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The Hollow Gods

(The Chaos Cycle Duology #1)

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  296 ratings  ·  216 reviews
A perfect story for contemporary fantasy readers who love their narratives razor-sharp and their secrets dark and deadly.

Black Hollow is a town with a dark secret.

For centuries, residents have foretold the return of the Dreamwalker—an ominous figure from local folklore said to lure young women into the woods and possess them. Yet the boundary between fact and fable is bl
Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Published July 28th 2020 by The Parliament House Press
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A.J. Vrana Hi there! Thanks for your question! I would say there is mature content. There's swearing, some violence, and sexual innuendo. Thematically, the book …moreHi there! Thanks for your question! I would say there is mature content. There's swearing, some violence, and sexual innuendo. Thematically, the book also touches on grief and mental illness. (less)

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Average rating 4.01  · 
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 ·  296 ratings  ·  216 reviews

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Start your review of The Hollow Gods (The Chaos Cycle Duology, #1)
"This town's legends, its mysteries, and its secrets - they make you feel alive, don't they?"



The Hollow Gods is different than all the books I've read lately.
It's rich with folklore and veiled character's analysis that make you think you're reading a story about a demonic woman terrorizing an entire town, when in reality you're learning your way into the side effects of grief, loss, anxiety, identity crisis, mass hysteria and whatev
"The Hollow Gods" is a genre-busting fantasy that blends fables, fairy tales, dark nightmares, and boundaries. You have the age-old motifs of the angry mob of villagers, the disappearing girls, the maiden on the creaky swing in the forbidden glade, the shapeshifting werewolf, the raven and the willow, and the haunted wood.

It takes place in a remote British Columbia village hours north of Vancouver. Yet, Dark Hollow could well be in some fell mountain region in Western Romania. The woods extendi
Jun 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Check out the review on my blog:

Thanks to Netgalley, Booksirens and the publisher for providing me with an e-arc for this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 5 / 5 stars

This book blew my mind. With it’s amazing storyline, legends and magical feel to it it was just what I needed (and I want more!).

To be honest the reason why I picked this up was because the author is Serbian and I believe she moved to Canada and I always like to support my fellow
Jul 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
A.J. Vrana
Sep 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
***UPDATE 3***

For international buyers: The Hollow Gods is now available on The Book Depository, here:


***UPDATE 2***

If you're looking for signed copies of The Hollow Gods or live outside the US, you can purchase a paperback on my website:



THE HOLLOW GODS PRE-ORDER CAMPAIGN IS NOW LIVE!!! Check out all the details and excited prizes on my blog: https://thechaoscycle.c
Ummm, this sounds AMAZING!!!

Patty (IheartYA311)
May 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: won
The Hollow Gods is an original story that has an engaging start and a strong foundation. My favorite aspect was the writing and how realistic it made the story feel. I love when writing style and world building mesh so well that I feel like I'm a character in the story.

Parts were too rushed however, creating an unsteady pace. It would have been nice to sense a deeper connection between Miya and Kai as there was a touch of instalove there, but I do understand that it was necessary for the plot.
May 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Guys, this book was so good though! Think a much darker Linger series by Maggie Stiefvater meets The Near Witch by V. E. Schwab. I Loved it!

What I liked

I loved the characters, their internal struggles, their parts to play in a story that was also sort of reminiscent of the movie Inception.

Reading this story was like walking through a dense fog in the not quite night and not quite day. The way the past and the present collide
DNF @ 30%

Look, this was probably more me than the book, but it's a tough call.

I was reading an e-copy, which meant it was already likely to be neglected, and unfortunately it just wasn't captivating enough to remind me to go back to it.

It's clearly ambitious, but for me it just seemed a little too messy and sprawling and it always took me a while to pick the thread back up. There are multiple viewpoints, and Kai has some issues that are so vague they're confusing more than intriguing.

Overall, it
Athena (OneReadingNurse)
Thank you so much to BooksGoSocial via NetGalley for the eARC of The Hollow Gods in exchange for an honest review! All opinions are my own!

The Hollow Gods is a solid debut from author A.J. Vrana. I feel like the mood of this book is the most important aspect. It is a dark, atmospheric read, and fits right in to the block of literature that tackles ancient legends in small towns, superstition, possession, and dreamscapes.

The book tackles three unique points of view. Kai is definitely my favorite,
Katya de Becerra
Hi, hello. I'm returning briefly from my self-imposed Goodreads exile so I can tell you all (*raises her voice... shouts*) that I've just finished reading an advanced copy of A.J. Vrana's dark contemporary fantasy debut THE HOLLOW GODS and that I loved it with all my heart.

(In non-shouting but still excited voice): I mean, what's not to love? For starters, there's a smart, insightful young woman who doesn't tolerate BS and fights for what she loves. Then, there's a certain tormented character w
The Hollow Gods (The Chaos Cycle Duology #1) by A.J. Vrana

ARC provided by A.J.Vrana, NetGalley, BooksGoSocial, and Parliament House. All opinions are mine and freely given.

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"F*ck this shit."

"F*ck everything."

"And f*ck that squirrel in particular."

03-09: Normally I don't include much cussing in my reviews (edited for GR), it just isn't necessary.. but the above pretty much sums up my favorite character in 'The Hollow Gods (The Chaos Cycle Duology #1)' by A.J. Vrana. Kai Donovan's so surly it's hilarious, b
Heather  Lou Reads
Have you ever read and you didn't want it to end because you loved it so much? This was how this book was for me! It kept my interest from beginning to end.

A. J. Vrana was able to create a town that was both creepy yet induring, Black Hollow felt like you were reading about an actual town that had a dark history, which terrorized its citizens by centuries of believing the Dreamwalker legend. When a young girls goes missing and is found wondering out of the woods after being missing for a week,
Maja Ingrid
3,5 stars

In Black Hollow, there’s an old tale about the Dreamwalker, an evil entity who’s said to lure young girls away from their homes and into the woods, guided by her wolves. When the girls return to society, they’re no longer themselves but changed. By the Dreamwalker. And every girl that returns soon ends up dead.

Fear strikes the society when a missing girl returns out of the woods, everyone thinking the story is repeating itself. The girl soon ends up dead.

The book follows three charac
Tracy Frenette
Jul 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Hollow Gods by A.J. Vrana
Pub date 07/28/20

Black Hollow has a secret.

I have to say this was probably the best contemporary fantasy I've read all year. The world building and the writing were brilliant.
"Was the Dreamwalker coming for her because she wanted to disappear? To get away from her life and live in some distant fairy tale? Miya had always yearned for something more."
Local folklore said a black wolf would lead lost girls to the Dreamwalker. And when the girls were found they were not
Jun 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

We are no different than the machines we ourselves have made. Like clocks, we spin around the same axis without alternative, infinitely, as though to turn in circles is the very purpose for which we were made. And all the while the world passes us by. We erode, and yet we continue to tick and tick and tick until the axis itself grows weary of our burdens, unhinges, and finally, we break.

The Hollow Gods is budding author A. J. Vrana's beautifully surreal, captivating, and genre-bending debut
Dee Arr
Jul 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, horror
I didn’t expect the depth of storytelling that was present in this novel. The jaded feeling comes from the glut of fantasy novels on the market today. Some lack originality while others are good but should be receiving a necessary rewrite. There are a few that almost reach the top, clinging and praying not to experience the inevitable fall. And then there are books like “The Hollow Gods” by A. J. Vrana.

The author has created something original, beginning with a legend similar to those in many sm
The Coycaterpillar Reads
The Hollow Gods made me feel like I was transported to another dimension. So many things brought the supremely imaginative plot to life. It was the kind of book that you forgot you were actually reading – it felt like an out of body experience. I almost felt like I could feel the wind blowing in my hair and my eyes witnessing the spectacular vistas that the author so expertly inserted me into the bones of the novel.

Black Hollow.

A place with a dark history. A magical source of unquestionable po
Jul 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lately, I can’t stop looking for the unknown in storytelling. The unknown as twofold: as it relates to the plot (the spiritual, the mysterious, the concealed within a cloak of secrets, the supernatural) and as it relates to how a story is told (unreliable narrators, dreams, liminal space, deviating from the expected form). It is invigorating exploring that which lit a fire of passion for reading within me, a love that caused me to study literature and to focus on Postmodern lit specifically. But ...more
Jun 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Miya finally understood fables were not merely stories inscribed on the pages of reality. They were a storm that ripped those pages from their binding and re-wrote the world from scratch."

What a fantastic novel! Readers are going to be drawn into the thrillingly sinister world A.J. Vrana has weaved. Full of beautiful creatures and a hauntingly dark town with a disturbing history, "The Hollow Gods" is a novel that will unsettle as much as awe its readers as they are introduced to this satisfying
Celia McMahon
Feb 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
February was a bad month for me with books. Usually, I'm all 4-5 star reads but I got mostly 3 stars and maybe one 4. THEEEEEEN, I started an arc of HOLLOW GODS and I knew I finally had my five star read.

THE HOLLOW GODS is a book I think should be given out into the book community and praised. Granted, I did have high expectations because I've been drooling over the synopsis forever. I enjoy anything comped to The Raven Boys, but I was excited to see where the author would take me.

Holly Rigel
Apr 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

From the first chapter I was hooked! Such a relatable character that makes you want to follow them into the depths of the unknown! Such a wonderful world to get lost in with all of the mythology and twist and turns! It left me wanting more!!!!
Book Barbarian  (Tammy Smith)
eARC provided by NetGalley , thank you to NetGalley and BooksGoSocial. All opinions are my own.

Want something different? Check out this contemporary wicked fairy-tale/ horror smash up.



The Hollow Gods by A.J. Vrana (spoiler free reviews)
Book 1 in a Duology
Publish Date: July 28th 2020
Cover Rating: 5/10
Adult - Fantasy –Fiction –Fairy Tale Twist - Horror

Three people come together to fight an ancient evil in a town called Black Hollow

Shatarupa  Dhar
Jul 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: supernatural
Emiliya (Miya) Delathorne is a twenty-year-old University student who has lived all her life in Black Hollow in British Columbia. She doesn't know what to expect from her life and is amused and equally scared of the supernatural stories that have forever floated around her town. Stories of an unknown entity, the Dreamwalker, who happens to kidnap young girls, release them, but who are later found dead. Miya fears for her own life when she sees some shadows that usually announce the
Tana 🌻 Cozyreadings

e-copy provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

This was stunning! I can't even find words to describe how amazing this book was. It was so whimsical, so fairytale-like. I was sucked into the story immediately. I took my time with this, because I was forcing myself to.

The characters were amazing, the legends, the way the dreams were described. This is a new favorite for sure.

Now to start the hunt to find a copy of this book that ships to Belgium without breaking my b
Feb 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
5 stars

I was lucky enough to receive an E-arc for review.

I have no idea how I am supposed to articulate how much I loved this book but I will try!!
Also, to A.J Vrana, her support system, and writing team, Congratulations on creating an amazing world that is done in this debut book. It was phenomenal!!!

I am calling this now as my 2 favorite book of this year only one book has the potential to surpass it and that is Sarah J Maas's new adult fantasy. Very high praise from me if you do not know me.
Alex Khlopenko
Mar 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A.J. Vrana’s debut “The Hollow Gods” is an exciting contemporary horror-fantasy that shines when it declines to play frights, which are easy, and instead explores dread, collective and generational grief, trauma, and historical responsibility.

We follow Miya – a local girl of the Black Hollow (where the entire book takes places) with a close connection to local folklore; Kai – a bad boy, beef jerky enthusiast and werewolf (in that order); and Mason – a young oncologist who lost his first patient
Rowena Andrews
Mar 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, horror
     I was searching for something a little different when I found ‘The Hollow Gods’, and I certainly got what I was looking for. I fell in love with the cover at first sight, and the title intrigued me as did the summary. I have a soft spot for folklore at the best of time, and this seemed like an interesting twist on that idea, and it was. It took me a few chapters to get into the book, but once I did, I was hooked. While folklore and the role it plays within a community is central to the stor ...more
Priyank jain
May 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owns-ebook, netgalley, arc
Thank you Netgalley for this awesome ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Horror: 5/5
Fantasy: 4/5
Contemporary: 4/5

Overall: 4.5/5

“Only two reasons why people go looking for monsters,” Miya mimicked his didactics, and not without a touch of mockery. “Either they’re bored, or they want something from the monster.”

Blurb: This shifting perspective contemporary Horror-fantasy fiction cum Fairy Tale is a novel for ages with its ghastly setting, cryptic plot which all the protagonists are tr
Mar 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The most appealing thing about the Hollow Gods is the degree to which it trusts the reader; recounting surface details doesn't do it justice because so many of them serve as jump off points to explore more complex ideas and whilst the author's voice is clear in the text, AJ Vrana has the good sense to not spell things out and give the reader room to process the books' arguments for themself. The overarching plot may stand on fairly firm ground of the conventions of its genre, but these tropes ar ...more
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A. J. Vrana is a Serbian-Canadian academic and writer from Toronto, Canada. She lives with her two rescue cats, Moonstone and Peanut Butter, who nest in her window-side bookshelf and cast judgmental stares at nearby pigeons. Her doctoral research examines the supernatural in modern Japanese and former-Yugoslavian literature and its relationship to violence. When not toiling away at caffeine-fueled ...more

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The Chaos Cycle Duology (2 books)
  • The Echoed Realm (The Chaos Cycle Duology, #2)

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