Monday, March 7, 2016

Review: Hollowland by Amanda Hocking

Author: Amanda Hocking
Series: The Hollows
Publisher: CreateSpace
Publication Date: September 28, 2010
Genre: YA Post Apocalyptic
Pages: 306
Buy it on Amazon
Hollowland by Amanda Hocking, is probably one of my favorite zombie books for several reasons. It's fast paced with a badass female protagonist, a slow burning romance, and lots of unexpected drama with unexpected characters. Hocking's writing is very simplistic but yet extremely vivid. When I think about this story, I actually still see it in my mind the way I do when I think about movies. If you love YA post apocalyptic or action/ adventure novels, this book is right up your alley.

"This is the way the world ends; not with a bang or a whimper, but with zombies breaking down the back door." --Hollowland  

Remy escapes the emergency shelter just as it's being attacked by hoards of zombies with a young girl, Harper, following her. The duo sets off to find another government camp where Remy's brother was evacuated to following the attack. On their journey they come across a former rock star, a young doctor and a former show lion. The rag-tag group agrees to travel to the camp together only to be held up by several strange circumstances and crazy people that are trying to end their journey. 

"When the world started ending, everybody became a convert and wanted nothing more than to spout the virtues of whatever apocalyptic religion they had latched onto. I wasn't sure who, if any, of them were right, but my best bet for avoiding hell was avoiding death." -Hollowland

Like I said before, Remy is seriously badass. She slashes zombies without a moment's' hesitation. She's quick on her feet, finding and using her surroundings to take out several zombies. She uses her instincts and the other characters trust her judgement. She is a fantastic leading lady. The romance between Remy and Lazlo, the rock star, was extremely slow burning. There was no insta-love or love triangle, which makes this book stand out from the rest. The romance, or lack thereof, allows the story to focus on the real problems like surviving the zombie hoards, crazy cult leaders and completing the mission of finding Remy's brother. Plus there are just laugh out loud parts that break the tension and make Hollowland a must read.

As much as I enjoyed this story, the only part that I wasn't fond of was the ending. It closes on a cliff-hanger where Remy's life hangs in the balance. While I appreciate a good cliffhanger at the end of a chapter, it just really is a cheap tactic to get the readers to purchase the second book in the duology. The book was good enough to get me to buy Hollowmen on its own without the cliffhanger. In my opinion, the book should have ended when their journey came to an end rather than the extra chapters afterward that ended in the cliffhanger.

All in all, I think Amanda Hocking gets a bad rap for her writing. I really enjoyed this book and think you should start with this series if you haven't read any of her books yet. It is a lot of fun to read and isn't bogged down with a ton of YA tropes. Plus Remy is cool. 4 stars

Reading order: