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Blood Work by Kim Harrison

1/07/2011. Contributed by Sarah Bruch

Buy Blood Work: An Original Hollows Graphic Novel in the USA - or Buy Blood Work: An Original Hollows Graphic Novel in the UK

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Blood Work: An Original Hollows Graphic Novel by Kim Harrison. pub: Del Rey/Ballantine Books. 169 page hardback graphic novel. Price: $23.00 (US), $25.95 (CAN). ISBN: 978-0-345-52101-9.

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This is my first time reviewing a graphic novel and I'm not sure that I've chosen a very good example. Coincidentally, this is Kim Harrison's first foray into the graphic novel arena, which might explain why I found it to be a mediocre example of the craft at best. Harrison's other books 'Dead Witch Walking', 'The Good The Bad And The Undead', 'Every Witch Way But Dead', 'A Fistful Of Charms', 'For A Few Demons More', 'The Outlaw Demon Wails' (UK name 'Where Demons Dare'), 'White Witch Black Curse', 'Black Magic Sanction', 'Pale Demon' and soon to be published ‘A Perfect Blood’ are all, as far as I've read them, fantastic. There are also a handful of short stories based in the same world. However, as I've said, this graphic novel turned out to be a bit of a letdown.

The basic story here is that Ivy Tamwood and Rachel Morgan, two characters in Kim Harrison's traditional novels, have just met and have been put to work together on some cases for the IS (Inderlander Security). Ivy is a living vampire and Rachel is a witch, this means they're not really meant to get on together. Ivy and Rachel live in an alternate version of our world where supernatural beings, Inderlanders, live side-by-side with humans. During this novel, things are seen through Ivy's viewpoint, which is a change from the other novels in this series which are all told from Rachel's viewpoint.

Those of you who have read the other Kim Harrison novels will realise that this graphic novel is a prequel, although randomly I would say it's necessary to have read the other books first. The reason for this is that it really helps to know the characters before reading this graphic novel because they are not really explained very well in this new format. In fact, I found myself getting a little confused during certain scenes as to what is actually going on and I already know a lot of background to the characters.

I'm not sure if my real problems are to do with the fact that the first galley I got my hands on was in black and white, although if it is a good graphic novel then lack of colour should really make no difference. The colour did improve it, but still I found it to be clunky and a little amateurish. Harrison needs to do a lot more work on this method of writing if she wants to sell any more ‘Hollows’ graphic novels. I was also not sure that the way the characters are drawn in this graphic novel are actually how I see them when reading the traditional books. I suppose this is one of those problems that often occur when a book is made into a film, only this is a graphic novel instead.

I would say that it’s worth getting this is you’re already a fan, purely so you’re not missing any part of the story. However, I would not say that this is a good introduction to the series if you’re new to Harrison’s work.

Sarah Bruch

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