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Enter the Woods...If You DareFor centuries, the woods have been a pivotal part of the wonder and danger of fairy tales, for once you enter anything can happen. Elves, druids, fairies - who knows what you will find once you dare step into the forest?And now, New York Times bestselling author Kim Harrison ventures into these mysterious, hidden lands of magic and mystery in hEnter the Woods...If You DareFor centuries, the woods have been a pivotal part of the wonder and danger of fairy tales, for once you enter anything can happen. Elves, druids, fairies - who knows what you will find once you dare step into the forest?And now, New York Times bestselling author Kim Harrison ventures into these mysterious, hidden lands of magic and mystery in her first short-story collection. Into the Woods brings together an enchanting mix of brand-new, never-before-published stories and tales from Harrison's beloved, bestselling Hollows series.The tales her include an original Hollows novella, Million-Dollar Baby, about Trent Kalamack's secret elven quest in Pale Demon; two original short stories, "Pet Shop Boys" and "Temson Woods," that explore just what happens when humanity and the supernatural collide; and two novelettes, "Spider Silk" and "Grace," set in new worlds of imagination and adventure. Into the Woods also contains all of the previously published Hollows short stories - together in one volume for the very first time.Step into the woods and discover the magic for yourself. Original.Including:The HollowsThe BespelledTwo Ghosts for Sister RachelUndead in the Garden of Good and EvilDirty MagicThe Bridges of Eden ParkLey Line DrifterMillion Dollar BabyBeyond the HollowsPet Shop BoysTemson EstatesSpider SilkGrace...

Title : Into the Woods: Tales from the Hollows and Beyond
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780061974328
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 513 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Into the Woods: Tales from the Hollows and Beyond Reviews

  • VampireNovelFan
    2018-12-08 04:28

    So yeah, revising this to now give it 5 stars. One page. And soAnd now for the actual review:A little bit of old, a little bit of new Even being the Hollows snob that I am, I admit a couple of stories have slipped through the cracks for me over the years. That's why I was quite pleased to hear that the stories would finally be included in an anthology! I'll be honest and say that when I opened it I immediately skipped to "Million Dollar Baby", the story centering on Trent and Jenks's elf quest in Pale Demon, and it didn't disappoint! Everything else for me was a bonus, but it was all worthwhile. Here's a breakdown of the stories and my general feelings:"Million Dollar Baby"- this was easily the premiere story for this publication. It was essentially priceless getting into Trent's head and learning quite a few things that we never knew before. It makes him so much more "human" this way. Trent and Rachel fans eager for anything to support development of these two may be disappointed a smidgen (though not entirely), but I think it's important to remember when this story took place and what it's about. While I loved reading about Trent, I admit that I missed Rachel. I'm really attached to the itchy witch and they play off one another so well. No worries though because the bromance that blooms between Trent and Jenks is plenty entertaining. We see why pixies and elves get along so well. Overall, I thought this was a well done story and I wish we could get more stories from Trent, though I know that won't be happening much.As for the reprinted Hollows short stories:"The Bespelled" - a short story focusing on Al and how he ensnared Ceri of 1,000 years ago. I always enjoyed this read. But it has Al so that makes it pretty easy..."Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel"- a Robbie/Rachel/Pierce novella going back in time to when Rachel was 18 and struggling with her decision to join the I.S. This story was new to me. I was not the biggest fan of Pierce in the main novels, but I must admit that he is a little better here."Undead in The Garden of Good and Evil"- a novella focusing on Ivy in her earlier I.S. days. Another entertaining novel with excellent doses of Kisten. If you thought he and Rachel were hott together, you should read this to see vamp on vamp action. I read this some time ago, but I forgot how hott he and Ivy can be together."Dirty Magic"- short story about Mia, the banshee from Book 7. While not my favorite I found it interesting to read about her and her complex thought processes."The Bridges of Eden Park"- a Kisten and Rachel short that no doubt makes you miss him all over again."Ley Line Drifter" - a novella focusing on Bis and Jenks. It introduces the character Daryl who we meet again in the later Hollows novels. I will say it's sort of weird to read A Perfect Blood and then go back to reading this. My favorite parts were the moments between Jenks and Matalina since we never get to see that first hand.Stories beyond The Hollows:"Pet Shop Boys" - I admit that every time I see this title I just want to sing "West End Girls". Though I promise that the story is completely unrelated. It's actually about vampires, but they are completely different from our Hollows vamps. I think she could have had something going, but The Hollows vamps are better and more developed, not surprisingly. They have an unfair advantage of having novel after novel of development. I would like to see this become a full novel or two to even the playing field. This was my favorite entry of the non-Hollows stories."Temson Estates" and "Spider Web"-a short story and novella focusing on dryads. I don't think they are my favorite supernatural creature, but I would have liked to have seen a little more regarding the Spider Web story."Grace" - novella introducing new powers relating to people who hold special energy capable of destroying electronics. Their powers can be intense enough that, if left unharnessed, they can be a danger to society. This one is more borderline Urban Fantasy to me. It could be categorized as something else.Overall, I enjoyed this book but normally I don't enjoy anthologies very much simply because I prefer to read a whole novel as opposed to several novellas (just a personal preference). I found myself putting the book down more often for this reason, but I was definitely engaged enough to read the old stuff all over again along with the new stuff.I follow Kim Harrison's work more closely under the Rachel Morgan series than anything else, but the non-Hollows stories give the reader a taste of her skills as an author. It's a good way to test yourself as a fan, determining whether you plan to follow Rachel Morgan or Kim Harrison in general. The beginnings of the stories were sometimes a little hard to get into because I didn't always want to switch gears from story to story, especially going from Rachel Morgan to something totally different. But if you stay the course, each read is quite rewarding and interesting, even with such a short window of opportunity to tell the story. I see myself following Harrison throughout The Hollows and beyond.*ARC provided by the publisher.

  • Montzalee Wittmann
    2018-11-14 23:55

    Into the Woods: Tales from the Hollows and Beyond (The Hollows #10.1) by Kim Harrison is not justanother great book in the series but it has special insights. This book has answers to questions fans have been wanting to know throughout the series. These are short to long stories about events that happened on the side that the author is kind enough to fill us in on now. Awesome is the best way to say it! I love hearing these side stories that bring a fullness to the whole world she has created. Loved it. Got this from the library and listened to it on audio. It was wonderful.

  • Susana
    2018-12-02 04:38

    Some pretty good shorts in this one that fell outside the Hollows department.Surprisingly, or maybe not, those were the ones I enjoyed the most. Exception made to the last short: damn, the thing was boring! Also, I had no idea of what I was reading...Besides that, its official, I've lost my patience to Kim Harrison vampires. From Ivy to Kitten blood suckers _ ugh, and double ugh, leave the poor animals alone! _ I've had all I could take.

  • Katie Michaels
    2018-12-09 00:39

    I really enjoyed this collection of short stories by Kim Harrison. I had read more than half of them already in previously released books. But the anthology included one all new Hollows short story and four stories outside of the Hollows world.“Undead in the Garden of Good & Evil” (originally released in Dates from Hell)Ever wonder what Ivy was like before she met Rachel? We get a little peek in this short story. It’s set a couple of years before the events in Dead Witch Walking. Ivy has been a Homicide Investigator at the I.S. for about 6 months. She is living with Kisten and they are in a relationship. This is before her blood-fast… she is still giving and taking blood. But she is very confused about what it means to her. She tries not to equate a blood exchange with anything emotionally meaningful, unless it involves sexual intimacy. And her boss, Art, wants both from her. If she doesn’t give in, he’ll never promote her. But she doesn’t like the man and if she gives in, it will be a huge blow to her self-respect. This novella is great for Hollows fans because it shows us the Kisten/Ivy relationship that has been referenced all along in the series. It shows us the events that lead to Ivy abstaining from blood and gives us a better insight into her struggle with what her vampiric needs mean for her. And it introduces Art. He comes back to bite our friends in a big way down the road. This story sets the stage for why he hates them so much.“Dirty Magic” (originally released in Hotter Than Hell)This story doesn’t directly involve any of the main characters in the Hollows, but instead, focuses on a banshee named Mia. We met her in “Undead in the Garden of Good & Evil,” when she was called in to help with a case Ivy was working on. She was the one who helped Ivy realize should could change her life. And we learn here what happened to that wish Rachel gave Ivy in Dead Witch Walking. She gave it to Mia. The banshee has since gone on to marry and have a banshee baby named Holly. And now, she is having an affair with a human named Tom. She is soaking up his love like a sponge, but in the process she is killing him. Can her wish give her the lasting relationship no banshee has ever been able to maintain? –This story is very short… only about 30 pages. And I didn’t like the twist at the end. You could skip this one… but we do see Mia and her clan again in a later story.“The Bridges of Eden Park” (originally released in For a Few Demons More)It was very bittersweet to get this short story about Kisten and Rachel after the tragic end of For a Few Demons More. It’s probably set chronologically, just before that book’s beginning. Our couple is having a picnic at the park, when they are interrupted by Kisten’s sister and his nephew, Audric. The child’s father is trying to kidnap him and sends thugs to get the job done. Kisten and Rachel work together to stop them. This story is only 12 pages long, but it reminds me how much I love Kisten.“Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel” (originally released in Holidays are Hell)We get a blast from Rachel’s past in this novella. It takes place when she is just 18 years-old and has decided she wants to join the I.S. Her big brother Robbie is against the plan, sure she is not strong enough. But he agrees that if she can do a spell to ask their father’s ghost –and he gives his blessing– Robbie will support her. When Rachel does the spell, though, she brings forth the ghost of a witch named Pierce, who hunted evil vamps over 100 years ago. He quickly realizes that a vampire he once hunted is kidnapping girls in the present day. He and Rachel work together to bring him down and save the child. This story gives us a chance to meet Rachel while she still feels the effects of her illness. But she already has that fire we love about her. There are definite sparks between her and Pierce –and we haven’t seen the last of him yet.“The Bespelled” (originally released in The Outlaw Demon Wails)This quick, 9 page read, gives us the backstory of how Ceri became Al’s familiar. It seems that unlike any other would-be familiar he has brought across the lines, Ceri was willing to go. After 7 years of summoning Al, she had fallen in love with him. And he seemed strangely enamoured of her as well. Though it was not enough to keep him from breaking her will and torturing her for 1000 years.“Ley Line Drifter” (originally released in Unbound)Jenks gets his very own story in this novella. Another pixy comes to him, asking for help when a statue in his garden seems to be possessed by an evil force. The statue is endangering his babies and he doesn’t know what to do. So Jenks and Bis come to the rescue. It turns out that it’s a Druid trapped in the stone… and a nymph has been tasked with keeping him bound there. Jenks struggles to determine who is the good guy and who is the bad, so he can help the young pixy family in need. It was great to see things from Jenks’ perspective while we get a closer look at pixy culture. Somehow, I think we’ll see Sylvan the Druid again someday."Million Dollar Baby" - This is the story you will buy the book for. And it will be worth it. I loved this story. Loved, loved, loved. We get to see, firsthand, the adventure of Trent and Jenks as they kidnap baby Lucy from Ellsbeth. I think what really makes it sing is that it is in Trent's POV. We get to finally have a little peek as to what is going on inside his head. Unfortunately, there is no big Rachel reveal, but it's still really interesting stuff.We get a glimpse of how Trent sees himself and about the kind of man he wants to be. And we see the camaraderie build between him and Jenks. This story makes me 10x more hungry for Ever After than A Perfect Blood ever did. More Trent!!!"Pet Shop Boys" - This short story is set in a world where vampires and the Fae live in a realm parallel to humanity. Cooper, a 20-something pet shop employee finds out about their existence the hard way. It all starts when a strange young girl and her beautiful mother enter his shop to buy a cat. The woman invites him to an exclusive club where he quickly discovers all is not as it seems. There is something sinister behind the ratio of beautiful people to average-Joe's. Can he get away or was his fate sealed the moment he entered the door?This story was ok. I never really got what made Cooper so special that Felicity would want him the way that she did... especially after such a short time in his company. I also thought the world-building was really hazy here. The premise was interesting, but I think it needed a lot more fleshing out to really work."Temson Estates" - Will travels across the ocean to claim his inheritance when his grandfather dies. It's a huge plot of woods and he realizes he can sell the land for logging. He could really use the money to help in his life. But his grandfather's sister has other ideas. She knows there are dryads (tree spirits) inhabiting the woods. So she sets out to help him learn the truth about the family land.The story flew by pretty fast. The dryad mythology was interesting and Will seems like a good guy, It's not very deep, but for 15 pages, what can you expect?"Spider's Silk" - I thought this one was really cool, with an awesome/ horrible twist at the end. For her entire life, Lilly's mother has told her stories of the spirit Penn that lives in the trees. It wears the guise of a young man, hoping to lure girls into the woods for his own nefarious ends. Her mother says she trapped Penn inside a tree in her youth, but now he's back and he is targeting Lilly's daughter.Of course, Lilly initially thinks her mother is crazy, but as the story progresses, she becomes less and less sure. Then, it seems Penn has set his interest on her. Is she strong enough to fight his lure, when he knows exactly what she needs? This one is kind of creepy, but I liked it."Grace" - This was my favorite of the four "non-Hollows" stories. It's title character is a "throw" --a person who can manipulate energy. Her job is to collect young people with the same abilities, so that her employer, The Strand, can either teach them how to control their powers or burn them out to prevent a danger to society at large.This story follows Grace on a particularly tough run, one that will test her skills and her moral compass. Making an already difficult situation worse is the re-emergence of an old flame into her life. The world-build here is very intriguing. Grace is very likable and I'd really like to see her story continue beyond this. Especially with Jason. (*fingers crossed*)Overall, this is a good anthology. Especially for readers who haven't read all of the previously released novellas. The Trent novella alone makes it a must-read for any Hollows fan.Rating: B*ARC Provided by Harper Collins

  • AH
    2018-12-13 03:31

    Into the Woods is a collection of short stories from Kim Harrison’s Hollows series. The author has included four new stories from outside this world as well. The first six stories have been published before, either in anthologies or as bonus material at the back of mass market paperbacks. The author adds a note at the beginning of each story providing background to the story and where it was originally published. In rating these stories, I just couldn’t help myself. I am a hopeless fan girl of this series. While Rachel can be whiny and annoying, I still love her and all of the colorfully eccentric characters that surround her. I’ve rated this anthology a solid 4/5 Stars. I enjoyed most of the Hollows stories equally. Here is a rundown of the stories and my thoughts:1.The Bespelled First published in the mass market paperback edition of The Outlaw Demon Wails. This is the story of everyone’s favorite demon Al and how he seduced Ceri to the Ever After. Al is deliciously demonic and Ceri, no innocent herself, proves that if you play with fire (or demons) you WILL get burned. 2.Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel. First published in the anthology Holidays are Hell.This is the story of a much younger Rachel, prior to her becoming a runner for the I.S. It’s a nice background story and it gives insight into Rachel’s illness. The story also introduces some characters that appear in later books, like Tanaka and Pierce the ghost. Pierce has some humorous observations about modern life in this story.3.Undead in the Garden of Good and Evil. First published in the anthology Dates from Hell. This is Ivy’s story. Ivy and the men of her life: Piscary, Art, and Kisten. It is kind of a survival story, detailing Ivy’s abuse at the hand of master vampire Piscary, then later on her boss/partner Art. I loved her relationship with Kisten – he was her safe place. Mia the Banshee is introduced in this story. She’ll make an appearance in Black Magic Sanction. Lesson learned from this story: Don’t mess with Ivy – she gets even. 4.Dirty Magic. From the Hotter than Hell anthology. Mia the Banshee is one scary character. Banshees are kind of like a psychic vampire, draining psychic energy from their victims. Factor in a mama banshee out to feed her extremely rare offspring, and you have a very scary character.5.The Bridges of Eden Park. The death of a much loved character (I’m not spoiling) was a surprise even to the author. This story appears at the back of the mass market paperback edition of For a Few Demons More. In this story, Rachel and Kisten help out Kisten’s sister Chrissie in her ongoing custody battle with Sean. This story kind of felt like a Western standoff (cue the music from The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly) involving witchcraft and vampires. 6.Key Line Drifter. From the anthology Unbound. This story is perfect for fans of Jenks the pixy and Bis the gargoyle. Ivy places a supporting role in this story, almost a “straight man vampire.” This story gives a lot of insight into the perils of pixy life, their high immortality rate, and their dedication to family and gardens. This story also includes paranormal creatures such as a dryad and nymph. 7.Million Dollar Baby – This story takes place during the events of Pale Demon where Trent and Jenks go off on an Elf Quest. Trent and Jenks head off to rainy Washington State to retrieve Trent’s 3 month old baby daughter Lucy from the bitchy Ellasbeth. Reading this gave me a renewed respect for Trent, as well as a respect for Jenks’ non-stop running commentary about life in general. If I ever need to rescue someone, I’d want someone like Jenks on my side.Stories from Outside the Hollows – Not exactly my favorites, but entertaining nonetheless. The remaining stories are paranormal in nature and involve a different take on vampires, dryads, and a girl with special powers. 1.Pet Shop Boys. This story seems like a cross between vampire and fae lore. It reminded me a little of another vampire story with redheads, only these redheads changed hair color once they fed. A pet shop employee is invited to a party at Gateways, a wildly popular club. There is something sinister about the club and most of the patrons are redheaded. Neat twist at the end.2.Temson Estates The first of two stories about dryads. In this case, the dryads are just spirits in the wood. When a young man inherits the woods and intends to sell, he is convinced to do otherwise because of the spirits in the trees.3. Spider Silk Another story about dryads, though in this story, the dryad is an evil spirit who lures young girls away from their families. Surprising twist at the end. 4.Grace – This is the story of a woman with special powers, charged with collecting others with similar powers for her agency, The Strand. Interesting story with potential to become a full length novel. Into the Woods is an enjoyable anthology. Fans of Kim Harrison’s Hollows series will love having all the short stories in one place. Recommended. Thank you to Edelweiss and Harper Voyager for a review copy of this book. Review posted on Badass Book Reviews.

  • Sharon ∞❥ is an emotional book junkie ❥∞
    2018-12-09 00:41

    This is a great book for The Hollows fans to have all these anthologies brought together into one book especially if you've never wanted to spend money buying all those separate books or if you've just happened to miss a couple ~ like me! And if you're not a Hollows fan, there are four stories at the end that are not related to the series that you might find interesting.The first six stories are old Hollows anthos:#1 - The Bespelled (The Outlaw Demon Wails). This is an interesting tale of Al and Ceri back at their beginnings and even though it was too short, I was shocked at Ceri's feelings. And "Gally"? who knew??#2 - Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel (Holidays are Hell)We get a glimpse of a younger Rachel with her brother, Robbie, who has come home for a visit and through a bet, Rachel brings back Pierce. I really enjoyed seeing Rachel and Robbie together and it helped me understand what had happened. (I loved her nickname...Firefly). I also liked Pierce more. But it was hard seeing Rachel weaker physically. #3 - Undead in the Garden of Good and Evil (Dates From Hell)I had actually read this one before...and did a review:This story was pretty intense and long for a novella. I really enjoyed getting the whole Ivy perspective and how she is trying to deal with the bloodlust. It was so much more dark and creepy than anything I've ever gotten in any of the Hollows books. It really gives a better understanding on why it's so hard for her with Rachel and a little bit of the vampire dynamics. The thing I hated was her being with Kisten!!! It just creeped me out....even though you knew Ivy and Kisten had been together before him and Rachel, to actually read about it and in detail felt like he was cheating on Rachel! Mia was pretty weird too and it was interesting to get more information on her. If you've read the Hollows, you will understand what I mean. Yep, I still feel the same way but not so creeped out anymore about Ivy and Kisten. I still really miss Kisten. And some of the lines at the end were great..."A witch? They partnered me with a witch? Whose bright-ass idea was that?" and "It was only for a year. How bad could it be?" oh Ivy, if you only knew. #4 - Dirty Magic (Hotter Than Hell)This is about Mia, the banshee, and her true love, Tom....really sad story. #5 - The Bridges of Eden Park (For a Few Demons More)Another one I have actually read before....really sweet scenes with Rachel and Kisten that was torture to read. ( i miss him!!). I loved seeing Kisten interacting with his nephew.Best line: "Do you kiss her? the boy asked. Kisten grinned as his hand fell from Audric's shoulder. Every chance I get." #6 - Ley Line Drifter (Unbound)This one is all about two of my favorite characters; Jenks and Bis. Jenks gets hired by another pixy to help him with his daughter. I liked Jenks' POV and I think some of his mistakes just made him seem more real. And I LOVED Bis coming to his rescue. My favorite scenes were the ones between Jenks and Matalina and Jenks and his kids. and a new short: #7 - Million Dollar BabyThis one is all about Trent baby! Well, Trent and Jenks. I so enjoyed getting Trent's POV and a few little thoughts about Rachel - aka "five-foot-eight inches of bothersome redhead". Jenks and Trent worked really well together to Trent's amazement...and Jenks' too and I got a kick out of all Jenks' nicknames for Trent. And when Trent saw - and touched - Lucy...I got chills. I loved how Jenks could relate to Trent and supported him. (I really missed Rachel though.) and the shorts that are not related to The Hollows:#8 - Pet Shop BoyA different spin on vampires that was a bit creepy especially with the whole cat thing. #9 - Temson EstatesThis story and the next one has to do with dryads or tree spirits. In this one, William Temson inherits the woods and comes to find out why. I sort of liked how it ended. #10 - Spider's SilkThis story was more about a legend of a tree spirit who tries to trick young girls so he could have a soul. It's a bit creepy but I liked it. There's a whole family of females; grandmother, mother and two daughters, who live on the property and we get the grandmother's and the mother's POV. I think this could easily have been a full length story and the ending was very trippy! (I'm still not sure what happened!)#11 - GraceGrace is a "thrower", someone who can manipulate energy, and these powers vary from person to person. She's a type of cop who reins in young people who haven't been trained. Some great characters include her dog, Hoc, her partner, Boyd, and an ex-boyfriend, Jason. I remember Kim Harrison talking about this story and I can see why she liked it. Another one that would be a good full length story or even a series. Overall, some great additions to The Hollows series that probably aren't necessary to read but certainly enhance the series. The new stories are interesting but it would've been great to know if she plans to do anything more with them.

  • Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder*
    2018-11-21 07:51

    I actually finished this last week, but haven't had the time or the dedication to give it a proper review until now. Part of the reason, honestly, is this CHAIR! My computer chair broke so I'm using an armless one that leaves no support for my elbows when I type. Apparently I have some wimpy ass elbows because I can't type long without my arms really bugging me now. Cannot. WAIT. To. Get. Another. Chair.Being the big dork - and rabid Hollows fan - that I am, I wanted to start this book in the back and work my way to the front. This way I got the Non-Hollows stories out of the way first and then ended with stories from the Hollows series as the big bang. I was curious about ALL the stories of course, but the Hollows spoke to me the loudest, exciting me the most.An easy five stars for the wonderful short stories told in different perspectives or different stages in Rachel's life. The other shorts - four of them - all tell different tales that are original and intriguing.I had it pre-ordered before it's release and started it in October, so finishing in December is quite sad. I think I wanted to slowly savor every word and drag it out since once it was done, I knew it would be done. That sad feeling when a beloved series is at the last page of the newest book? Yeah, that feeling.NON-HOLLOWS STORIES:Pet Shop Boys:The main character, a man, had an awful lot of hang-ups. First he didn't want to date the woman because she was too pretty and he thought it wouldn't work, then he didn't want to because she had a kid. He then thought she might have an ex and come with too much baggage. At the party, he found she had another kid and then still didn't want to be with her because that's even more baggage. Sheesh. The guy really overthinks a first date and must be looking for the perfect life or something. He was an okay person to read about, but clearly not the most charming color in the palette. I actually felt more for the “baggage” woman, a beautiful lady who despises her life due to her (avoiding spoilers here) bizarre nature, needs, and world. The kids were charming as much as they could be considering what they turned out to be.I dug Harrison's writing style and tone with this one. It's not filled non-stop with relentless action or anything, but it really doesn't need that either. I almost felt like it was not a planned story, but she was writing it as it went along, coming up with ideas for it along the way. The story slowly unfolds at a make-sense pace, and even if the ending was a bizarre wrap-up, I could see how this one could possible evolve into a full length book if done right. The story behind the circumstances of the “villains” is unusual enough to stay interesting and want me to keep reading further. Temson Estates:Unusual story with Dryads. This one almost felt more like a few scenes to prove an emotion rather than a short story. It was written well and I loved the impact the characters felt through the lure and mystery of the legend. Overall it was okay but probably the one I enjoyed least in the book. An interesting tale that was told, but nothing too dynamic happened if this makes sense. A happy sort of story, almost like a romance in a way. I realize Kim Harrison must be incredibly interested in Dryads as she has two stories with different viewpoints on them, and also a different sort in the Hollows series as well. She also seems enamored with the woods and spirits, stories surrounding them.Spider Silk:What a yummy story! This was my favorite of the non-hollows. The villain? Brr. Imaginatively wicked, unusual, exciting, and the family thrust in the middle of it fascinated me. THIS is a story that would make a cool full length book as well. There's a lot that can be done with this type of creative villain. It's almost like a blend of fairy tale and poetry.There is one thing about this that bugged me though, and I almost hate bringing it up. But the writing style itself greatly bugged me until halfway through. It's almost as if Kim Harrison was hesitant or a new writer with this one. I saw a lot of repetitive mistakes with writing skill that took me out of the story. She doesn't write like this with the Hollows and her other stuff so I have no clue what was happening here! It was just awkward.That twist at the end, too - man! I would have loved to be able to read more of this one. The writing did improve as the story progressed. It was stunning. Would completely buy a book like this one if she wants to take this idea and run with it for a full-lengther.Grace:She created a very different sort of Urban Fantasy type world here. Even more than any of the others, I could see not only a full length book, but a series being born. You have the unusual world, the lead female heroine with flaws and strengths, a potential romance angle you want more of when the story is over and done, a beginning that spurs changes you want to keep reading about. It almost read like the first part of an Urban Fantasy book rather than a short story. I didn't fall in love with Grace - she was likeable enough but very average. It was the story and the possibilities I fell in love with.THE HOLLOWS STORIES:Bespelled - I'm a huge Al fan and I devoured this one. Set in the time when Ceri was first taken by the demon. It adds an interesting background on more reasons she went with him and was in the situation. Also told some backlore with the elves back then, and all told through the point of view of Algaliarept, emotionaless, self-driven, and cruel over 1,000 years ago. The only thing I can say about this story is I wish it had been longer! I was excited about this one and it exceeded all my expectations.Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel -This story was amazing. I've seen lackluster comments on it but I don't understand why. Maybe it's because a lot of people dislike Pierce so he turned them off in the story. I found him endearing here. I loved seeing Rachel in a younger, much more innocent light. She was vulnerable and untainted. It's great to see her then and know how far she evolved by the time you opened the first page of the first Hollows book. I don't want Pierce as a romantic interest, but I do like him in general and it's clear in this story what a massive role he played in turning her into who she became. Her mother - always loved her quirky mother and can see where she gets her strength from. Digs very deeply into her emotions over her father's death and how this also spurred her on to follow in his footsteps. Her brother is rarely mentioned and not often interacted with. Seeing their banter and hangsup and relationship in this book was awesome to behold. It's made clear how sick she was and her lack of self esteem before the Hollows was born. She's certainly grown a lot - one of my favorite stories.Undead in the Garden of Good and Evil - This one was also good but not a favorite. I liked seeing through Ivy's head but she is wrapped up in the strange vampire politics which I find fascinating. Fleshes her out a lot as a character and I dug her here. Kisten didn't seem like himself but this could be because it's from a different perspective or situation, pre-Rachel for both. There was an incredibly hot scene in here!! Loved the ending and what it hinted toward.Dirty Magic - Told through the point of view of the minor villain Mina (from Black Magic Sanction). Banshees sure sound like a freaky interlander spcies to be avoided. The end held a surprising note for me. The writing with this one was almost hypnotically poetic and hauntingly beautiful. Nasty creature but she seemed realistic and had added depth and dimension from this telling. One of the shorter stories of the series.The Bridges of Eden Park:I will forever love and miss Kisten. One of the top three best short stories from The Hollows. This sweet line made my heart both melt AND break: “I told you, Rachel,” he said in my ear to start a warm spot in me. “I've got your back. Nothing alive will ever hurt you if I have breath in me. And nothing dead will hurt you if I don't.” Beautiful. The story was a scene of sweetness between the two. Makes me recall the bridge from other book moments. Also nice to see Rachel dig into her magic and fighting spirit. Meeting Kisten's sister and nephew also intrigued me. Showed how messed up his life was and how sadly tragic it may have also been meant to end. As for the nephew, I'm curious about him. He reminded her of Kisten then, I wonder if he always shall, and I have to wonder if he'll always remember the woman who stood before vamps defending him, staring at her in awe as she boiled the water?Bittersweet but wonderful story.Ley Line Drifter - Greatly enjoyed. Jenks has always been one of my favorites. I hope he always stayed Rachel's right-hand man. Ivy may have to move on as situations change but I hope she's always as close to Jenks in the same way she is now. And, I LOVE Bis but find him terribly underused in the series. Having him as a focus was great. Ivy was enjoyable here too as a loyal friend and sultry character. Finally good to read about Daryl coming into the picture and who she actually is.What won this story over so much too is it was told through Jenks POV, so you get that feel of the pixie world that you never did as much before. The perspective is much stronger.Million Dollar Baby -I know this was many peoples favorites. Not mine. Good story but to me a bit long winded. Almost bordering on melodrama at times but carried out too long with certain scenes, like the grandmother and internal monologue. The action scenes themselves rocked, though, and Rachel is always right that Jenks is the perfect bodyguard and sidekick. His humor lightened the story and added much needed explanation. Personally I find a lot of the elven traditions a bit disturbing, and this was another one of them. It ended on a happy, powerful note that left good, impressionable feelings.

  • Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads
    2018-11-18 00:40

    The Bespelled - The Hollows, 6.14 starsThis is the story of how Ceri came to be Al's familiar.The knowledge of who owed him and what was worth a lot in the demon's world, and familiars were known for their loose tongues until you cut them out. It was a practice Algaliarept frowned upon. Most of his brethren were bloody plebeians. Removing a familiar's tongue completely ruined the nuances of their pleas for mercy.AL, ladies and gentleman.But appreciation for the finer nuances of pleading aside, Al is bored. Bored and tired. Life has become a drudgery, and he's even contemplating taking a vacation, removing his name from the human world so he can no longer be summoned. Until Ceri summons him, that is.But butterflies like carrion as much as flowers, battlefields as much as gardens.And Ceri prefers the battlefield.This is one of the shorter stories in this book, but it's one of my favorites. READ IT. I'm pretty sure it's included in the back of one of the paperbacks, b/c I've read it before.Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel - The Hollows, 5.53 starsI think I would've liked this more if I'd read it in order the first time. As it is, I already know all the things that went down with Pierce, so I can't fully appreciate the sweetness of his and Rachel's first meeting.ALSO--I didn't like Robbie (Rachel's brother) before, and I like him even less now. He's an arrogant, know-it-all, pompous ASS. He ditches Rachel with their crazy, and not handling the death of her husband well at ALL mother when she's FOURTEEN years old, and then comes back 4.5 years later and tries to tell her what to do with her life. Not only that, but tells her she's INCAPABLE of doing what's she wants to do. And all under the guise of "saving her from inevitable future disappointment. Like I said--ASS.Anyway, Rachel tries to summon her dead father's spirit on Solstice night, and ends up summoning Pierce instead. They work together to save a pre-teen girl from the clutches of the same evil vampire who had Pierce killed over 150 years ago. And that's pretty much it. Decent enough story, but not essential to the series (unless you're a hardcore fangirl like me *wink*).Undead in the Garden of Good and Evil - The Hollows, 2.53 starsIvy POV. Gives insight into her and Kisten's relationship that is continually hinted at in the books. AND this is the novella to read if you've ever been DYING to know what it was that made Art (view spoiler)[the vamp that Piscary gave Kist to (hide spoiler)] so damn mad. Heads-up--it was Ivy, not Kist, that did it, so that explains her reaction after that whole mess came to light. If you (like me) aren't a big Ivy fan, and are looking for a way to better understand her/like her more, this probably won't do it. At least it didn't for me. I just can't relate to her. Given how well Harrison consistently gives depth to her characters, I take full responsibility for this one. Ivy has lots of depth. I just have absolutely nothing in common with her. Oh well. There are plenty of other fabulous characters for me to love in The Hollows. And I do.Dirty Magic - The Hollows, 4.52 starsI'm not sure what this novella was supposed to accomplish. The only thing I learned was that Mia (the Banshee from Black Magic Sanction) is an unreliable narrator and perhaps as big a psychopath as her husband, Remus. Not my favorite.Updated 7/5/14: Having just finished White Witch, Black Curse, this story makes a bit more sense. (view spoiler)[When Mia talks about Holly teaching her how to give a person's aura, rather than just taking it, she says that it gives banshees the ability to fully sate their hunger (kill humans) without getting caught, b/c the return of a person's aura somehow convinces them that they're in love, which somehow makes their deaths look like natural causes. It didn't make a whole lot of sense to me, but that's what the book said, and that's what Mia was doing here. (hide spoiler)]But it you don't know that going into it, this whole story makes absolutely no sense.The Bridges of Eden Park - The Hollows starsLey Line Drifter - The Hollows, 7.52.5 starsI would've thought that I'd like a story from Jenks POV more than this, but I don't feel like any new information was contributed, so the story felt kind of pointless. We already knew that Jenks was a brand new kind of pixy, so creating a situation in which he behaves like a brand new kind of pixy, and beating us over the head with all the evidence that shows how Jenks is a brand new kind of pixy is kind of redundant.We also knew how worried Jenks is about Matalina's health, and driving that home is just depressing.The only thing thing I didn't already know was that Jenks specifically chose Jumoke to be Rachel and Ivy's replacement pixy backup b/c he has dark coloring, which for some reason makes other pixies suspicious of him. If Jumoke is pixy backup, then he at least has that to recommend himself when trying to find a wife. BUT despite being pretty cool information, it was overshadowed by Jenks constant questioning of himself in regards to whether or not he was doing the right thing by training Jumoke, or if it would bite him in the ass like it did with Jax. The constant Jumoke scrutiny got tiresome.Million Dollar Baby starsMy other reviews for this series:Dead Witch Walking (The Hollows #1)The Good, the Bad, and the Undead (The Hollows #2)Every Which Way But Dead (The Hollows #3)A Fistful of Charms (The Hollows #4)For a Few Demons More (The Hollows #5)The Outlaw Demon Wails (The Hollows #6)White Witch, Black Curse (The Hollows #7)Black Magic Sanction (The Hollows #8)Pale Demon (The Hollows #9)The Undead Pool (The Hollows #12)

  • Gavin
    2018-12-10 03:41

    This was very short, only 35 minutes in audio, but that did not stop it from being a moving and riveting story.It tells the story of how Ceri came to be Al's familiar. In an even more interesting twist this tale was told from Al's perspective. It was both fascinating and horrifying to read how Al manipulated Ceri into making the mistake he needed to capture her. It's a reminder, because I did need one, that Al is a Demon!.

  • Charlie
    2018-12-05 07:36

    5 stars for the Hollows stories, I loved them! The others ranged from 3 to 4.5 stars.

  • Jess
    2018-12-06 07:25

    Review posted: Happily Ever After - ReadsInto the Woods is a short story compilation made up of Hollows shorts that have been previously published, two shorts in a new world and the story that drew 100% of my attention, Million-Dollar Baby. My disclaimer is that this review is going to focus solely on Million-Dollar Baby, as is it the only one I read from this compilation. I’m a fan of the series, I’ve read them from book 1, I’ve laughed with Jenks, cried with Rachel many times but through it all, since the very beginning as a matter of fact, one character has intrigued me like no other – Trent Kalamack. I love this guy. There’s something about him that’s misunderstood and getting a glimpse of the real man through his point of view in this short story was so refreshing. I know that Rachel is the heart of this series, but for this Hollows fan, I live for the moments when Trent comes on page.Million-Dollar Baby tells the story of what happened when Trent went to steal (some might say rescue) his daughter away from her mother. Ok, that sounds bad, but it’s really not. It’s an elf thing, to put it simply. If Trent is able to successfully steal away his daughter, avoiding death, since everyone in little Lucy’s mother’s house knows he’s coming, he’ll prove to his people that he’ll do anything to secure their future and help their race thrive. That’s what this one baby girl represents – a future for the elves. Trent’s determined to be a strong leader and that starts with raising his daughter. To do that, he must sneak in, grab her and get out without being caught. He has Jenks as his wingman and they end up needing each other to get through the whole ordeal.I loved the combination of Trent and Jenks. This adventure allowed them both to see the other man in the different light, especially Trent. He finally sees how smart and loyal Jenks is and he starts to treat him differently, better than he ever has before. Jenks sees a man in Trent who’s terrified of turning into the parents he had, having things, but never knowing love. He’s desperate to do right by Lucy and Jenks provides some advice and insight that help Trent realize that he can do this.There’s nothing like getting Trent’s point of view and I hope so hard that we get more of it. Jenks is just…Jenks. He has me laughing out loud on one page and then tearing up on the next. This Trent fan finished Million-Dollar Baby with a huge grin on my face and wishing that I had an entire book told from Trent’s point of view.As you can see by the book’s blurb above, the majority of the stories in this collection have already been released and I’d consider this book as more of a Collector’s Edition for the Hollows series. If you’re a fan of the Hollows and want a complete series collection on your bookshelf or e-reader, then pick this newest short story compilation up. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of short story books, but Trent’s story is well worth a read. I loved it and if you pick up Into the Woods, turn immediately to Million-Dollar Baby and enjoy.

  • Bookbuyer
    2018-12-11 04:33

    The Hollows novellas in this book were fantastic! Really glad I read them. The non Hollows 'original' novellas were kind of blah though. Not one sparked my interest and I sped read through them to get to the end.My favorite in order wereThe Bridges of Eden Park > Because I loved seeing Rachel and Kisten together after I had learned that Kisten had died. I was like a really nice Eulogy of someone you cared about.Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel > Because it was really nice seeing Rachel before she became the bad ass witch/demon she is now. Her brother is still an ass though.Undead in the Garden of Good and Evil > It was really nice seeing Ivy's POV.Ley Line Drifter > It was really nice seeing Jenk's POVThe Bespelled > It was really interesting to learn that Elves used to to encouraged to summon demons and that at one point Ceri truly loved Al.Million Dollar Baby > I've learned a bit more about Trent and Jenks in this one which was fun. I was really happy that he grandma helped Trent and that Trent is worried about being a good father. He should get some tips from Jenks since Jenks has about 50 kids! lol.Dirty Magic > I might have liked this one more if Mia was more of a main character as it was it was okay. :/

  • Lynsey (A Bookish Life)
    2018-11-14 03:49

    Excellent anthology for Hollows super fans.Like most people, I would assume, I rushed headlong to the new content, the first Trent centric novella, Million Dollar Baby. But before that, there are several other novellas and short stories of varying lengths that have all been previously released somewhere before; either in anthologies or at the end of a Hollows release. The problem I find with those antholgies, of course, is that if you only follow one, maybe two, of the authors included, they work out very costly for what you get.So it's great, then, that all the shorts have been re-released in this format for the super fans to soak up and enjoy. Here's a quick run-down of the previously released stories, some of which I'd read already.The Bespelled is about everyone's favourite demon, Al. It was first published at the end of the Mass Market edition of The Outlaw Demon Wails (Where Demons Dare in the UK), and it shows Al in his earlier mind-set of use and abuse, before he met our Itchy Witch. The contrast to the Alycakes we know and love today is shocking! He was a nasty piece of work. It also features Ceri and provides an interesting glimpse into their relationship. This story was very short and sweet.Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel is a much longer story about how an 18-year old version of Rachel met the forever soggy Pierce (I'm not a Pierce fan, can you tell?). It also provides a glimpse at the strained relationship between Rachel and her brother Robbie. Undead in The Garden of Good and Evil is another decent length novella, this time following Ivy (and Kisten) and touches on some of the abuse Ivy has suffered at the hands of master vampire Piscary. Dirty Magic is a short story about Mia the Banshee, who ended up being an antagonist on one of the main hollows stories.The Bridges of Eden Park is a very short story, more like a short scene, actually, with Kisten and Rachel. I was never the biggest Kisten fan in existence, but he was a nice, amiable kind of guy and this story shows that side of him, so will be bitter-sweet for truer Kisten Fans.Ley Line Drifter is a Jenks centric with a little side order of Bis. I wonder if Rachel ever will find out how her smallest spell pot got its dent...And finally. Da da da da da da DAAAAH!Million Dollar Baby! This was very good. It's written in third person following Trent on his Elf Quest with Jenks by his side (or on his shoulder, or under his hat). For anyone who's curious to know just how Trent managed to get Lucy away from the Withons, here's your answer.Now, for the Rachel-Trent 'shippers out there (like me!), in comparison to the freaking amazing 1st person POV bonus chapter of A Perfect Blood we got the other day, this is not quite as squee-worthy or revealing of Trent's inner-most desires. But, even though Rachel isn't in the story (obviously) it's telling just how often she's in Trent's thoughts and how much her opinion of him matters.Trent's an incredibly complex character. I am a bit in love with him as many of you will know, not only because I'm dying for something to happen with him and Rachel in the main series, but also just because his character is so unique! He's an insecure, slightly nerdish, constantly blushing, tight-ass Suit one minute. Then the next minute he's doing these amazing ninja moves and pulling a total James Bond on the Withon's fortress. The level of preparation alone is staggering. He may not be the most badass book hero out there, but he utilises what resources and skills he does have like no other. I thought he was incredibly brave and selfless in this story. It's easy to be brave when you aren't scared, and it's fair to say that Trent was absolutely terrified, which makes it all the more awesome that he was willing to do what he did, to do anything, actually, including dying, to get his daughter away from that cold-hearted bitch Ellasbeth!Bonus Material.At the end of all the Hollows stuff there was a couple of new bits and pieces that Kim Harrison has been working on, including Pet Shop Boys which you can also get as a separate Kindle ebook with a bonus chapter from the upcoming Ever After in it. It's fair to say I'll probably read anything Ms. Harrison produces from here on out, and she certainly seems to have some interesting avenues to explore, while staying firmly in my beloved Urban Fantasy genre. Can't wait!All together a real treat for fans of the Hollows, especially if you've never read the other anthology stories before.  Highly recommended. 4 Stars ★★★★ARC provided for an honest review.

  • Cathy
    2018-12-09 04:25

    2.5 stars. Overall the book was a mixed bag. A couple of the Hollows stories were pretty good, but I'm not sure if I enjoyed them because they were good short stories objectively or because they're or because they were about familiar characters that I already was prepared to enjoy. Would a new reader have enjoyed them as much? I can never tell. And a bunch of the stories were quite disappointing.The Bespelled - first published in the mass market edition of The Outlaw Demon Wails, that's what I get for getting the hardbacks from the library, huh? So I finally found out how Al trapped Ceri. It wasn't a long story or one that would be of interest to non-fans, but for fans it was fun to fill in the blanks.Two Ghosts for Sister Sarah - I was surprised that I enjoyed it as much as I did, I very seldom re-read short stories. But it was interesting to go back and see Pierce from the beginning again and it was a very well-developed story. And not so short at 83 pages. Undead in the Garden of Good and Evil - It wasn't a good story the first or second time around. Ivy should be intense and raw but she feels distant and passionless. Dirty Magic - Another story about Mia, whatever, doesn't do it for me. I know it was for an anthology so she was trying to write a story that could stand alone for fans and non-fans alike but it was pretty boring.The Bridges of Eden Park - another mass market edition story. I guess I'm glad I got this out of the library after all. Mostly it just showed why Kisten had to go one way or another. He and Rachel and Ivy made each other all too happy and safe, which doesn't lead to good books. Uncertainty and growth and chance leads to good books. Harrison had to shake things up. But it's another story for fans only for sure.Ley Line Drifter - it was my second reading of this one as well and it was still nice to read a story from Jenks's perspective and learn more about the pixy culture. But overall it isn't a great story. Especially because it's still only half a story. "Let the future take care of itself." That's what Matalina tells Jenks at the end when he's thinking about all of the things that the the story has left dangling. A good short story should be complete in and of itself, especially one that was published in an anthology.Million-Dollar Baby - "Trent quashed a sudden feeling of angst." Really? How introspective and annoying. All of Trent's internal angst was a bit much in this one. I finally know for sure that he's a bad guy who regrets being a bad guy, does that make it ok? Is it better to know? So now there's no more mystery, which had been one of the major fun aspects of the series, but the series is wrapping up and the mystery has to be resolved eventually. Is it ok to have it all revealed here in a short story and not in a main novel with Rachel actually involved? I'm not so sure about that. I'm sure it will have to be repeated somehow in the books too. But most of all, I'm just not so thrilled with who he is. He's just a male Ivy, so self-hating. If, as the books seem to be leaning, Harrison was going to get Rachel and Trent together, then she has to reform him somehow, but to do it she turned him into this angsty wimp. Trent should be a dynamic bastard, he would much better than this guy. I'd rather that than a happily ever after with Rachel and this guy, she'd be fine on her own, HEA isn't everything. Plus there was a huge editing error - the means did not justify the ends? Did she mean the means were not justified by the ends? Whatever, it makes no sense. Pet Shop Boys - what boys plural? There's only one boy. It was meh. The end was such a disconnect. Temson Estates - it needed n extra big paragraph break or something near the end to show the change in scene, it was really confusing. And why would she go with him? It was a weak little story. The human/emotional element was just weak with an awful ending. Harrison said in the intro that she's fascinated with her idea about dryads but they're barely in it, I just don't get it. Spider Silk - huh? What was the point of that? The dryad element was ok, I get that part, but again ended so badly that it negated the value of the whole story. It was just weird. I can see wanting to leave it in suspense even, but it was so awkwardly done, it just felt really amature. And again with the title, what does that have to do with it? She could have named it any random thing that was mentioned in the story, how about fireflies? Why does she keep writing these stories with cool supernatural elements, but then screwing up the human/emotional elements?Grace - Harrison is just annoying the heck out of me now. I really liked this story until almost the end. It has another great concept. Until the woman screw everything up by insisting that she's in love with a guy that she says is a jerk that she hasn't even seen for four years. And the whole story ended up being about that. Again, the stupid human elements being mangled ruined what should have been and almost was a really good story. This one was painfully close to being good, it just sucked.

  • Francesca the Fierce (Under the Covers Book Blog)
    2018-11-26 02:50

    This review was posted at Under the CoversIf you are a Kim Harrison fan, you'll love this. If you are a Hollows fan, you'll love this. If you are a true Hollows fan, you've probably read a lot of these stories previously. But don't despair there is a little something extra that will make this all worth it. In my opinion, this might not be the best book if you haven't read the Hollows series, however. I think because the short stories cover a wide span of time and books, you'll be getting some spoilers while reading this.Another thing that I loved was Kim Harrison's commentary at the beginning of each story. She gives a little background of how that story came to be or why she decided to do certain things with the series or characters. I truly enjoyed that.The Bespelled - 4 StarsWe are going back in time to when Al first captured Ceri. Al was not a nice guy and this was the story to prove it for a while. He had no heart then and you can really see how much he's changed and evolved in 1,000 years. Enjoyable read all over again! First published in The Outlaw Demon Wails.Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel - 4 StarsI always enjoy reading this story. This was back when I actually liked Pierce. So during the Solstice, and while Rachel is still a teenager, her brother Robbie dares her to summon their dad to ask him if she should join the IS. But Rachel ends up with Pierce instead and all the troubles that causes. First published in Holidays are Hell.Undead in the Garden of Good and Evil - 4 StarsAnd Ivy/Kisten story. Right before Ivy goes to work as Rachel's partner. This story gives us a view of the vampire world and politics that come into play. Kisten is the Scion but at times he leans on Ivy's strength and support to get through. I loved reading Ivy's and Kisten's relationship and remembering. *sigh* First published in Dates from Hell.Dirty Magic - 3.5 StarsMia is a banshee that shows up in Black Magic Sanction. I have to say that I personally don't have a fascination with banshees and this story was ok but I didn't connect in any major way. We are just in Mia's head, Mia who is in love and can't help but suck all the energy and life out of everyone and everything. First published in Hotter than Hell.The Bridges of Eden Park - 4 StarsBroke my heart to read this. That's all I'm going to say. First published in For a Few Demons More.Ley Line Drifter - 3.5 StarsThis is a Jenks/Bis story. They are hired to investigate a mysterious presence in a statue at a park. I love Jenks and almost forgot how much I love Bis! Then there's Matalina, who I just love to read about. This was a fun story but I thought was a bit dragged out. First published in Unbound.Million Dollar Baby - 4 StarsHere's your new dose of Hollows. When Trent and Jenks go off on their rescue mission during Pale Demon and then come back with his baby, didn't you wonder what happened? I loved every second of this Trent/Jenks adventure. Plus it's written from Trent's POV and I am quickly becoming addicted to being in his head and understanding how he thinks.Pet Shop Boys - 4.5 StarsThis is the beginning of the non-Hollows stories. This one should become a full length novel or even a series. A whole new look at vamps from Ms. Harrison.Temson Estates - 3 StarsI felt that this story was gearing up to go somewhere and then it stopped right in the middle of getting there. Dryads. Yeah, not exactly my thing.Spider's Silk - 3.5 StarsThis was interesting, if a bit slow. I would've liked it to be a bit longer and know what happens next. She seems to have a fascination with dryads.Grace - 3.5 StarsGrace has special powers that can become dangerous. It was ok but I can't say I loved the ending. Maybe it needed to be developed more and could be a good story.*ARC provided by publisher

  • Heidi
    2018-12-06 05:29

    Four Stars: An anthology of all The Hollows short stories packed into one informative and riveting read.I am a big fan of The Hollows Series by Kim Harrison, but I know I am not up to date on all the novellas and short stories so I was thrilled to see them all bundled into one book. At last, I could piece together all the missing story lines and have a better understanding of my favorite characters. Best of all, this book has a double dose of Jenks and I loved both of his stories. Of course, it is always hard to review an anthology as there are always stories you like better than others, but I can say that I was entertained by all the tales. I love that I got more back story on Ivy and Trent and I finally learned how Rachel met Pierce. I think my favorite story was Million Dollar Baby that tells how Jenks and Trent managed to steal his baby. I admit in the beginning I was not a fan of Trent, but as the series progressed, I found myself liking him more and more, and now dare I say I hope that he and Rachel will get together? It was nice to get into his head and see how he felt about Rachel. Sure, he is still a bit pompous and he certainly has a thing or two to learn about pixies, as he didn't fully realize what an asset Jenks was at first, but by the end of his adventure he knows that Jenks is a valuable and indispensable partner. Besides, without Jenks what would a Hollows book be without all of the pixie curses? Needless to say, I love Jenks and Trent more than ever after reading this. It was nice to get more on Kisten as well, even though it made me miss him all the more. I also liked the stories featuring the deadly banshee. What can I say? They were all fun and unique and I was so happy to be immersed back into The Hollows with all of my old friends.Ms. Harrison also includes several stories outside of The Hollows that were all completely divergent from her beloved series. I particularly liked the last story, Grace. These additional tales gave me some insight into what we might see from Ms. Harrison once she finishes The Hollows...(no)! These stories showed me what a talented and diverse writer Ms. Harrison is. My only complaints for this book was that I found myself missing Rachel. She is only in two of the stories and for some reason, I just felt like the stories without her presence were lacking. I also wished that there was more of Al. He is always fascinating and I would love to know more about him. If you have not delved into Ms. Harrison's series, you need to check it out. She presents a fascinating paranormal world with all kinds of supernatural entities from witches, vampires, pixies, elves, demons, banshees, gargoyles and more. I love this series and I cannot wait for the next release. This anthology was a nice way to tide me over until Ever After releases in January 2013. Favorite Quotations:"He was an artist, and destroying her as he made her into what he wanted, would be his finest masterpiece.""They say when you're ten, you think your parents know everything. At sixteen, you're convinced they know nothing at all. By thirty, if you haven't figured out they really did know what they were doing, then you're still sixteen.""You can live above your fate," she mocked. "You can be who you want to be.""I'm all right," she said, squinting from the morning sun. "I like who I am today.""She shouldn't be here this soon, but the memory of his love was like the scent of flowers, begging to be inhaled and irresistible.""You look like a sorority sister in hell week with that discount sheet around you! What is that, a one-fifty thread count? My three-year-old can weave better than that."A huge thanks to Harper Voyager for the ARC copy of this book. I received a copy in exchange for an honest review and all opinions are my own.Posted@ Rainy Day Ramblings.

  • Lorre
    2018-12-05 05:34

    Undead in the Garden of Good and Evil (The Hollows 2.5)I was really happy when I saw this short story was about Ivy before she met Rachel. But what a sad story it is... I hate Piscary even more after reading it. I really hope Ivy and Kisten will be able to break away from his influence! 4 starsDirty Magic (The Hollows 4.5)This was a sad story about Mia, a banshee. It was a bit too short to really get to know Mia and get what the life of a banshee is all about. 3 stars The Bridges of Eden Park (The Hollows 5.1)Loved this story because I loved seeing Rachel and Kisten together one more time. Loved meeting Kisten's sister and nephew and I hope I'll get to see them again in the full novels. 5 starsTwo Ghosts for Sister Rachel (The Hollows 5.5)A novella that takes place when Rachel was 18. Her brother Robbie is home and she wants to convince him that she is healthy enough to join the I.S. It was amazing to read about Rachel before she became a Runner. And I loved Pierce, the ghost witch! 5 starsThe Bespelled (The Hollows 6.1)A short story about Al and Ceri of how she became his familiar! Loved it! 5 starsLey Line Drifter (The Hollows 7.5)A story in the POV of Jenks, how fab is that! A pixie buck asks Jenks to help with a problem. Pixies helping each other is not common but with Jenks being part of a team that solves problems he is willing to help the pixie buck fearing for his family. 5 starsMillion Dollar Baby (The Hollows 9.1)I loved this story about what happened to Trent and Jenks on the Elf Quest to get Lucy! 5 starsI'm not going to read the rest of the short stories. As much as I love Kim Harrison's writing style I don't like to read short stories that aren't part of a series so the rating is for The Hollows short stories only.

  • Armina
    2018-12-08 03:37

    Short and sexy. Yeah, Al, the bastard, is sexy! But he is not short. Actually I don't remember any details of his height :).In this short story we learn how Ceri actually ended up as Al’s familiar. Al is naughty demonic and Ceri is not much of an angel herself. Kids, don't play with demons or you will get burned!Merged review:Review to come.Merged review:Actual rating 3.5 stars.In her intro, Kim Harrison describes this story as a farewell to Kisten. It is probably set chronologically just before the beginning of For a Few Demons More. In it Rachel and Kisten help out Kisten’s sister Chrissie in her ongoing custody battle for her cute son Audric. The story starts with a short interlude with Rachel and Kisten and finishes with a god action. We see Kisten at his best - troubled but strong and sweet. It is very bittersweet and makes you miss Kist all over again.

  • Veronica
    2018-11-27 07:28

    I'd give this book a four star rating just for the Trent/Jenks novella alone because you can't go wrong with those two. Seeing two of my favorite Hollows characters bond was a little slice of heaven for me. But this book also pulls together all the previously released Hollows related short stories into one book so if, like me, you've never expended the energy to hunt them down separately then this is the book for you. The author also showcases some new, non-Hollows short stories here however and they go a long way towards showing that she's not just a one trick pony.

  • Tara Day
    2018-12-05 05:30

    Individual reviews for each story posted below. The overall rating is based on an average of all stars. *The Bespelled - This is a vicious little love story involving Al and Ceri, a couple thousand years before Rachel was even born. Algaliarept craves more excitement in his life and is given exactly what he wants when Ceri, thinking she may be in love with Al (not to mention her desire to know more about magic and escape her arranged marriage) makes a mistake and releases Al from her summoning circle. The nickname Gally, the image of Algaliarept in his formal English coat and lace, and the blue butterflies are given an origin as we discover just how the Elven royal Ceridwen became Al's familiar. (4/5 rating)*Two Ghosts For Sister Rachel - An introduction to Pierce, this is a story about an eighteen-year old Rachel who's been challenged by her older brother Robbie to bring back her father or leave her desire to join the IS behind. Rachel doesn't summon her father but the spell is still done somewhat correctly, bringing a very confused eighteenth-century ghost named Pierce back from the dead. Together, Rachel and Pierce fight off a vampire and rescue a missing girl from her captor. A very smitten Rachel gains closure she's on the right path and a brief sense of hope as she realizes someday, she'll be stronger. The emotion in this is very high as we view a much younger Rachel, one who strives to feel alive in her weakest moments. (5/5 rating)*Undead In The Garden Of Good & Evil - This story is told in Ivy's point of view and takes place before both she and readers meet Rachel. Though Ivy is not one of my favorite characters in the series, she plays a big part as the interchanging friend, partner, and rare romantic interest to Rachel. In this story, we see her as dark and abused as she struggles to figure out how to free herself from everything she hates and loves simultaneously. I've never been a big fan of "abused" characters but since I know Ivy gets better later in the series, I bypassed my feelings for it by focusing on the story. We meet Art in this, who plays a big part in White Witch, Black Curse. And we get to see Kisten again, who's got a more romantic link to Ivy than he does later. I did love the investigative part of the story and how they both get revenge on Art.(3/5 rating)*Dirty Magic - Mia's point of view is revealed in this novella. The banshee is seeking love - not the anger she receives from her baby's father, Remus. So instead she turns to what must be an old friend and musician, Tom, who gives her the desire and love she's craving, even if it kills him. I love how Mia sees emotions as colors, I've always been fascinated by that concept. (5/5 rating)*Bridges of Eden Park - This is a short story about an action packed date between Kisten and Rachel. Readers are introduced to Kisten's sister and nephew, and the bad guys that they're involved with are put to justice. It's a cute little story where Rachel and Kisten get to fight side by side and share kisses. (4/5 rating)*Ley Line Drifter - When Jenks agrees to help a pixy family out, things go crazy. With the help of Ivy, his son Jumoke, and the gargoyle Bis, he has to save the pixy's daughter from a demon-possessing dryad named Sylvan. But nothing goes as planned and soon, he's face to face with a nymph named Daryl who can control the winds. Jenks's point of view was interesting, just as sarcastic and filled with "Tink" related cursing as I expected it would be. His interaction with Mattie is sadly sweet; and of course, his fatherly instincts are cute too. This is an exciting little story and I like the introduction to Daryl and the history behind her kind. (5/5 rating) *Million Dollar Baby - Such an adventurous novella that features Jenks and Trent teaming up to "kidnap" his child, Lucy. This is the story untold in Pale Demon and then continued with the rest of the series. Trent only has a short time to sneak off to Seattle, break into his ex-fiancee's castle, and steal his child from Ellasbeth. Not only will him taking Lucy enable him to secure the future outcome of all elves, but it will grant him the opportunity to change. Trent doesn't want to become like his father and although he makes a bad judgment call, his later decisions affect the outcome of how he manages to get his daughter. I loved this! It was full of action and adventure. The description of wild magic is fascinating, relying on a different branch of magic - one that relies on a Goddess for help. I love that Jenks and Trent work together and that Trent sees how valuable the pixy can be. Fascinating story and definitely one of my favorites. (5/5 rating)*Pet Shop Boys - This is a new take on vampires and fae. Cooper is the lead character and human, who works at a pet store. He meets a pretty woman interested in getting a cat for her daughter, who then asks him on a date to a nightclub. Once there, however, he sees the woman and her strange family for what they really are. With some luck and help from slayer Kay, he barely manages to escape. Though this story had a unique premise, I found it too fast paced and it ended with not enough answers. The pace makes it confusing and the momentum crashes. (3/5 rating)*Temson Estates - I'm glad this one was so short because it was the first story in the book I really didn't enjoy. From what I gathered - William's grandfather has died and left his estate to his grandson, despite his grandfather's sister's (Ms. Temson) protests. Diana (her assistant? I was so confused at Diana's role in this) and Ms. Temson are crushed, though Diana seems to take it harder. Convinced William is going to butcher the woods, Ms. Temson invites him to see the trees once more so that they can plant one before he does. He meets her and in the meantime, encounters several dryads. The dryads convince him not to do away with the woods and he really wanted to go back to his own country anyway, so he instead sells the woods to Ms. Temson. Somehow along the way, Diana and he grow fond of each other. This story really didn't flow well. I got the main gist obviously but there were a lot of details left out and I had to piece things together on my own. The flirty romance between Diana and Will was a distraction. Stories of the dryads were told and even though I assumed they'd be the main topic, they weren't. They were around for like two seconds and then gone. Also, there's a terrible, terrible break between scenes that I had to reread to understand they were now on a different day entirely. Definitely not my favorite. (1/5 rating)*Spider Silk - Another tree spirit story, this one much more wicked with passion. Emily (the grandmother/mother character) and Lilly (the mom) live on a rural ranch with each other and Lilly's two daughters, Meg and Em. Emily is a little on the strange side, which upsets Lilly when she tries to teach her daughters about a wicked spirit named Penn that Meg has been singing too. Convinced her mom is crazy, Lilly gets mad, but then she meets Penn for herself and though she doesn't necessarily believe the magic of his existence is real, she does believe he can harm her daughter Meg. She sets out to stop him and does. Only when she returns home, her mother makes the same claim and readers are left wondering who really got rid of Penn. This was an interesting read with a sexual encounter I wasn't expecting. The kind of "urban legend" story that goes around about an evil being who can lure away innocent children. I wasn't a big fan of Lilly but her often angry and misunderstanding point of view didn't mar the story for me. Also, the dog Pepper just randomly appears (you have to read the whole story to figure out he's a dog because it never says until about five pages from the end) so that kind of threw me off because I didn't know that it was a dog and assumed maybe this was a character only Lilly could see. Besides that, I have no complaints. (4/5 rating) *Grace - I liked this story, though the ending was a bit rushed. It's about a woman named Grace who can control energy (she's called a Throw). She and her partner are tracking down a kid throw who isn't using his power in the right way. Things go badly and they both end up in the hospital. Her old boyfriend shows up - he's the guy that got the promotion into the Elites that Grace wanted - and offers her a job if she can get the kid into their league. Well, that mission doesn't go well either but things play out for the best near the end. I was kinda confused at the promotion Grace got because she refused it but then got it, so I'm not sure. Either way, it was a pretty great set up for a story. (4/5 rating)

  • Liv
    2018-12-09 00:46

    The Bespelled - 2.5 starsThis story was about Aligaliarept – our beloved demon teacher of Rachel’s. Oh Big Al... What should I say about Al? I have a love-hate relationship with him. Near the first few novels in the Hollows series, I hated him. But then he slowly grew on me over time, especially now that he seemed to show some affection/caring for Rachel. This short story showed the events leading up to Al’s capture of Ceri (the elfin royalty) about 1,000 years ago. What surprised me most was the fact that Ceri fell for Al’s trickery because she had actually grown to care for him, loved him to an extent even. How Ceri fell into Al’s grasp and became his familiar was always a mystery and I was glad that Ms. Harrison gave us a little short story to shed a different light on Al and Ceri. It was short and simple, and although it wasn’t anything to write home about, it was a light and enjoyable piece. I could see it being read as a standalone short story.Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel - 4 starsI really enjoyed this novella featuring an 18-year-old Rachel, not yet a badass witch in the way that we came to know her as in the Hollows series. I actually read this piece work already in Holidays are Hell, the anthology from which this novella was originally published. I remembered really liking it, so I read it again this time and augmented my original review of this story.I never ceased to be amazed at the troubles that Rachel seemed to get herself tangled in. It was even more amusing when it occurred at a tender young age of 18!! In this novella, we got some more information regarding Rachel’s older brother, Robbie. The family dynamics and relationships amongst Rachel, Robbie, and their mom would be described as awkward, to say the least. After having read the published Hollows series and now looking back at Rachel’s life when she was 18 years old, it was obvious that she didn’t have it easy, with her childhood ailment as well as the passing of her father (which led to her mom going loopy). It made me appreciate Rachel’s hardships through life, and that she continued to persevere and flourish against all odds. Her tenacity and strong beliefs have led her in the right direction.Additionally, this story also introduced the details of Rachel’s first encounter and adventure with Gordon Pierce in his ghost form. It was mentioned in the main series novels that Rachel and Gordon had some history, but it was never made apparent until this novella. Even though they were only together for one night, there was definitely a connection and a special moment – their sharing of their first kiss...Pierce actually wasn't my favourite male character from the Hollows series, but I continued to harbour some soft feelings for him. I truly believed that he loved Rachel despite the fact that the feelings weren't reciprocated. I felt somewhat sorry for Pierce after Pale Demon, but that'd be a separate issue all together. Undead in the Garden of Good and Evil - 2.5 starsThis novella followed Ivy Tamwood and her life in the vampire world and I.S. before meeting Rachel. Honestly, the Ivy in this story wasn’t very likeable and she wasn’t an easy person to follow in her head. Due to her blood lust and emotional abuse by Piscary, the nasty master vampire in Cincinnati, she was emotionally damaged and was unable to feel love/pleasure without experiencing blood lust. Her relationship with Kisten was akin to two broken children comforting each other. It was sad to see them as they were in this story, but it was good to know that they were different people all together after they met Rachel. She really changed their worlds later in their lives.The struggles and politics that she had to deal with at the I.S. was explained and it provided some depth and context for the reasons why she had to leave the I.S. eventually to pursue a different life with Rachel and Jenks later on. Her outsmarting her boss, Art, was artfully arranged and I thought it was hilarious.Dirty Magic - 2 starsMia, a banshee, was the antagonist in Black Magic Sanction. In this short story, Mia had to find “food” for her baby, but she had to make sure that she abided to the rules – she wasn’t allowed to kill people to drain them of their psychic emotions.The key thing about this story was the element of surprise. (view spoiler)[All along, given the way Mia was thinking/talking, I had naively thought that she actually had some true feelings towards her victim, Tom, someone who loved her unconditionally. Then at the end, we saw the true evil nature of Mia, and the truth was that she was just a despicable, malevolent being, whose purpose was survival and enjoyment at the expense of others. (hide spoiler)]The Bridges of Eden Park - 4 starsI had read this short story at the end of For a Few Demons More. I was devastated when Kisten died, and so when I read this story, it brought back bitter sweet memories, and things lost and regretted. This story was very straight-forward – Rachel and Kisten was spending a quiet afternoon at the Eden Park when Kisten’s sister, Chrissie called and asked him for protection against her ex, Sean. Sean was attempting to kidnap her son, Audric. The Kisten we saw here was the usual, happy-go-lucky guy, but it came to the ones who he cared and loved, he’d fight with all his might to protect them. Audric was such a sweet little boy, who reminded so much of Kisten. After reading this story, again, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of longing for the relationship that Rachel and Kisten had.I missed Kisten.Ley Line Drifter- 4 starsI actually read this one as part of the compilation, Unbound. The following review was captured in my review of Unbound, and I just copied it here for completeness purposes only.As a long-time fan of the Hollows series, it was absolutely refreshing to get a novella with Jenks being the central character!!! He decided to take some pixy action on his own against the supernatural, with Bis the gargoyle as his backup. With the narratives originated from the small pixy angle, everything just felt so different from how the stories normally read (particularly from Rachel’s POV).I loved that even though the story was comparatively shorter than a novel, it was structured and read like a normal Hollows mystery/adventure. There was a theme or a primary mystery that the lead character was attempting to resolve, and meanwhile, dangers lurked in the corners or in the least expected places. Loved it!Of course, I also enjoyed seeing Matalina again. I did miss her very much in the last Hollows instalment, and seeing Jenks being so in love with her even knowing that she was dying, was just so much more heartbreaking.Besides Bis and Matalina, a few other characters made an appearance as well. We got to learn more about all the pixie children (and their interesting naming conventions). Jax, Jenks’ unusual dark-haired child, appeared to have a talent similar to Jenks’ and would likely be trained to follow in his father’s footsteps. Ivy also showed up to help Jenks out with the final showdown.A great, quick read overall!!! :)Million Dollar Baby - 5 starsThis novella was probably THE MOST anticipated piece of work in this book. It told the events of Trent and Jenks rescue of Lucy from the west coast. Without going into the details of what happened, I’d just summarize by saying that it did not fail to entertain. There were lots of actions, challenges, and assassins lurking around waiting to kill off Trent on his mission. The dynamics between Jenks and Trent while they worked together on the mission was also something different and amusing to watch. There was definitely a lot of bonding that took place – not sure if they realized it – and their association transformed into something like camaraderie or friendship. It was really fun to see them connect with each other.I loved Jenks!!! He and his potty mouth were absolutely hilarious and I was amazed at the languages that he used on Trent – bet that’d be new for Trent!Jenks seemed to be able to read Trent pretty clearly and figured him out rather quickly. He understood a lot of Trent’s baggage and emotional struggle, and it was big coming from a pixie. Given his closeness to Rachel and his newfound knowledge/connection to Trent, it would be obvious to me that without a doubt that he’d be the first one to notice their budding romance/feelings for each other. This novella would be a must-read for Hollows fan!!! Awesome!!

  • Dark Faerie Tales
    2018-11-26 01:54

    Review courtesy of Dark Faerie TalesQuick & Dirty: Wonderful collection of short stories, some action-packed adventurous fun to some dark and depressing.The Review:Into the Woods is a collection of old and new stories by Kim Harrison. As a huge fan of the Hollows series, I’m surprised it took me this long to read this. Although, I had read most of the Hollows stories already but I was really looking forward to reading “Million Dollar Baby” and “Grace.” I’ve reviewed each story individually, but as a whole I really loved this collection.“The Bespelled” – 5/5 – Originally appeared in paperback editions of The Outlaw Demon WailsThis short story is an excellent look into the devious demon Al and his thought processes as he trapped Ceri as his familiar, one thousand years before Rachel was born. Al is feverishly trying to figure out how to overcome Ceri as his emotions go from panic to love to ecstatic happiness as he gets what he wants. I really enjoyed being in Al’s head and learning how he justified love and being a demon to himself.“Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel” – 5/5 – Originally appeared in the anthology Holidays Are HellA deep and insightful story about Rachel at eighteen. Rachel is very much a strong willed girl and she knows what she wants to do with her life and is very much on the right path to make it happen. This is the second time reading this story for me so I really enjoyed seeing Pierce again when he was all cute and awkward with his 18th century ways. I definitely recommend reading this novella about Rachel’s early life and learning about her family and the struggles that she has gone through. The Hollows would be an entirely different place if Rachel had chosen the “safe life” that her brother was trying to talk her into.“Undead in the Garden of Good and Evil” – 4/5 – Originally appeared in the anthology Dates From HellThis novella focuses on Ivy, a living vampire, before she met Rachel. This Ivy is certainly not the Ivy from the beginning of the Hollows series. She drinks blood and because of that she is much more blood thirsty and temperamental (although that can be argued). My only complaint about Ivy is about how much she complains about having to fight her emotions so much. I really like Ivy but sometimes I have a hard time with her vampiric emotions. I think she comes off quite a bit self-absorbed and bitchy. Overall, I really enjoyed reading about Ivy’s time in the homicide division with the terrible vampire Art as her boss. Also, Kisten appears in this story, which is always a plus.“Dirty Magic” – 4/5 – Originally appeared in the anthology Hotter Than HellLife as a banshee is not easy. After many years of loneliness Mia has finally found love but when you can soak up their life energy that love cannot last long. This is a dark and emotionally rich story fit for a banshee who lives off powerful emotions.“The Bridges of Eden Park” – 4/5 – Originally appeared in paperback editions of For A Few Demons MoreThe last short story featuring Kisten before his tragic demise. The Bridges of Eden Park is an exciting but ominous side adventure that sadly foreshadows Kisten’s impending doom. Rachel even gets to learn more about Kisten and his family. This was a wonderful story, but like all things Hollows, I would have loved this to be a little longer. “Ley Line Drifter” – 5/5 – Originally appeared in the anthology UnboundA fun and action packed adventure featuring Jenks, the pixy, and Bis, the gargoyle. Jenks is hired to help a fellow pixy take care of a spirit that has been possessing his children, even burning one child from the inside out. This story was a fun, inquisitive look into Pixy family life and structure while still showing the dark side of the Hollows world. “Million Dollar Baby” – 4/5Exciting adventure with Trent and Jenks. I really loved having an inside look into Trent’s thoughts, although, I would have loved to have more insight into Trent’s thoughts on Rachel. I did think the story dragged a little during the beginning of Trent’s biking scenes, it seems to focus too much on “how he biked” than on the story, but other than that it was a wonderful story. Overall, I really enjoyed reading this story, but after reading the rest of the series, I felt there was a bigger secret hidden in this story (a secret between Trent and Jenks) but I think I missed it.Non-Hollows Stories:“Pet Shop Boys” – 3/5The first of the non-Hollows stories features a boy named, Cooper, who helps run a pet shop. Cooper is very easily distracted by the pretty women around him. Pet Shop Boys is an eerie and slightly confusing story until the very end when everything is brought to light. Both main characters were a little too childish as the story played out. This story offers a strange twist to vampires and fey worlds/dimensions.“Temson Estates” – 4/5Kim Harrison certainly likes her dryads. This is the 3rd story in this collection featuring these rare creatures. Will has inherited land from his grandfather. The land contains a huge forest that Will wants to sell for a lot of money. One reason he needs the money, is so he can pay for his expensive schooling. Will’s great aunt tries to talk him out of selling the forest and to prove it she needs him to spend some time in the woods. The dryads in this story are pretty cute and lend to the sweetness of the story.“Spider Silk” – 4/5The 4th and final story in this collection that features dryads and unlike the previous story, this one is much more dark and depressing. This novella goes between two points of view between a mother and her daughter. The mother knows some dangerous secrets and the daughter who believes her mother is crazy and should be locked up in an old folk’s home. Trust could go a long way, especially after seeing something that you never thought possible. The ending wasn’t entirely surprising but it definitely kept up the dark feel of the storyline.“Grace” – 4/5An action packed story about Grace, a woman with a strong sense of duty and a strange power. Grace was a different and unique story that at first I had a hard time understanding, but by the end of the story I think I had a grasp of what was going on. I really enjoyed this story and how Grace really cared for those around her and she even stood for what was right even in the face of blackmail. Out of all the stories from the second half of this collection of stories, I think this is the world I would like to see expanded upon.FTC Advisory: Harper Voyager / Harper Collins provided me with a copy of Into the Woods. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

  • Amy
    2018-12-01 05:52

    Just received my copy, thanks GR and Harper! Seven shorts from The Hollows, including the highly anticipated Million Dollar Baby that gives us hardcore Trent fans a glimpse of his innermost thoughts, and four brand spanking new non-Hollows shorts from Ms. Harrison's magic drawer. Million Dollar Baby 4 starsThis novella is a must read for all Hollows fans whether you're for or against Rachel and Trent because so much of Trent's ruthless behavior is explained. I find myself liking him even more, if that's even possible, now that I understand him better. It also explains why Jenks's attitude towards Trent changed so much after their quest. My favorite parts were oddly enough, not the action scenes, but the inner debates he had with himself - he really is torn between wanting to do the right thing and live as he wishes, and his loyalty and obligations to his species which forces him to be his father's son. The story: As most of you already know, Trent embarks on an ancient elf quest to "steal" his daughter from ice queen Ellasbeth. The readers who've already read A Perfect Blood know the outcome of this quest, but that really isn't the point of this story at all IMO. The main focus, to me, was Trent's inner monologue (dialogue?). This showed another side of the multibillionaire/murdering bastard/biodrug lord that we've all come to love or hate at one point or another - his vulnerable side. He knows what Rachel thinks of him, and he doesn't like himself very much either. He does what he has to in order to save an entire species from extinction. His constant struggle wih achieving his goals and juggling his responsibilities without losing his soul is tiring and frustrating but also admirable. After finishing Trent's novella, I found myself wanting to reread The Hollows now that I have a better understanding of the cookie maker.Eta- quick review of the Non Hollow shorts..I think I read somewhere that Kim Harrison has a background in bio-something or another. It would make sense seeing as how most of the shorts have a scientific explanation for the paranormal.Grace 4 StarsI really enjoyed the protag, Grace. She reminds me a bit of Rachel from Dead Witch Walking- both seemingly lonely, both have strong moral compasses, both unwilling to bend even a little bit in order to appease the powers that be. Her world is fascinating and I really hope Kim H. and her publisher decides to turn this into a series.The story: Grace lives in a world where people throw energy. Massive amounts that can kill a person and shut down the power in an entire city. Thankfully, not everyone has that ability. Most who do are discovered while still in elementary school but some are able to hide their ability well into their late teens if they don't kill themselves and/or everyone around them first. These older energy throwers are extremely dangerous and it's Grace's job to confront, apprehend, and judge whether they're suitable for working in her organization (they can't be morally corrupt) or whether they're better off being sent to The Island for rehab (getting all the parts of their brains that produces the energy shut off). I really can't say anymore because it'll give the story away but trust me, this one is worth reading. There's the wise father figure, the doggie best friend, the kinda-sorta-corrupt organization that pretty much controls the world, and the hot guy who turns out to be the one that got away.Pet Shop Boys 2 StarsWasn't feeling this short but that might be due to the fact that the MC is a male and I'm not really a fan of those (tried Dresden Files and Kevin Hearnes' Fey series but couldn't get into them). Unique take on vampires and I loved that the MC works in a pet shop but that's about all the pros I can think of. Cons: mc is insecure and pretty much a dweeb (I like the male protags to be tough and powerful a la Jericho Barrons and Curran, not someone who gets led on by his boss for years but never makes a move and freaks out when he realizes he's in a room full of vamps). It also felt a lot like I was reading an unfinished middle grade story.Temson Woods 3 - 3.5 StarsMale protag again but I really liked him - he reminds me of Trent; impulsive, quiet, and unpredictable. Pretty good for a short story.Story:Man inherits a large piece of undeveloped land when his grandfather passes. He has a heckuva lot of student loans to pay off and is continuing his education (science related) and decides to sell at least part of the woods. At the reading/hearing he meets his grandfather's sister who tells him to meet her the next day and refuses to take no for an answer. Long story short, he discovers the existence of Dryads but seeing as he's a scientist, he doesn't believe what his senses are telling him until he comes up with a scientific explanation for them. This is where things got a little fuzzy for me. I get the whole "nature's defense mechanism" thing and vaguely recall reading/watching on tv something about forests and their super complex ecosystem and the amazing things it's capable of, but I just can't wrap my brain around the fact that trees created dryads. It's the whole "did the rotting piece of meat create the maggots" thing all over again and we learned early on, 2nd grade or so, that that isn't possible. Okay, so it's a little different from spontaneous generation seeing as how the trees are alive, but last I checked, plants couldn't create an entirely different species that's capable of reproducing sexually with humans.

  • Selene Tepesh
    2018-11-22 02:55

    4.5 stars Is what I give this fabulous short story bundle. If only for the Kisten story, Al and Ceri’s origin story and Trent’s elf quest story. I really liked this a lot!

  • TR
    2018-11-23 04:51

    I need them NOT to call Bis "ugly"!

  • Marianne
    2018-11-20 06:42

    Into the Woods is a compilation of Kim Harrison's previously released Hollows novellas, and what better way to spend the last few weeks before the final Hollows novel is published, than by reading all her short stories? THE BESPELLED tells the story of how Ceri came to be Al's familiar 1000 years ago and ties in nicely with # 11 Ever After. Here, we meet him as the cynical manipulator Rachel first encountered in Dead Witch Walking. He enjoys toying with Ceri's emotions, but in reality feels no love for the naive elf princess. If you have read Ever After, you'll notice right away just how much Al's feelings for his familiar changed during their years together. Bittersweet. 4 stars.TWO GHOSTS FOR SISTER RACHEL. Well, well, here is the missing piece of the puzzle that confused me so much when I first read White Witch, Black Curse. If you're only going to read one novella, this is the one you should read. Not because it's the best - it's not - but because it's essential if you want to know who Pierce is before you start reading said novel. At the tender age of 19, Rachel accidentally summons the wrongfully dead 140 year-old spirit of Gordonian Pierce. Young Rachel is still recovering from the after-effects of Rosewood syndrome, but is determined to prove her worth by becoming an I.S runner against her brother's will. Pierce desperately wants to escape Purgatory and decides the best way to save is immortal soul from hell is by hunting down the child snatching vampire that got away from him when he was still alive. He only has one night to accomplish his goal, and headstrong Rachel decides to tag along whether Pierce wants her there or not... Pierce has never been my favorite character, but Kim Harrison is a talented storyteller and this story wasn't as bad as I feared. 3.5 stars.UNDEAD IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD AN EVIL. We all know that Ivy was accused of framing her old boss, Art, but until now, we've not known all the details. Turns out, dear old Art really had it coming. This is the story of Kisten and Ivy. Both have been manipulated and abused mentally and physically by their undead vampire masters from an early age. Their feelings and desires have been twisted for so long, it's hard not to feel sorry for them. (And in Kisten's case: impossible not to love the guy.) Now, it's payback-time. We also witness Ivy's first encounter with the manipulative banshee Mia. Mia's suggestion that they movie in together, was actually quite funny. Definitely one of my favorite Hollows novellas. 4 very solid stars.DIRTY MAGIC. Due to her heart-to-heart talk with Ivy, Mia was later on given Rachel's wish so that she too would get the chance to experience true love without draining the object of her affection. Tom is the man of her dreams... Or is he? 3 starsTHE BRIDGES OF EDEN PARK is Kim Harrison's final goodbye to Kisten. Once again Kisten shows what a wonderful guy he is when he rescues his nephew from the clutches of a man who means him harm. Dear Kisten, you deserved a better fate! I miss your love and loyalty! *sigh* While I adore Kisten, the novel was much too short. 3 + stars.LEY LINE DRIFTER. When a young Pixie father begs Jenks to save his children from the evil statue that torments them nightly, he decides he'll do his damnedest to save them. This story gives us a rare glimpse into Jenks's personal life, which was nice, but the actual story wasn't all that interesting. it felt too open ended. 3 stars.MILLION DOLLAR BABY. Okay, I still don't buy Trent's transformation from callous drug lord to responsible savior of his race, but I'll go along with the premise anyway as this is obviously the way it's going to be from now on. In the last Hollows novella, Trent and his temporary sidekick, Jenks, are off on an elf quest. Their target: baby Lucy, the first elf baby that's free of the demon curse. Trent wants custody, but will have to steal her away from Ellasbeth who would rather see him dead. The story is told from Trent's POV. And let me just say; a lot his thoughts revolve around a certain "bothersome redhead." I'm sure this will please Trent/Rachel fans tremendously.Walking into what could be a death trap makes Trent reevaluate his past actions and behavior, and he finds himself lacking. Especially in comparison to Rachel. However, there's no doubt in my mind that Lucy truly is better off living with her daddy. 4 starsOverall rating of the Hollows novellas: 4 stars.There are unrelated novellas and novelettes as well, but I am not going to rate them individually.

  • OpenBookSociety.com
    2018-11-15 05:35

    Brought to you by OBS reviewer HeidiInto the Woods is a compilation of short stories by Kim Harrison put together into one convenient volume. I went into this book thinking they were all new stories, but quickly discovered that I have read several of them in other publications. But for the Hollows fan, this book may be a perfect addition to their collection, especially if they like the short stories and want to have quick easy access to the majority of Hollows shorts.The Hollows Shorts:There were several Hollows shorts that I had previously read in Harrison’s other anthologies, such as Ley Line Drifter and the Undead in the Garden of Good and Evil. But there were several that I had missed, reading editions of the full-length novels that didn’t include them (but were included in other editions of the same book), such as The Bespelled and The Bridges of Eden Park, which were actually a couple of my favorites in this book.I really enjoyed getting closer looks at some of the Hollows characters. I really enjoyed The Bespelled which let us into Al’s world a little more and showed us how Ceri came about being his familiar. It also clued us in about the blue butterflies and were his crushed green velvet ensemble originated from and why. This was a pretty short story being about 16 pages long, but it was definitely worth the time to read!Another one that really struck me was The Bridges of Eden Park. I was a huge Kisten fan and was devastated with his death, so I was elated to get to read one last story with him in it. It was also nice to see that Harrison misses him just as much as me!When I was reading Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel, I had this nagging sensation of déjà vu. I kept thinking I had read it before, but couldn’t find it listed in any of the anthologies I had read. So I continued reading it to discover that I hadn’t read it previously, but that the events within the story had been broached so much in the full-length novels that I felt like I had read this story before. But Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel delves deeper than what the books did and I’m glad I continued reading it. I enjoy Pierce so it was fun seeing exactly what the two of them did the night Rachel brought him back from purgatory.“I’d give anything if you’d kiss me.” I said. “I mean,” I said when he tilted his head to look at me, his eyes wide in shock, “I’ve kissed guys before. It’s like a handshake these days,” I lied, just wanting to know what his lips on mind would feel like. “Almost required if you’re leaving.”I was excited to see Million Dollar Baby included in this book, as I wanted to see a story from Trent’s point of view and we all wanted to know more about the events during his elf quest! But sadly I was a little disappointed in it. It felt weird for Jenks to be Trent’s backup and it just felt like they just didn’t belong together. And, Trent’s bike ride and getting through the tunnels to get to Lucy got a little boring.Beyond the Hollows:The only story in the non-Hollows shorts that I read previously was Pet Shop Boys. I really liked the main character, Cooper, but found the story as a whole to be a little too out there for me.In this collection of short stories I realized that Harrison obviously has a thing for dryads (I would be shocked if she didn’t include them in her next series) as three of the stories in this book included them, Ley Line Drifter (from the Hollows section), Temson Estates, and my favorite of the dryads stories and the one I most hope she continues as a series, Spider Silk.I can see there being a very interesting series to come out of Spider Silk. There is a lot of material to make a questionable romance between Penn and Meg. Could she be the one he truly loves or is she just another victim?Grace was also interesting although it took me awhile to truly get into and understand what was going on. I could also see this as a series, if done properly. There is definitely a spark between former lovers Grace and Jason that you know are inching their way back to each other. And, there is a lot of potential to add more supernatural aspects as time goes on, with their Men In Black kind of jobs.Overall, I did like getting a glimpse at Harrison’s non-Hollows shorts, it gives us a glimpse of what we can expect once Rachel’s life is all wrapped up and the series is put to bed, so to speak. I look forward to seeing which route Kim ends up choosing to go next!http://openbooksociety.com/article/in...

  • Shelley
    2018-11-21 05:39

    *Rating* 3.0*Genre* Urban Fantasy*Review*I had previously read some of these, especially those part of other anthologies. Just did a quick re-read and observation on each story. Here's a breakdown of my thoughts on the various stories that Harrison put together as part of Into the Wood Anthology. 1. The Bespelled was first published as part of The Outlaw Demon Wails. This is the story of Al (Algaliarept) and Ceridwen Dulciate and how he ended with Ceri as his familiar. The story is told by Al's prospective and goes a long way into understanding that he's been feeling a bit of dissatisfaction with his job of culling of new souls. Overall B-2. Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel is from Holidays are Hell Anthology. Set in the year 1999, we see Rachel as a 18 year old kid who longs to be part of the IS like her father who died on the job. We get a peek at Pierce Gordian for the first time as well. This is more or less a Novella length story that really gives readers a glimpse into what Rachel has experienced throughout her life. Her brother Robbie and Mother are also featured in this story. Overall B+3. Undead in the Garden of Good & Evil is from Dates from Hell Anthology. This is Ivy and Kisten's story. Ivy is working for the IS's Homicide Division and trying to keep her boss from biting her which is kin to having sex. I seriously miss Kisten, so, this was a nice reminder of why he meant so much to both Ivy and later to Rachel. This also has an interesting twist with Mia the banshee who will will see later on in this book. Overall B+4. Dirty Magic brings us another short story this time with Mia the Banshee as the main protagonist. Mia is an interesting character and she becomes even more real with the fact that she has a daughter that needs to feed off emotions just like her mother. Overall C+ 5. The Bridges of Eden Park is from For A Few Dollars More - Rachel and Kisten are together and this time they work together to save Kisten's sister Chrissie and her baby from her ex. I love that this was an ode to Kisten by Harrison. Overall B-6. Key Line Drifter is from the Unbound Anthology - Another longer story which features Jenks and Bis helping another pixy named Vincet with a problem with his newlings. It also has a wonderful moment between Jenks and Matalina. Overall A-7. Million Dollar Baby takes place during Pale Demon (The Hollows # 9) when Jenks and Trent go on an Elf Quest to steal Trent's daughter back from Ellasbeth. Trent has come a long way from the arrogant prick I first thought he was. Now, it seems he actually cares about Rachel and he and Jenks work pretty good together. Beyond the Hollows is the last section of the book and has four longer Novella type stories.8. Pet Shop Boys is a story about vampires who are fey like in characterization. If you eat or drink anything in their realm, you are stuck there permanently. It's the story about a female vampire and her child who crosses over into the Hollows in order to lure a man to become her husband. Interesting story but I would have liked to perhaps seen a longer version of this story. Overall B-9. Temson Estates is a short story that is about a man who inherits a forest and learns a few things about his own heritage. Probably the weakest story in this particular anthology. I would have liked to see more about the dryads and his connection to the land. Overall C10. Spider Silk is another novella length story that brings Puck from A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream into the storyline. It's the story of generations of women who have been targeted by Puck to run and dance with him forever. This story abruptly ended without much fanfare or conclusion to the story. Things just didn't add up when you tally everything that happens. Overall C11. Grace is a longer length Novella and the last story of the book. I actually enjoyed this because it was non stop action. Grace and her partner collect kids for the Strand. The kids they collect have abilities to manipulate energy and therefore are considered dangerous until they can be trained properly. I loved the relationship between Grace and her dog Hoc. There is a story left on the table between Grace and Jason which I would like to see explored more. Overall B+ *ARC recvd from Edelweiss on 07/04/2012* Expected publication: October 12th 2012 by Harper Voyager

  • Fangs for the Fantasy
    2018-12-15 01:53

    The first half of this book contains a series of short stories set in the Hollows world. And I think they do some excellent jobs as short stories – filling in the gaps of the character’s development. They tell the story of things we know happened in their past that we’ve heard about, that has often been mentioned, but which we haven’t actually seen. Because we’ve read the Hollow’s series we know that they are pivotal moments in the character’s past and really add to what makes them the characters they are and what motivates them.So we see Rachel when she first summoned Pierce. Her struggle in still recovering from her illness and the constant battles against fatigue which, in turn, drive her to prove she is as strong and physically capable of those around her. Her resistance to a quiet “academic” life as, in some way, giving in to that weakness. It also really characterises and adds depth to her relationship with her brother.We see Ivy first framing Arthur, her supervisor which certainly becomes a major element in later books as well as her interviewing Mia the Banshee for the first time. I think this story is excellent not just for showing us two iconic events in the Hollows series, but also for displaying vampire culture at its most blatant. I don’t think we learn over much about Ivy, certainly not beyond what we already do – the broken, damaged person that Piscary abused and the problems that left her with – but it did really show how much such abuse fits into the vampire world and how it is an expected part of vampire politics and, through that, the IS. The expectation that a rising living vampire has an obligation to give up their blood and their bodies, and how harmful this exploitation and abuse can be to their psyches.The stories I thought were most revealing were both looking through Jenks’s eyes – just seeing things from the point of view of the Pixie, their culture, their size, their power and seeing through Trent’s eyes as he claims his daughter back. After so long with him being the cold hard manipulator, the almost antagonist, it’s such a change to actually see who he is, his motivations, his beliefs, his worries – and through them to gain an insight into Elven culture, perhaps the Inderlander species we’ve seen the least of. The same applies to seeing Ceri first becoming Al’s familiar – these were the 3 stories that shed more light into corners of Inderland we hadn’t seen very much.At the same time, if you have read the Hollow’s series, this book won’t add anything. Everything in these books has been referred to or inferred to some degree in the main plot line. The extra information added does nicely flesh things out and let us see their pasts rather than merely hear it reported or remembered; but it adds nothing new, nor, particularly, does it develop the characters since we know this about them. It is still nice to see these moments we know defined their lives, nice to hear it from their own mindsets and especially nice to step outside of Rachel’s POV and see what the characters around her think – gaining gems like Ivy’s respect for witch magic or Rachel’s determination to overcome her physical weakness and definitely Jenk’s pixy-eye view.It’s also worth noting for people who have bought anthologies that these short stories appear in different anthologies Kim Harrison has contributed to. Double check if you don’t want to buy the same story twice.As these stories did occur in anthologies for readers unfamiliar with the series, there are moments when the lore has to be explained. Unlike some, I think this is really well done in most of the stories with minimal unnecessary exposition or clumsy info dumping. But Ivy’s story is still full of not just a lot of personal angst, but also a fair amount of info-dump to fill in the world.This book also contains a section “Beyond the Hollows” which are stories not set in the Hollows universe. And I, honestly, didn’t enjoy them very much.Read More

  • Jessica (a GREAT read)
    2018-11-22 06:34

    I received this e-ARC from the publishers via Edelweiss for review, I was in no way compensated for this review.Kim Harrison was one of my first authors I read when I made the cross from YA to adult--of course now I read both!--but her series was one I fell in love with right away! Rachel is amazing! Into the Woods is the collection of short stories and novellas Kim has written over the years and I've read about half of these. The ones I didn't read were ones that were in the mass market paperbacks of her books and of course all the new stuff!The Bespelled was the story of how Ceri came to be with Al and why the blue butterfly tends to be around him as well. It was a pretty short read. We see Ceri as she was just before she was going to be married. She was summoning demons and she summoned Al. There is definitely something going on between the two at the time. It was most refreshing and fun to be in Al's p.o.v. though! The Bridges of Eden Park was a story that obviously takes place before A Few Demons More. It was sad, just in the fact that I knew Kisten wasn't going to be there for much longer for Rachel. Yet he is endearing! He obviously cares for Rachel and she for him. Here we get to meet his sister and her son, who are trying to run from "the father" of her child because he is an a-hole. Although the worst part is when Rachel and the vampires are cornered by the bad guys on a the bridge over water. Rachel can't cast spells when too close to water!Then there was Million Dollar Baby! Yay for Trent's story! I liked seeing this side of him. I wasn't too fond of him in the beginning, but he has grown on me. And in this story we do see a whole other side to him. The fact that Jenks is there too is just the icing on the cake! Trent and Jenks will have to work together in order to get his baby back!Kim's new stories were pretty interesting too. I was curious to see what she would write outside the Hallows and I wasn't disappointed! Pet Shop Boys had creatures that were both vampire and fae like. With a female one intent on bringing a human male home with her so she doesn't have to be alone! That one had an interesting end!Temson Estates was rather quick and we get to see the somewhat classic Nymph as they try to save their forest from being torn down by showing the man the way of things and opening up a whole new world to him.Spider Silk was far more intriguing in that it was sort of dark and eerie! This Nymph type character is male and was once trapped in the tree by the grandmother when she was young. Now her daughter, a grown woman with her own children is who he has his eyes on! The daughter must do what she can to protect her children and mother from this creature, but she first has to fight his allure! And boy, that ending was awesome! Really leaves you reeling!The last one, Grace's Fall was interesting. It kind of has a futuristic feel to it. The people have powers and there's a whole government structure set up to keep them in line. It was probably a little more confusing for me to take it all in. It was still interesting, but not necessarily one of my favorites from the new collection.Overall this was a fabulous compilation of novellas and stories from Kim Harrison! You get the Hollows and some new stuff that she had stashed away in her closet! This is definitely a must read for all Kim Harrison fans! If you've wanted to read her short stories and novellas this really is the perfect read to have and it's all wrapped in one! And to entice the fans who've read it all there is the new story featuring Trent and her previous never been published stories!Overall rating 4.5/5 starsInto the Woods releases October 12, 2012