Only the most recent posts pop up on the HOME page. For searchable lists of titles/series reviewed on this Blog, click on one of the Page Tabs above. On each Page, click on the series name to go directly to my review.

AUTHOR SEARCH lists all authors reviewed on this Blog. CREATURE SEARCH groups all of the titles/series by their creature types. The RATINGS page explains the violence, sensuality, and humor (V-S-H) ratings codes found at the beginning of each Blog review and groups all titles/series by their Ratings. The PLOT TYPES page explains the SMR-UF-CH-HIS codes found at the beginning of each Blog review and groups all titles/series by their plot types. On this Blog, when you see a title, an author's name, or a word or phrase in pink type, this is a link. Just click on the pink to go to more information about that topic.

Friday, July 22, 2011


Authors:  Kim Harrison
Plot Type:  UF
Ratings:  V4; S2; H2
Publisher and Titles:  Delrey 
      Blood Work  (7/2011)
      Blood Crime (10/2012) 

     This post was revised and updated on 11/29/12 to include the second of the HOLLOWS graphic novels, Blood Crime. That review appears first, followed by an overview of the series and a review of book 1:

     The HOLLOWS graphic novels are told from Ivy's point of view and they are set in the months before the regular series begins. Blood Work tells the story of the first uneasy meeting between Ivy and Rachel and follows the two on their first case together. Blood Crime deals with Ivy's growing attraction to Rachel and her delectable blood, an attraction that Ivy is trying desperately to ignore

     Click HERE to read my critique of the entire HOLLOWS series.  Click HERE if you'd like to compare the artwork in the graphic novels to examples of Rachel Morgan fan art.      

          BOOK 2:  Blood Crime          
     As the story begins, Ivy is struggling on two fronts: Although the diabolical Piscary (Ivy's master vampire) continues trying to seduce her, she is defiantly refusing his advances. And then there's the allure of Rachel's blood, which calls to Ivy every time they are together. If Ivy takes Rachel's blood, though, she would be falling into Piscary's trap. As Ivy says, "Rachel was a living, breathing temptation handpicked by his attempt to break my blood fast and lure me back to his bed."

     The plot involves two separate assassins, one who is after Ivy and one who has targeted Rachel. At first, the women don't realize that the threat against them is twofold, and Ivy suspects that Piscary is trying to kill Rachel to get her out of the way. As the attacks escalate, Ivy and Rachel must track down the perpatrators and figure out just what's going on.

     For readers of the regular HOLLOWS series, this is an interesting look into Ivy's mind as she does her best to suppress her blood lust for Rachel. We saw this play out from Rachel's point of view in the early books of the regular series, but having an opportunity to see into Ivy's mixed-up mind is fascinating, particularly her complicated relationship with Piscary.

     Kisten plays a tiny part in the story, but only as a one-dimensional character on the fringes of the action. I'm still not happy with Kisten's artwork. In the books, he is portrayed as a good-looking, sexy vampire, but here, his appearance is commonplace and not handsome or sexy at all.

     The artwork is generally the same as in the previous book. The grey-white figures that shadow Piscary and Ivy add great effect as they act out the mental and emotional state of each character. In the analysis pages at the end of the book, there's a nice section that places a scene between Ivy and Piscary alongside Harrison's script for that scene. Harrison includes specific artwork instructions for the shadows as they act out Piscary's clawing at Ivy's soul and Ivy's near submission to Piscary's emotional attack. A page from Blood Work that shows Ivy's emotional shadow is included at the very end of this post.

     I always get to the end of a graphic novel and want moremore story, more character development, more complicationsbut I realize that graphic novels by their very nature must be brief and to the point. This one does a nice job of interweaving the two assassination plots, introducing a surprisingly large number of characters, and providing a satisfying and relatively unpredictable resolution to both sets of conflicts. 

    As in book 1, this book includes behind-the-scenes sections at the end of the book: "About the Creators"; "Artist's Sketchbook"; and "From Script to Art." Here is the full crew of graphic artists for the book:

     Illustrations: Gemma Magno
     Colors and Lettering: Mae Hao
     Design: Zach Matheny

          BOOK 1:  Blood Work          
First, the story: This is a prequel novella that tells the story of Rachel and Ivy's first meeting from Ivy's point of view. It's nice to have Ivy back in the main story; she has been relegated to the background in recent books. As the story opens, Denon (the big jerk who is Ivy's boss at Inderland Security—aka IS) introduces vampire Ivy to her new partner, Rachel Morgan, a young earth witch. At first, Ivy is in full anti-Rachel mode, pegging Rachel as an ineffectual hindrance who will just slow Ivy down. Soon enough, though, Ivy becomes intrigued by Rachel's enthusiasm and her witchy powers—and drawn to her blood. The two make baby steps toward bonding as they track down some black witches who are draining werewolves for their powerful blood. All the way through the story, we see a man standing on the edge of several scenes, just watching. And on the very last page (in the Epilogue), we finally see that man reporting back to a partially drawn Trent (we see just his arm and his voice bubbles). Even way back then Trent was drawn to Rachel in a big way. For me, this back story on the Rachel-Ivy relationship is quite interesting, especially in light of their adventures in the print books. The last four pages of the book are given over to a Q&A session with Harrison about the creative process of putting this book together.           

What's good about the story:        
     * Having Ivy tell the story
     * Seeing Kisten again (Have you missed him as much as I have?)     

What's not so good about the story: 
     * The brevity—there's not much meat to it

Now, the artwork:
Naturally enough, some of the characters don't look like the mental images I have created for myself—particularly Kisten. (I'm still broken hearted about his demise.) But that is always going to be true of a graphic novel based on a well-loved set of print characters. An interesting section at the end of the book (entitled "Artist's Sketchbook") shows Maia's initial sketches alongside Harrison's comments and corrections. Also included are Harrison's descriptions of all of the main characters: Rachel, Ivy, Kisten, Piscary, and Denon.

What's good about the artwork:

     * Rachel (fairly close to my own mental image—except that her hair should be redder)
     * Ivy "pulling an aura, or shadow" (ghostly, but full of energy) (See figure at right.)
     * Piscary (he looks suitably fascinating, sexy, and lethal—why doesn't Kisten look this good?)

What's not so good about the artwork:
    * Kisten (One reviewer on said—and I agree—that he looks like the kid who mows my lawn.)

Here is the full crew of graphic artists for the book:
     Pencillers: Pedro Maia, Gemma Magno
     Inkers: Eman Casallos, Jan Michael T. Aldeguer, Jezreel Rojales
     Colorists: P. C. Siqueira, Mae Hao

No comments:

Post a Comment