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review 2017-04-07 14:19
Rarity from the Hollow- Robert Eggleton

   Not everyone will read the story the way I did. In fact, wading through twenty or so of the at this point in time 94 Amayon.com reviews, I couldn’t find any others that were reading the exact same message.

  This is a story that’s omnipresent voice explores the decent of an adolescent girl into madness. At the books end, I imagine her institutionalised, living her conscious life entirely in an invented world of her imagination, while kept ‘physically safe’ by psychiatric nurses.

   The setting of West Virginia is irrelevant, other than that I read that it is a place where the author worked as a psychotherapist. One can read in the deprived corners of any state on Earth.

  The book is comic, by line, sometimes treading in the deep crud of extreme social and physical abuse and poverty, by chapter. Lacy Dawn is the daughter of an abusive PTSD suffering father, and a down-trodden and objectified mother. We read about how, especially after the murder of her best friend she starts to tip over the edge, eventually losing even remote connection with reality. As she descends into the protective cocoon of her imagination she engages in a range of abnormal behaviour typical of traumatised children, and especially of those children that have being exposed to the very worst of adult behaviour. Drugs, guns, and sexual exploitation of all sorts are the bread and butter of everyday life in the neighbourhood of this poor child.

   If one chooses to read that way, she ‘really’ goes on an adventure across space, engaged to marry a robot that is slowly turning into a physically ‘entire’ man. If you don’t, and I don’t. The distant shopping Mall is the furthest she ever gets from home.

For my perspective, this is book is conceptualised brilliantly, and executed well. The writing is good, as is the pace of the plot. Perhaps the ending is a little weak, but by that point where could Lacy Dawn’s mind go that could be more distant from reality, and more protective of what little is left of her sanity. The satirical plot, the harsh existence which became an escape to the stars, or the closed spaces of the mind, is very clever. The ending was appropriate, as Lacy builds her own sanctuary, one in which she is at last in control of her life.

   Where could a sequel go? To rehab from drugs and mental recovery, or further into the stars?

   The message: “however life shits on you, don’t shit on the children” is delivered so harshly that only the comical prose could carry the ‘normal’ reader to the stories psychotic conclusion. If we don’t protect and fight for wholesome family values, our societies will all decay into an impoverished, disease ridden, Hobbesian Hollow.

Lacy Dawns mental space may be unique, but unfortunately isn’t that abnormal. Well, that is the view of a relatively sane man who only understands one psychology, my own.       Get well, Lacy Dawn and let Faith rest in peace, but never her death be hidden from the judgment of society.


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review 2016-12-28 12:51
Rarity from the Hollow Review
Rarity from the Hollow - Robert Eggleton


Now, I guess this is one of the first sci-fi/fantasy books for adults from a child’s perspective that I’ve reviewed. The start is pretty reasonable, but the more you read, the weirder it gets. For those of you that like weird – this book may be for you. We follow the perspective of a young girl, and that’s not all. There are thoughts interjected all over the show from other characters that I was never really sure – is she mind reading or are we reading everyone’s thoughts at once? The thoughts are in italics – but it still warps you out of the story when you read thought after thought from different characters.


However, I do believe this book does have some insight into critical social issues, and I think the author has donated proceeds from the book to a, or several, charities.



We follow Lacy Dawn, her father Dwayne, her mother Jenny, her friend Faith, her father’s friend Tom, and finally DotCom (the name reminds me of Kim Dotcom, and I couldn’t get that out of my head). This entourage makes up the main characters in the book (plus two more Mr Prump and Mr Rump).


Firstly, the absolute main character is Lacy Dawn. She’s been taught and chosen since she was young all about topics that are far above her grade level. She blazes over topics such as sex, drugs, men, and abuse. She talks about these things as if every thirteen years old should know them. She comes from a low-income family in a poor area so there is a little bit of dialect in the book.  As a character, I’m not sure if I liked Lacy Dawn. Innocence mixed with intelligence is maybe not my favourite attributes. She also has a friend, Faith, who only she can see for most of the book. Faith and Lacy discuss so many topics as children would, not understanding (or just saying what comes to their mind first).


Next, we have her father (Dwayne), and her mother Jenny. Dwayne is a wife and child beater (there is a lot of domestic violence at the start of this book). Jenny is a struggling mother who doesn’t know what to do or how to escape. Throughout the book, we see these two characters develop and improve on their faults, through the power of alien technology. Tom, Dwayne’s friend, also finds himself discovering his flaws the further through the story we go.


Lastly, we have Dotcom, who is an android (robot) from the centre of the universe, as well as his boss Mr Prump. Dotcom has waited millennia for Lacy Dawn as per the instructions from Mr Prump (the manager of the universe… kind of). Dotcom finds himself moulding to his new world the more he hangs with Lacy. It’s almost as if Lacy and Dotcom have an intelligence swap.



As quite a social science fiction book, it is filled with themes and criticisms of society. The first I’d like to tackle is domestic abuse. This happens for practically half the book until Dwayne is fixed. We also see this with Faith (spoiler ahead). Faith says her father killed her for resisting his urges. This sort of abuse is wild through the earlier parts of the book, and you almost believe Lacy uses her imagination (with Dotcom and the trees) to cope with her abuse from her father (his anger).


Another theme is teamwork and leadership. We see this later in the book when Lacy Dawn uses her leadership skills she’s gained to control and guide her team to solutions. We also read that she’s okay to let her team do the work when she’s not capable of completing it. I thought that was quite a nice little theme Eggleton added in.


Finally, the last issue I want to discuss is the obsession with sex and sexualizing things. I have to note, however, that all sexual acts are never performed in the book, they’re merely overheard or talked about. Throughout the entire book, Lacy seems obsessed with marrying and noticing DotCom and his “parts”. She does go against today’s society by stating that she will not have sex before marriage. Kind of weird to read about it, but we also read about how she hears her parents going at it and how she hears her mother in the bathtub. This all put together lead me to believe Eggleton did this to comment on how much society uses and needs sex.



While the concept was original to me, and the characters seem to be quite developed, I just found the concept a little too bizarre for my liking. However, if you feel like you want something completely different from anything you’ve maybe read, please do pick this up. It had quite a lot of laughs and awkward moments. Overall, I thought it was a decent read.


Note about this review

I received a copy of the book from the author for an honest review. I always try my best to balance the reviews and not favour any one person (though I may be a bit subjective when it comes to the genre).

Source: www.amaitken.com/book-review/rarity-from-the-hollow-review
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review 2016-02-09 00:00
Rarity from the Hollow
Rarity from the Hollow - Robert Eggleton This was a strange book! Maybe not the strangest book I've ever read, but still, pretty fucking strange.

The first part is where we meet Lacy Dawn and her dysfunctional family and neighbours. They live in the Hollow, a semi-fictional rural community in the region of Appalachia in the US (I'm calling it semi-fictional because there are plenty of 'hollows' out there just like this one). The first chapter opens up with child abuse seeming like the most normal thing in the world to these people. Add some more domestic violence, sexual abuse, smoking pot and welfare kings and queens to the mix and you think you figured it out. That's when DotCom, an ancient alien android designed to look like a human except for his genital parts, enters the story and everything changes. With the help of DotCom, Lucy Dawn is determined to fix her parents and thereby, creating a better life for herself as well. DotCom also happens to be her boyfriend. Which is okay for a 12-year-old girl because he doesn't have any genitals anyways.

Even though this might sound batshit crazy to you (and it is, really), I liked this first part of the book the most. Being a European girl who grew up in a relatively wealthy environment, it's always fascinating to see hillbillies on TV, wondering how on earth people can still live like this in 2016. Then again, we've got our own versions of hillbillies here as well and I think if you're born in such an environment, it's extremely hard to get out of it. Unless you have a secret alien android boyfriend parked in a spaceship Roundabend of course.

The second part of the book was my least favourite part. It became pretty confusing when Lacy Dawn had to save the universe by going on a shopping spree on another planet, Shptiludrp (which also happens to be the central planet of our universe in Lacy Dawn's world). It was a test to see if she would be capable enough of solving the actual problems on Shptiludrp and thereby, saving planet Earth in the meantime. You're still following me? Good, because I'm like this again...

The third part covers the actual saving of the universe. And it involves seducing cockroaches. I really felt like I was on crack throughout the last 40% of the book or so; boy, does the author have a heck of an imagination! Last time I felt this way was when I was reading books from the L.Frank Baum's Oz series.

Apart from a couple of info dumps that could've been skipped if it were up to me, the writing style was good. It was kept simple, yet not simple at all which can be quite an achievement. The psychology that was weaved throughout the book really showed Eggleton's tremendous experience in the field. Since studying psychological behaviour has always been a hobby of mine, I found the references pretty interesting.

“I guess sometimes a person becomes what he pretends to be. I pretended that I had a good reason to be mad and I was. Then, I pretended that I wasn't mad and somehow it went away.”

My favourite character was probably Brownie because A. he's a super smart dog, B. he's called brownie, duh, and C. he gets embarrassed about his own farts, something I keep hoping my dog will do as well some day. My least favourite character was Jenny, Lacy Dawn's mother, because all she could think of was dressing up and seducing her husband. While leaving her daughter neglected most of the time.

Even though it sometimes added up to the general confusion, I liked reading the thoughts of every single individual involved in a scene. Even Brownie's thoughts were captured, which is why I know he's so embarrassed about his farting.

This is a book which is definitely not meant for everyone. I'm still having a hard time figuring out what I thought of it exactly! There's a lot of swearing, sexual puns and references, marijuana and crazy town involved. Seeing as I'm Dutch and really can't be shocked all too much when it comes to drugs, the abundance of smoking pot wasn't an issue to read about for me at all. I can imagine this doesn't apply to everyone, though.
Also, if you don't feel any connection to sci-fi whatsoever, I strongly suggest passing on this one as well because the odd sci-fi twists and turns make it a requirement to having at least a bit of sci-fi imagination hardwired into your brain.

Even though this book is batshit crazy weird, it still delivers the message of why it's so important to try and prevent child abuse. The naive voice of Faith, Lacy Dawn's friend who has been killed by her own father, is heartbreakingly shocking and I don't doubt for a second that there are lots of children who think it's normal to be treated that way by their parents or feel that they are to be blamed themselves for the abuse.

I ended up giving it 2.5 brownies because it's not a bad book by any means, but I can't say it was really my cup of tea either. I'm positively sure it can be a 5-star rated book for someone else, though!

A big thank you to Robert Eggleton for providing me a copy of his book in exchange for an honest review! 
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review 2016-01-26 01:32
Rarity from the Hollow - Robert Eggleton


  Well one thing I can say for certain is that Rarity From the Hollow is a genuinely unique story. I'm truly a little stumped about my feelings on it as a whole. While it's wildly inventive and interesting, I struggled to finish this story.


It grabbed my attention right off the bat, with this strange little girl, Lacy Dawn and her even stranger companions. I wanted to know more about this girl who talked to a ghost and trees and had her secret robot boyfriend from another world. Unfortunately I never quite felt like I connected to Lacy Dawn, or her plight, and I'm not really sure why. If I am being 100% honest I felt that way with all of the characters. I found Dot Com to be very interesting, especially once his errrr transformation started...but his long winded robot jargon, especially concerning the Shptiludrp shopping scenarios, really gave it a monotonous tone that had me struggling to focus on the story. But, that's just my personal taste, someone with a heavier love of Sci-Fi might rather enjoy it.


I also struggled with the alternating POVs which, again, is a personal issue with me. I have a hard time enjoying multiple POVs if they aren't done in a fashion where it's very apparent who is speaking/thinking right away. It becomes increasingly hard to differentiate between voices, in this book especially, because unless it's Dot Com talking, the rest of the characters have a similar voice, at least at first glance. I know that there was an issue with some of the punctuation concerning when different people are speaking in this book that is being addressed in the future though, and that might make a difference with being able to better tell when one person's thought ends and another begins.


I do appreciate the Author's imagination in creating a tale such as this. Shptiludrp was a very intriguing place, and the plot was strong. I also thought he did a good job with some touchier subject material. And I think it's awesome that the proceeds from this novel have been donated to a child abuse prevention program operated by Children’s Home Society!


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



About the author:



Robert Eggleton has served as a children's advocate in an impoverished state for over forty years. He is best known for his investigative reports about children’s programs, most of which were published by the West Virginia Supreme Court where he worked from 1982 through 1997, and which also included publication of models of serving disadvantaged and homeless children in the community instead of in large institutions, research into foster care drift involving children bouncing from one home to the next -- never finding a permanent loving family, and statistical reports on the occurrence and correlates of child abuse and delinquency. Today, he is a recently retired children's psychotherapist from the mental health center in Charleston, West Virginia, where he specialized in helping victims cope with and overcome physical and sexual abuse, and other mental health concerns. Rarity from the Hollow is his debut novel and its release followed publication of three short Lacy Dawn Adventures in magazines: Wingspan Quarterly, Beyond Centauri, and Atomjack Science Fiction. Author proceeds have been donated to a child abuse prevention program operated by Children’s Home Society of West Virginia. http://www.childhswv.org/ Robert continues to write fiction with new adventures based on a protagonist that is a composite character of children that he met when delivering group therapy services. The overall theme of his stories remains victimization to empowerment.


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review 2015-12-02 17:29
Rarity From The Hollow
Rarity from the Hollow - Robert Eggleton

Lacy Dawn is a pre-teen girl who lives in an Appalachian community called The Hollow.  Not many people escape The Hollow, but Lacy Dawn is smart.  With the help of her un-Earthly friend, DotCom, Lacy has been tutored and her parents have been changed from an alcoholic who likes to use the switch and a down on her luck housewife to loving, intelligent parents who will help her with her mission in life.  DotCom is not just helping Lacy Dawn to nice; he needs Lacy Dawn to save his home planet, Shptiludrp and her world.  With Lacy Dawn’s new found intelligence and her new and improved team, Lacy Dawn will be able to save Shptiludrp and Earth with the most extraordinary of means.



This book has a little bit of everything in it and I really didn’t know what I was getting into.  The beginning threw me for a few loops, with child abuse, mental health issues and sexual abuse, this story that is labeled as an adult fairy tale is most definitely for adults.  There is definitely a lot of strangeness in this book, but all of that led to wonderful insights and even better characters.  Lacy Dawn is irresistibly intriguing, I love her acceptance, heart, willingness to take on challenges and honesty.  Her growing relationship with DotCom was both fascinating and sweet.  DotCom’s transformation was probably the best part of this story for me, as he changes to a ‘real boy,’ the emotions and new sensations that DotCom was feeling as a human were hilarious.  The story really picked up for me when Lacy Dawn received her mission on Shptiludrp, an exciting and zany planet whose only hope is a dysfunctional family, their dog and an android who is turning into a man.


This book was received for free in return for an honest review.

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