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Horror Reviews > Hollowland by Amanda Hocking Review

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message 1: by Amy Eye (new)

Amy Eye | 1841 comments Mod
This is my review of Hollowland Hollowland (The Hollows, #1) by Amanda Hocking I am adding it to the Horror Thread because it has everything to do with zombies... :)

The zombie apocalypse. It's all the rage right now. Everyone is talking about it, everyone is reading and writing about it, and Amanda Hocking got it done right.

Remy is one of the remaining people left alive after the outbreak of the virus consumed the majority of the world. She and her little brother, Max, have seen their parents killed by these monsters and are now hold up in a quarantine, a sort of haven, for survivors who have not yet been infected by the virus. 'Yet' being the operative word. As the case with any virus, the virus is starting to adapt, starting to become smarter thus turning their hosts into something more advanced than they had been before. The zombies, once mindless, random killing machines, are now working together; it could indicate the downfall for humankind.

This was the first book of Amanda Hocking's that I have ever read. I probably would have never read it, except we will be talking about it in the next episode of the blog talk radio show I am one of the hosts for. I had heard of her, but I generally have a tendency to stay away from overly hyped-up stuff. Then someone, somehow drags me into the overly hyped-up stuff, and I usually love the hell outta it. This was definitely the case with Hollowland.

The thing I love most about it were the zombies themselves. They were still 'people'. I know the idea of a virus creating zombies is not a novel one; however, the way it was written in this book was. The virus infected the human and strips away the brains of the infected person thus turning them into a mindless shell. The infection spreads through the body and corrupts the blood and the organs eventually killing the host. The dead bodies do not reanimate, they simply...die. While this takes a bit of the horror and spooky factor away from the zombie, it definitely adds a gross and fascinating aspect to them.

As much as I liked this book, there are a few parts about it that bugged me, hence the reason for the four stars opposed to the five stars I would have liked to have given this book. We hear a bunch about her brother, Max, and there is some mystery surrounding him. But there were SO MANY hints thrown through the book, I wanted to scream "JUST GET ON WITH IT ALREADY" a few times. The blatantly obvious hints (which I'm assuming they were supposed to be teasers) were so obvious that I almost felt like my intelligence had been insulted by not just coming out and saying it after a while.

The other major complaint that I have about it is the editing. I understand that she is a self published author, but that DOES not mean that some of these errors should be allowed. The content itself was fantastic, I think she had that part down great, but there were parts in there where she had gender issues with her pronouns and EASY words misspelled. That is one of the quickest ways to ruin something truly spectacular. Nothing brings you crashing back down to earth more quickly than seeing typos, misspellings and errors riddled through the book. Had the content not been as spectacular as it was, this would have been a 3 star book because of the errors. But, her storytelling ability in this book rivals that of some of my favorite authors, and I don't say that lightly, so I let it slide this time.

This woman told a great zombie book, boys - do NOT be afraid that because a woman wrote this, the whole zombie "feel" will be lost. This is a great addition to my zombie collection, thank you to Cambria who talked me into reading an overly hyped book that I never would have picked up otherwise. PS - if anyone knows when the sequel is coming out, I would like to know. The cliffhanger is killing me!!


message 2: by Cambria (new)

Cambria (cambria409) | 3305 comments I love this book!!! Great review!


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

Amy wrote: "This is my review of Hollowland Hollowland (The Hollows, #1) by Amanda Hocking I am adding it to the Horror Thread because it has everything to do with zombies... :)

The zombie apocalypse. It's..."


Excellent review. I really enjoyed Hollowland (Remy is a brilliant heroine) but you are so right about the teasers surrounding Max - if we could work it out, then the other characters would have been able to work it out too.

Also, the editing problems can really throw you off your stride when you're reading. I've read a few of Amanda Hocking's other novels too and in general it would be good for her to tighten up on it.

Hollowmen is the next one in the series and it's coming out in autumn this year apparently.


message 4: by Cambria (last edited Jul 04, 2011 11:11AM) (new)

Cambria (cambria409) | 3305 comments I have read a lot of amanda hockings books and Hollowland is the best (in my opinion) her other books are good but the editing issues are harder over looked in the others for me anyway. She is a great storyteller though and now that she had big time backing I would bet that her forthcoming novels will be great!


message 5: by Cambria (new)

Cambria (cambria409) | 3305 comments Please tune in to JournalJabber where we will be discussing Hollowland and other zombies....Tuesday at 9pm Eastern time.


message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

Cambria wrote: "I have read a lot of amanda hockings books and Hollowland is the best (in my opinion) her other books are good but the editing issues are harder over looked in the others for me anyway. She is a gr..."

I agree - Hollowland is the best one of Amanda Hocking's I have read so far. They are definitely improving over time and I'm looking forward to the second in the series.


message 7: by Amy Eye (new)

Amy Eye | 1841 comments Mod
Thank you, Emma! I appreciate your feedback on the review. There were so many wonderful things about the book, but, unfortunately, there were some things that stuck out. I will be snagging myself a copy of the next book in the series. I never thought I would read anything by Ms. Hocking, but I really did enjoy this read. And as Cambria so nicely pointed out, we will be discussing this book on our next episode of JournalJabber July 5th!

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/journalj...


message 8: by Dale (new)

Dale Ibitz (goodreadscomdale_ibitz) | 298 comments Great review. The My Blood Approves series started losing its flavor for me by book 3, and not sure I will finish the Trylle trilogy, but the fact that this one is best yet prompts me to check it out. And you're right about all the errors. She seems to make the more books she puts out.


message 9: by Cambria (new)

Cambria (cambria409) | 3305 comments I agree with you Dale about the series that Amanda Hocking had read. The ending of the Trylle really disappointed me and I just feel that the characterization in the Trylle and the My Blood Approves wasn't as good as it could be. Did you think hat too?
Hollowland is definitely my favorite book of hers so far.


message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

Cambria wrote: "I agree with you Dale about the series that Amanda Hocking had read. The ending of the Trylle really disappointed me and I just feel that the characterization in the Trylle and the My Blood Approve..."

I enjoyed the first book in the Trylle series but the introduction of yet another love triangle in the second one put me off. I think I am developing a condition called LTF (Love-Triangle-Fatigue). The device seems to be getting really over used in YA and Paranormal Romance.


message 11: by Lena (new)

Lena | 191 comments Ha, yeah, I'm reading "Matched" and I was thinking the same thing! SOOO bored with that whole love triangle thing. Can't they come up with some other conflict? I did have a love triangle in the first YA series I wrote, but after that, I felt like I'd used that device and will never use it in anything else I write, since I'd want them all to be different. But I've come across SO MANY young adult books with love triangles that I'm bored with the whole game. Plus, it's always completely OBVIOUS who she'll end up with, so what's the point?

Okay, done with my rant for the day :)


message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

Lena wrote: "Ha, yeah, I'm reading "Matched" and I was thinking the same thing! SOOO bored with that whole love triangle thing. Can't they come up with some other conflict? I did have a love triangle in the fir..."

Glad I'm not the only one, :)


message 13: by Amy Eye (new)

Amy Eye | 1841 comments Mod
I'm always up for a good love triangle...IF it is done well. But there are SO many books out there who have done it, it almost makes ALL the women out there seem indecisive and the men a bit pathetic.

I prefer my books to have a happy ending, but that doesn't mean that happy ending has to be a girl picking the boy, I'm good when a village is saved from an evil demon and the Village Elder turns out to be a true hero.

The errors in her book really did bother me a bit, ok, I lie - A LOT. But overall, I thought this one was a great story. I'm a bit afraid to read the others now, as I have been told Hollowland was one of her best! LOL


message 14: by Lena (new)

Lena | 191 comments It's gotten to the point where love triangles are becoming cliche plot devices. Also, like I said, it's predictible. I already know who the girl in the book ends up with, because every love triangle I've read is the same. There's a girl, a great nice guy, and a 'mysterious' dangerous guy. I've never seen the girl end up with the nice guy, which in itself bothers me. But also, it makes every love triangle story predictible, since I know she'll always end up with the dangerous guy. And if I already know the ending, why read the book?


message 15: by [deleted user] (last edited Jul 19, 2011 07:17AM) (new)

Amy wrote: "I'm always up for a good love triangle...IF it is done well. But there are SO many books out there who have done it, it almost makes ALL the women out there seem indecisive and the men a bit pathe..."

I agree that the love triangles always seem to be to the detriment of the heroine; she either comes across as fickle or mean and the men are either unfeasibly understanding or unattractively alpha. It's like, come on - relationships are complicated enough without needing a third party to create conflict.

But when they are done well they can be great. The only convincing love triangle I have read recently was in the Hunger Games series because the history and circumstances surrounding the characters was so complex it was totally understandable that Katniss couldn't think straight about it.


message 16: by Amy Eye (new)

Amy Eye | 1841 comments Mod
Unfortunately, there are bunches of plot devices that are being used as mainstream anymore, and I am desperately looking for YA books who aren't following those trends. (YA being one of the worst for following these trends). I love strong characters, great action, and a keep me happy plot (no holes, no misinformation, and a few red herrings). I'm not hard to please, but when I see so many books modeled after Twilight, Harry Potter, and the other big ones out there, it starts to irritate me.

There are so many stories out there that need to be told. People need to quit retelling the same stories over and over, trying to cash in on the greats. The reason the greats are great is because they were the first of their kind. :)


message 17: by [deleted user] (last edited Jul 19, 2011 07:21AM) (new)

Absolutely. I like the occasional 'easy' read when my brain isn't up to the deep and meaningful stuff but that doesn't mean it has to unoriginal.


message 18: by [deleted user] (new)

Excellent and very fair review, Amy.


message 19: by Amy Eye (new)

Amy Eye | 1841 comments Mod
Emma - I'm usually not ever into deep and meaningful books...I like to escape from the world when I read, and while I do like the occasional Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre, I'm usually not that type of reader. I love books like Hollowland, Harry Potter, Wheel of Time, and books of that nature. While there can be HUGE meanings in each of these books, they are easy to read and easier to get lost in.

@Evelyn - thank you very much! I appreciate that!! :)


message 20: by [deleted user] (new)

Amy wrote: "While there can be HUGE meanings in each of these books, they are easy to read and easier to get lost in."

My favourite books are the kind that strike a balance between the two - they create a world you can immerse yourself in but also draw thought-provoking parallels to life, like the satire in Terry Pratchett's discworld novels. While they are 'easy' in the sense that they don't use particularly complex prose, an 'easy' read to me is more like a straight-forward guilty-pleasure romance. As a reader I know the couple will get together/confess their undying love eventually, but I still like the journey towards that end-point to have some originality.


message 21: by Lena (new)

Lena | 191 comments @Emma--Agreed. I like balance.

@Amy--I think I've gushed about this YA sci-fi book before, but if you haven't read The House of the Scorpion you just HAVE to. I tend to rave about my favorite books a lot, and that's one of them. It's such an amazing book, with, as you say, HUGE meaning but easy to read and so absorbing.

Okay, rave over. :)


message 22: by Dale (new)

Dale Ibitz (goodreadscomdale_ibitz) | 298 comments OK, I do like the triangle, I admit! :) Sorry. But agree it has to be unique or fresh and not the same ole' same ole and I do like other stories as well. In all honesty, I'm not hard to please. I liked the chemistry in My Blood Approves, and the girl actually did end up with the nice guy and not the dark mysterious one, so that one broke the mold a little. But Cambria is right, the characterization could be a little deeper, but Amanda has obviously touched on a emotional chord that draws readers.


message 23: by Lena (new)

Lena | 191 comments I did the triangle on the first series I wrote, but like I said, I'd never do it again. I want all my books/series to be different, not follow the same formula every time but w/ different characters/beings. Just my opinion. Writing the triangle was fun, but I wouldn't do it again.


message 24: by Amy Eye (new)

Amy Eye | 1841 comments Mod
Lena wrote: "@Emma--Agreed. I like balance.

@Amy--I think I've gushed about this YA sci-fi book before, but if you haven't read The House of the Scorpion you just HAVE to. I tend to rave about ..."


I added that to my TRL - I'm intrigued!!


message 25: by Bill (new)

Bill Talcott (billtalcott) | 80 comments Thanks for the review. I have a couple of stories I am about to finish and have been looking for something to put on the Kindle I got for my Birthday back in June. I have looked at Hollowland in the past and because of your review I am going to go ahead and download it.


message 26: by Amy Eye (new)

Amy Eye | 1841 comments Mod
That's great!! I'm glad I could help you make a decision on it! :)


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