Hollow Kingdom Book Review

Hollow Kingdom Book Review

Bookstores are chock full of novels about the apocalypse, and in recent years these stories are inescapable. You may be growing tired of the genre, but don’t give up on it just yet. There is still one apocalyptic adventure you really need to add to your reading list. Hollow Kingdom takes the apocalypse genre and flips the script: giving voices to the critters we humans have left behind at the end of the world. 

A Crow And His Dog At The End Of The World

The story of Hollow Kingdom is affectionately told by the crow S.T. (short for Shit Turd, I’m not kidding). S.T. is a bird who enjoys a simple life having been domesticated by his owner Big Jim. One day, Big Jim becomes extremely sick. S.T. tries in vain to resuscitate his owner, to no avail. Coming to the conclusion that something far sinister is happening in the world.

As more and more humans become feral and grotesque, S.T. takes it upon himself to travel the Pacific Northwest to find answers. He, along with Big Jim’s dimwitted but charming dog Dennis, set out on a journey to save their owner, all the while witnessing the animals of the world adjust to the end of humanity’s reign. 

Favorite Characters 

It’s hard not to fall in love with S.T., the humourous and naive crow-narrator of Hollow Kingdom. He is a natural storyteller. Given his upbringing around humans, S.T. knows how to captivate his audience with quick wit and humour. Even in the face of horrific creatures trying to eat him, he is able to keep his nerve and personality.

hollow kingdom
Image credit: Canva

Dennis, the dog, is a character you can’t help but root for (despite the times when he nearly gets both himself and S.T. killed). As much as S.T. is the soul of the story, I’d argue that Dennis is the heart. They both compliment each other. Had the story neglected either of them I don’t believe the plot would have been as magical.

There are minor characters sprinkled in Hollow Kingdom. In between chapters with S.T. and Dennis, these characters get their own dedicated sections. One of which happens to be a cat, and even a whale.  Though they don’t get much screen time as our protagonists, they leave an impact that is felt throughout the novel. These creatures are perfect for filling out the world around S.T. and Dennis. Helping the reader to see the full picture a bit more clearly.

Writing Style

Buxton’s writing style is superb at balancing humour with sombre and series moments. The novel hits many beats, and the adventure embarked upon by S.T. and Dennis connects beautifully to the overarching plot. Furthermore, their incredible story, along with S.T.’s narration gives Hollow Kingdom’s pace a thrilling feel and gives readers a chance to really breathe in the world Buxton created. 

The additional chapters that don’t involve S.T. serve to further the development of the world around our main protagonists. This keeps the reader on the edge of their seat, wanting to know what S.T. is up to in the meantime. One may argue that having “filler” chapters of different creatures besides S.T. takes away from the story. However, I’d argue that it adds more to the intrigue. It’s the type of technique that only works when it’s done right, and I feel the author, Kira Jane Buxton, succeeded in this.

Hollow Kingdom Author Facts

Kira Jane Buxton currently resides in Seattle Washington alongside her husband and a plethora of critters. She is an inspiring example of what a female author can do. Her writing has been published in The New York Times, and The Huffington Post, among others. Furthermore, Hollow Kingdom is her debut novel that thus far won several awards. If that doesn’t convince you to read it, I don’t know what will!

Image credit: Female First

Buxton has an Instagram account detailing events in her life. Additionally, Boxton has a Twitter page where she gives updates on her novels both published and unpublished. She has recently shared that the sequel to Hollow Kingdom titled Feral Creatures, will be released on August 24th of 2021. So you may want to get reading before the next instalment arrives, so you can fully enjoy the excitement of the new release.

Should I Read Hollow Kingdom?

You may be tired of stories regarding the end times, but Hollow Kingdom is well worth reading. Buxton has truly created an original tale out of a genre that has been burdened with humans as the focal point. The humorous characters and witty dialogue are sure to captivate any avid reader. Hollow Kingdom serves as a great reminder that all living things are connected and that it is up to humanity to protect not only the Earth but the amazing animals we share this incredible existence with. 

Availability & Accessibility 

Hollow Kingdom is available on Amazon and can also be purchased on Headline Publishing. Additionally, Hollow Kingdom has been released in the form of an audiobook and ebook. However, if you’re looking for a different purchase option, Kira Jane Buxton’s website has a full list of retailers that stock this incredible book.

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