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Hollow Heart: A Horror Novella

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really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  20 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Welcome to Shady Hills, Florida, where death is the beginning and pain is the only true Art…

Harold Stoe was a proud Marine until an insurgent’s bullet relegated him to a wheelchair. Now the only things he’s proud of are quitting alcohol and raising his sixteen-year-old son, Dale.

But there is an infernal rhythm, beating like a diseased heart from the hollow behind his home.
...more
Kindle Edition, 106 pages
Published November 29th 2019 by Crystal Lake Publishing
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Michael Hicks
Nov 26, 2019 rated it it was ok
My review of HOLLOW HEART can be found at High Fever Books.

Hollow Heart is a mixed-bag of a horror novella, one that reads like Clive Barker by way of Tim Waggoner, but never quite lives up to its promise, especially given Ben Eads’s insistence on playing it safe in regards to one central character who should have been more intriguing than he’s portrayed.

The people of Shady Hills, Florida have gone missing, their bodies used to build a new god by the entity known only as The Architect. As
...more
Elke
Nov 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Hollow Heart leads the reader into the depth of a monstrous heart built by a creepy entity calling himself the 'Architect' in a hollow behind a rundown neighborhood in Shady Hills. There reside war veteran Harold with his son Dale. When almost all people disappear from town, war veteran Harold and Dale must band with a couple neighbors to make a stand against the evil intentions of the Architect. Together they descend not only into the madness lying at the bottom of the hollow, but also into the ...more
Jeremy Maddux
Dec 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Quite possibly the most unique take on the Frankenstein's Monster archetype I've ever read. Only difference is, this 'doctor' doesn't just use parts of bodies, he lets nothing of said bodies go to waste. He even has a garden where the heads of victims serve as barbed wire flowers. The protagonist is a quadriplegic former Marine with the typical drinking problem and father issues (not to mention son issues) who is given the worst proposal he could ever receive: help Scary British Guy build the ...more
 Nyarlathotep Twelfth Month The Haunted Reading Room
A novella of Cosmic Nightmare resonating with both tones of Lovecraft and of Kazuo Ishiguro's THE BURIED GIANT, HOLLOW HEART has as its focus several Marine Veterans of Iraq, physically and/or emotionally disabled, living in a formerly quiet Florida trailer park, an area now compelled by the century-plus immortal known as The Architect, a being gardening with death to awaken a buried god and institute a new age of hell on earth.
Bruce Blanchard
Dec 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Listen to the Heartbeat

This is one very creepy story that never lets up. As a reviewer sometimes I get kind of wordy. Not here. Ammo up and dig right in.
The Grim Reader
Dec 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Wow, what a great cover. I felt a great disturbance in my trousers when I saw it and the synopsis had me salivating like a rabid dog . Unfortunately things didn’t work out between myself and Hollow Heart. Ben Eads is a talented writer, however, there is some iffy, cheesy dialogue that made me cringe at times and I really struggled to connect with the characters. The story has a real Hellraiser vibe to it and several scenes caused my pulse to quicken, but on the whole the story left me feeling ...more
Jnabraham
Nov 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I had the opportunity to read an advance copy of this novella after it was completed. I've also read a few of Eads' shorter stories years ago and would consider myself familiar with his general style and subject matter. That being the case, it was undoubtedly apparent that Ben's craft has matured again with this one. It seems that with every new work he puts out, they just get BETTER. He has a way with using descriptive language with just enough verbiage, but not too much. Every word counts. No ...more
Paul Sheldon
Nov 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Harold Stoe is an ex-marine, wheelchair bound after a combat mission that saw him awarded the Purple Heart, went badly wrong. With his physical challenges, constant nightmares and migraines, a drinking problem only barely under control, and a teenage son who only reluctantly visits on weekends, he has his hands full. But things are about to get much worse.

In the quiet, low income Shady Hills in Florida, Harold manages to get by with the help of his friends, just. But something else is happening
...more
thebonebreaker
Nov 30, 2019 rated it liked it
I am a big fan of Crystal Lake Publishing. You can pretty much randomly pick any book out of their library and know that you are going to enjoy it.

With that said, Hollow Heart was a bit of a misfire for me. I love small town/cosmic horror stories, but I just wasn't invested in the characters in this story (except for Mary, maybe).

Aside from the disconnection, Ben Eads writing was on point. His style sparks the imagination, and he was able to hold my attention as my curiosity (to what was going
...more
Alex (gray__pages__616)
Thanks so much to Crystal Lake Publishing for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. There were good things about this book. The writing is Very good and the characters are strong. For these reasons, I gave it 3 stars. I really wanted to give this story more than that, but I unfortunately did not connect with the story as much as I’d hoped. That being said, I would read another story by Ben Eads, as he does write well. This isn’t a bad story by any means, it just ...more
Patrick Rutigliano
Dec 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Disclaimer: I was lucky enough to be one of Ben's beta-readers and to
receive a copy for the purpose of writing this review.

Ben clearly wrote Hollow Heart without suffering the titular deficiency. The
characters populating his newest novella are all victims of regret and
trauma in one way or another, forced to face their demons when the horrific
forces in their community start to wake. Some are more likable than
others, but all of them feel fleshed out and real, investing the reader in
their
...more
Jeff Beesler
Dec 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Hollow Heart an Easy Read

As far as apocalyptic books go, this story is a great, if short, adventure. The characters are flawed through and true. The flow of the story stays consistent throughout the book. And it's just a whole dang lot of fun. I expect more from this author in the future.
Sid Stiles
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Dec 10, 2019
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Crystal Publishing
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Nov 17, 2019
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Debbi Smith
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Nov 29, 2019
Monique Snyman
rated it it was amazing
Nov 19, 2019
Brent Kelley
Dec 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I had a lot of fun reading this entertaining and highly original novella. There were a few spots where the author genuinely gave me the creeps ("Baby? Is that you? Come let Momma feel your skin."), and even more spots where I grinned and nodded at the novelty of the story. At the middle of it all are broken characters trying to mend, trying to be more than they are. Ben Eads has done a fantastic job with Hollow Heart, and I strongly recommend it to readers who enjoy horror and dark fantasy. Keep ...more
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Ben Eads lives within the semi-tropical suburbs of Central Florida. A true horror writer by heart, he wrote his first story at the tender age of ten. The look on the teacher’s face when she read it was priceless. However, his classmates loved it! Ben has had short stories published in various magazines and anthologies. When he isn’t writing, he dabbles in martial arts, philosophy and specializes ...more