Review of The Hollow People by Brian Keaney

The Hollow People

The Hollow People

ON THE SINISTER ISLAND where strict obedience to the laws of the mysterious Dr. Sigmundus holds sway, dreaming will get you locked up and branded a lunatic, a danger to society and to all who know you. In this doomed and repressive place, two teens that were never meant to meet or share their dreams, cross paths and set in motion that which rips them from the lives they were meant to lead. Together they join forces with a ragtag group of rebel forces bent on breaking the grip of lies and illusions their countrymen have accepted without question. (From Goodreads)

When I first picked up this book I thought it was from the paranormal genre. Then I took a closer look and it was an interesting blend of dystopia with some paranormal characteristics. I really did enjoy the dystopia aspect of the book. Dreams are taboo and you’re sent to the asylum if you have one and talk about it. It was an interesting idea and concept. However the pace was a little slow for me and it took me longer than usual to finish this book (despite its short length).

The theme and setting certainly had a good dark tone to it. It’s set in an asylum for the most part and when an extremely ‘dangerous’ inmate arrives that’s all the excitement that happens in the asylum. The mystery surrounding Dante and his past was good and connections were slowly being revealed. I really did like Dante as a character and the story does surround on his development as a character. Bea is more like a female sidekick to the story and although she has her own story arc as well it’s not as interesting as Dante’s.

Towards the ending of the book it got more interesting, except for a certain sequence where after re-reading the passage for about 3 times I’m still wondering what in the world happened. The cliffhanger though was very good and it does entice the reader to go search for the second one. I’m not sure if I’m going to pursue this series further. Although interesting and different when it comes to dystopian novels out there, the pace was just too slow for me and it just got a little too strange at the end. Plus, the cover is very very deceiving. You would expect to get a gothic horror novel but end with a dystopian world where dreams are illegal. Not a bad trade off, but with a slow start and slow moving pace this might deter readers (or not).

So, I’m not sure if I would recommend this book to others as I did not enjoy it as much as I wanted to. I would say pick this up if you want to read something that’s a little different from the rest of the dystopian novels out there. Otherwise, take it or leave it.

I give it a 6 out of 10.