Book Review: Hollowland
By: Amanda Hocking
Published By: CreateSpace
Release Date: September 2010
Buy it at Amazon
Source: bought by reviewer
Someone recently told me that Zombies are "in". I don't know how flesh eating, rotting, scary monsters can be "in". But since there has been an influx of movies, tv shows, books, greeting cards, magnets, and t-shirts all highlighting zombies, I guess they are the new "in" thing. I, myself, have been terrified of the walking dead ever since I first saw Michael Jackson's Thriller for the first time when it premiered on MTV (yes, I'm that old). I have been terrified but still torturing myself with anything zombie ever since. For some reason, I find making myself so scared I have nightmares really fun. Sick, I know. So, when I heard about this book I had to read it.
I'm very on the fence about this book. I really couldn't decide between liking it and loving it. It was HIGHLY entertaining. It really had me from the first sentence. Which is "This is the way the world ends-not with a bang or a whimper, but with zombies breaking down the back door." Great opener, right? It just takes off from there. You immediately get to know the main character, Remy. She is a hard as nails, teenager stuck in the Zombie Apocalypse, who is not afraid to get her hands dirty. Literally - She spends the book covered in zombie goo. I loved to read about a heroine that knows how to take care of herself and doesn't wait for someone to help her. Remy takes off on a journey across the now zombiefied United States. Along the way, she unwillingly picks up a few more passengers on her quest. The book is satisfyingly creepy. It's like a really good horror movie you watch through fingers covering your eyes because it's scaring the tar out of you, but you HAVE to see what happens next.
This is why I hesitated about giving it 4 birdies. As entertaining as it was there were parts that I just didn't think were plausible. Yes, I know we are talking about Zombies and some might question how plausible that is in the first place. But, I think it's the author's job to make us believe and to buy into whatever scenario is happening in the book. For example, if a lion shows up in the middle of the Nevada desert, it needs to be explained a little more than there were a lot of Vegas shows featuring lions. There were a few things that came up like that during the read. It made for a cool scene, but it seemed a little forced and lacked explanation. The other thing that held me back a little was that as much as I loved the main character, Remy, I would have loved to get a little glimpse of who she was before the zombies. Was she always that tough or did she become desensitized because of the zombies? Also, most of the book was so suspenseful, but then just kind of lost steam at the end. I believe the last few chapters were setting up the sequel.
All that being said - this book is VERY worth your time. It is really scary and creepy and gruesome. The story and characters are worth a few sleepless nights - even for scaredy cats.
Nineteen-year-old Remy King is on a mission to get across the wasteland left of America, and nothing will stand in her way - not violent marauders, a spoiled rock star, or an army of flesh-eating zombies.