BOOK REVIEW: 'Blood Work' Graphic Novel: When Ivy Meets Rachel, Sparks Fly in All Directions

Reviewed by David M. Kinchen

BOOK REVIEW: 'Blood Work' Graphic Novel: When Ivy Meets Rachel, Sparks Fly in All Directions

Kim Harrison may not be as instantly recognizable as Charlaine Harris, whose bestselling Sookie Stackhouse vampire and werecreature novels have been translated to television in the hit HBO series "True Blood," but New York Times bestseller Harrison has plenty of fans for her Hollows books,  which combine fantasy and alternate history and are set in Cincinnati, OH.

Her first graphic novel, "Blood Work" (Del Rey, 177 pages, illustrated by Pedro Maia and Gemma Magno, $23.00) features Ivy Tamworth and Rachel Morgan, both familiar to readers of  The Hollows series -- also called the Rachel Morgan series. She's the author of   "Pale Demon" and "Black Magic Sanction," among many other works. 

"Blood Work" tells the story of the epic meeting of Ivy Tamworth, a living vampire police officer, and Rachel Morgan, an earth witch. The meeting isn't exactly love at first sight. Sparks fly as  Ivy and  Rachel slowly learn what it meant to be partners.   "Blood Work," an original full-color graphic novel,  is sure to please those who want to see what Rachel and Ivy look like --at least as envisioned by Harrison and executed by the illustrators -- and who don't want to spend too much time with words, words, words.   
Kim Harrison
Kim Harrison

Sexy (naturally), tough-as-nails Inderland Security (I.S.) detective Ivy Tamwood has been demoted from homicide down to lowly street-crime detail. As if rousting trolls and policing pixies instead of catching killers wasn’t bad enough, she’s also been saddled with Rachel, a newbie partner who’s an earth witch. It’s enough to make any living vampire bare her fangs. She's stunned to find that Rachel drives a Chevrolet El Camino truck that Ivy likens to a "big chocolate bar." But when a coven of murderous witches begins preying on werewolves, Rachel Morgan quickly proves she’s a good witch who knows how to be a badass.

Together, Ivy and Rachel hit the mean streets to deal swift justice to the evil element among Cincinnati’s supernatural set. But there’s more to their partnership than they realize—and more blood and black magic in their future than they bargained for.

The Hollows is a series of mystery novels in an urban fantasy alternate history setting by Kim Harrison that take place primarily in the city of Cincinnati. The city itself is mostly separated in two parts: The main part of the town (usually called downtown) and the enclave, nicknamed "The Hollows",  on the opposite side of the Ohio River (which would in our universe put it in Covington and Newport, Kentucky).  Inderlanders in Cincinnati live in "The Hollows", although exceptions exist on both sides.

The series currently consists of nine novels and six short stories. Novels in the series are told in the first-person point-of-view of Rachel Morgan, a detective witch who works with local law enforcement agencies and faces threats both mundane and supernatural in origin. The series also focuses on Rachel's relationships with her partners, a living vampire and a pixy, as well as her personal relationships with males of different species.

 Apart from the first book of the series, all of the titles allude to Clint Eastwood films, including several of his most famous westerns. Dead Witch Walking: "Dead man walking" is the traditional phrase called as a condemned prisoner is led onto Death Row. The title may also allude to the 1995 film of that name, or the book upon which that film was based. The Good, the Bad, and the Undead  alludes to 1966's The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, the third film in the Dollars trilogy. Every Which Way But Dead alludes to 1978's Every Which Way but Loose. A Fistful of Charms  alludes to 1964's A Fistful of Dollars, the first installment in the Dollars trilogy. For a Few Demons More alludes to the second installment in the Dollars trilogy, 1965's For a Few Dollars More. The Outlaw Demon Wails  alludes to the 1976 film The Outlaw Josey Wales. (In the British series of books, this has been renamed "Where Demons Dare". White Witch, Black Curse alludes to the 1990 film White Hunter Black Heart. Black Magic Sanction alludes to the 1975 film The Eiger Sanction. Pale Demon  alludes to the 1985 film Pale Rider, an allusion in itself to the fourth Horseman from the Christian Book of Revelation, a representation of death. A Perfect Blood  alludes to the 1993 film A Perfect World.

If you're into fantasy and/or alternate history, "Blood Work" should be right up your dark, dangerous greater Cincinnati alley.

About the Author and Illustrators

Kim Harrison, born in 1966, and raised in Michigan, is a 
nom de plume of American author Dawn Cook. Under the name of Harrison, she is best known for her Rachel Morgan urban fantasy series set in an alternate history where a worldwide pandemic caused by genetically modified tomatoes led to the death of a large portion of the world's human population. Under the name of Dawn Cook, she is best known for her Decoy Princess and Truth series, published in the first few years of the 21st century.  After receiving a bachelor of science degree, she moved to South Carolina with her husband and two boys, recently returning north to escape the heat. In addition to writing the Hollows books, she is the author of the bestselling Madison Avery young-adult series. Harrison is a member of both the Romance Writers of America and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. When not at her desk, she is likely digging in her yard or remodeling her Victorian home. Her website:

Pedro Maia recently finished college with a degree in art. 
Blood Work is one of his first full-length projects. He lives in Rio de Janiero, Brazil.
Gemma Magno was inspired to draw by anime and manga, and received a Presidential Award after winning several art competitions. She lives in the Phillipines.

Publisher's website: