Thank you NetGalley and Gallery / Saga Press for this ARC. All thoughts and opinions are mine.
SYNOPSIS: Pray they are hungry.
Kara finds the words in the mysterious bunker that she’s discovered behind a hole in the wall of her uncle’s house. Freshly divorced and living back at home, Kara now becomes obsessed with these cryptic words and starts exploring this peculiar area—only to discover that it holds portals to countless alternate realities. But these places are haunted by creatures that seem to hear thoughts…and the more one fears them, the stronger they become. (AMAZON)
It had been a while since a horror book had dug under my skin. Until now.
The Hollow Places is inherently creepy and otherworldly. Told through the very likable voice of Kara—Carrot—alongside her new and Mad-Hatter-styled friend, Simon, the story builds to an unusual crescendo that gives you a lot of food for thought, and now makes me take a second look at the walls around me every time I enter a room. Because the possibilities behind them are endless!
To enjoy a book that's been written, in part, to scare me, I don't need it to be splashy and outrageous. This story is the type of story that puts you into a false sense of security while the weird creeps up on you little by little. It does a really great job of foreshadowing and the tension builds up beautifully 'til you're thrust into a new and strange world that's waiting to either kill you or tear you apart—the second, I assure you, far worse than the first.
The idea behind this, with the willows in such a stark limelight—which Kingfisher appears to have taken as inspiration from Algernon Blackwood's “The Willows,” per the author's note—begins subtly. The realization of how strong a role they play into the novel hits too late to take cover. And the multi-dimensional way of seeing things is not just a puzzle sometimes, but it amplifies the horror of the terrible things that something you cannot fully see is capable of doing to a person that steps into this apparently banal new land.
I devoured the book, it's so deliciously readable that putting it down was never a choice. Kingfisher's imagination splashes through the pages one alien footstep at a time.