|Fans have fallen for bounty hunter and witch Rachel Morgan. Through banishment and road trips, deadly supernatural duels and lost loves, they have avidly cheered her on, eagerly awaiting the next installment in her adventures. This collection of short works, published together in once volume for the first time, adds a whole new dimension to the Hollows saga, featuring tales involving Rachel and her coterie of friends and enemies. Untitled contains original works, including:
"Million Dollar Baby"-original novella about what happens when elven tycoon Trent Kalamack and Jenks the pixy team up to rescue Trent's daughter;
"Spider Web" and "Grace's Fall"-original novelettes set in brand-new fantasy worlds;
Here, too, are reprinted short stories, including:
"Undead in The Garden of Good and Evil"-an Ivy novella from Dates from Hell
"Dirty Magic"-a Mia the banshee short story from Hotter Than Hell
"The Bridges of Eden Park"-a Kisten/Rachel short from the mass market edition of For a Few Demons More
"Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel"-a Robbie/Rachel/Pierce novella from Holidays from Hell
"The Bespelled"-a Ceri/Al short story from the mass market edition of The Outlaw Demon Wails
"Ley Line Drifter"-a Bis/Jenks novella from Unbound
Into the Woods is a short story compilation made up of Hollows shorts that have been previously published, two shorts in a new world and the story that drew 100% of my attention, Million-Dollar Baby. My disclaimer is that this review is going to focus solely on Million-Dollar Baby, as is it the only one I read from this compilation. I’m a fan of the series, I’ve read them from book 1, I’ve laughed with Jenks, cried with Rachel many times but through it all, since the very beginning as a matter of fact, one character has intrigued me like no other – Trent Kalamack. I love this guy. There’s something about him that’s misunderstood and getting a glimpse of the real man through his point of view in this short story was so refreshing. I know that Rachel is the heart of this series, but for this Hollows fan, I live for the moments when Trent comes on page.
Million-Dollar Baby tells the story of what happened when Trent went to steal (some might say rescue) his daughter away from her mother. Ok, that sounds bad, but it’s really not. It’s an elf thing, to put it simply. If Trent is able to successfully steal away his daughter, avoiding death, since everyone in little Lucy’s mother’s house knows he’s coming, he’ll prove to his people that he’ll do anything to secure their future and help their race thrive. That’s what this one baby girl represents – a future for the elves. Trent’s determined to be a strong leader and that starts with raising his daughter. To do that, he must sneak in, grab her and get out without being caught. He has Jenks as his wingman and they end up needing each other to get through the whole ordeal.
I loved the combination of Trent and Jenks. This adventure allowed them both to see the other man in the different light, especially Trent. He finally sees how smart and loyal Jenks is and he starts to treat him differently, better than he ever has before. Jenks sees a man in Trent who’s terrified of turning into the parents he had, having things, but never knowing love. He’s desperate to do right by Lucy and Jenks provides some advice and insight that help Trent realize that he can do this.
There’s nothing like getting Trent’s point of view and I hope so hard that we get more of it. Jenks is just…Jenks. He has me laughing out loud on one page and then tearing up on the next. This Trent fan finished Million-Dollar Baby with a huge grin on my face and wishing that I had an entire book told from Trent’s point of view.
As you can see by the book’s blurb above, the majority of the stories in this collection have already been released and I’d consider this book as more of a Collector’s Edition for the Hollows series. If you’re a fan of the Hollows and want a complete series collection on your bookshelf or e-reader, then pick this newest short story compilation up. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of short story books, but Trent’s story is well worth a read. I loved it and if you pick up Into the Woods, turn immediately to Million-Dollar Baby and enjoy.
Release date: October 9, 2012
Publisher: Harper Voyager
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*eARC provided by publisher for review*