the title of Langlois' debut novel never really gets around to making sense, but other than that, we have a very well-written, twisty horror novel.
Ab...morethe title of Langlois' debut novel never really gets around to making sense, but other than that, we have a very well-written, twisty horror novel.
Abe is a WWII vet, and just about ready to die. his wife and most of his buddies have already passed on, and he's not particularly connected to the modern, fast-paced, electronic world. for all that he's withering away on his remote farm, though, Abe isn't an old man: his special-ops team once stumbled onto a dark ritual in war-torn Poland, and he's never aged a day since. the man responsible for that evil ritual was never caught and seems to be active again, so Abe is jerked out of the twilight of his life and back into battle.
rather than retreading some existing horror mythos of vampires and demons, Langlois comes up with a rather original flavor of horrible monster for our heroes to tangle with. bad guys are juicily bad, but the good guys are complex and flawed, and it's easy to care what happens to them. pleasantly surprising, most of the silly cliches are avoided, (view spoiler)[so we don't even have to deal with forced romantic subplots just for the sake of having a contractually-obligated sex scene tossed in, (hide spoiler)] and as an added bonus no cliffhanger ending to set up a sequel! with a muted, dark cover looking a whole lot like John Jude Palencar's work, this is a very well put-together book, especially for something apparently indie-published. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
a "greatest hits" sampler of the worst-case scenario books, this is pretty much the ideal waiting-in-line time-killer. in other words, download it for...morea "greatest hits" sampler of the worst-case scenario books, this is pretty much the ideal waiting-in-line time-killer. in other words, download it for the e-reader program of your choice (this version was free/extremely cheap for kindle), and have it loaded up on your phone. when you're stuck in some waiting room or interminable line, you can dip into a couple of the short topics this book is arranged into. when it's your turn, you won't have a problem tearing yourself away from the brief little sketches of what to do in circumstances of variably ridiculous peril. it's more than a little silly, but might give you a few sparks for conversation at stalled-out dinner parties.
yeah, well, that's done-ish. i'm not so much a fan of books that end at chapter breaks, rather than at plot resolutions. not really a classic cliffhan...moreyeah, well, that's done-ish. i'm not so much a fan of books that end at chapter breaks, rather than at plot resolutions. not really a classic cliffhanger, in that nobody is left literally dangling in a life-or-death situation, but still.
Hocking is one of the poster children for the occasional announcements that traditional publishing is dead. she moves tons of copies of her paranormal/SF on amazon, typically giving away the first one, and charging only a couple bucks for the rest in the series - as far as i know, she does not write stand-alone novels. though i'm an assured ebook convert, and i certainly snap up my fair share of freebies, this is my first go-round with her work. i can certainly see where the attraction is here: 'hollowland' starts off with a bang, and the snappy pace doesn't let up until well over halfway through the book. this zombie-apocalypse tale is action-packed, whisking you along from danger to danger with a reasonably likable main character who suffers real loss (a necessity in a horror/post-apocalyptic tale). if it managed to sustain that level of fun peril, it would easily be a 3* or more book, but i'm a subscriber to the distraction theory, i.e., do not allow any shenanigans to distract me from the good parts. a groan-worthy forced romance with an insipid side character is a distraction from the story. adopting a pet starving/abused lion off the side of the road (that of course only likes the heroine), is eye-rollingly silly, no matter how badass you try to make it sound. distractions are the things that jar me out of the world the author is creating, and show me the rough parts in the machinery, and there are too many to be found here.