Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Hollowland by Amanda Hocking
" This is the way the world ends-not with a bang or a whimper, but with zombies breaking down the back door."-Remy
Hollowland is the first book in the Hollowmen series.
It starts with 19 year old Remy, living in a government quarantine just trying to survive the zombie apocalypse. Her 8 year old brother Max is in the medical ward with a mysterious illness. When the quarantine becomes infected by zombies, Max is immediately evacuated to a different quarantine. Traveling on foot through the Arizona desert Remy, and her friend Harlow set out to find Max. Along the way the two girls find Ripley, the "bad ass" zombie slaying lion; Blue, the medical student; and Lazlo, the rock star. The four travel together, working as a team to survive a cult, marauders, and a zombie army until they arrive at the next quarantine.
To me, Hollowland has a Resident Evil feel to it (the movies not the games). A strong female lead, who seems to have super human agility to killing these monsters. Near the end of the story there was a twist that definitely reminded me of Alice (from the Resident Evil movies). Also, the zombies are infected by a unique virus that seems to mutate throughout the book, which keeps the reader on the edge of their seats. The zombies in Hollowland add a new twist to the zombie myth, bringing a new feeling to the way I thought about zombies.
Anyone who knows anything about "surviving the zombie apocalypse" knows that you're suppose to go to the nearest shopping mall and barricade yourself and a few other survivors inside. Then, stand on the roof to shoot the zombies below only to make your great escape on a boat and live happily ever after. I am happy to report that in this book there are no malls, and no great escape. In a refreshing twist, the characters in Hollowland are just trying to survive day to day.
Amanda Hocking painted an image that was not only terrifying but also incredibly realistic. Every town held not only terrifying zombies but also events and people, each adding another chilling layer to the story. Some of the people and events in the story seem to be very exaggerated, but are completely plausible. One part of the story involved the characters stumbling onto a cult, only later to find out that the leader (who appears to be a nice guy) is really just taking advantage of the young survivors who sought safety. This part of the story disturbed me, but there would be people like this in the world. Although Hollowland was classified as a juvenile novel, it was extremely violent and gory. I don't have a weak stomach but parts of this novel even made me set the book down and say "Gross, yeah, I need a break."
All in all, I loved Hollowland! More than once I neglected eating or sleeping until I knew that each character was out of harm's way. I recommend this book for anyone who loves gory monster books, but would be leery to let children read it. To put it simply, Hollowland was a very violent novel, with some adult language and adult content. I'm giving it five stars.