It’s been a while since I listened to a book in The Hollows series by Kim Harrison. I’ve listened to them all, but the last book came out back in February. Overall, The Hollows is definitely one of the better “like Dresden Files, but from a female perspective” book series out there. Unfortunately, that’s not saying much. This genre is littered with books like this, and while Kim Harrison is one of the better female Urban Fantasy authors, I can’t say I’m anticipating the next book quite as much as I used to.
A part of it is that I’m male, and these books were most definitely not written for men. The romances are idyllic in a way that they’re frustrating to an average male reader. The dude is either obscenely rich, literally time traveled from the “age of chivalry” (which never actually existed), or his personality is just perfect in every other respect. She never has a boyfriend (why does she need one in the first place?) that an average male reader might identify with in any way. No, strike that. The first boyfriend in the series was a perfectly good character for male readers to identify with (arguably the only one in the whole series). Unfortunately, he gets retconned halfway through the series into being an asshole retroactively… Honestly, I could rant about that ad nauseam. On top of that, the sex scenes (which the author has started including in every book) are completely pointless in every respect. They neither propel the plot, nor provide anything of slightest interest to the reader in any other way (and it’s not just the audiobook issue; half the time, I literally don’t know what these people are physically doing in these scenes). Many of these problems get worse as the series goes along. In fact, most of these problems didn’t exist early on; they’ve only recently started to overwhelm the good parts of the story.
And while I can rant about my problems with this series, I’m still going to get the next book. I’m as frustrated as I am because I actually care about these books. The story, apart from the repellant romance stuff, is actually really good. It’s clear the author had an idea of where she was going with it from the beginning, and I still want to know what happens next. I suppose I’d like the series more if Kim Harrison took a lesson from Jennifer Estep: plot before romance. I thought The Hollows was like that earlier in the series, and I hope she gets back to it.