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review 2020-09-05 01:18
The Hollow Places - T. Kingfisher

I think this book will stay with me for awhile, I'm afraid the willows have taken root. I know many people draw the obvious parallels with Lovecraft, but for me this one also had some vibes that brought up touchstones from The Mist (Stephen King) and a smidge of Pan's Labyrinth. Definitely that dark otherworldliness but also the religious and/or mythical undertones throughout.


Sometimes the vastness and imagination that goes into multiverses can be overwhelming but I thought this was beautifully balanced by the characters, with their lightness and their dark humor and being so down-to-earth (which is funny, all things considered!). Carrot and Simon, and even Uncle Earl help even things out and brought levity to a quagmire of disturbing otherness.


The disquieting undertones all throughout was classic horror that I greatly appreciate. It's like a feeling you get that something is behind you and that paralyzing moment where you're deciding whether to look or not, to quickly escape or rationalize it away. In willow world or not, that feeling stays with you throughout the story and it's fabulously unsettling. On the flip side the vivid picture painted with some of the more in your face creepy situations, like the bus or Sturdivant, was grotesquely clear and so easily visualized.

I think my favorite part of all though was the last part in the Museum. It brought a whole new heartwarming element to the tale that I wasn't expecting. For lack of a better term, there really is no place like home, and the idea that your home might feel that way about you too is quite touching. All in all this was a fast paced enthralling read and I definitely look forward to reading more from this author in the future.


I received an arc of this book from Gallery Books via Netgalley and this is my honest review.

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text 2016-01-26 04:20
New Book Tuesday!
The Dark Days Club (A Lady Helen Novel) - Alison Goodman
Shallow Graves - Kali Wallace
The Mystery of Hollow Places - Rebecca Podos
The Bands of Mourning - Brandon Sanderson
The Magicians - Lev Grossman

Oh, how I love being on the west coast on Mondays! What that means is that I get my preordered books at around 9:00 p.m., just in time for a couple of reading hours before I am forced to sleep.


This week is a big one, with three YA releases and the new Sanderson! We also picked up The Magicians, in light of the new small screen adaptation!

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review 2014-11-08 23:43
Roses and thorns, zombie edition
The Dark and Hollow Places - Carrie Ryan

Rose: Annah is a kick-ass heroine--nice balance between human frailties and survival skills.


Thorn: A love triangle quadrangle. Involving twins.


As in which twin do I really love? Which twin does he really love?


No. Stop it.


Rose: Excellent action and suspense, along with the gory truth of a zombie infection.


Thorn: He was mine first, but he really loves you. I know he was yours, but he has chosen me. Yes, I'm repeating myself, but really--there's a thorn for each couple involved in this love quadrangle of twinness.

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review 2014-04-21 18:59
The Dark and Hollow Places (Forest of Hands and Teeth #3)
The Dark and Hollow Places - Carrie Ryan

There are many things that Annah would like to forget: the look on her sister's face when she and Elias left her behind in the Forest of Hands and Teeth, her first glimpse of the horde as they found their way to the Dark City, the sear of the barbed wire that would scar her for life. But most of all, Annah would like to forget the morning Elias left her for the Recruiters. 

Annah's world stopped that day and she's been waiting for him to come home ever since. Without him, her life doesn't feel much different from that of the dead that roam the wasted city around her. Then she meets Catcher and everything feels alive again. 

Except, Catcher has his own secrets—dark, terrifying truths that link him to a past Annah's longed to forget, and to a future too deadly to consider. And now it's up to Annah—can she continue to live in a world drenched in the blood of the living? Or is death the only escape from the Return's destruction?



I really didn't know what to expect from this book and really had no idea how the trilogy would end. I really enjoyed this first book of the trilogy and I loved the second book and I couldn't really see how the author would be able to top The Dead-Tossed Waves. I didn't like this book more than the second but I loved it just as much.
I was a little disappointed to find out it was not from Gabry's POV because I really loved seeing the story from her perspective. However after a couple of chapters I was completely hooked and loved seeing the world through Annah's eyes.

Annah has always seen the dark side of the world. She feels incredibly guilty for leaving her twin sister alone in the forest of hands and teeth years ago and not knowing what happened to her. So when he comes face to face with her sister she has so many emotions to deal with. Guilt, love and even a little bit of hate that the boy she believe that she loved chose her sister over her.

I could really associate with Annah throughout the book, she has such low self-confidence after getting scarred all down one side of her body. I felt that this book concentrated more on fighting the humane evil of the recruiters rather than the Unconsecrated and I liked that. Although the Unconsecrated were a huge part of the book as they have for the entire series I got the impression that the characters were more worried about escaping the clutched of the humans and heading for a better way of life than the one they have with the Recruiters.

I really did love this book. It was action-packed and exciting and I just couldn't stop reading because I needed to know what was going to happen next. I loved the ending as it gave hope that the world could evolve and finally become better. I think it was a great optimistic ending that I am happy with for the series. It is open so that Carrie Ryan could write another and I would love it if she did but it's also a great ending where you don't need another book as you are not left wondering what is going ot happen.

A great ending to a great series that I loved. I loved diving into this dystopian world and could read this series again and again.


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review 2013-12-23 06:58
The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan
The Dark and Hollow Places - Carrie Ryan

Man... this series has been ups and downs and all around for me. At times it was interesting but most of the time it was... not. I love the world and the Unconsecrated. I thought it was fascinating how they were incorporated into the story (even though we don't get much of explanation as to why this happened in the first place but I digress). The characters? Yeah, not so much. It was a constant struggle for me to stay invested whenever the story focused on the characters and their stupidity. BUT! I persevered and, by the end of it, I was glad I read it. If only for the world building aspects.

I said this in my other review of her books, but I think Ryan has excellent ideas but does not know how to execute them well. Her ideas about the Unconsecrated and how the world is basically coming to an end are astounding! It's a concept that makes you want to sit and analyze for hours on end! The horrific imagery that is placed in your head whilst you learn more and more about this world will leave you with jitters. However, I think Ryan struggles with portraying these ideas in a way that's not tedious to the reader. She focuses more on her characters instead of building up her world more. And I would be fine with this... if her characters weren't all a bunch of cardboard cutouts of each other with no motivation to do anything except land with the guy they are currently yearning for. That doesn't make good characters. Not one bit.

Speaking of characters, they go through little character development, if any. Annah was selfish and stupid in the beginning and she ends the same way, except this time she is pining after Catcher instead of Elias, the same two main love interests from <i>The Dead-Tossed Waves</i>. (Yeah, I know. Boring.) Catcher and Elias haven't changed at all from the previous book so whenever they were being focused on, I was bored out of my mind. Gabry is in this one, too... and I really disliked her in the previous book. And guess what? I still don't like her. But at least she was hardly shown in this one. All-in-all, the characters were too dull or too stupid for me to care about any of them. There was only one character, a minor one with no relevance to the "plot," that I actually cared for... and Annah had to go and mess that up, too. (I would say more but it's a bit of a spoiler. It had to do with Dove.)

With that being said, I do love the world. I love the creepy atmosphere this book sets up. I love how, when Ryan focuses on the plot, the book becomes fun and interesting. The writing isn't that great nor are the characters but I think you should read this if you are looking for something that's creepy and you like world building. But if the characters sound too unbearable... you might want to skip this one.

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