The Hollow Places is an atmospheric and spooky novel, but not outright terrifying. It tapped into my weird fear of roots/plants gone bad (see The Ruins) effectively and swept me away nicely for a short and easy read.
But I’m getting ahead of myself, aren’t I? Let’s go back to the beginning.
Kara, or ‘Carrot’ as she’s affectionately known, is in a bit of a mess. She’s just divorced her partner and is looking for a fresh start. When her uncle, the owner of The Museum of Wonders (kinda like a small-town Ripley’s Believe It or Not but with more taxidermy) needs help as his physical health declines, it gives her direction and something to do. She sets about cataloging his curiosities and forging a friendship with the barista next door, Simon.
All is going well until she discovers a hole in the wall that leads to another dimension. A dimension of concrete bunkers, glowing willow trees, and graffiti on the wall warning “Pray They Are Hungry“. This is the “They mostly come at night. Mostly” point of the novel, and from that point, things get wacky and increasingly unsettling.
I wouldn’t say this was an amazing book that casts a new lens on the genre or anything, but it’s fun. Kara and Simon are very likeable (actually now that I think about it… everyone in this novel is pretty likeable! Even the crummy ex husband isn’t that bad. Huh! That’s gotta be a rarity, right?). Plus: it has a cat with an attitude, which always helps.
If you’re looking for a novel that’s chock full of spook with just a little bit of zany, this is for you.
I’ll give it a solid 3 Fish Leather-Bound Journals out of 5.