost disastrous adventures in this story.
Interesting, if a little confusing as to how the veil works.
“Temson Estates” is a curious short about a special woods that an old lady and her protégé are desperate to keep in the family. A bit difficult when Will Temson’s grandfather died and left the woods to Will in his will instead of to his sister.
It’s an interesting story, but full of holes and someone messed up at the end. It is incredibly confusing to make that jump from one paragraph to the next and find you’re in a completely different country.
“Spider Silk” is well done and so very deceptive. It also left on a confusing note. I find myself hoping that Harrison will write a sequel as I have this desperate need to know! It’s a evil and deceptive dryad in this one, holding out the promise of youth, forever, and faithfulness in return for everything.
Harrison has combined love and family with all the good and the bad of it. I hated Lily’s refusal to even attempt to understand, let alone work with her mother. Things may have been different if she had accepted the truth.
“Grace” is, oh, wow, just amazing. She has such character and a morality she abides by even when the going is really tough. Harrison was truly tricky with this one and such a delight. Part of me would love to see this as a series, and I can also see where this could be all there ever is.
The Cover and Title
The cover is spookily inviting with Rachel in a cropped, sleeveless, form-fitting top and jeans, standing with one hand on a cocked hip, waiting for us to take a step Into the Woods where the trees are ancient, spreading, roots waiting to pull you in. Bwah-hah-hah…
Okay, flight of fancy on my part, it makes me think of a coppice for readers. One in which short stories are sent out to stimulate growth and interest in the Hollows and future possibilities.