2015 Reading Challenge [Closed] discussion

Hollow World
This topic is about Hollow World
49 views
. Week 4: Published This Year > Hollow World by Michael J. Sullivan

Comments Showing 1-41 of 41 (41 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Zaz, Mood Minion (new) - rated it 5 stars

Zaz | 1387 comments Mod
This is a difficult week for me, because I have to choose. Of course, I wanted to read lots of the Choice Award books and I couldn't fit 20 of them in this week (but I tried :p). I finished Lock In (liked it a lot) and I'll read too The Girl on the Train (for 2015).

Summary:
Ellis Rogers is an ordinary man who is about to embark on an extraordinary journey. All his life he has played it safe and done the right thing, but when faced with a terminal illness, he’s willing to take an insane gamble. He’s built a time machine in his garage, and if it works, he’ll face a world that challenges his understanding of what it means to be human, what it takes to love, and the cost of paradise. He could find more than a cure for his illness; he might find what everyone has been searching for since time began…but only if he can survive Hollow World.


I was intrigued by the title and later by the summary. It seems interesting and I didn't read time travelling books (or I don't remember...), so it could be nice to discover this type of story.
I started it today and so far enjoy the writing.
The main character has a difficult background history and the current one is not amazing, so I'm expecting some deepness and also good sci-fi.


message 2: by Zaz, Mood Minion (new) - rated it 5 stars

Zaz | 1387 comments Mod
At 15%. First thing: I found me surprised the time travelling is a path to the future, as I always think about it in a "in the past" way.
I'm totally enjoying how the story is told, even if it's a little slow paced, and all the details put in it without long and boring descriptions. The characters, for now, are not ones I can rely on, but I'm interested in who they are and what will happen to them next.
One thing I totally like is all the books or movies references the author put on his hero's mind. It helps the story to feel real and to share something in common with Ellis (I'll have to add some books in my TR :p).

So far, the journey is great and I'm looking forward to read more, hopping it will continue like this :)


message 3: by Zaz, Mood Minion (new) - rated it 5 stars

Zaz | 1387 comments Mod
At 70% (yes, with this one I've some hard time doing useless stuff like sleeping, eating, working).
I'll see at the end, but for now, Hollow World is one of my favorite books ever. There's a character in it who is just perfect, he's all I wish humanity could be.

I like all the care and heart the author put in the characters, some moments are heart-breaking, others bring light in the darkness. The world is well described too, I picture easily all the scenes in my head which obviously helps me a lot to be part of it.
The sci-fi explanations add a nice history touch with some realistic facts and, like the descriptions, it's not an heavy reading. You learn just all you need to understand the future, but you're not drown by plenty of boring or useless details.

I can't say it's a book for everyone. But I'm pretty sure it's a book written just for me. I'm glad I decided to jump in it :)


message 4: by Michael (last edited Jan 26, 2015 06:26AM) (new) - added it

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 25 comments Hey all,
I found out about this group because of Zaz's comments on my book. I know some people like finding out "behind the scenes" information about books and movies, and I just wanted to mention that if you post questions here, I'll stop in and answer anything you might have. This could be about Hollow World, publishing in general, or really anything "writing" related.

Oh, I also should mention that I have a giveaway running for Hollow World right now. You can enter to win here .


message 5: by Zaz, Mood Minion (new) - rated it 5 stars

Zaz | 1387 comments Mod
Ok, some questions :)

1. There are many references to books and movies in Hollow World. Do you do it in all your books or was it a first because of the contemporary story? It was a nice and funny surprise :)

2. For some characters, it's easy to imagine the origin of their names (Geo, Pol or Pax for example). I've no clue for some others. So, are they all related to something/someone or did you choose them randomly?

3. Ellis has not an average age for a hero, most of the main characters in my readings are near 30 years old (or are teens in most of the YA books). Is there a particular reason for this choice?

I really liked all the characters, except the "bad guy" (no spoils) who was pretty annoying and a little cliché (so he was a good bad guy, you just want to throw him by the window each time he opens his mouth). Vin was not the most likable person but all the drama and gothic stuff was great. I hope we'll discover more characters like him in the sequels.


message 6: by Michael (new) - added it

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 25 comments 1. No, I don't do that in my other books...but they are fantasy so it really doesn't apply ;-). The reason I did it in this book, as since it is time travel it provides a way to anchor the "before time." If the books are read far into the future then the "time" of the book will be cemented and act as an anchor to act as a reference.

2. None of the names are random...that I recall. Some are harder to understand than others. For instance Cha - is named after Charaka who was a principal contributor to science of Ayurveda, a system of medicine and lifestyle developed in Ancient India. Because people "choose" their names they usually say a lot about themselves. Vin - who is a talented but tortured artist took his from Vincent van Gogh.

3. There are several reasons for Ellis age. First, as you said, I wanted an "unconventional hero" so aging him helped make him a bit different than most protagonists out there. But I also needed him to have quite a bit of life experience...and a pretty hefty bag of regret. What I wanted to do was show how even an "old dog" can learn new tricks, although not easily which is why Ellis tends to cling to "old familiar" things rather than the those that would challenge his comfort zone.

4. The "bad guy" really isn't...if you can see the world from his perspective. One of the things I did when writing this book was to hold up a kind of mirror or Rorschach test and how you feel about him has a lot to do with people you know in your own life. For some he completely resonates with because either they - or someone they know is very like him. For others, they find him quite foreign. He actually is someone I know in real life (or I should say two people I know who were combined into one).

I have a lot of "new" characters I would like to explore in a sequel, the parameters of Hollow World makes it possible to have both those that are "very cooikie cutter" and those that because of their own need for individuality are fighting against the system in interesting ways.

Thanks for asking!


message 7: by Zaz, Mood Minion (new) - rated it 5 stars

Zaz | 1387 comments Mod
The Ellis' references are interesting because some are "old" (well, I know Fred Astaire but actually never saw anything with him) and other are pretty new/geek (the grammar thought made me laugh). It shows that he's not frozen in time and succeeds to learn new things (so, yes, he tends to cling to "old familiar" stuff but not too much).

I had guessed for Vin, as it's a little obvious with his work and personality. No idea for Ved and Yal. Nice to learn the origin of Cha's name, I'm curious about this character, I expected to see him more.

Ah. I understand what you're saying for the "bad guy". He got on my nerves when I listened him talking about people, because I disagree with almost all his way to see the society. Pax is really open and tolerant, values I praise, so I was at home with him.
As there are several society models tackled in the book and as each of them has some positive and negative points, I found more difficult to choose a side and could understand well the different points of view. I suppose the book is a very different reading for someone very conservative.

Thanks for the answers, it's great to have the possibility to speak with an author about how he sees his book :)


message 8: by Michael (new) - added it

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 25 comments Cha would definitely make a return appearance. I find it interesting that you refer to Pax as "him" -- we fight about that in our house - to my wife, she uses "him" as well whereas I use "she."

Yes, different people see different things, mainly based on some of their political or religious beliefs.

You are most welcome, about the answers - feel free to ask anything at any time.


message 9: by Zaz, Mood Minion (new) - rated it 5 stars

Zaz | 1387 comments Mod
Yes, more Cha!

For the "him", I've to discuss this with my friends who are reading or will read the book, it's an interesting topic. I suppose my choice takes its roots in two different things.
The 1st is cultural, as I'm french and our language is fully gender based (everything is a he or she, even objects). Our brain learns to put everything in gender boxes and it's uneasy to think otherwise. For animals, when you don't know if they are males or females, you use the gender pronoun of the specie. Like a magpie is a "she" and a cat is a "he". "Human" is male, so the default setting is "he" and, as Pax is neutral, my brain put him in the male box. Ellis gives a gender to Sol, so in my mind, she's definitively a female.
I don't know how neutral characters are approached by translators as even if you don't use pronouns, you have to use gender for verbs and adjectives. What would be your choice for Pax in a translation?

The 2nd is more personal. Pax's reactions are girly for me, but I hope in some centuries, men could cry and women could be strong without it feels a little weird (this is cultural too and culture evolves). So I can think "Pax behaves like a sensitive person" and not "like a woman". It's not decisive for me in the gender choice but I suppose it is for many people.
My first neutral gender encounter was with the "aliens" in the tv show Earth Final Conflict (they were bald and without gender). They were totally male in my mind (maybe a translation effect as they used the male pronouns), which was pretty strange because the characters were played by... women! I was surprised when I discovered it (SFX are obviously pretty effective), but I'd no problem to deal with it. So now by inference, if you're bald with no gender, you're a man!


message 10: by Michael (new) - added it

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 25 comments There is a French translation in the works for Hollow World - and to be honest...I have no idea what the translator did. When speaking to the narrator for the book, it took a while to get the right voice for Pax.

There are certainly people that go "either way" with regards to whether they ultimately use him or her when referring to Pax. I'm just always interested to see which way people fall because it's really hard to not default to one or the other. Interestingly...women tend to move Pax toward male and men tend to move Pax toward female. Some homosexual friends of ours claims Pax as male. I guess what that means is everyone wants Pax to be the sex they are naturally attracted to.


message 11: by Lora (new) - added it

Lora (misplacedselchie) | 347 comments I know you whispered at me to read this Zaz, but I was really unsure about adding this one to my to-read list (I don't read a lot of time travel books) but reading y'alls conversation I think I am going to. I do have the first of Michael's other series on my list too :)


message 12: by Zaz, Mood Minion (new) - rated it 5 stars

Zaz | 1387 comments Mod
Lora > The sci-fi part is not too heavy there (I had no problems to understand it but I've a scientific background). You're a fantasy reader, so the universe won't be a problem, and I can't really see how someone can dislike the story and the characters (except if you're really conservative maybe).
Appreciating the writing si something personal of course and you have to try to know if it fits you. I liked it because it was really easy to picture everything in my head and there were no loooong and boring descriptions (it's my nightmare, you don't need 3 pages to describe a forest). The beginning was a little too slow paced for my tastes, but after the jump in time, it was really hard to put the book away.

Michael I thought about sex attraction too, but I usually fall in love with both genders in movies, tv shows or books, so it doesn't fit for me. Pax is really lovable, I would like to time travel if I could meet him in the future, live in his home and do some discovery trips outside the hollow world.


message 13: by Anne (new) - rated it 5 stars

Anne Mey Glad I followed you on this one Zaz, it was a great read with many ideas well expressed by the characters. I could totally understand each side's belief and every idea of what the perfect world should be. Each conception of the world had flaws and each one was defended with heart. The amount of ideas and concepts talked about or just working in the background was astounding. Just how Hollow World came to be, the decisions and events that eventually created a whole new world. This was fascinating.

I tend to call Pax "he" but I guess it's because Ellis sees him as a man. I tend to see him as just a person with so many good qualities that catches the eye. I really loved this character and felt really protective of him.


message 14: by Michael (new) - added it

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 25 comments @Lora - Glad you are going to give it a try - Zaz is right in that it's not "heavy sci-fi" - in many ways it's kinda a cross-genre sci-fantasy thing.

@Zaz - Thanks for the added information about the sexual attraction aspect. It's not a perfect theory - but it does seems to "trend" that way.

@Mabomanji - thanks for reading. I'm glad you connected with Pax and felt protective - It's so good hearing people liked this book.


message 15: by Zaz, Mood Minion (new) - rated it 5 stars

Zaz | 1387 comments Mod
I'm doing a little time travelling as I couldn't resist to listen the audio book. My last audio books were like 27 years ago (before I started reading by myself). As they were vinyl discs and this one is numeric, I'm really travelling in the future.
So far, I'm enjoying it (and I'm glad the reading pace is not fast). It's fun to picture things before they happen and I'm surprised I remember so well the details of the story. As my last 2 books were/are heavy and depressing, HW is a welcome little breeze of fresh air and a bubble of happiness :)

I'm happy because 2 of my friends loved the book (the 3rd will start it soon as, well, now we're 3 spamming her). Usually our tastes in reading are different except for some authors, so this recommendation makes me proud.
I've to finish 2-3 books and I'll push the buy button for Riyria, I'm very curious about it and it's difficult to wait. It's nice to discover a new author and to be enthusiastic about his books ;)


message 16: by Michael (new) - added it

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 25 comments Nice! Thanks so much for recommending to others, and I'm so glad to hear they are enjoying them. Tell them I said hello!

Finding new authors is always a great thing...and I'm pleased you want to check out my Riyria stuff. It also has an amazing narrator - Tim Gerard Reynolds. If you want to try out the audio for free - I have two Riyria shorts on Audible.com narrated by him that won't cost you anything. Might be worth a listen.


message 17: by Zaz, Mood Minion (last edited Feb 03, 2015 02:03PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Zaz | 1387 comments Mod
Hello sent :)

I'll check the Riyria shorts for sure because I'll need to learn how to pronounce all the names. It wasn't difficult in HW but I already have a problem with "Riyria" so I'm sure I'll have a hard time figuring the characters' names. Audio helps.

Usually when a story moves me, I listen music when reading. Obviously, I needed it here after this special chapter end (this moment is an interesting one because my friends were ranting about it on Twitter, avoiding spoilers, and it was so easy to know which moment was involved).
I saw that sometimes you listen music while writing books or searching ideas, so I wanted to know if there were several special songs which accompanied the Hollow World writing process.

Other question: what are your favorite time travel books? I already received some classic recommendations but I could use some more.


message 18: by Michael (new) - added it

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 25 comments Ah yes, the audio versions do help with pronunciation that's for sure. About 90% of the time, I write I write in silence. For a few, particularly moving scenes I do listen to music and more often than not it's orchestral..no singer or words. I actually have a sound track list of songs that go along with Riyria (but there are spoilers - as THOSE songs do have lyrics).

For Hollow World - I played music for three scenes, including the last one. It actually was a combination of a few songs that I played in a loop. I have them written down, I should dig them up.

Some of my favorite time travel books (and movies).

* Well's The Time Machine
* Haldeman's The Forever War
* Niffenegger's The Time-traveler's Wife
* Alexander's Time After Time
* 12 Monkeys (movie)
* Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
* Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five
* Connie' Willis's Doomsday Book
* Anderson's Meet the Robinsons

Thanks for passing on the hellos ;-)


Safronia Ha! I'm the one who has been spammed to read the book....And I've got to say I've never been so happy about spams in my life!
This book you wrote...I'm hungover from it. Finished it yesterday night and it's still in my mind and in my heart. I'm not an avid SF reader, more into fantasy usually, but your world captured me.

What I love is the duality you mention in your afterword. It was fascinating to totally agree with, say, Ellis's point of view, but then read about Warren's...and getting some of his points too.
All the themes that you explore in the book are so actual and human that we readers can only reflect on them. I love a book that makes me think.

I loved all the references you give, from the past (I still have to listen to some of the songs you quote), and the little jokes Ellis makes which are completely lost to everyone.
But also all the technology you included for Hollow World. I was particularly impressed by the Vox. Gosh I'd love one of those!

I've never been to Detroit, but I travelled through Michigan last october, and fell in love with it, so it was another thing that made me smile.

About the characters, I feel very conflicted about Ellis. I liked him through the whole book, even if sometimes I was yelling in my living room because I wanted him to stop pondering and start ACTING. Or at the end of that dreadful chapter, which basically broke my heart thank you very much.
But anyway, I had some empathy for him, until I found what happened to his son. That and the fact that he still is completely obtuse about Pax “gender”, even at the end of the book made me loose that empathy, and actually a little angry at him. I just hope that he will evolve in this new world, and in the next book!

About Pax...I have a confession to make: Zaz actually lured me into Hollow World by telling me that he made her think about The Fool, in Robin Hobb's fantasy books. They share a lot of characteristics indeed, even in being non gender-based. The Fool is my favorite character in the whole literature, and Pax is actually not far behind.
You managed to create someone that we get to care and love so quickly, it's pretty amazing. He stands for how I see the world and the opinions I have about it. And I'll never see a rainy day in the same way now.
He's more masculine to me too, and in my mind, he looks a bit like Neo when he's taken out of the Matrix.

It's been a pretty long review, but I got carried away! Thank you for you book, I wish it could have had 500 pages more, cause I didn't want to finish it and leave everyone. I'm actually gonna have to wait a couple of days before reading something else.
Oh, and I talked about to 3 other friends, one read it yesterday, we're spreading the word!


message 20: by Zaz, Mood Minion (new) - rated it 5 stars

Zaz | 1387 comments Mod
Thanks for the recommendations Michael. I added some of them to my huge to-read list :)

Safronia, I'm so happy you liked Pax Hollow World. I don't understand what you mean by spamming and luring you :p Maybe I've to do it more often.
Ok, so there are songs quoted? I think I missed them (blame my desert musical culture). For the next collective read, we'll have to highlight the references, so we won't miss any of them.
About Ellis, it was easier for me to understand his point of view, maybe because I know more people who are not fully open-minded. Maybe too because if I meet someone like Pax one day, it would be less interesting for me if it can be only a friend relationship.

I bought the 1st Riyria books (Theft of Swords), so now I know how to spell it :p
It's a first publication, so I'm trying to have low expectations. Because you know, Hollow World is wonderful and I can't see how a first book can be as great. But well, I've high expectations anyway and it's annoying.
I'm near half the first book and I'm enjoying to follow the characters. They are all colorful and I'm looking forward to know more about them because the HW characterization was great. Myrion is really cute, Royce is mysterious and Hadrian is... Hadrian. The story is nice, I just follow the events and appreciate the writing (and I've to search words in the dictionary, I didn't do that since years!).
I can see some common points between the books:
- the characters make a really good team (complementary and loving).
- I want to be part of their team.
- I'm in a good mood while reading.


Safronia Yes there are a few songs, but mostly One Is The Loneliest Number by Three Dog Night, the one Ellis quotes in his first speech. (I Rt-ed you the link on twitter ;)

I don't have a very good musical culture too, but actually that's what I loved about the references in the books, it's that they're accessible to everyone, and not highly elitist as you can see sometimes in other books! Or it's because they are more geeky references and I get them because it's the world I'm interested in!

Zaz, Yes please continue to spam me if all the books are so excellent! I hope you'll like the rec I gave you for the challenge!


message 22: by Zaz, Mood Minion (new) - rated it 5 stars

Zaz | 1387 comments Mod
Ah, thanks, I didn't know this song.
I'd no problem with the geeky references too and, of course, the Oz ones (for once, it's not about the red shoes which are silver anyway). It seems I missed the Cap' America ref and I don't know how I did that.
Hollow World, the book full of easter eggs :p

I'm happy to share books for once, usually I borrow books but don't lend mine. I'm a little shy about this and find difficult to recommend a book I like a lot when someone can dislike it.


Safronia I should read it again and note all those references I loved ! (what kind of a bad excuse is this just to read it again)
But yes Oz was one of my favorite, and I had forgot about Captain America actually !

Well here is a question for the author : was that reference intended ? The fact that a Mr Rogers has a wife named Peggy ?

It IS difficult to lend or recommend a book. it's always stressful and even more if it's one that you loved very much, it's hard to endure critics about them.
But it's also true in the other way, as I told you I was hoping I'd love Hollow World cause you were all so enthusiastic about it, the peer pressure was terrible ;)


message 24: by Michael (new) - added it

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 25 comments Safronia wrote: "Ha! I'm the one who has been spammed to read the book....And I've got to say I've never been so happy about spams in my life!

Hey, I loved your whole post thanks for taking the time to write it. I do think Ellis is honestly remorseful for what he said to his son, and would like nothing more than to take it back. I think he's well on his way to a more "enlightened" perspective and with Pax's help - I'll think he'll continue on that road.

I've started Hobbs a few time, but life has gotten in the way and I've not finished it yet. I'm encouraged that there are some similarities in our characters as I write what I want to read - so I'll definitely see if I get get to it again...and soon.

I do plan on writing a sequel - so more from this world and with these characters...I just can't say when, as I have a lot on my plate right now.

Lastly, thanks so much for spreading the word. It really helps and it means a great deal to me.


message 25: by Michael (new) - added it

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 25 comments Zaz wrote: "I bought the 1st Riyria books (Theft of Swords)...the characters make a really good team (complementary and loving). I want to be part of their team. I'm in a good mood while reading. "

You don't know how much this "made my day" the things you highlighted are exactly what I was shooting for, so I'm glad I hit the mark with you.


message 26: by Michael (new) - added it

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 25 comments Safronia wrote: "Well here is a question for the author : was that reference intended ? The fact that a Mr Rogers has a wife named Peggy ? "

I'm not 100% sure about the connection you are making between Ellis and Peggy. But I can tell you where my head was at.

I'm a firm believer in the merits of discipline and practice. In one of the shows run by the "television version" of Mr. Rogers he did a show with Peggy Flemming on iceskating and the importance of practice. I wanted Ellis's wife to have a "common" name and "Peggy" fit the bill...the fact that there is a connection to that episode is just a bit of icing on the cake.


Safronia Thank you for your answers!

The only "problem" with Hobb is that she writes...a lot! For Fitz's adventures, you have no more than 2 trilogies, and 2 more in the same world! But it's so well written and interesting that time flies.

I'll wait patiently for a sequel then. It's just so good to know that I'll meet them again, I feel like everyone can wait a looong time!
(Oh and I'm actually thinking about more people to convert, and even more when it will be translated in french!)

Actually the connection was with Captain America, who's real name is Steve Rogers, and one of his love interest (especially in the movies) is named Peggy Carter. So it really popped when I read it! Funny it's not even the same reference in the end.


message 28: by Zaz, Mood Minion (new) - rated it 5 stars

Zaz | 1387 comments Mod
Haha, don't tell him many trilogies are a problem, he's doing the same with Riyria: 6 books for Revelations, 3 for Chronicles and 5 for The 1st Empire! As there are editions with 2 books in one, you need a map to travel in Riyria :D
Anyway, I like a lot the idea behind The 1st Empire which happens in the past. I dream Robin Hobb will release something like this, there are too many questions in her books.

Good, I didn't miss Captain America references as there are no one. Silly friends!

Michael: I like how you talk about your characters as if they're real persons. I hope Pax will enlight Ellis a lot and maybe Ellis will learn him some things too.

I recommend Hobb too because her world is really interesting, but she's not as rewarding as you, regarding the protagonists' stories. I think reading some though authors influenced a lot how we read Hollow World and were totally worried about how you'll develop the story.

So, yes, your books are tiny sunshines and I can just care about the characters without asking myself when you'll throw them by the window. Thanks for the "made my day", I smile a lot since I read it ;)


Safronia Well that's not really a problem, I mean the more I have to read the more I'm happy!
It's more a matter than having the time to read them than anything else haha!

What you wrote about Hobb made me laugh because I understood the way I'm reading books now, always expecting the worse for the characters.
And it was so great to have happy, cute and rewarding moments for Ellis and/with Pax. During those chapters where they're appart I was dreading for the worst to happen but no...Everything was fine and the reunion made me tear up a bit. It felt good, for once, not to have my heart broken by a book :)

You really make me want to read Riyria now, I'll probably give a shot very soon!


message 30: by Zaz, Mood Minion (new) - rated it 5 stars

Zaz | 1387 comments Mod
Yes, many stories lack... justice, maybe. Bad events can happen but sometimes they seem a little pointless.
Hobb use difficulties to build her characters so it's alright but it's a reason why I won't re-read her stories (surprisingly her last cycle with the dragons was a lot more rewarding than her previous works, for the "good" and "bad" characters. Maybe she had complaint or she wanted to try something different).
Some authors are really worst than her (yes, I'm thinking at you Game of Thrones writer!) and it started to bother me a lot to see them bully their characters. Real life is though enough, I don't need torture all over my readings.

In Riyria, bad events affect the story and the heroes, but for the moment they don't hurt them. Maybe some fear could be interesting but I'm very pleased with my "don't worry guy, someone will rescue you in the next sentences". In a way, there's a touch of fairytale with charming princes and princesses in high towers.
There are some oppressed elves too (someone has to give them stuff, so they'll be free :p). Ethnic group tolerance is there, as in Hollow World and I really like again how the subject is addressed :)
I think I'll like the 1st book less than the sequels, as ever. All the 1st explanations to help you understand the world are usually a little boring for me in books, I prefer when authors deepen the action and the characters. It was a great thing in HW : jumping quickly in important events and discovering deeply the heroes, without having to read 300 pages :)

(I need a blog, I write too much here)


Safronia Are you writing those messages only to make me read Riyria as soon as possible?
Cause it's working.


message 32: by Zaz, Mood Minion (new) - rated it 5 stars

Zaz | 1387 comments Mod
Hu, I didn't even start to lure you in this one. You're doing it all by yourself.
One of the 2 heroes is sort of a Care Bear. For the other, there's something related to the elves but as he's really mysterious (and a little dark), we don't know what. There are other characters too, one is a lot like Wall-e, it's funny to see him discovering the world. Oh, and there's an awesome wizard who can give you an headache when he speaks (I don't know if there are books for him, but I need one). Riyria is stuffed with lots of colorful people, all interesting and for the moment I'm more curious about what they'll say or what will happen to them than the overall story (nicely written but lacking creativity). When one of them goes out, I'm all about "Hey come back, you have to tell me more about you" :D
Ok, now, I've to continue my reading...


Ghostcat | 20 comments Hello there, hello Michael

I've been recommended Hollow World by my friend Zaz (and my 2 other best friends commented here too :p) and I'm happy to share that I liked it a lot.

And it will be the first time for me to express my review on a book to its authors itself, so my apologies in advance for writing too much and for any mistakes as english is not my mother tongue.

Time travel is one of my favorite fiction subject so when my friend told me about the plot I added this book to my reading challenge in a heartbeat.
I was hooked since the start, maybe because of Wells' novel influence being so visible (it is one of my favorite of course) and I had no surprise ending in the future the same way its book did.
But the tricky part for me was to wait for something dysfunctional in Hollow World to appear (like in every other book I've read about travels in the future) and I was so content that the problems came from someone of our reality and that Hollow World continues to exist in the end, that is new.

Your vision of the future is the most peaceful, optimistic and functioning I've ever saw and it felt really good for a change to enjoy what life could be without all that I dislike in humanity. Your world is full of sensibility and tolerance, I just want to read more about it, I want to feel that familiar feeling of comfort again.

About the Warren character he represents all the opposite of what I live for (and as an atheist I couldn't stand any of his ideas even more) so maybe it's the reason I found his character being quite a cliché of the bad guy.
About Ellis I loved the fact that he was just human, not a hero, not a bad guy, just the regular guy with flaws but who wants to improve, slowly, but considering his age it is the right pace. And about what happened in his past with his son, even if I missed a heartbeat and felt deeply cold inside when we finally learned about it, it all makes sense with the character and I can't wait for reading about his redemption process in filigrane through the next book.

As for Pax, well, my friends already said what we all feel.
It's like the sample of what humanity should be, what we lack so much to all get along, and the last lines of the book saw me break into tears for quite a long time...in a few words you just wrote down what I long for, what I dream about since forever, and for that I sincerely thank you so much.

Oh and speaking for myself, I think of Pax as a completely neutral gender, and the same goes for the other characters of the hollow world.

I'll end this long review with just a simple question, we saw that there are animals in Hollow World:
- for the ones living on the surface who's taking care of them if no one usually goes there?
- is there cattle breeding on hollow world? how did they managed to save animals and keep them alive?
- are they genetically modified?

Thanks again for your beautiful story, I'll wait for the next one with great pleasure :)


message 34: by Michael (new) - added it

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 25 comments Safronia wrote: "Actually the connection was with Captain America, who's real name is Steve Rogers, and one of his love interest (especially in the movies) is named Peggy Carter. So it really popped when I read it! Funny it's not even the same reference in the end."

Yeah, I wasn't that clever -- just a happy coincidence. I'm not a maven of Captain America - if I was, I might have pulled some "Rogers" influences into the book. Interesting stuff though.


message 35: by Michael (new) - added it

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 25 comments Zaz wrote: "Michael: I like how you talk about your characters as if they're real persons. I hope Pax will enlight Ellis a lot and maybe Ellis will learn him some things too."

They do take on a life of their own...and don't usually listen to me. I remember in the last book of The Riyria Revelations they (my characters) wanted to go to a town...and I REALLY didn't want them to. I was excited to get to the destination of their trip, and this side trip was just going to slow down the story. Turns out they were right. Going to that town gave me some excellent material to play with and some of my favorite scenes in the book - so now I listen to them even when I'm not sure if they are right or not. When I "stay true" to their motivations it will usually steer me well.


message 36: by Michael (new) - added it

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 25 comments Zaz wrote: "So, yes, your books are tiny sunshines and I can just care about the characters without asking myself when you'll throw them by the window. Thanks for the "made my day", I smile a lot since I read it ;) "

You are most welcome.


message 37: by Michael (new) - added it

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 25 comments Safronia wrote: "It felt good, for once, not to have my heart broken by a book :) You really make me want to read Riyria now, I'll probably give a shot very soon! "

I'm the first to admit that I tend to like "happy" endings. Books don't have to be all sunshine and unicorns...there are adversities that must be overcome, but I also like people to succeed rather than fail.

I do hope you'll give Riyria a try. The series was built to start out simply and grow deeper and deepen the mysteries with each volume and I think it has a very satisfying conclusion.


message 38: by Michael (new) - added it

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 25 comments Zaz wrote: "(I need a blog, I write too much here) "

I think you could be an excellent book blogger - you should certainly consider it!


message 39: by Michael (new) - added it

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 25 comments Zaz wrote: "There are other characters too, one is a lot like Wall-e, it's funny to see him discovering the world. "

Funny you should mention that. Wall-e is one of my favorite movies and when I saw it I couldn't help but think of the character in my books you are referring to. I guess I'm not the only one who felt that way ;-)


message 40: by Michael (new) - added it

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 25 comments Ghostcat wrote: "Hello there, hello Michael.

Hello back!

Ghostcat wrote: I've been recommended Hollow World by my friend Zaz (and my 2 other best friends commented here too :p) and I'm happy to share that I liked it a lot.

I'm so glad they didn't steer you wrong ;-)

Ghostcat wrote:I was so content that the problems came from someone of our reality and that Hollow World continues to exist in the end, that is new.

Thank you. I was intrigued by the "influence" of people from our time on the people of the future. Glad you liked the way it turned out.

Yes, I did want to show an optimistic future - something I've not seen often. To me, with each passing year my life (and the world in general) gets a bit better. Yes, there are still troubles, but when I compare our attitudes in the 60's with those now, we are so much more tolerant and accepting of others and I think that will continue to progress.

Warren is actually a combination of several people I know in real life. I don't see him as a "bad guy" just one that has a perspective that I don't agree with.

And yes, Ellis was just an "ordinary joe" and that was important for me. In my Riyria books, I have people with "particular skills" but I wanted Ellis to be like all of us.

Ghostcat wrote: As for Pax, well, my friends already said what we all feel. It's like the sample of what humanity should be, what we lack so much to all get along, and the last lines of the book saw me break into tears for quite a long time...in a few words you just wrote down what I long for, what I dream about since forever, and for that I sincerely thank you so much.

I couldn't agree more - and I'm so glad the scene touched your heart so much. Thank you for sharing this with me, it's the kind of comments authors "live for."

As for your questions:

for the ones living on the surface who's taking care of them if no one usually goes there?

They evolve and manage on their own...there are many places on earth where there aren't people (or few people) and the environments find their own balance. I see the surface of Hollow World like this. I do think if we as a people ever destroy ourselves, the earth...it's plants and animals will get along just fine without us around.

is there cattle breeding on hollow world?
With "makers" there really isn't a need to "raise and slaughter cattle." The engineers who make the pattern can produce the finest meat you can imagine - and construct it from reorganizing matter. I suppose some people might have cows for "pets" but I don't see them being used for food.


how did they managed to save animals and keep them alive?

Do you mean like the dogs that are in Hollow World? I would think that when the people moved underground they took their pets with them. Then they bred them as we do now.

Are they genetically modified?. Probably some of both. Just like in our world there are "mutts" and "pure breds" - the purebreds are probably genetically engineered. But I do think some pets just mate with other pets.

Ghostcat wrote: Thanks again for your beautiful story, I'll wait for the next one with great pleasure :)

You are very, very welcome. Thank you for sharing your opinions and kind words. It was great hearing them!


message 41: by Zaz, Mood Minion (last edited Mar 02, 2015 12:21PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Zaz | 1387 comments Mod
I'm not sure it's a good idea to follow what Hadrian wants, except if you want to finish in a pretty silly situation. I prefer rely on Royce, it seems less dangerous (with the situation and to keep you safe from him). It's nice to see they found a voice to write them (well), they'll probably be some of my favorite characters soon, but I need to learn more about them.
If you put a unicorn in your next book, I'll buy it (ok, I'll buy it without a unicorn). And don't forget to ask Marc Simonetti to draw the unicorn on the cover ;)

About Wall-e, I saw it in your questions&answers before starting Riyria. It was funny because I thought it was Hadrian and I was thinking all the time "No really, he's not like Wall-e". After, I met Myrion and it was totally obvious. In a scene, he picks up an herb, I didn't know the word so at first I pictured it as a bug. I laughed a lot with his discoveries (the horses and children ones were great), great character.

Haha, book blogger, no way! Once upon a time, I was young and I liked to update my blog, like 3 times per day (and I was blogging all the time in my head). I decided to stop and, after that, I spent 4 years reviewing video games on a website. I'm waiting to see what will come next, an idea for a book would be very welcome, but it's not me who decide. Annoyingly, my brain shares its stories only when I sleep and I really can't write about that. For the moment, I play with english words, it's not easy because I lack vocabulary but it's interesting and a bit challenging too.

Ghostcat Nice big post! I didn't think a lot about animals, I see them as independent and resourceful creatures who can survive an apocalypse or whatever. I hope the engineered pets are not bald :p


back to top