I love it when my favorite authors write short stories in the same world as their main books. This gives the author and reader a chance to explore side stories or go deeper into supporting characters than page count allows in the novels. What I don't love however is trying to keep track of all these stories. They are often printed in anthologies with other authors, offered as online content, or even placed in the back of certain novel editions. I'm lucky if I can keep up with an author's next main release date so forget about tracking down stories in a multitude of places and formats.
This is why I love short story collections by single authors. Into The Woods by Kim Harrison brings together short stories from the Hollows as well as some unrelated stories. While many of these stories were previously published, there are new stories in here too.
I love that Harrison provides an introduction to each story giving some background as to where it fits in the Hollows chronology and her thoughts in developing it. These extra little insights really add depth to the book.
The novellas and short stories here are not focused on Rachel but go deeper into the stories of other characters including Al, Jenks, Ivy, and Trent. It is nice to see some of the people surrounding Rachel get their moment in the spotlight for a change.
Into The Woods is a must read collection for Kim Harrison fans. The release date chronology puts it as book 10.1 in the series (after A Perfect Blood). It should not be read until this point as later stories would give away plot points in some of the novels. I would not suggest it as a starting point for people interested in starting the Hollows series. The stories are meant to be enjoyed within the framework of the Hollows not necessarily to stand on their own. (The exception being the additional stories that are not Hollows related of course.)