STARRED REVIEW
October 09, 2020

The Hollow Places

By T. Kingfisher
Review by
The Hollow Places is one of those books that keeps you up at night, either because you can’t put it down or because you’re scared to turn off the lights and go to bed. You’ve been warned.
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After reading T. Kingfisher’s novel The Hollow Places, I have one thing to say to Stephen King: Steve-o, you’ve got some stiff competition.

The Hollow Places is one of the most terrifying books you’ll ever read. The tale starts innocently enough. After her divorce, a graphic artist named Kara goes to live with her gentle and eccentric Uncle Earl (he calls her Carrot). Settled in the back room of his museum of strange objects, Kara can live rent-free as long as she helps him categorize his oddities. Next door to the museum is the Black Hen, a coffee shop whose barista, a nutty and lovable chap named Simon, may have eaten his twin in the womb. But he's not the source of the horror.

The objects in Earl’s museum are what you’d expect. There are statues of Bigfoot and Mothman, a Feejee mermaid and all manner of sad, taxidermied animals, including an eight-foot-long giant river otter. Fans frequently send objects to Earl, and one day an item that Kara finds especially sinister arrives. But like everything else, she inventories it and puts it somewhere among the oddments. Then, as is the case whenever something really creepy comes into an already creepy museum, strange things start to happen.

Kingfisher’s superpower is her ability to describe things that cannot possibly be, things that can’t be there but are—things that the human mind can’t wrap itself around. In this, Kingfisher, the author of The Twisted Ones and Dragonbreath, is much like H.P. Lovecraft. She differs from Lovecraft in that she has a rollicking sense of humor and believes in the power of love.

The Hollow Places is one of those books that keeps you up at night, either because you can’t put it down or because you’re scared to turn off the lights and go to bed. You’ve been warned.

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The Hollow Places

The Hollow Places

By T. Kingfisher
Saga
ISBN 9781534451124

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