Book Reviews · Horror

The Hollow Places

I’m currently five days into the FrightFall readathon, and I have to say that I’m having a marvelous time so far! For my second spooky book of the month, I decided to read The Hollow Places, by T. Kingfisher. I’ve been a fan Kingfisher’s writing ever since I picked up a copy of A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking earlier this year, so I was really excited to read her most recent standalone novel.

The Hollow Places tells the story of a 34-year-old graphic designer named Kara, who is dreading the thought of moving back in with her parents after her recent divorce. When her uncle offers her the chance to stay with him, and to help him run the Glory to God Museum of Natural Wonders, Curiosities, and Taxidermy, she jumps at the opportunity.

About a month after moving in, her uncle has to have surgery, leaving Kara in charge of the museum until he has recovered. It’s during this time that she discovers a hole in the museum wall.

Thinking that a patron must have knocked the hole in the wall by accident, Kara plans to do some DIY to patch it, with the help of her friend, Simon. However, as they begin their work, they discover that there is a hallway hidden behind the museum wall…a hallway which cannot possibly exist in that location.

The two friends decide to investigate, only to discover that the hallway leads to a strange, foggy world filled with willow trees and oddly-shaped bunkers, ones which apparently contain portals to alternate realities. As they investigate, Kara and Simon soon learn that they are not alone in this place. There are creatures lurking in the fog, and “They” are attracted to fear.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Hollow Places! In addition to an interesting premise and a fun cast of characters, the novel also has a great spooky vibe, which is fed by the atmosphere the author created. The world building in this story is incredible, and I found it very easy to visualize the alternate worlds that Kara and Simon come into contact with.

While I wouldn’t describe the book as terrifying, it’s definitely creepy in the way that I like my horror novels (and movies) to be. Kingfisher really did a good job of steadily increasing the level of horror and suspense over the course of the story, and I found that the farther I got into the book, the harder it was to put it down.

Whether you are a fan of T. Kingfisher’s novels, or you’re looking for a spooky adult read for the Halloween season, I highly recommend checking out The Hollow Places for yourself. It’s a great novel that will definitely make you think.

If you do have a chance to read The Hollow Places for yourself, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Happy spooky reading!

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