As soon as I caught sight of this one on the NetGalley catwalk, I knew I had to have it. Like many fantasy fans, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed The Hollows series – see my review of Every Which Way But Dead – where in each book Harrison invariably alludes to the game-changing catastrophe that brought the Interlanders out from the shadows. It is now a delight to have that keynote time actually charted in this entertaining read.
Kim Harrison returns to her beloved Hollows series with The Turn, the official prequel to the series that will introduce fans and readers to a whole new side of Rachel Morgan’s world as they’ve never seen it before! Can science save us when all else fails?
I reserve the right to abbreviate book blurbs as I see fit, as far too many toss one spoiler in after another. But I’m not even giving you the beginning of the this one, as it immediately lurches into Spoiler territory – unnecessary as I’m sure there are plenty of folks out there who have never read Kim Harrison and this is an excellent starting point. So long as you haven’t already been told half the story, already.
We are in the viewpoint of Trisk, a female dark elf and brilliant geneticist whose outstanding work is consistently passed over due to her gender – and her swarthy looks and lack of breeding. Elves are supposed to be blue-eyed, pale-skinned and blonde, like Kal, the spoilt, entitled jerk who made Trisk’s life at school a complete misery. Given that he, too, has gone on to study genetics, he continues to blight her life. And then they go their separate ways – until she makes a major breakthrough in a relatively small, human lab. Could this save the elves from the genetic damage inflicted by demonkind?
I loved this one. Harrison excels at writing nuanced, driven characters who frequently make disastrous mistakes. The worldbuilding is brilliant and the supporting cast every bit as charismatic – for Harrison fans, half the fun of this book is seeing familiar characters pop up at the start of their journey – or their ancestors. I loved Orchid, the gutsy pixy, desperately looking for a buck and refusing to believe that she is the last of her kind and seeing how the imperturbable Quen was before he got to be that way. While vampires regularly appear in urban fantasy reads, few writers manage to evoke the sheer terror and unpredictability of this creepy species the way Harrison does. As for Kal – I keep banging on about how important it is that we have a clear insight as to why the antagonist behaves the way he does and this is a masterclass in how to write one. He has been gifted with so much, but he knows only too well that what he lacks is that touch of brilliance Trisk brings to her work.
The way this book leads up to the disaster that overtakes the world and what happens next is masterfully handled. I very much hope that Harrison will be writing another in this series. I loved this one and it comes highly recommended.
I’ve cut to the chase with your review of this one because I have it to read – but 10/10 is very encouraging.
I really loved this one – I’d forgotten just how good she is.
I love her books and this is soon to be in my hands! It’s great that it’s a full length story too.
If you’re a fan of her writing, I hope you enjoy this one as much as I did.
I’m glad to know you enjoyed this book. I’ve read the first two books in the Hollows series but then I never came back to it for some reason. Maybe I’ll give it another go some day. 🙂
To be honest – I’d forgotten how good she is.
I had mixed feelings about the series. I enjoyed reading them (fun, leisure read), but at some point the story/its structure began to feel repetitive to me and once I stopped reading, there wasn’t enough momentum to pull me back. Who knows, maybe I’ll get back to it?
Yes – I’ll agree that there was a point when she seemed to be cycling over the same story arcs. But this one is a completely different kettle of fish:).
Cycling is not necessary a bad thing. You know, like ordering a pizza from your favorite restaurant: you know exactly what you’ll get and you’re going to enjoy it. 🙂
Of course! I wasn’t thinking of bikes – I don’t suppose you have the same density of traffic we have here. You need to have nerves of steel to cycle on our roads!