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The Hollow Places

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  6,337 ratings  ·  1,587 reviews
A young woman discovers a strange portal in her uncle’s house, leading to madness and terror in this gripping new novel.

Pray they are hungry.

Kara finds these 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 t
Paperback, 352 pages
Published October 6th 2020 by Gallery / Saga Press
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Lisa Krekelberg When I read The Hollow Places, it reminded me of Mark Z. Danielewski's House of Leaves. For both books, I had to spend a night sleeping with a light o…moreWhen I read The Hollow Places, it reminded me of Mark Z. Danielewski's House of Leaves. For both books, I had to spend a night sleeping with a light on (for House of Leaves, a dim side table lamp wouldn't cut it).(less)

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Average rating 3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,337 ratings  ·  1,587 reviews

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Jul 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs-read
The Hollow Places is a super WEIRD, extremely well-written Horror story, penned in Kingfisher's signature quirky style.

I think it's really hard to nail weird, yet she does it so well. We love to see it.

The humor and heart brought to her stories is refreshing in the Horror space.

If you haven't read anything by Kingfisher yet, in my opinion, The Hollow Places would be a great place to start.

With the low-key fangirling out of the way, let's get into the story, shall we?

Recently divorced, Kara, kn
Nilufer Ozmekik
Apr 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is something extremely dark, gory, twisted, inspired by H. P. Lovecraft’s story and I have to admit its dark humor and quirky, absurd characters acted like just left a Cohen Brothers movie fit interestingly well with its horrifying combination.

If you love the Twisted Ones, short stories of King, Lovecraft, Tremblay, this one is matched made in heaven with your dark, weird and nerdish soul!
There are two leading characters of the book carry the story from the beginning and making us get use
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
UPDATE: $2.99 on Kindle US today 12/30/20

See the beautiful gif below of a willow tree woman all serene and peaceful...THIS AIN’T THAT BOOK!

First off, I had no idea this was the author of THE TWISTED ONES, I loved that book too! I live in my own little bubble. (I wish I could have my own bubble because - nevermind) This particular book went to my favorites list!! I love the hell out of it and I am preordering the paperback!!

I freaking love the characters! Kara (Carrot) moves in with her uncle a
Melissa ~ Bantering Books (On Reviewing Hiatus)
All my reviews can be found on my blog, Bantering Books, at

Are you looking for a super scary read for Halloween?

Yes? Then look elsewhere.

Because T. Kingfisher’s newest horror novel, The Hollow Places, isn’t really a horror novel. And it’s not super scary.

It’s a fantasy. More accurately, it’s a humorous fantasy, with occasional moments of creepy, squirmy Weird/Lovecraftian horror. (And I do mean, occasional. The moments are very few and far between.)

But it works.
Debra (having surgery will be back in a few days)
"Does your uncle know there's a portal to Narnia in his museum?"

Kara is living and working with her uncle after her recent divorce. When she finds a secret tunnel/portal in her uncle's museum, she and her friend Simon decide to check it out. Needless to say, they will wish that their curiosity did not get the best of them because entering the bunker/portal/tunnel leads them not to Narnia but to alternate realities which will have their hair standing on end, their hearts thumping and we will
Chelsea Humphrey
Aug 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Chelsea by: Gallery Books
This is a remarkably clever work of horror fiction with a marvelous sense of humor as well! I typically prefer my scary novels to be complex and intelligent, as I like the challenge of thinking through things more than straight up jump scares, and The Hollow Places has a great deal of smarty pants, thought provoking science fiction aspects mixed in with a good bit of gore. While I could have done with a little less dialogue clogging up the flow, I did whole-heartedly enjoy the way that the story ...more
Oct 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
oooh, goodreads choice awards finalist for best horror 2020! what will happen?


since we are in the opening round of the 2020 goodreads awards, i suppose i should mention that i have read 9/15 of the 'best horror' selections (update: aaaand 10/20 of the semifinalists), and although it hurt my horror-loving-heart to choose between so many strong candidates, choose i did:


it's HERE!! and just in time for spooktober!!!

A man who h
Feb 05, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2021-reads
“If there's a way into hell, someone will always find it.”
I think classifying this book as horror does it a disservice by setting expectations for something different. It’s not horror at all, but rather a darkly humorous portal fantasy, of a bit of a twisted kind. There is a bit of subtle eerie creepiness here, just enough to unsettle — but do not expect to be frightened (apparently a few readers had issues with that - but it works for me, a proudly unapologetic wuss). And there is plenty
Jan 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
this is the type of bizarre horror that i love
Aug 09, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, horror, novels, ebook
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020s, horror, reviewed, humor
"Does your uncle know there's a portal to Narnia in his museum?"

This was a surprise. I've read books before that I started and the novel was not anything like I expected it to be from the description. Sometimes that's disappointing and other times it works out better. In this case, I think this is a much better book than I expected it to be.

This is the story is something of a spin on Algernon Blackwood's "The Willows." Our tale follows Kara; recently divorced, low on money and moving into her un
Sep 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
My thanks to Gallery books, T. Kingfisher and Netgalley.
This book was definitely my kind of strange! The theory "as convoluted" as it was, was even my kind of strange!
This tale and others like it are what keeps my mind occupied.
Some people have faith in all their religions. I don't. I have faith in science. I never think in terms of a god. I am cursed with Physics, alternative universes "not string theory!" and what happens to the soul! Yeah. No religion, but I believe in the soul!
I actually d
Jul 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
In time for your Halloween scares.


Well, thanks for destroying my childhood dream of stumbling upon a portal to another world, author. If I see one now I'm running like hell.


It's here! I am reading it! In bed with my cat to protect me from the creepy parts!


Yay! I won a giveaway for this! Not sure if it's coming in October (the scheduled release date) or immediately, but I'm looking forward to it. I really enjoyed her previous Weird Horror-inspired novel, The Twisted One
Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)
3.5 stars

If you are in the mood for weird, creepy, alternate worlds, creatures that hear your thoughts, shadowy things, and run for you life things that are fearsome frightening, and ghastly, I do have a book for you! However, there are many moments of laugh out loud fun in the pages that will help you to be able to wrap your arms around and love the main characters of Carrot Kara) and her friend Simon.

Kara, newly divorced and in need of a place to find respite and a place to live, volunteers t
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Okay ... that was downright creepy! I’ll never look at a willow tree the same way again.


Initial post: This is a "Read Now" book on NetGalley right now, and T. Kingfisher (aka Ursula Vernon) is amazing. So I think I'll read it even though horror novels aren't generally my thing. :D
Imagine that you take a job in your crazy uncle's taxidermy museum, bunking in the back, following a marriage that went sour, a life falling apart. And one day left to your own devices you find a hole in the wall and a corridor that can't possibly be there behind the hole. Physics says nothing could possibly be there.

We all think that it would be cool to travel to another world and meet Barsoomian princesses, firebreathing dragons, Humpty Dumpty, and Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. But, maybe the
Jan 21, 2021 rated it really liked it
Deep in Creep......

There's a classic English children's book (although some say that it's definitely not for children) called The Wind in the Willows. The Hollow Places has a slight tingling wind and a heavy-duty emphasis on willows. Willows that will give you the willies....

Let's just say that Kara knows about the willies up close and personal. She's going through a difficult divorce and wishes to escape the endless calls from her unbalanced-soon-to-be-ex husband. With very little options and n
DNF @ 20%

It's not's me. I'm just not into this. I think the humor is quirky and I enjoy that aspect, but it's not moving fast enough for me. All I'm doing is thinking about all the other books I would rather be reading and that's not fair to me or this book and the author who worked hard to bring it to print.

I encourage you to give this a try if you think it will interest you!

**I marked this as a DNF on Netgalley, so there will be no rating there. I also do not give a DNF a star rating
Sep 21, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, netgalley
Kara stumbles upon a portal in her uncles museum that leads to a terrifying world that seems to be full of other portals. These portals all lead into different worlds and universes. That premise alone is what got me to read this book - I hear alternate reality or parallel universe and I’M IN. This book gave me strong Stranger Things vibes like the similar world of the upside down. There was some quirky humor which I did enjoy but at certain times I felt that it tried a little bit too hard. I sti ...more
K.J. Charles
Nov 06, 2020 added it
Shelves: horror, weird
Tremendous horror novel from T Kingfisher, beautifully written and profoundly disturbing. It's inspired by The Willows by Algernon Blackwood, which is insanely creepy in a hard to define way, with bonus taxidermy. And even though it's a combination of cosmic, existential and body horror, there is also enough of Kingfisher's deep warmth and kindness here to give you hope: cursing the darkness, but still lighting the candle.

Writing this on day 4129 of the US election and this is the only book I've

First of all- Thank you NetGalley!! I finally got it.
I LOVED THIS BOOK! I liked it just as much as I did The Twisted Ones. Congratulations T. Kingfisher, you have a new fan.
This book takes place in Hog Chapel, North Carolina. Kara has just gotten divorced and agrees to move in with her Uncle Earl. He owns and runs The Glory to God Museum of Natural Wonders, Curiosities and Taxidermy. "Carrot" as she is called through most of the book, settles in. She helps Uncle Earl and rekindles he
Aug 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
The Hollow Places, a sci-fi/horror book was a solid 4 stars. The book centers around main character Kara, a young woman who goes to live with her Uncle Earl after her divorce leaves her penniless and no place to go. Earl is a kind and eccentric older man that owns The Glory to God Museum of Natural Wonders, Curiosities and Taxidermy in NC. Kara is to help her uncle at the museum while trying to get back on her feet. The museum itself is exactly as it sounds-a popular museum that is filled to the ...more
Oct 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my first T. Kingfisher book, and I was extremely impressed by the quality of the writing. A sci fi/horror buffet with a Steven King and Lovecraftian flavor, with a side of Stranger Things. Here we have a bad breakup, a curious museum, and a portal to another dimension. (I mean, who HASN'T wanted to teleport to another dimension after a crappy breakup?) The description of the landscape - gorgeous; the dialogue - great; the plot....leaned a little too much on the sci fi "creature" aspect a ...more
Sep 26, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Seeing my rating you might think that I hated this book. I didn't. The only thing I felt and still feel is total confusion as to why it exists. I'm not trying to be mean, I genuinely don't understand.

It's supposed to be horror, yet it's not even remotely creepy. There were a few promising scenes but they were ruined by the protagonist thinking or saying something stupid and then giggling incessantly. The writing itself did nothing to build any kind of atmosphere, it felt like light contemporary
THE HOLLOW PLACES is the second novel I have read by T. Kingfisher. This one takes place in Hog Chapel, North Carolina, in a store named the "Glory to God Museum of Natural Wonders, Curiosities and Taxidermy". Our main characters are Kara (Carrot), her Uncle Earl (owner of the "museum"), and Simon, the barista from next door.

"Eighteen years to the day after Uncle Earl accepted Bigfoot into his life, my marriage ended."

After Kara's divorce, she moves into the museum to help out her Uncle. Whi
The sign out front of the Glory to God Museum of Natural Wonders, Curiosities, and Taxidermy mostly has small print, but the word WONDERS is large, so most people call it the Wonder Museum. There are a lot of jokes - "I wonder what Earl was thinking," "I wonder where he gets this stuff." They stopped being funny a long time ago, but we all smile politely anyway, in case the person saying it has money.

October is really delivering on the great and spooky read front so far. The Hollow Places remind
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3 ½ stars

The Hollow Places is a thoroughly entertaining novel that plays around with parallel worlds, portal fantasy and cosmic horror. When our narrator, Kara, moves back to her hometown (Hog Chapel, North Carolina) she is still reeling from her divorce. To avoid sharing a house with her mother she volunteers to work in her uncle's peculiar museum (Glory to God Museum of Natural Wonders, Curiosity, and Taxidermy). She decides to catalogue the many curio
Dec 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. Gonna go patch all the tiny holes in my wall now.
Donna Backshall
A total creepfest with two lovable weirdos, Kara (Carrot) and Simon, one badass cat, Beau and a whole bunch of bizarre otherworldly stuff.

If you love fantasy/horror and Ursula Vernon's signature quirky writing style, you have to pick up The Hollow Places. Experiencing Kara and Simon's freakouts, as they explore and try to escape from not-Narnia, is exactly the dark and twisty novel to make you even more uncomfortable about being locked up at home during quarantine.
Oct 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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Thank you NetGalley and Gallery / Saga Press for this ARC. All thoughts and opinions are mine.

They Can Hear You Thinking
Pray They Are Hungry

It had been a while since a horror book had dug under my skin. Until now.

The Hollow Places is inherently creepy and otherworldly. Told through the very likable voice of Kara—Carrot—alongside her new and Mad-Hatter-styled friend, Simon, the story builds to an unusual crescendo that gives you a lot of food
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T. Kingfisher is the vaguely absurd pen-name of Ursula Vernon. In another life, she writes children's books and weird comics, and has won the Hugo, Sequoyah, and Ursa Major awards, as well as a half-dozen Junior Library Guild selections.

This is the name she uses when writing things for grown-ups.

When she is not writing, she is probably out in the garden, trying to make eye contact with butterflies

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