The fourth book toward my challenge and another that was off the original list, I think I’ve been a lot better at guessing what I’ll be in the mood to read this year.
House of Hollow
Seventeen-year-old Iris Hollow has always been strange. Something happened to her and her two older sisters when they were children, something they can’t quite remember but that left each of them with an identical half-moon scar at the base of their throats.
Iris has spent most of her teenage years trying to avoid the weirdness that sticks to her like tar. But when her eldest sister, Grey, goes missing under suspicious circumstances, Iris learns just how weird her life can get: horned men start shadowing her, a corpse falls out of her sister’s ceiling, and ugly, impossible memories start to twist their way to the forefront of her mind.
As Iris retraces Grey’s last known footsteps and follows the increasingly bizarre trail of breadcrumbs she left behind, it becomes apparent that the only way to save her sister is to decipher the mystery of what happened to them as children.
The closer Iris gets to the truth, the closer she comes to understanding that the answer is dark and dangerous – and that Grey has been keeping a terrible secret from her for years.
I have been looking forward to reading this book since the start of the year when I got the chance to read a sample, the description was curious and captivating and I knew that it would definitely be a book that I would adore. From the start, you can tell this is a story steeped in magic and mystery, the kind you know is going to get under your skin and have you thinking about it for days afterwards. It is also the kind of book that I had great difficulty putting down once I’d started and of course was reading into the late hours of the evening telling myself that I would stop after the next chapter for something else to happen that just kept me reading.
The descriptions are eloquent and easily conjure up a dark, chilling, and ethereal atmosphere, that at points is eerie beyond measure but also kept me absolutely hooked into the story. The Hollow sisters, Grey, Vivi and Iris, are immediately fascinating and the euphoria that they seem to illicit, especially Grey and Vivi, pours off the page. I like that even though they are very different personalities they have a bond that at first seems like it should be unbreakable but with Grey’s disappearance suddenly seems a little tenuous. There is an air of mystery around them at all times and as such you don’t get too much past the surface level of the characters but in this story it actually works really well because it adds an extra layer of secrecy to the story.
I love the dark fairy tale vibe that this story has and as we get further into the book the more fantastical, unusual, and ghastly the story gets but in the best way. There are plenty of questions throughout the story that kept me guessing about what happened to the girls when they were younger and what it has to do with their present situation, and I would not have imagined how it would end but I did love the journey. I wish I could say more about how amazing this story is but there isn’t much more I can talk about without giving too much away and this is definitely a book you want to experience yourself, what I will say though is that it is unique and captivating and the writing is exquisite.
House of Hollow is a darkly mysterious story filled with secrets and magic and action, with family and survival at its core, this is definitely one of my favourites for this year and I would highly recommend it.