Thursday, January 5, 2012
Review: The Hollowland
Author: Amanda Hocking
"This is the way the world ends - not with a bang or a whimper, but with zombies breaking down the back door."
Nineteen-year-old Remy King is on a mission to get across the wasteland left of America, and nothing will stand in her way - not violent marauders, a spoiled rock star, or an army of flesh-eating zombies (goodreads.com).
I found Hollowland late one night when I was cruising around Amazon trying to find things to download onto my new Kindle Fire. I always check out the free books because free is free right? Hollowland was listed among them, and after reading the blurb about the plot I promptly hit the download button. Then a few days later when looking for challenges in 2012 I came across the Zombie Reading Challenge. "Score" I thought! "I can use Hollowland to help complete this challenge." And that is how I came to read this particular book...
I'm not really sure what was worse on this one. The character development and plot, or the writing itself. The writing was so choppy at times, I found myself re-reading sentences three times before if finally dawned on me what the author was trying to say. And the typos! I hate typos. I know everyone makes them including myself, and this book was self published...and free, but still a little extra proofreading probably wouldn't hurt.
Hollowland was like one bad rollercoaster ride. This book is non-stop. It seemed like something was happening around every turn. This would have been amazing had there been some character development to back it up but the book was completely void of this detail. There was absolutely no real emotion in this book. Our main character Remy is like a robot. She's killing zombies with the kind of attitude I take towards cooking dinner...yeah it sucks but it's got to be done. I wanted to feel some real fear. I do think some of the plot devices that were used were there to serve a purpose. Remy must leave a friend behind in the desert because she may have been infected with the zombie virus. I think this was there to show that Remy was a strong, focused leader...but actually just made her look like she really didn't give a crap about anyone. And then there was the lion...I mean really...a lion. I'm not sure what the author was trying to establish with a lion unless she thought it would be really cool, but to me it was just weird.
From the lion, things went downhill fast. Remy and her small group of followers ended up spending the night with a cult leader named Koresh and his band of merry followers. Koresh hopes to cleanse Remy's friend Lazlo, a rockstar before the zombies came and took over the world, so they try to escape but are held up when Remy, of course because this makes sense, tries to find her lion...do I really need to say more?
The sad thing about this book is it started off really good. Zombies had envaded a secure government facility. We see that the zombies are beginning to develop a higher since of intelligence. They're working together to destroy the world rather than running amuck. We get a glimpse at the life that Remy was leading...secure but no where near perfect. It was a great setup. Had the author not choosen to go down the road of a B grade horror film, I probably would have given this book a lot higher rating. But instead I was left exhausted and drained and not in a good way.
Save your self the trouble of reading this book. Go out and rent Shaun of the Dead instead...