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Blood Work: An Original Hollows Graphic Novel    by Kim Harrison, Pedro Maia & Gemma Magno order for
Blood Work
by Kim Harrison
Order:  USA  Can
Del Rey, 2011 (2011)

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* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Kim Harrison is the author of the popular Hollows urban fantasy series. Now in Blood Work, she and illustrators Pedro Maia and Gemma Magno show how vampire Ivy and witch Rachel became partners.

Not having read the Hollows series, I came to this graphic novel fresh. It works fairly well on its own, though Hollows fans would certainly understand the background better. In her Introduction to this, her first graphic novel, Kim Harrison tells us that she 'had a fabulous time learning a new way to tell a story' - she did a fine job as did the exceptional graphic artists (Pedro Maia and Gemma Magno) who worked with her.

The story is set in a post-apocalyptic Cincinnati after a deadly virus (The Turn) struck humanity. Ivy works for Inderland Security, an organization that polices non-humans (the human-run FIB try to keep up). Previously in homicide, Ivy has been demoted (after framing her last supervisor for murder) to street detail under ghoul Denon. He partners her with intern Rachel. Ivy is unenthusiastic about babysitting newbie Rachel, but the latter soon shows her stuff.

Assigned to deal with bridge trolls, they find a were corpse that appears to be a vamp hit. But Rachel digs and finds out that a black witch coven did it, needing were blood. There are some good fight scenes (with plenty of high kicks) before they bring the coven's suppliers in. All the while Ivy struggles with her blood lust, her resentment of Piscary, and attraction to Rachel - and they both have problems with Denon.

Blood Work ends with many deliberately loose threads and hints of a much larger conspiracy. Fortunately a conversation with the author at the back of the book reveals that a sequel is well underway.

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