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The Hollow Gods Audio CD – Import, 29 September 2020
About the Author
Eva Kaminsky is a New York-based actor and audiobook narrator with over 150 titles to her credit. She trained at Boston University and has acted in numerous productions on television and film, including Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Happyish, Ugly Betty, ER, Numbers, Law & Order, and others.
- ASIN : B08ZBQY7TL
- Publisher : Tantor Audio; Unabridged edition (29 September 2020)
- Language : English
- Audio CD : 1 pages
- ISBN-13 : 979-8200192496
- Dimensions : 13.21 x 14.48 cm
- Customer Reviews:
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The story is told from the perspectives of three people – Kai, Miya, and Mason. For the major part of the book, Kai's perspective seems confused and angry, just as the author intends it to be. It raises more questions than revealing answers, which significantly increases the mystery quotient of the book.
Through Miya’s perspective, on the other hand, Vrana writes about issues of mental health and anxiety and cleverly ties them to the fable of her story. The strange yet vivid dreams of an overstressed, insomniac student can easily be attributed to just that – stress. But what if, they are premonitions of things to come? What if an otherworldly entity is trying to warn Miya? Just like Miya, I, too, kept on questioning these events.
However, it was Mason’s point-of-view that I liked the most since he is presenting all the questions which are probably there in the reader's mind as well. Mason is the rational voice, trying to find the reason behind all these bizarre events. He is an outsider. As a result, his inquisitiveness wins over his desire to not believe in the folklore in the first place. But as he digs deeper, he cannot help but wonder – Is the Dreamwalker a malevolent spirit made up by the townsfolk or does she exist? Because her existence blurs the line between fiction and reality.
Vrana seamlessly switches between the multiple POVs of Kai, Mason, and Miya to craft a smoothly flowing story.
The mystery does not unfold till the end of the book which kept me on my toes; however, till then, the characters are constantly battling between rationality and myth. The only complaint I have with the book is my failure to connect with the blooming love between (no points for guessing) Kai and Miya. It was more of an insta-love for me, but it does move the story forward.
In my opinion, the story is at its strongest when the mystery is unfolding - what is the legend which the townsfolk of Black Hollow is so tight-lipped about? Why do the characters keep seeing a particular raven? Is the Dreamwalker the only evil spirit here? These questions kept me on my toes, and I could not stop reading until I reached the last page.
It is past 85% that the story becomes thick with suspense leading to an excellent climax. This more than compensates for a meandering, gentle-paced middle portion. What was insta-love soon turned into an all-consuming affair when it was a love between two souls, not just two teenagers. Vrana's writing shines when she is describing the folklore and talking about spirits and realms. Further, her vivid descriptions of the eerie forest and the small town of Black Hollow create an atmospheric setting.
The Hollow Gods blends fables and nightmares to concoct a dark tale. It is undoubtedly a unique novel. If you like your fantasies infused with rich folklore and a mystery element, you will like this book. Thanks to publisher for an eARC of this book.
Emiliya (Miya) Delathorne is a twenty-year-old University student who has lived all her life in Black Hollow in British Columbia. She doesn't know what to expect from her life and is amused and equally scared of the supernatural stories that have forever floated around her town. Stories of an unknown entity, the Dreamwalker, who happens to kidnap young girls, release them, but who are later found dead. Miya fears for her own life when she sees some shadows that usually announce the Dreamwalker's impending arrival.
Kai Donovan wakes up next to the body of a dead girl he's pretty sure he didn't kill. It's a cycle he can't seem to escape, always waking up to dead bodies, without any knowledge of how he got there in the first place. But the voice never leaves him, egging him on to be more vicious.
Dr Mason Evans, an oncologist from Vancouver, specifically reaches the quaint little town of Black Hollow to escape the demons that were haunting him. A patient of his had died due to his decisions and he wanted a quiet retreat. But as soon as he arrives in Black Hollow, he becomes obsessed with the supernatural of the town and wants to solve its mysteries.
What happens when these three, in their own way, try to encounter the fable that has haunted the town for centuries?
Narrated in the third-person, the story follows from the perspectives of the three main characters – Miya, Kai, and Mason – trying to make sense of their world. I am a vampire girl, through and through, but I think I just fell in love with a wolf too. A.J. Vrana has created a beautifully haunting world in The Hollow Gods, her debut book.
"Stories aren’t told to convey the facts. They’re told to convey the truth."
Book One of The Chaos Cycle, this had a plausible ending. But Mia, Kai, and Mason's journey are still left. Mia reads the cards perfectly, but even that isn't able to help set her life straight. She's indecisive as to what to do in her life, who to be, and having spotted and helped the last girl to have been taken by the Dreamwalker, she feels compelled to investigate the mystery surrounding it.
"Little Red Riding Hood had more teeth than the Big Bad Wolf."
I loved Kai, the way his character was shaped up, and the mystery surrounding him. And I am always on the lookout for a little bit of romance on the side and this story was just perfect for me. Mia and Kai were like a dream but with the necessary snark and adequate bite. Yes, I am all for wolfish references! The revelations toward the end, whether it be the history of the backstory, all served to make the book more interesting!
"The rich thrived at the expense of the poor; industry thrived at the expense of nature."
It was quite a bit philosophical. Through the character of Mason, the author touched upon human nature and its fallacies as well as the persistent search for truth. While staying true to his character, everything Mason thought seemed to relate to our real world as well. Our doubts and need for facts.
"Sure, he thought humans were parasites scourging the earth, but the idea of kicking the bucket on the point of principle was so…human."
The titles are so apt. You will know when you read the book. Especially the series title, which is cyclical in nature. A fable which has been circulating the town since 1868, driving the townsfolk crazy with a seemingly sinister presence. A story so atmospheric, an ending which kept me glued to the pages, this is a must-read for the fans of the supernatural. I eagerly look forward to what Book Two has in store for us.
P.S. The Chaos Cycle Website is a treasure trove of information related to the series.
Thank you to The Parliament House Press for an e-ARC of the book.
Originally posted on:
My Blog @ Shaina's Musings
Top reviews from other countries
I'm all about spoiler free reviews, as you know, so I'm going to give nothing away but I am going to tell you that I got swept up in this tale.
It took me a while to get into this story, as the way it is told had me a little confused at first, but by around page 100 I was hooked. Some books start you off right in the middle of the drama, which this did, and that can be a bit disarming and confusing as a reader but you have to just trust that the author will explain everything in time through the story and this is what happened for me.
The characters in The Hollow Gods are flawed and fleshed out which I adored - they are relatable and real. Which in fantasy is a must. Miya is someone that I really enjoyed reading about. I liked how we got a sense of who she was from the very first page. I liked how she wasn't perfect - it made me like her a lot more.
Elements of this story gave me Grimm Fairy-tale vibes - which I adored. I also appreciated the intense mystery and almost thriller like telling of it.
I found the story to be a bit mind bending in places. Trying to keep track on who/what was real, dreamed, imagined was a bit tough but not unpleasant. And it made for an interesting read as I couldn't work out where the story was going for a while. Which I liked because predictable books are boring.
All in all I thoroughly enjoyed this story and will 100% be waiting for book two to come out!
I would recommend The Hollow Gods to those who love fantasy and mystery combined.
Thanks to A.J.Vrana, BookSirens and Parliament House Press for letting me read and review this.
As always, keep on reading,
My brain got smashed trying to figure out what came next, only to get hit by some new intrigue, still wondering if the answer is in the next chapter (yay! Short chapters!) And then it's then end. What?
I need more. Please give me more?
I love the pace of the story, the building of tension and timely relief, the different points of view that gives depth to the characters and a personal understanding of their internal growth. And the artwork is beautiful.
Can't wait for the next!
I personally enjoyed the realness of all three of the main characters. I found the romantic subplot natural, and in it's own way, crassly elegant.
Growing up in a small town myself, I caught on to the subtle mob mentality themes woven into a story that also includes folklore & mythology.
Very much looking forward to the sequel!