I’m a huge reader of well-written urban fantasy series, the ones that have strong heroines whose magical powers help them navigate their worlds that are almost like ours except the supernatural is real.
The Hollows series by Kim Harrison is a great example of that. The main character, Rachel, is a badass female witch who fights against elves, demons, and vampires, with her cool sidekick pixy and vampire bff Ivy. I was kind of sad when the Hollows series ended except it did seem like it was time. There is this thing that can happen in a long running series where the heroine can get too powerful and it just makes the later books of the series boring. I felt like Harrison ending the books where she did made sense.
That being said, I was super excited to see her return to the world of the Hollows in this book. The Turn is actually a prequel, taking place about a generation before the events of the other books. The world is a more “normal” place in that the vampires, werewolves, witches, and elves are living their lives not out in the open, but in hiding. The elves are working on doing genetic work because they have problems with reproduction, so they study in genetic fields, and do gene-splicing type work both in human corporations and secret-elf organizations. The main character, Trisk, is an elf who ends up getting a job at a human corporation and works on developing a tomato that can feed the world. Her hated rival, Kal, goes to her company supposedly to verify her research, and ends up crossing the genes of her tomato with a deadly virus being developed in the lab next door. This ends up causing the catastrophic death of so many humans that creates the world where the supernatural creatures can “come out of the closet” and become part of the multi-species society that exists in the original Hollows books.
I wouldn’t recommend reading this book before reading Harrison’s other books in the series, because it might spoil some surprises, but it was fun for me to see a lot of the origin stories of some of the characters we encounter in later books. I found it a really enjoyable read and I did find Trisk a little annoying at first but her character kind of grew on me as the book progressed. It was definitely a fun, fast read, and once the plot gets going, it goes pretty fast and far!