This is the very extensive prequel to The Hollows series by Harrison. Saying that I would suggest reading it after the rest of the series, as opposed to before or as the start to the series. I believe the author recommends doing exactly the same thing on her website.
Why? Well I think the prequel assumes that the reader will know the characters and where the story will eventually lead. Personally I don’t think it does The Hollow series the justice it deserves.
What the prequel does do is inadvertently shed a light on a can of worms called genetically modified crops. In this case it is woven into the deaths, extinction and survival of certain supernatural species and of course just normal old human beings.
It shows the positive side of being able to feed the world, and yet also the dangers of eating something that has had its basic code changed. Hopefully we won’t find out a century down the line.
I am still shaking my head at the whole Trisk and Kal scenario, especially the ending. If, as a new reader, you don’t know where the series ends up then it all might seem a wee bit exaggerated. If you do then you’ll probably have an aha moment or two during the read.
What Harrison does excel at is the bursts of creativity and plotting that any urban fantasy author needs to keep their audience captivated.