Bonnie's Reviews > The Hollow People

The Hollow People by Brian Keaney
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Mar 11, 2009

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bookshelves: adventure, dead-parent, dream, dystopia, fiction, magic, teen, young-adult
Read in April, 2009

** spoiler alert ** Dante is a kitchen boy in Tarnagar, an island asylum where his mother, an inmate, died. Bea is the daughter of one of the asylum's doctors, and she is on the verge of her coming-of-age ceremony, where she will first take Ichor (a government-created chemical that reduces violence in people). When a mysterious and dangerous patient is brought to Tarnagar, Dante and Bea's paths cross, leading them to a dangerous escape and a movement fighting against the enigmatic Dr. Sigmundus, leader of their country.

I could not get into this book. It reminded me of The Giver mixed with The Matrix - and perhaps with a dash of Star Wars? However, none of the characters in this book feel nearly as developed as Jonas or Neo. The plot is fast-paced for the most part, though I thought that Bea's narrative moments really dragged. The menace of the society Dr. Sigmundus has created just isn't there... not enough weight is given to things like the taboo of discussing dreams or the changes that take place when you begin taking Ichor. It's so much more difficult to appreciate that Bea and Dante are different or the danger they face once they escape with Ezekiel. I would've liked to have seen more time dedicated to their stay in the ruined city and their training. Dante hardly seems to struggle with his epic destiny, his ability to manipulate his dreams, or the fact that his parents were so important to the rebellion... okay, wait, I've crossed over, haven't I? Perhaps it was all that "Odyllic Force" talk.

The ending is incredibly abrupt. Dante is suddenly brought face-to-face with Dr. Sigmundus, only to quickly escape. So if you're loving this, there's a sequel to rush out and pick up.
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