Review: Hollowland (The Hollows #1) by Amanda Hocking

Publication Date: October 6th, 2010
Amanda Hocking
Format: Kindle copy
RATING: 2 out of 5 Stars
“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.

I am thoroughly convinced that this is how the world will end: Zombies. I have this strange fear and fascination about them so I try to procure as much books as I can about these rabid, virus-infested creatures. I’ve been lucky to have enjoyed what I’ve read so far. Unfortunately, I encountered so many problems with this book.

I’m finding it hard to write about the cracks in the plot without spoiling one of the major conflicts in the book. Suffice it to say, whatever inconsistencies I found, were chocked up to perhaps, an oversight. It’s major. It had something to do with Remy and Max’s DNAs. The lion, though pretty, freaking awesome, was a bit of a stretch. The world building was close to non-existent. Ms. Hocking doesn’t really give much. You’d have to fend for yourself – dictate your own emotions and picture the world better than what she has described. I do appreciate a minimalist style of writing, but sometimes, what you consider white noise is music to my ears. That once you eliminate them, the product is just deafening silence. Does that make sense?

This is not my first Amanda Hocking book. I read Switched a while back and couldn’t continue on with the rest of the Trylle Trilogy. The thing about Ms. Hocking’s characters is that they feel cold – emotionless. Remy could be swathed in zombie matter, fighting for her life, yet the emotions she was going through could be compared to say, as if she was gardening. She was almost mechanical about the whole deal with little to no range of emotions. Don’t get me wrong, I love that she kicks ass without batting an eyelash, but heck, you have to make me feel like you’re ACTUALLY scared. It’s weird because I never once felt a certain anxiety about what was going to happen next – no trepidation whatsoever. The same goes with the relationship between her and Laz. To be honest, I thought that Blue was the better love interest here. Laz started off comedic, kind of like a side kick,  and aside from being a former rock star, he really didn’t have much going for him. I thought that Ms. Hocking’s almost methodical writing made for some characters lacking in emotional depths.  I came. I saw. I did. Those three sentences could probably sum up her story telling. It literally felt like someone was watching a zombie movie and giving me a play-by-play at the same time.

Perhaps it’s because this is a free book, but man, there were so many typos here. I know, I know, I shouldn’t complain because it’s free. Let’s get real here, Amanda Hocking has hit the big time. Free or not, there’s still no excuse for editing errors.

I did like Ms. Hocking’s innate talent for writing violence and gore. They were vivid and acerbic. But some of her fight scenes – especially ones which involved a melee of zombies – tend to be a bit over the top and convoluted. I had a hard time imagining that Remy single-handedly fought off rabid zombies with almost no weapons. This girl was a super woman. I appreciate her tenacity but it wasn’t at all convincing.

To summarize, I can understand why people would take a shining to Ms. Hocking’s writing and stories. But I need to be emotionally vested in the story and characters for me to actually enjoy it. This is my second Hocking book, and prognosis is not looking all that good.

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