I had no idea of what to expect when it came to a world book. I’d surely never read one before, so I was anticipating something fairly close to a textbook, which generally = boring. This was certainly information rich, but boring is was not. In fact, it’s fantastic.
The theme is genius. It kicks off with the Hollows humor we all know and love, instantly drawing you in. It’s basically told from the POV of an innocent bystander of one of Rachel’s spells gone hilariously wrong in her early days as an I.S. Intern. He takes his grudge to the next level and spends time spying and collecting information on our favorite itchy witch and the supporting Hollows characters. He works for the local Inderlander paper and his goal is to expose Rachel. He’s not having an easy time of it which makes things all the more entertaining, so in turn this is how we learn about everything from species facts, character profiles, maps, magic spells, demon curses, recipes, music lyrics and more.
Normally when I crack open a Hollows book I want a new story, but reading about the Hollows world is quite fascinating and surprisingly enough while I already knew some of the facts, I did learn a couple of new things when it came to character insights and spells. It repeats some lines a couple of times depending on the sections, but I didn’t find it annoying. You can tell Harrison really did her homework. She references the smallest things from the previous novels, even Rachel and Ivy’s mistakenly suggestive Yellow Page ad from Book 3. I also liked the clarification of the different magic types between ley line, earth, and demon magic. I wish there was a little more explanation about “wild” magic that the elves typically use, but that didn’t stop my enjoyment one bit.
You can skim or skip sections if you want, or you can take your time and truly absorb the information. It’s definitely an adjustment to have that option for The Hollows.
You pick it up and you really don’t want to put it down. The layout and graphics are very nice to look at which helps a lot. Reluctantly, I couldn’t read it in one sitting being the busy bee that I am, but it was on my mind until I could get back to finishing it. Heck, I want to read it TWICE and you will NEVER hear me say that about a text book!
If you’re an ebook reader, don’t despair. It’s not available in ebook format due to numerous graphics and font variations. I cannot imagine this looking remotely appealing on my kindle, or even on a color e-reader. It’s a reference text and I always find reading those on an ereader to be an awful experience because I often flip back and forth between pages; ebooks just don’t hold up to that for me.
So yes, I found this to be a satisfying read and it no doubt sets the bar extremely high for any other world books I come across. This is highly recommended if you’re a fan of The Hollows, though you will want to be caught up through Pale Demon because there are major spoilers.