Hollow Kingdom follows the story of a world that succumb to the zombie apocalypse. Told through the eyes of a pet crow, Shit Turd walks us through a world suddenly devoid of ‘mofos’ — humans, in other terms. Ever loyal to his master, ST tried his best to cure Big Jim from his zombification. But when all else failed, he had no choice but to leave the only home he’s ever known to try and make sense of what became of the world. Accompanied by Dennis, Big Jim’s bloodhound and ST’s only remaining friend in the world, they set out to rally the rest of the animal kingdom and salvage what was left.
Part horror-part dark comedy, Hollow Kingdom was largely an homage to the humanity’s penchant for destruction. And while it was not said that the cause was a virus created in a lab, I think that the author aims to show us that Mother Nature is more than capable of destroying those who was determined to destroy her.
The use of the animals’ points of view was brilliant itself. Because at the end of the world, the only living things that will remain are those of the floras and faunas variety. If you’ve read Anne Bishop’s The Other series, you will have a sense of the kind of perspective you can expect. There is a detachment and an uncanny amount of lack of emotional range. Astute, honest, candid, and somehow humourous. But that only changes as soon as the animals speak of their human families. I especially ached for ST. He was heartbroken as he witnessed the slow demise of Big Jim, his owner. He was trained as a house pet from the very beginning and had considered him as his best friend.
ST is a sentient crow, and because he saddled the worlds of humans and the animal kingdom, he felt the enormous responsibility to find a cure — or an explanation at the very least.
I enjoyed this book. It was ingenious and heartwarmingly funny. And despite the horror of waking up in a wasted world, Ms. Buxton was able to show the beauty in its haggardness.