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The Hollow Places by T. Kingfisher

--Staff Picks General

The Hollow Places

T. Kingfisher
Published: 2020
Age Range: Young Adult - Adult
Genre: Horror

Kara, aka Carrot, finds herself divorced and penniless at thirty. Rather than go home to her mom where the relationship is tense, she goes to live with her Uncle Earl at his beloved small-town Museum of Wonders, a collection of weird items and taxidermied animals curated over many years. That’s when a portal opens up into an eerie, strange world. 

This book started out super engaging and I became invested in the characters early on. There was plenty of snarky dialogue and humor between Kara and her friend and next door neighbor, Simon. Then it got creepy and I was genuinely scared and felt a sense of dread. I did have a hard time suspending disbelief, but that’s most likely my problem. I understand that part of horror is living vicariously through the characters who do things you wouldn’t normally do, but I couldn’t get past Kara and Simon’s relentlessly bad decision making, which led them to explore the portal rather than run the other way. Also, the twist was very obvious and I had a hard time buying that they couldn’t see it. The climax at the end, for me, was exciting and more silly than scary. 

This novel would be great for people who enjoy cosmic horror, body horror, and creepy settings. It would also be great for those who like writing that is engaging and who are not opposed to some humor with their horror.

You can check out the book here or the ebook through Overdrive or the Libby app.