Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Hollowland by Amanda Hocking

Title: Hollowland
Author: Amanda Hocking
Format I Read: Kindle
Pages: 312
Genres: Supernatural, Romance, Adventure
Release Date: October 6, 2010
Stars: 3
Goodreads Link

The zombie apocalypse. I know it's overdone. Walking Dead, World War Z, and even iZombie (what even) have built an entire new genre of pop culture. Yet Hollowland manages to pave its own path with its plot.

Remy escapes after her quarantine is overrun by zombies. Supposedly, her younger brother Max left protected by soldiers. But he was in the infirmary... why would they protect a sick kid? That's the question on everyone's minds as Remy collects a rag tag group on her venture across America. Her rescue team includes Harlow, Lazlo, Blue, Ripley, and more. Harlow is a weak, whiny young girl from the quarantine. Lazlo is a rock star from before the apocalypse. Blue is a doctor, or at least he would have been. And Ripley is a lion--yes, a lion.

Throughout this trek, Remy encounters the countless possible reactions to the apocalypse. She experiences the quarantines that she initially stayed in. She meets a cult, who believe that their "father" is basically the messiah. She runs from a group of Marauders, violent looters who thrive on murder. She is assisted by a peaceful refugee camp underground. And finally--she visits a carefully structured and regulated military quarantine. It was fascinating that Hocking included so many possibilities. She showed how many different ways a person can react to the apocalypse, both good and bad.

In general, the book was well done. I was interested by the plot and the conflict. Like I said, I also liked the series of conflicts brought up by the various groups. The end really caught me too. I thought the plot was captivating enough for 4 stars.

Unfortunately, the characters did fall flat for me. Harlow grated on my nerves. Remy honestly didn't always seem realistic. Lazlo just didn't sit right. Remy's relationships felt too fake and forced. I didn't feel like any of the characters had depth, and I didn't connect with them at all. Even when they did evolve or grow, I felt like it wasn't quite believable. Because of this, I'd have to bump it down to 3 stars.

For people who like zombies and adventure, this is a great book. For people who like character-driven novels, maybe take a pass. Nevertheless, well done to Ms. Hocking!