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Book Review: “The Hollow Places”

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When a portal to another dimension opens up in her uncle’s amateur museum of oddities, Kara and her friend Simon embark on a horrifying adventure in T. Kingfisher’s newest release, “The Hollow Places.”  

Kara, newly divorced and penniless, is stuck back home until her uncle Earl offers her a room at his wacky tourist trap: The Glory to God Museum of Natural Wonder, Curiosities and Taxidermy. Forming a friendship with Simon, the barista at the coffee shop next door, Kara focuses on helping her uncle and trying to stay off of her ex’s Facebook page. 

However, when Uncle Earl leaves for surgery and places the museum under her care, a strange hole appears on the wall of the museum, Kara and Simon go in to find out what’s on the other side. Full of otherworldly beings and creepy antagonists, the more we learn of this perplexing world, the less we, and the characters, want to be in it.  

Inspired by the short story “The Willows” by Algernon Blackwood, Kingfisher takes images from the original story to create something uniquely horrifying.  

Pray they are hungry 

This “Narnia”-turned-“Pan’s Labyrinth” sinks the reader deeper and deeper into fear and, with supernatural possessions and nauseating gore, you may never look at willow trees the same ever again.  

One thing that absolutely sets this apart from other horror releasing this fall is this book’s humor. Kara’s relatability and Simon’s quirky charm balances the dread readers feel during their journey through the undefined parallel universe they accidentally stumbled upon. Full of witty banter and genuinely funny jokes, this book will make you squeamish one minute and laugh out loud the next.  

Kingfisher writes a memorable story with relatable characters in a dark, strange world that will keep you at the edge of your seat until the very end. The quaint small-town vibes, terror and humor all come together and make for a spellbinding modern horror novel. This is best to dive into the story blind and enjoy the ride. 

The Hollow Places will release on Oct. 6 everywhere books are sold. 


Ariel Parker

Contributing Writer

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