As an obsessive reader I have read a lot of rubbish, seriously. Sometimes I finish a book and wonder to myself if there is a big plot-eating monster that takes giant bites out of books before they go to the shelves, both physical and electronic, leaving the reader floundering in literary limbo wondering what the heck just happened. This was not the case with “Hollowland.”
I found “Hollowland” on the Barnes and Noble website when looking for a quick read to get my mind off the upcoming semester. The description contained the word “zombies” so of course I coughed up the $2.99 and bought it. I mean zombies, come on.
“Hollowland” is set in a dystopian alternate universe where zombies have taken over the world and humanity has all but gone extinct. Joined by a ragtag group of mildly recycled characters including a former rock star, a doctor and a crazed religious beauty, the plot follows 19-year-old Remy King as she journeys across what is left of America to find her brother who was taken by the authorities during a skirmish with the flesh-eating beasties.
“Hollowland” combines a great mix of gory detail and that sappy strained complicated romance that we all crave in a fantasy novel. I would not consider this book a work of fictitious genius by any means, but it was entertaining nonetheless. Anyone on the hunt for a book that makes them question humanity, search their soul and ponder the heavens should probably choose a different book. For my purposes though, raw, unadulterated, unthinking entertainment, I was happy to sit and read and let my brain turn into a happy stew of lukewarm oatmeal for a few hours.
As for the overall quality of “Hollowland” in non-literary terms, I had a few problems with the formatting of the book, as well as the editing. There were some mildly distracting formatting glitches and there where a few places were their we’re wrong usages of certain words two (see what I did there?).
The plot is relatively predictable and the characters are recognizable from many fantasy and dystopian style novels. Remy is a fairly static persona, which is odd for a main character, but peculiarly enough, I did not find that as maddening as I would have thought.
The character development for the minor characters is
adequate in regards to
keeping the story moving and entertaining, but I would have preferred a bit more back story. “Hollowland” leaves the reader with a frustratingly abrupt
cliffhanger ending, clamoring for a hint at where the story will go next; i.e. book number two, “The Hollows,” which I have yet to read.
I would recommend this book to anyone with a penchant for zombies, dystopian extravaganza and characters with a lot of emotional baggage. Overall, I found this book to be entertaining and well written, and I look forward to what Hocking puts out next.
A note on eBooks: eBooks are a scary prospect for many purists, but I can assure all that they are nothing to be afraid of, mostly that is. The editing can be a bit, shall we say, wonky at times when making the
transition from print to electronic, but other than that I think it’s a lovely new frontier for all to explore. Though, do not fret for the loss of tradition my fellow literary loons, as it seems hardcopy books aren’t going anywhere fast.
About the Author:
Amanda Hocking, author of more than fifteen eBooks, became a virtual bestseller practically overnight, pun intended. Born in Austin, Minnesota, Hocking worked as a group home worker, writing books and stories on the side. She began self-publishing her eBooks in April of 2010 and by March of the next year had sold over a million copies of her then nine books.