Brought to you by OBS reviewer Heidi
*Beware of possible Spoilers*
The Hollows Insider is a reading guide that details all you could ever want to know about The Hollows series by Kim Harrison. It includes character profiles, species descriptions, and details of Rachel Morgan’s life up to this point.
When I first got my hands on the book I noticed that it looked like a normal book, just a little wider, but is really heavy for a 301 page book. I quickly discovered why when I opened it. It is laid out just like a school textbook with the thick glossy pages as a detailed table of contents. And, one cool thing I noticed by accident; the moon on the cover glows in the dark!
I want to point out that I usually skip the reader guide type books, but decided to give this one a try thinking that there actually was a novella somewhere within its pages as I kept seeing it listed as The Hollows #9.5. But really there wasn’t an extra story, this book just referenced everything that has happened in the series through book 9, Pale Demon. The only thing you really learn is that Trent has stronger feelings for Rachel then he admits to, which I’ve suspected for some time now.
One thing that I have to say that I thought was pretty smart with this guide is the way it’s given to you. This book is the findings of a journalist hell-bent on bringing Rachel down, Devin Crossman. He has stalked her and everybody close to her to try to find evidence of her wrongdoings. The majority of this book is his journal and various documents he’s found along the way. He even got his hands on Takata’s song lyrics, which even included the well-known marbled cover of the composition notebook. Also, there is a note from Harrison at the beginning letting the readers know that if we come across any inconsistencies that it’s all Devin’s fault with his flawed investigating; an ingenious way to keep fan mail pointing out discrepancies at bay!
We also see correspondence between Trent, Quen, Jonathan, and contacts at the paper Crossman works for that were not discovered by the nosey reporter. For some reason these correspondences are some of my favorite things in the book as they tell a story of their own. Even though I highly doubt Trent would leave such a paper trail behind him, especially when he could easily have these conversations in person or over the phone. But I enjoyed them regardless.
Overall, this was a decent reader’s guide, but it’s just that, a guide. It is very much the reference book that it looks like. There isn’t going to be an amazing story that takes your breath away in these pages. But it tells you everything you could possibly want to know about Inderlander society. This is a book meant to sit on your shelf to be pulled out when you’ve forgotten something and need clarification; for instance if you get the I.S. and FIB mixed up, it details both of them if you need a quick reminder. This book no doubt took a lot of time to put together and I hope you all enjoy it.