Blood Work: An Original Hollows Graphic Novel
by Kim Harrison
Cover Artist: Pedro Maia and Gemma Magno
Review by Gayle Surrette
Del Rey Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9780345521019
Date: 12 July 2011 List Price $23.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
This is the tale of Ivy and Rachel's first job, when they were partnered at Inderland Security. It takes place before the events of the first novel, Dead Witch Walking. Ivy believes she's been partnered with a witch as punishment. On the other hand, Rachel is just happy to be working but she, as usual, has problems following the rules. The miscommunication and assumptions Ivy makes about Rachel and her abilities drives most of the plot and it's such a natural slew of miscues for Ivy to make that it doesn't feel as if it's plot, but just personality traits clashing. This is Ivy and Rachel before all the negotiation, accommodation, and adaption that has occurred over many novels of the series.
This is a graphic novel, so naturally Ivy, Rachel, Piscary, Kisten, and Denon among others are part of the story and thus depicted for the readers. When I read I often have the characters in mind and the story unfolds much like a film. I'm always a bit trepidatious picking up a graphic novel that has someone else's vision of the characters – even if it is blessed by the author – because they often don't match my imaginings of the characters. In this case, I didn't have that problem because my vision and the author and artists matched in most instances, and I quickly got used to the differences. Other readers may find that the match is off, but the book also includes a "Conversation with the Author", some initial characters sketches, and character descriptions for those sketches.
The words and images tell the story and in Blood Work the two come together to make a seamless story that will pull you in and keep you there to the last page. The artwork is outstanding. Since I read an advanced review copy, all the artwork was in black, white, and shades in between. The finished work will have color – according to the material that came with the book – making the artwork and even more powerful partner in telling the story.
The story will pull you in and keep you riveted to your seats, especially if you've read the novels because you know just how much trouble Ivy and Rachel can get into. Reader's also get a view of the relationship Ivy had with Kisten and the power Piscary has over Ivy and all she does. For some reason this volume helps to make Ivy seem more vulnerable than she has in the novels.