Hollowland: A new type of thrill: no roller coasters, only zombies

Hollowland: A new type of thrill: no roller coasters,
only zombies

Review:
Hollowland by Amanda Hocking

“This the way the world ends – not with a bang or a
whimper, but with zombies breaking down the back door.”

This opening line promises an exceptional out-of- this-world story. And on that, it more than delivers. There is something that is so great about an opening line that really pulls you into the story, making you tense up for the next punch.  That is the way it should be and that is what Hocking gives us.

The pace and nonstop action of the story demands that you keep walking (and running) along to see what happens as you join Remy and her companions on this journey through what is left of the world after zombies take over. There are corpses in the streets (if the zombies didn’t eat them yet) and zombies are not the only things you have to worry about. Oh, and of course you cannot step outside without the risk of becoming a corpse yourself. And what happens when it seems that the zombies can be capable of some type of rational thought and planning? It makes for a very unpredictable new type of horror, I can tell you that.

From the outset, it is clear that Remy is fiercely independent and outrageously brave even though this newZombieland without the amusement parks scares the hell out of her. It is inspiring and makes for a thrilling, edge of your seat story to see a young woman who fights without stopping for what matters most to her.

No admittance: Ride out of order (or: Ride at your
own risk)

Remy was in quarantine when the story starts, along with a bunch of other young girls placed there for their safety once the zombie apocalypse started. They are living in what is supposed to be a safe place for them, but it soon becomes a death chamber as the zombies break in, killing off the last of the soldiers that were there to protect them and, it seems, on the verge of killing everyone else there as well.

Remy was not about to lock herself in, even though all the other girls did, as they were taught to protect themselves in this way (and only this way) from zombies. She leaves “the safe place” (which at that point was quite safe…for about 5 minutes) to venture out to find her little brother. He had been at the same place as her and he was evacuated because he was sick, which raises some questions about wh they didn’t evacuate all the healthy people as well. She vows to find him and protect him, and two other girls go with her.

After fighting zombies, acquiring an unlikely pet, and meeting a rock star, she is well on the way to finding her brother; at least this is her hope. This is her mission and she will let nothing get in her way.

Zombies with brains?

It is very interesting how the zombies are portrayed in this story, as mentioned before. They seem to be smarter than your averag zombie and can actually communicate with each other in some way- all for the purpose of eating you quicker, my dear. This is definitely not your normal fairy tale zombie story and that, along with the great characterization, tense action and the magnetic pull of what the fight is really for, is what keeps you running to catch up with Remy. Definitely makes me want to learn more about the zombies that Hocking has created.

Dark side of town

The darker side of humanity is also explored in the book. People kill other people without reason and just for the thrill of it and dangerous run ins with cults make for some very scary what if questions. It is interesting to think about how easily some people could lose their so called “humanity”. Then, of course, there are those who have already lost it that Remy must face. She also deals with questioning herself on if she is doing the right thing for everyone around her in her attempt to save her little brother and try to protect her friends.

It is important to realize that no one has all the time in the world and when Remy realizes this, this is what makes her fight her hardest for what is most important and to not waste any of her time.

Title talk: Not so Hollow after all?

Remy can be said to be seen as hollow, emotion wise, at least in how she connects to others. Not that she doesn’t care about them, but her issue is that she does, and wants to protect them. She fears she won’t be able to and so she shuts them out.

She doesn’t want anything to get in the way of her reaching her brother. Nor does she want to get too attached to anyone in this world of death, where it is very likely that you have to leave your best friend or kill them before they kill you if they are bitten or infected by a zombie.

Love in Hollowland?

Nothing to fear for the weak at heart when it comes to love stories, as Remy, as discussed before, does not allow love get in the way of what she is trying to do. There is nothing that is love at first sight, it is a believable relationship that is allowed to develop naturally (as naturally as it can in a world of zombies) and it definitely is not the focus of the story.

In regards to her love interest, she does shut him out as she doesn’t see this as an option with the world the way it is as well as her goal to find and help her brother.

At the end of the novel, she makes a very difficult choice. No one who loves her will be happy with this decision, but it is what she feel she must do. Readers may cry out in protest, as they find themselves loving Remy as well.

This decision also allows her to open her heart to love again, as she confesses how she feels to her love interest. But this may not make much of a difference, after all.

 End of the ride? (Or: those who
survived, exit to the left, those who didn’t, stay on)

The end will leave you hungering for the coming sequel, Hollowmen, (coming out this Fall) in which everything might change again for Remy, but there is no way to tell if these will be welcome changes or not. Be sure to look for my review on the sequel!

Have you heard? Transmedia Story-telling here to stay (will not be Gone)

The New Form(s) of Story-telling

 

Gone is now here and everywhere

For fans of Michael Grant’s Gone series (which you must read! Here’s why) there is an exciting announcement- the story gets bigger and better as it is becoming “transmedia”- meaning it is going across different forms of media- (internet, blog, book, ARG (alternate reality game) and even a new app!) so it will be told in different ways and you will be able to experience the story hands on, in a way. It is something that takes place, as Grant says, “in a world that you’re not going to expect. It’s a world where if you make a false move, you’re going to lose your mind.”

Muppet Babies and Ninja Turtles? Say what?

Still not sure what this means? You may have heard it before (as it is all the rage) but for those who need a refresher course, here it is. Transmedia storytelling is described by Henry Jenkins, who reintroduced the term, (after it was first used by Marsha Kinder to describe many different media franchises, including the Muppet Babies and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles): “as storytelling across multiple forms of media with each element making distinctive contributions to a fan’s understanding of the story world. By using different media formats, transmedia create “entry points” through which consumers can become immersed in a story world.”

Transmedia is a way to experience the story not just in many different ways, but on your own terms. Just like those choose your own adventure books (although on a much grander scale) you can make the story your own each time and you can determine how far you want to go and how much you want to know about the story.

The World of Gone: better than ever

The Gone series so far has been one of those stories that completely takes you into the world of the characters with the books alone, so I cannot even imagine what this will mean for the series and for all of us as we embark on this new multifaceted adventure that is sure to be the new way to enhance and experience a story to the fullest.

Caution Ahead: Dangerous, Risky Unpaved Life-Threatening Roads

Grant speculates that this may well be the new way that publishing is going. Let’s see where this thrilling new experience takes us and as Grant’s site, gobzrk.com warns: Be careful (or in terms reminiscent of the choose your own adventure books) Proceed at your own risk!

Received information from Grant’s new website (this is where you can join in the fun and expolore this new world!):

Take part in this new world! Join the Fayz

Q&A w/ Michael Grant

Here one second, GONE the next: What happens when all of the adults disappear?

When the adults disappear, who will be in charge? And how hard will they fight for this power?

Review of Gone By Michael Grant

(Check out all of my Gone  series reviews right at the bottom of this post- and more to come!)

Also check below to see the book order of the series if you would like to catch up! Read the Series Spotlight for highlights on the books (or to choose which book to catch up on or start with!)  I have read so far and to join me as I finish reading the series (and possibly re-reading it!)

This book is one that I would recommend to anyone who enjoys a fast paced, adventure story with lively and lovable characters. From the very first page, even the first sentence, there is non-stop action and tension as the story unfolds. The story centers around the unexplainable event of all of the adults disappearing before everyone’s eyes. Students sit in their classrooms to see their teachers disappear right before their eyes-they are literally there one second and GONE the next.

Astrid

Rollercoaster-can’t breathe-pace of action

I loved this book because of the non-stop action that carries the story forward at a very fast pace. The characters must deal with a huge change in their lives. Everything changes in a split second right before their eyes. Imagine how you would feel if you had to deal with such a huge change in a split second. Some of the children thought it was cool, which can be understood. Absolute freedom! Some children were scared, especially the younger ones who depended on their parents for all of their needs. I can imagine they would be scared. Have you ever gotten lost from your parents as a little child? It can be very scary, but their parents are gone for good and they don’t know why. The action continues at a breath-taking rate from here, as some children discover another strange occurrence after all of the adults disappear. Sam, the main character, and his friends suspect it may have something to do with the high level of radiation at the power plant in town, but they are not sure exactly how. There is also some type of wall or barrier that blocks their town from the outside world. The kids start to refer to their town as the FAYZ (Fallout Alley Youth Zone) and this is just the start of the many changes to come.

LIES_Book_Trailer

Sam discovers he has some type of strange ability or power. It is very powerful. He discovered it before the disappearances. He isn’t sure what it is or the full extent of his power, but he knows it can be dangerous as he may have hurt someone with it prior to the adults vanishing. He also discovers he is not the only one with a strange power.

There’s a new boss in town?

Some kids from nearby come to their side of the town and take over. They have powers as well and their leader, Caine, has very strong and dangerous powers and he uses them to gain control, but tries to be as diplomatic about it as possible. Under his leadership, the town of children quickly becomes a place controlled by Caine’s rules and fear and violence are used to keep everyone in order. It becomes a scary place to live in and the reader is drawn into this world of horror, wondering what is going to happen next. The characters are very well developed and the reader cares about them and becomes very much drawn into their journey and plight.

caine

Able to Connect to Characters

I connect to this book in several ways. I can connect with Sam, as he feels alienated at times from his friends. He faces great danger and has to make difficult choices of right and wrong. He chooses not to take the easy way out and refuses to use his power to hurt others. Like him, I want to help other people and sometimes have to make a difficult choice in order to do the right thing. On the other hand, those who have a darker side (as we all do in some way!) will also be able to relate, as there are some darker issues and struggles. Overall, the story is very exciting and if you want to know what other decisions Sam and his friends must make in this increasingly terrifying new world, (and if they all survive) you have to read GONE to see what happens! It is part of a series, so definitely consider having the next one- Hunger ready at hand, as you will definitely want to see what happens next right away!

    war of GONE

You can now get involved in the story and enter the world of the FAYZ yourself- learn more about the new Transmedia World of Gone

My review on Hunger

My review on Lies.

Reviews on Plague, Fear and Light coming soon!

Check out my Series Spotlight for Gone highlights and teasers!

Book Order:

Gone
Hunger
Lies
Plague
Fear
Light

Click on the picture below to be taken to the Amazon page for this book.

Hello world!

Welcome to my new blog– BookwormCastle

dedicated to my love of books and reading! In this castle, you will discover
many rooms and many different bookshelves in the various genres of libraries.

You could find yourself
battling dragons or vampires in one or travelling back in time in another.

You will find out what the latest books are, what are good “classics” and what is a good read!

Feel free to add in the
comments what book reviews you would like to see next as well as any
ideas/suggestions for features for the site.

More to come- many
bookshelves and libraries to build and then fill!