The Hollows Insider: New fiction, facts, maps, murders, and more in the world of Rachel Morgan
by Kim Harrison
Review by Gayle Surrette
Harper Voyager Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9780061974335
Date: 05 November 2011 List Price $25.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
The Hollows Insider is filled with information about the Hollows, spell casting, types of magical races and their characteristics, and lots more. Harrison has wrapped this material in a story told by Devin Crossman.
Devin Crossman writes a column for the Hollows Gazette, a local newspaper. He's been mentioned here and there throughout the novels. During a run, a spell misfired and Devin's hair fell out. He began to try to get information on Rachel Morgan, to get her reprimanded, preferably punished, or jailed for injuring a bystander -- him. Over time it turned into a vendetta for him. He comes to believe that she's behind every negative event in Cincinnati.
The story is told via Devin's journal entries, his newspaper columns, requests for reimbursement, photocopied documents, species profiles, and other odds and ends. Devin is human and thus an outsider with no connections within I.S. or F.I.B.. He gathers lots of information, but he doesn't have the context for most of it. There are also internal memos from another source -- Trent Kalamack -- that show that Trent is keeping an eye on Devin for his own reasons.
If you are a fan of the novels, you'll see information on some of the incidents that Rachel, Ivy, and Jenks were involved in. Devin only sees the damage done, but not the why and the background that led to the incidents. So, he interprets the data he has through the filter of his dislike and disdain for Rachel. Meanwhile, the reader of the series novels will be able to recognize these events and evaluate the difference between Rachel's view and Devin's.
The book is a wonderful reference on the Hollows. The story highlights how the same events can be seen differently depending on the person looking at it. Facts are facts but the person dealing with those facts may interpret them in ways that align with their own preconceived notions -- putting a new spin on them.
Overall, a great book for those who have enjoyed the series. Don't miss it.