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Review: The Hollow Places


Pray they are hungry.

Kara finds these words in the mysterious bunker that she’s discovered behind a hole in the wall of her uncle’s house. Freshly divorced and living back at home, Kara now becomes obsessed with these cryptic words and starts exploring the peculiar bunker—only to discover that it holds portals to countless alternate realities. But these places are haunted by creatures that seem to hear thoughts…and the more you fear them, the stronger they become.

With her distinctive “delightfully fresh and subversive” (SF Bluestocking) prose and the strange, sinister wonder found in Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth, The Hollow Places is another compelling and white-knuckled horror novel that you won’t be able to put down. –


Rating: 3 out of 5.

Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with a copy in return for an honest review.

This is a bit of a mixed review for me. On the one hand, as a horror novel, this really works. Parts of this book are incredibly creepy and Kingfisher does a knockout job of creating a deeply unsettling, believable alternate dimension. I whipped through this book and was even freaked out enough at points to have to get out of bed to turn on a light. As a quick Halloween read, I can’t recommend it enough.

However, and this is what stops this from being a 4 star read, when Kingfisher isn’t actively creeping you out, you might have trouble keeping your focus on the book given how dully repetitive the main character often is. For every creepy scene or interesting development there is an uninspired recap/discussion following it up. Further, while the alternate dimension is believable enough, a lot of the surrounding explanations – such as why they don’t call the police in the beginning when finding a dead body or why they don’t just LEAVE – are pretty contrived. Last, while the ending explanation is adequate, its not exactly mind-blowing.

In the end though, its a fast and overall enjoyable read with a atmosphere that is almost tangible in its creepiness.