22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A banshee - it's a scream!
If you're reading 'White Witch, Black Curse', chances are you're already a confirmed fan of Kim Harrison's 'Hollows' series, featuring witch and professional bounty hunter, Rachel Morgan. If you're not, and have just come across the book by chance, I'd advise you to put it aside until you've read the preceding six volumes, as the book contains so many references to...
Published on 3 May 2009 by T. McAuley
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Books - Mediocre Graphic Novel
I will start this review by saying that I love Kim Harrison's series The Hollows. They were the first true Urban Fantasy series I collected, and it has been my recommendation to many a person wanting to try out this genre.
However, and as much of a Fangirl I am to this author and her work (and the main character of the Graphic Novel, Ivy Tamwood), I have to...
Published on 31 July 2011 by Ana C. Silva
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A banshee - it's a scream!,
This review is from: White Witch, Black Curse (Hollows) (Hardcover)If you're reading 'White Witch, Black Curse', chances are you're already a confirmed fan of Kim Harrison's 'Hollows' series, featuring witch and professional bounty hunter, Rachel Morgan. If you're not, and have just come across the book by chance, I'd advise you to put it aside until you've read the preceding six volumes, as the book contains so many references to previous events that you'll find it quite hard going without knowing the back story.
For Rachel fans, all the familiar faces are back: Ivy, still struggling with her vampiric nature; Jenks, four inches of potty-mouthed heroism; Al, always out to exploit the slightest weakness; and Trent, although he's restricted to a single, minor appearance. Added to them, there's able support from more minor characters like Glen, no longer such a secret tomato addict; Skimmer, not surprisingly full of hate and rage; and Rachel's mother, finally moving on.
With such a cast of characters, and a weight of previous events, perhaps it's not surprising that Rachel's kept as busy as ever: this time around, she has to contend with hunting down a Banshee - an aura and soul-sucking killer in the Hollows' universe; continuing to try and recover her memory and find the murderer of her vampire lover, Kisten; and dealing with demon Al, who's abducted Pierce, a ghost and former acquaintance of Rachel's from her teenage years. All of these threads are neatly resolved by the end of the book - in some cases perhaps a little too neatly: a Banshee attack conveniently prevents Rachel from pursuing Al into the Ever-After, after Pierce's abduction, and the final showdown, again conveniently, takes place somewhere that triggers her recollections of Kisten's murder. One gets the feeling that, after the exceptional revelations of 'The Outlaw Demon Wails', Harrison wants to take a breath, so to speak, and clear up remaining loose ends, all the better to move the overall Hollows arc forward. And, there are certainly enough new elements introduced to rouse readers' curiosity: ranging from Pierce - a devious character who enjoys playing with demons, but who seems to push all Rachel's buttons; intriguing hints in the quest for Ivy to keep her soul after becoming undead; and Trent's mysterious gift - a set up for the next book, if ever there was one.
So, is 'White Witch, Black Curse' worth the wait and the read? There's certainly plenty to enjoy: the dialogue is as snappy as ever, the action is well-described, and we do finally get to find out who killed Kisten. If Trent hardly figures, and Al is less of a presence than he was in the last book, well, they can't dominate every one of Rachel's adventures. I certainly found it difficult to put down, and will be keeping it on my shelf to re-read while waiting for the next one. My main gripes would be that, as I said above, some events seemed a little too convenient, and we didn't discover anything new about the nature of the Ever-After, and how Rachel's lessons as Al's student are going. I can only hope that's something lined up for the future. As Rachel says at the end of the book, `I love my life,' and all I can say, is that I love reading about it, and will continue to do so.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Books - Mediocre Graphic Novel,
This review is from: Blood Work: An Original Hollows Graphic Novel (Hardcover)I will start this review by saying that I love Kim Harrison's series The Hollows. They were the first true Urban Fantasy series I collected, and it has been my recommendation to many a person wanting to try out this genre.
However, and as much of a Fangirl I am to this author and her work (and the main character of the Graphic Novel, Ivy Tamwood), I have to outright admit there are some really serious issues with this Graphic Novel adaptation of the world of the Hollows. The author at least was gracious enough to not just wanting to transcribe her already written work into comic book form (Anita Blake and Harry Dresden, I'm looking at you!), something that seldom works right. Instead, she gifted us with a trip into the mind of Ivy (rather than the books' narrator, Rachel) and tells us just how the main duo of the series came to work together and know each other.
Storywise, this might have worked rather well for a novel, or a noveletta -- but in comic form, the most interesting aspects of the tale were subdued or understated. Ivy's feelings (read love) for Rachel happened incredibly abruptly, and even though Rachel here wasn't as incredibly annoying as Mercy Thompson in the "Homecoming" graphic novel (awful awful AWFUL!), she came across as random, whimsical, and annoyingly moralist. And somehow, Ivy seems to be amazingly grateful to have Rachel's abuse. I love the two characters and I adore Rachel, but I really didn't like her in this GN - in the books she's sassy, self assured and a little bit cheeky. Here? She's got mood swings that take her from cutesy to "RANTING BITCH IN YOUR FACE!".
Again, this tiny history behind the GN would be much more interesting if more properly developed but it just didn't work -- there was no emotional development, and the secondary plot (the murdered werewolf) seems crammed in to give the girls something to do that wasn't Ivy moping over Rachel and her relationship to Piscary. The secondary characters felt awkward -- crowbared even -- almost forced to be there, as if they had been contractually obligated to make an appearance to please the fans.
I can't really understand the goal of this Graphic Novel:
- If it was to give the fans a little treat, to show them a vignette of how their main duo came together, it fails because it lacks most of the elements that make the Hollows Series so much fun -- and the author's talented writing. Everything given here is a weak rehash of what we already knew from reading the books.
- If it was to actually complete a missing gap in The Hollows lore, and the author meant it as something actually useful, it, again fails, because she chose the wrong medium: she's clearly out of her depth, and the story itself would either need to be told in a bigger book, or by a more competent storyteller in this means, because -- really? I didn't learn anything interesting about the two that I didn't know already.
- If it was to draw in new people, give them a taste of the books and maybe get them to buy the series, it also fails, because there is very little information about the setting (the little there is is crammed into a few squares) -- and when you waste 3 whole pages just to describe Cincinnati, and then carry on the rest of the book as assuming that the reader already knows the setting fully well, then you really can't expect the new readers to be engaged, because they will have no reason to care about the characters. And with the story itself not being particularly good or memorable -- it becomes even harder to recommend this as a "stepping stone" for someone to get interested in the series.
One thing is painfully obvious -- Ms. Harrison is a delicious writer, but she can't write comics to save her life. As I said above, the first three pages are dedicated to Cincinnati alone -- something that would work fine in a novel, but not in a comic book. Then, suddenly, the GN rushes forward, and I kept getting the feeling I was running behind it, filling in bits here and there with my own knowledge of the Books. There is no pacing, no interest, no use of the medium itself to convey the story -- it seems as if Kim Harrison just wrote a story, and then told someone to write pictures for it. Unfortunately, with comics seen often as a "lesser medium", a lot of people believe that if you can write novels, you can write comics. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth and it takes a special training (and talent) to be able to pull off a good Graphic Novel.
Blood Works doesn't work neither as a comic or a novel, thus failing in both precepts of being a "Graphic Novel."
Now, the art.
Many people complained that the art was ghastly, subpar, didn't make the original characters any justice. I think it just shows that the artist is not very experienced -- and I can understand that for all her popularity, Ms. Harrison couldn't really afford to hire one of the real good and great comic book artists in the market (Ivy drawn by Adam Hughes.... le sigh!). I didn't like the art, but if the story had been good, I wouldn't have minded it. Curiously, one of the things that annoyed me most about the art wound up being the author's fault -- Ivy's excessive Asian looks irritated the hell out of me, because it went against the "hint of Asian" that claimed that Ivy had in the books. It was far too much -- and I blamed the artist, all the way through the GN, until I reached the "extras" section, where Kim Harrison shows her notes asking for the artist to redo Ivy, because she show the "hint of Asian" -- and listing Lucy Liu as a good reference.
Now, Lucy Liu is a beautiful woman. But she is VERY CLEARLY Asian. And Ivy is not supposed to be (at least judging from the books), and instead, she should just have an exotic look, topped off with a hint of Asian. It's small wonder quite a few complained about this unexpected feature of Ivy in the GN. Part of me wonders if it wasn't just to make Rachel look better by comparison, because she was quite prettily drawn.
I didn't really like the hairdo in Ivy (Ivy is highly sophisticated, and that ponytail didn't work well), but those are minor grievances.
Unfortunately, I'm forced to give this book a very low mark: the story is forgettable and unoriginal, the art is passable at best and mediocre at worst, and it seems, in the end, just a waste of paper and space for either fans or nenwcommers. This comes across more as a work of vanity (to have one's urban fantasy books turned into comics seems a recent trend as of late), and not to really achieve anything truly meaningful.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid edition to the series,
I enjoyed this book, but felt that there were certain elements of the plot that dragged on a little bit. The whole banshee story felt tacked on. I thought they were a cool addition to the Inderlanders that inhabit the series, but, since there has been no mention of banshees in any of the other books, this was definitely something that Harrison decided on only recently. I did find as well that the sucking of emotion was much like the sucking of blood from vampires, which means having two such predators in the books. I'm not sure how much mileage Harrison will get out of banshees in future books, but I'm sure we'll be seeing characters such as Holly and the Walker again.
I also didn't like the resolution of the Marshall character. Sure, Rachel is shunned but this guy is talked up as being Rachel's white knight and wanting to save her, so why does he bail? Probably because Pierce is now on the scene... Harrison does like to tidy up the previous chap before Rachel moves onto someone new.
Despite this, there were some lovely moments. Everything to do with the demon Al fascinates me and he is fast becoming one of my favourite literary bad guys. He has a fabulously childish, arrogant, mischievous character that lends itself to some brilliant dialogue and action scenes between him and Rachel. There was also a really spine-tingling moment where Rachel catches sight of him in the back of her car, and remembers that he IS a demon, no matter how he plays up his laissez faire English gentleman.
Jenks is another highlight. I just adore the way that Harrison has continued to bring him on as a character - bolshy, quick-witted, so fiercely loyal, and with such a smutty mouth! All of the Tinkerbell curses are both adorable and a mite disgusting!
Harrison has built the world of the Hollows extremely strongly, so that the reader now knows what the scent of burnt amber means, and understands the signals that can turn a vampire on.
I missed the Weres in this book and hope we will see them again in the next book to some extent - after all, Rachel still has a tattoo that needs doing!
Thumbs up from me overall, though - another solid addition to Harrison's now-long-running series.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still going strong but...,
4.0 out of 5 stars good read,
This review is from: White Witch, Black Curse (Kindle Edition)Good read kept me reading many a long night.
Hooked on the series next one ready to go!
What will happen next?
5.0 out of 5 stars More please,
This review is from: White Witch, Black Curse (Kindle Edition)As always Kim Harrison tells an excellent story with characters that intrigue and pull you in. Never left on the hook but always left wanting the next episode.
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as satisfying as the novels,
This review is from: Blood Work: An Original Hollows Graphic Novel (Hardcover)This is the first graphic novel I have ever read, so I have nothing to compare it to in terms of graphic novel quality. I chose to buy it because I am a massive fan of Kim Harrison's Hollows series and I wanted it for sake of completeness of my collection. I am reviewing this more as a fan of the Hollows than as a graphic novel critique.
I acknowldeged before I hit `buy' that the characters would more than likely not be portrayed as I imagined them from the novels - they never really are when transferred into any medium involving images, be it gaphic novel or movie - but I wasn't too upset by it. In fact, there were only two characters I immediately had to double take to work out who they were. The portrayals of Ivy, Denon, Quen and Piscary were brilliant, in fact, I was surprised at how quickly I recognised and accepted them. Kisten wasn't bad, but when I thought about it I couldn't say why he wasn't right so maybe it was just one of those things.
I wasn't keen on the visual portrayal of Rachel but I don't think that I was going to be happy with anything because I have such a solid picture of her in my head - in a way I'm glad that this novel preceeds the other books because Jenks and Trenton weren't involved and so I couldn't rage at how wrong they were!
As far as the storyline goes, it seemed a little thin on the ground compared to the traditional novels - I understand that the perametres are different with graphic novels but I know that they are perfectly capable of portraying deeper stories than this. It was a nice set-up of Ivy and Rachel's `get together' and showed their relationship begin to form along the dubious line of friendship, irritation and almost-romance that runs through the whole series.
Aside from that, the case of the mysterious werewolf deaths and black magic witch coven seemed a little consequential and glossed over - like it was only there because it really had to be, not because the characters really cared about it.
I think some of this distance was supposed to portray Ivy's emotional confusion and psychological issues as it is set when she is firmly one of Piscary's favoured pets, but it missed the mark slightly and felt cold and detached.
The thing I enjoyed most about Blood Work was the section at the back about how the characters had been developed by the artists based on Kim Harrison's descriptions and the interview section about how she chose which artists to work with. It was an interesting insight into what work goes into producing a Graphic Novel and I was fascinated.
5.0 out of 5 stars Another brilliant offering from Kim Harrison,
This review is from: White Witch, Black Curse (Kindle Edition)Gripping from start to finish, Kim Harrison take us on yet another story with everybody's favorite itchy witch, Rachel Morgan. Giving too much of the story away would be unfair but this is a must read for fans of the kick-ass heroine and her partners the vampy sidekick and foul mouthed pixie.
If you want to read this novel and haven't read any of the other six books; STOP. For me, it must read as a series in order to help you truly fall in love with the characters, feel their pain, and share in their happiness.
5.0 out of 5 stars Where's the rest of my book?,
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read,
This review is from: White Witch, Black Curse (Kindle Edition)I have read all the others in the hollows series they are really good. Make great holiday reads too. They can be read separately but I would recommend starting at book 1.
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White Witch, Black Curse by Kim Harrison