Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Hollowland

Hollowland
By:  Amanda Hocking
Published October 6, 2010
ISBN:  9781453860953
Available Format:  Paperback, ebook

My Rating: ★★★★☆

When the quarantine nineteen-year-old Remy and her brother are housed in is overrun with a calculating zombie horde, Remy and her friends must make a daring escape and head out into the world alone once again. Unfortunately, Remy is separated from her nine-year-old brother, Max, who was mysteriously locked away in the medical facility and evacuated as soon as the zombie threat was upon them.  Remy is determined to be reunited with her little brother, no matter what she has to face along the way. Soon, a motley band of survivors—Remy, Harlow, Blue, rock star Lazlo, and a zombie-eating lion, Ripley—makes their way north in search of the facility Max is supposedly being held. Will the crew be able to keep themselves alive, and what difficult choices will Remy be faced with if she succeeds in finding her little brother?

This was actually my initial foray into zombie literature along with Living with the Dead by Joshua Guess. The JournalJabber listeners wanted zombies, so naturally the hosts have to read some zombie books to discuss!

I have now read all of Hocking’s published work to date, and I have to say it was a nice change of pace to have one of her stories full of zombies and without the protagonist falling head over heels for some extraordinarily attractive supernatural guy! I can’t say for certain this is my favorite of Hocking’s work, but it does rank right up there. I truly enjoyed her Trylle trilogy, so I think it is a tight race between those and the Hollows series. 

One stark contrast in this book was the strength and tenacity of the heroine. Usually, Hocking’s protagonist is weaker and in need of protection, usually provided by previously mentioned hot supernatural male character. In this case, Remy can most definitely take care of herself. She not only displays physical ability, but she is able to read other people’s characters and make sound judgments which  are critical in such an apocalyptic setting where there are no longer many morals or laws. 

Remy has had to significantly harden herself in order to survive, and at times she struggles with her emotions and whether or not she can trust and open up to those around her. She felt like a very real person in this aspect. She focused on what was most important at the time and did not get bogged down with her feelings.  She knew in order to make it through this alive, she was going to have to be able to switch off that part of herself. Her interactions with her friends, however, kept her grounded—showing the reader that she did have compassion for others when it was necessary. 

There were a few minor errors and issues in this book, as with all of Hocking’s self-published works. I saw that she is now using an editor for her professionally published works-in-progress, so I believe she will continue to improve. She definitely has the talent to be a great writer, and I am looking forward to the continuation of this series as well as her new Watersong series.  I am, without a doubt, a Hocking fan! :-)

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