Customer Review

116 of 133 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Brainless, cliché-ridden fun, August 8, 2011
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This review is from: Hollowland (Paperback)
I feel bad judging this novel too harshly. It is, after all, self-published, and at ninety-nine cents, the entertainment I derived from it supersedes what I've derived from books I've paid a lot more for.

In the interests of truth and justice, I'll try to be frank but fair.

First, you have to take this as pure camp. The MCs run around with a zombie-eating lion pet. All credibility goes out the window when A FREAKING LION joins the party. Second, half the book is spent fighting human adversaries, in the form of creepy child harem-owning cultists and serial killers. These are caricatures straight out of B-movies. The cult leader's name is "Korech" and the marauders paint "HELTER SKELTER" on the walls in their victims' blood.

Okay, so clearly the author's tongue is firmly planted in cheek. Or so we hope.

As a mindless, inadvertently self-parodying zombie romp, it's passably entertaining. None of the characters display more than the requisite one dimension except, surprisingly, main character Remy. Hocking actually makes her female MC a legitimate bad***. She kills zombies ruthlessly. She doesn't flinch when she has to abandon infected friends. She has a plan and sticks to it. And Remy isn't tough in the "tough until Mr. Right makes her melt" way. Remy stays brutally focused throughout her unfolding romance with a male character. With how hokey the rest of the book is, I was disconcerted, and slightly impressed, that Hocking stuck to her guns and kept Remy a strong, independent character right to the end.

There's nothing here you haven't seen before. Zombies are evil. Most human survivors are evil. Both types die in gratuitously violent and satisfying ways.

What saved me from instantly forgetting this book was the twist ending. I thought Hocking was telegraphing the cliché, irrational ending--"I don't care about the fate of the world, I just want to save my (insert loved one here)!"--but she flipped the tables admirably.

I liked the surprise ending so much that I'll probably buy the sequel, just to see if Hocking does a 180 or not.

This isn't Literature with a capital 'L.' The prose is fanfic-quality. The characters are stereotypes and the plotting and themes and ideas are lifted straight from B Horror 101. And yet, somehow, I liked Remy--and fine, the lion too--enough to keep reading.

I'm almost annoyed it wasn't worse.
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 8, 2011 7:01:48 AM PST
kate says:
Yours is the first review that makes me want to read it. Thanks!

Posted on Jan 21, 2012 1:01:31 AM PST
Overdog says:
For me, it was WORSE. For me, credibility went right out the window in the first few pages when Ms. Hocking's soldiers wore green camo and carried "service revolvers" that used ammo "clips". The lion riding around in cars with them and helping them fight zombies was right out of a Saturday morning cartoon. And the plot holes and eye-rolling plot devices and countless comma splices and misspelled and misused words. Were it not for the internet and self-publishing, we would NEVER have heard of Amanda Hocking. (Sigh). The good ol' days had it's merits.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 24, 2012 5:48:06 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Jan 24, 2012 6:31:07 PM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 30, 2012 6:13:10 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 30, 2012 6:15:46 AM PST
Julie Burke says:
I thought the book was meh. For my money, I prefer more speculative and original fiction that is well-written. Post-apocalyptic fare is where it's at right now though, and I really enjoy a similar but better written book by a new author named Jami Lynn Saunders (wrote Feral: Book 1 in the Werecat Saga and Rabid: Book 2 in the Werecat Saga). Instead of the usual zombie/vampire foe, she created something called "ferals" whose natural enemy are werecats. Fascinating stuff! Amanda Hocking's Hollowland lacks a certain something. Sure there are a lot of typos too, but the story is just not absorbing or realistic enough. Demands far too much suspension of disbelief, and jars you back to the real world with all the missteps. My two cents, for what it's worth.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 17, 2012 2:27:58 PM PST
"Big Mike" says:
Somebody else posted something about this Werecat saga. Might check it out.

As to your review, Leah, I too like a little brainless, cliche fun, but you are sooooo right about this one. Thanks to your thoughtful review, I don't have to write one. :)

Posted on Mar 22, 2012 3:07:53 PM PDT
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on May 7, 2012 11:23:47 AM PDT
abbyshire says:
^^^ Is that Amanda Hocking's mom? Leah, I came here to leave a review for Hollowland, but after reading yours--mine would have said the same things. Although for storyline and pure entertainment's sake, I probably would have given it 4 stars. Hollowland is pure, campy, WTH?, fun.... And normally I will quit reading a book if there are more than a few editing/proofreading errors--with this book they didn't bother me as much.

In reply to an earlier post on May 29, 2012 3:32:02 PM PDT
lucky in kc says:
Bahaha @ "is that [the] mom".

Posted on Jul 24, 2012 11:50:15 AM PDT
J.A. Psoras says:
It's true...there are many books in which people continue reading regardless of the quality. Why is that? LOL. Someone mentioned to me that they read a gross book about a guy's disgusting conquests. Yet, she bought it, read it, and it's a best-seller. Why?

Posted on Jan 7, 2013 5:16:49 PM PST
Vince says:
There are a lot of self-published authors who work very hard on their books, and publish interesting and original stories. And there's a lot more variety in eBooks than it is on the bookshelves. Publishers put the same genre out. There isn't any diversity in stores. I've come across a number of good quality eBooks. Self-published novelist just have to work harder, because they don't have someone to do the editing, marketing and publishing for them. Indie authors don't have the luxury of editors and agents helping them, which isn't necessarily a good thing anyhow.
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