Diana Reviews: Amanda Hocking's - "Hollowland"

“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.

Set in a post-apocalyptic landscape, Hollowland tells the tale of Remy who, upon escaping a zombie attack at the quarantine station she had been living in, heads out into the world to find her younger brother Max. With her is Harlow, another survivor of the attack and on the way they meet Blue, a doctor, and Lazlo, a once-famous musician.

This is the basic premise of Hollowland, and I was slightly disappointed that it mirrored so many other horror stories. One thing that kept popping into my head was the movie 28 Weeks Later and I found many similarities among the two: the teenage protagonist, the younger brother who’s immune to the virus… These are only two, but there are many more.

However, despite the plot not being the most original one, the main character – Remy – stands out. One thing that particularly surprised me was that Remy is ruthless when she needed to be. Her goal is to find her brother and she doesn’t let certain feelings such as pity get in the way. If she has to leave someone behind for the sake of her brother, she’ll do it and that really impressed me.

Another thing that stood out in Remy’s character was that she had plenty of common sense. She has to survive and she is smart about it; she doesn’t go about wasting ammo and doesn’t trust strangers immediately. At times, she was a bit too capable, but it still works.

The supporting characters were a bit of a letdown. Harlow struck me as a shallow girl, Lazlo was the obvious love interest, Blue is basically just a doctor who never loses his temper… I’m almost tempted to call them “cardboard”, but I came to care about them halfway around the book. The romance (albeit I always take romances set in a zombie apocalypse with a grain of salt) was heartwarming and, in a way, reflected the despair one would feel when the world ends.

The writing in itself is pretty fluid and not overcomplicated. The action scenes are well-done and easy to picture. They were also pretty much inventive in the way Remy used things around her as weapons so that she didn’t waste ammunition.

With a strong, capable lead, and an ending that makes you want more, Hollowland is a fun, action-packed read that will satisfy anyone in the mood for a post-apocalyptic adventure.

Publisher: CreateSpace (September 28, 2010)

ISBN-10: 1453860959

ISBN-13: 978-1453860953

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