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Synopsis from GoodReads:
“A young woman discovers a strange portal in her uncle’s house, leading to madness and terror in this gripping new novel from the author of the “innovative, unexpected, and absolutely chilling” (Mira Grant, Nebula Award–winning author) The Twisted Ones.
“Pray they are hungry.
“Kara finds the words in the mysterious bunker that she’s discovered behind a hole in the wall of her uncle’s house. Freshly divorced and living back at home, Kara now becomes obsessed with these cryptic words and starts exploring this peculiar area—only to discover that it holds portals to countless alternate realities. But these places are haunted by creatures that seem to hear thoughts…and the more one fears them, the stronger they become.
“With her distinctive “delightfully fresh and subversive” (SF Bluestocking) prose and the strange, sinister wonder found in Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth, The Hollow Places is another compelling and white-knuckled horror novel that you won’t be able to put down.”
One of my best friends recommended T. Kingfisher’s The Twisted Ones to me a couple of years ago. I’ve kept that book in the back of my mind for a while. Nicole at BookWyrm Knits has been raving about T. Kingfisher lately as well (although she hasn’t read Kingfisher’s two horror novels). So for one last Halloween hurrah, I went looking for The Twisted Ones. Which was checked out. So I grabbed The Hollow Places instead.
Oh my goodness. I think I need to be friends with T. Kingfisher (Ursula Vernon).
The book starts out pretty light and fluffy. I laughed quite a bit. Even when things start getting serious, Kara and Simon face their fears with snarky humor. They’re my kind of people. So much so that I suddenly added up a whole bunch of random things and decided that Julie, the friend I mentioned above, must be T. Kingfisher! Then I realized that she wouldn’t be working in a job that requires fighting medical insurance companies every day if she were a published author. But that’s how much I loved Kara’s sense of humor. Julie and I laugh until we ache every time we’re together and I thought Julie had created her.
The book could almost be a dark fantasy novel. Almost. It’s mostly just really suspenseful and has things that are sensed more than actually seen. And that’s scary enough. But there are a handful of moments that would be the “jump” moments if this were a movie. The images from those scenes were really disturbing in a body horror kind of way. That probably sounds worse than it is but I did kind of jump back from the book a couple of times with a cry of “Groooosss!!!”
Kara, Simon, Beau the Cat, Prince the Elk, Uncle Earl, and the Wonder Museum are fantastic characters (Yes, I think the museum is a character). I hope they have more adventures in store.
I highly recommend this for horror fans who have a snarky sense of humor. I’ll definitely be seeking out more of Kingfisher’s work.
If you liked The Hollow Places, you might also like my review of
- Gil’s All Fright Diner by A. Lee Martinez, read by Fred Berman
Buy The Hollow Places from Malaprop’s Bookstore in beautiful Asheville, NC or