The hollow places A novel

T. Kingfisher

Book - 2020

"A young woman discovers a strange portal in her uncle's house, leading to madness and terror in this gripping new novel from the author of the "innovative, unexpected, and absolutely chilling" (Mira Grant, Nebula Award-winning author) The Twisted Ones. Pray they are hungry. Kara finds the 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 this peculiar area-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 one fears 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"--

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Subjects
Genres
Horror fiction
Science fiction
Published
New York : Saga Press 2020.
Edition
First Saga Press trade paperback edition
Language
English
Physical Description
341 pages ; 22 cm
ISBN
9781534451124
1534451129
Main Author
T. Kingfisher (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Kara—or Carrot to her family—is newly divorced and newly homeless. A favorite uncle, who just happens to run the Glory to God Museum of Natural Wonders, Curiosities, and Taxidermy, has a spare room for her. Taking a break from the heartbreak, she gladly stays in the museum in exchange for helping her uncle during his medical leave. The museum holds and hides more than it reveals, and Carrot finds a portal to an unknown space. Bringing in a trusted friend who works at the café next door, Carrot embarks on an exploration that leads to unbelievable places and terrifying discoveries. Kingfisher, who also writes quirky middle-grade fantasy under the name Ursula Vernon, is no stranger to the weird and obscure, and readers of The Twisted Ones (2019) will recognize her quirky humor and independent heroine, though The Hollow Places is less frightening. A small Southern town provides a similar backdrop, and locals add color and depth. With echoes of Terry Pratchett, this will appeal to fans of alternate universes and quirky sf/fantasy. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Inspired by Algernon Blackwood's "The Willows," a story that terrified H.P. Lovecraft, Kingfisher (The Twisted Ones) crafts an original homage. Kara is sad, confused, and listless when she returns to help her Uncle Earl run his Wonder Museum after the dissolution of her marriage. She finds peace surrounded by the macabre and eccentric items, as it is the only place she has ever felt truly safe and happy. But while Earl is away recovering from knee surgery, Kara and her neighbor, Simon, find a portal to another world in the back of the museum, a nefarious Narnia where murderous willows rule that they cannot escape. This is an imaginative, intense, cinematic story filled with regret, madness, and an overdue coming of age. It overflows with tension, but the sweet and amusing friendship between Kara and Simon provides necessary moments of respite, allowing both readers and Kara to breathe and find the best resolution. VERDICT This unsettling, character-driven story of a young woman in search of herself reads like a darker, more macabre version of Alice in Wonderland, keeping readers turning the pages long after dark. Suggest with confidence to fans of Jeff VanderMeer's "Southern Reach" trilogy or Zoje Stage's Wonderland. Copyright 2020 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Kingfisher (The Twisted Ones) imagines the horrors lying between worlds in this chilling supernatural thriller. Recently divorced Kara (aka Carrot) moves in with her uncle Earl to help run his Wonder Museum. The "museum" houses a hodgepodge of curiosities, taxidermy, and assorted knickknacks, but it's always held good memories for Carrot. Then a hole mysteriously opens in the museum's wall, revealing a hallway that should not exist. With the help of Simon, the barista from the coffee shop next door, Carrot sets out to discover where the hall leads. On the other end they find a strange world comprised of tiny islands covered in willows and containing concrete bunkers—and a mysterious group of occupants simply referred to as They. They can read minds and have a habit of flaying the people who stumble upon their home, leaving visitors' bones neatly piled. Carrot and Simon escape but are drawn back by recurring dreams of what they've seen. Though some overly familiar elements mar the otherwise tight plot, in They Kingfisher has crafted a truly terrifying monster with minimal descriptions that leave the reader's imagination to run wild. With well-timed humor and perfect scares, this one is a keeper for horror fans. Agent: Helen Breitwieser, Cornerstone Literary. (Oct.) Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

"A young woman discovers a strange portal in her uncle's house, leading to madness and terror in this gripping new novel from the author of the "innovative, unexpected, and absolutely chilling" (Mira Grant, Nebula Award-winning author) The Twisted Ones. Pray they are hungry. Kara finds the 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 this peculiar area-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 one fears them, the stronger they become. With her distinctive "delightfully freshand 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"--

Review by Publisher Summary 2

A young woman discovers a strange portal in her uncle's house, leading to madness and terror in this gripping new novel from the author of the 'innovative, unexpected, and absolutely chilling' (Mira Grant, Nebula Award'winning author) The Twisted Ones.Pray they are hungry.Kara finds the 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 this peculiar area'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 one fears 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.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

A young woman discovers a strange portal in her uncle’s house, leading to madness and terror in this gripping new novel from the author of the “innovative, unexpected, and absolutely chilling” (Mira Grant, Nebula Award–winning author) The Twisted Ones.Pray they are hungry.Kara finds the 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 this peculiar area—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 one fears 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.