Hollow Kingdom

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 20 Aug 2019

Member Reviews

Another very thought provoking book.

Dealing with the aftermath of mans dependence on electronic gadgets.

The animals are left abandoned when mankind is sent mad by the signals emanating from their gizmos.

It take the unlikely pairing of a crow and a dog to help the animals come together to find a way to survive into their new future.
Was this review helpful?
Oh, I really wanted to love this one.

In this novel we meet Shit Turd (ST), a crow, who lives with his MoFo, a human, and a dog called Dennis. This is a post apocalyptic novel, a zombie Apocalypse with a twist - it is all told from ST's perspective. In theory this dystopian novel has all I love... But my eyeballs are relieved they don't have to read this novel anymore.

One thing that bothered me - the wordiness. The wordiness is beautiful at times; the themes come out so well because of the writing - the wellbeing of the planet, of all the animals living here, the communications in a various ways between animals of the earth, ocean and sky... And at other times the wordiness if the reason this novel just didn't work for me. Whole paragraphs waffle on for more than a page without a break. A deft editor surely could have made them more succinct? For pages of long paragraphs I would find I had zoned out and when I zoned back in I hadn't missed anything which would have made the novel harder for me to understand.

This book was a treat for the humour but the wordiness made it a nightmare for my eyeballs. I couldn't wait for the novel to end.

There's no doubt that there is an important message in amongst all the wordiness - about MoFos addiction to technology, being out of tune with the planet and so on. In fact it was only once ST began to embrace his corvid nature that he really began to tune into nature and his family, his new murder. He tuned into the voice of nature rather than tuning it out. And there's a message in there for us, about tuning into nature. ST is out on a mission to save the other Domestic animals left behind when the humans died. He is The One Who Keeps and that's quite a wonderful thing to read. Sadly however, this novel just didn't quite succeed with its initial vision.

The writing is wonderful though, despite the long long paragraphs, and I will look forward to more books from this writer.
Was this review helpful?
This book was exactly the sort of book that I needed - wild, entertaining and entirely nonsensical in the best possible way. Hollow Kingdom, simply put, is the apocalypse told through the eyes of a mofo(human)-loving crow. S.T's observations of the world and the decaying remnants of humankind are poignant and thoughtful and his and Dennis's(his noble dog steed) adventures through this uncertain new future leaves you gripped.

I honestly could not recommend this book enough!
Was this review helpful?
I serendipitously read this while on a work trip to Seattle. Which was perfect. Because this book is so terribly, wonderfully, almost over-the-toppedly INSISTENTLY Seattle. The level of importance it feels for itself reflects the very nature of the Seattle I grew up in and have complicated relationships (multiple) with.

Anyway, the best way I can think of to describe this extremely enjoyable eyeroll of a book is “the love child of Terry Pratchett, Sean of the Dead and Watership Down.” It’s goofy, stars a cast of animals you’ll either love or hate, and has a healthy dose of smashing things and zombie apocalypse gore.

To give an example, the protagonist is a Crow named Shit Turd (S.T. For short) who rides around on his former MoFo’s (human) best friend Dennis, a bloodhound who represents the hopelessly domesticated animal world. He must do this in order to save the world from the MoFos who are now zombies due to...I don’t want to give it away. The explanation is too good.

Sound weird? It is. Try it if you’re looking for a complete pace change from those #bookerprizelonglist bores. (I half joke, but god, some of them...)

Did I mention this book is set in Seattle? (For added effect I took this shot @elliottbaybookco.)

Thanks to NetGalley and Grand Central Publishing for the advanced reader copy!
Was this review helpful?
This was a really funny and clever read, definitely a spin on the more conventional zombie fiction. I loved the premise so much, but felt let down by the execution. It couldn’t hold my attention as well as I wished, but I can see how it might make for a very popular read. I find the cover especially striking.
Was this review helpful?
This was such a great set up for a book and the follow through was really well done. It tells the story of ST, a crow, who is thrown into a world of danger and adventure when his owner's eye falls out of his head and he starts behaving very strangely. That's right - this is the zombie apocalypse told from the point of view of a domesticated crow and I thoroughly enjoyed it. ST (short for Shit Turd) is a fabulous character. He is sarcastic and funny and caring and brave all by turns. The relationships he forges with some of the other animals are really poignant and I particularly enjoyed his hero worship of the crow, Kraai. Buxton has written some insightful social commentary all wrapped up in a delightful animal-focused package, with messages about technological reliance and care for the environment shining through. There is genuine pathos here too and the narrative becomes more thought provoking as it goes on. My only criticism is that there was a period in the middle of the book that felt a little bit repetitive to me and consequently, the pacing lagged a little. Overall however, I thought this was a genius idea that was executed incredibly well and I am intrigued to see what the author will come up with next.
I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Was this review helpful?
I couldn't get into this one at all, even though the premise sounded so appealing. Thank you so much for allowing me to try it.
Was this review helpful?
Hollow Kingdom was even better than expected! Telling the story of a zombie apocalypse through the eyes of animals is such a creative idea. It brings originality to the zombie sub-genre. Buxton brings a nice layer of humour to the tale doing a good job at balancing the horrors of the apocalypse and the lighter tone. Highly recommended to readers who enjoy unique, original stories.
Was this review helpful?
I adored this such a great premise, zombie apocalypse through the eyes of animals.  I could not resist, it was such a great read. Fast paced, funny, I loved the swearing ! A really fresh and original read, well written, with important messages about nature and what we are doing to the planet. A fantastic read, thoroughly recommended 

Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for a free copy for an honest opinion
Was this review helpful?
Phenomenal! I loved the juxtaposition of crazy, fast paced adventure told from the point of view of a domesticated crow with a penchant for swearing set against a much deeper and darker message about humanity.
There was so many layers and a wonderful sharp edge of humour throughout. 
The zombie apocalypse from the perspective of pets. What more can you ask for!
Was this review helpful?
Thanks to Headline and NetGalley for the Advance Review Copy in exchange for an honest review.

When I was a young whippersnapper, I loved reading books from an animal's point of view. Watership Down, The Animals of Farthing Wood, those weird books where anthropomorphic animals are at war with one another....but short of a few examples of Murakami-esque weirdness, it's not something I've come across very much in adult literature. 

This book is about Shit Turd, or S.T. for short. S.T. is a tamed American Crow who lives with his human (or MoFo) Big Jim and Dennis, a sweet, but pea-brained, Bloodhound. When the MoFos start acting like deranged Zombies, S.T. and Dennis set out on a quest to find a cure and rescue trapped domestic animals. 

Let me just say that this is hands down the funniest book I have read this year. It is hilarious and oh so clever (in a good way) from the outset. Personally, I love Corvids (translation for non bird nerds - crows essentially) and the author has managed to capture their quirky personality and intelligence perfectly. You can really tell that she loves birds which really adds to their personalities. 

S.T.'s story is intersected by short chapters from other animals across the globe which are at turns funny and touching. Any cat owner will recognise Genghis Cat's haughty arrogance and I really liked how the writing style changed depending on the different points of view.

It's not all laughs however. This novel has a serious underlying message about nature (spoiler - nature doesn't care about us), climate change and the consequences of worshipping worship. It never feels preachy though, despite the fantastical premise, this story feels grounded firmly in reality. Some parts are genuinely scary though, if you thought The Walking Dead was scary grab your Teddy Bear because you're in for a wild ride. 

This book is at turns a hilarious satire about a crow suffering from identity crisis as well as an epic story about hope, community and survival. You will laugh, you will cry and you'll probably learn some stuff about birds. This book was an absolute hoot (or should I say caw?) READ IT.
Was this review helpful?
My thanks to Headline for an eARC via NetGalley of ‘Hollow Kingdom’ by Kira Jane Buxton in exchange for an honest review.

This very unusual tale of the zombie apocalypse is told from the viewpoints of animals. Its main narrator is S.T. , a foul mouthed domesticated crow. His companion is Dennis, a rather dim but loyal bloodhound (according to S.T. he was the IQ of a dead opossum). 

After the rather gruesome decline and death of Big Jim, the human that S.T. and Dennis live with outside Seattle, they begin a journey to seek out healthy ‘MoFos’ (S.T.’s word for humans) as well as trying to rescue as many trapped domestics as they can. Other fauna refer to humans as Hollows in reference to their dissociative state. 

There are other animals (and even trees) that add their perspectives along the way. I was particularly fond of Onida, the Giant Pacific octopus, and Genghis Cat. 

Comedy horror and fantasy can be a tricky sub-genre and I have often been underwhelmed by some books that other readers adore. Yet I quickly found that this novel worked brilliantly for me. It does have a quirky premise and some of the terms used by the animals were a bit puzzling. I wonder if the final edition will have a glossary. 

As an animal lover reading a novel about animals dealing with the aftermath of an apocalyptic event was a delight. Obviously, there are some scenes that were upsetting as zombies will be zombies and naturally there are attacks and the decaying bodies of humans and animals caught up in the devastation lying about.

However, throughout S.T.’s observations were witty, hilarious and sometimes moving as he expressed his hope for the future of humanity and creature-kind. There was plenty of action especially in the final chapters when the animals face a major crises. 

Overall, I loved it and I hope that readers will embrace this unique tale with its cheeky corvid hero. (Shout out to good boy Dennis too.)
Was this review helpful?
The premise of this book was very interesting, and I certainly appreciate the author's original ideas. It will definitely be loved by some and will be weird for others :) 
I did enjoy some parts more than the whole of the book. There's humor, fun. But, sometimes it wasn't interesting enough to carry my attention. 
Regardless, if the blurb is intersting to you it's worth to pick it up. 

Thanks a lot Netgalley and the publisher for this copy in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Many apologies but I had to DNF at 45% on this. It was just too weird for me and although some parts had great humour and interesting ideas, it was a little repetitive and I got a little bored.
I hate not finishing a gifted book but I simply could not finish.
Thank you for the opportunity.
Was this review helpful?
ST and Dennis are great characters, the premise and setting quite original, loved the first two thirds of the book but felt it lost its way a bit toward the end, saying that is still enjoyed it a lot, it's a jolly good read in my humble opinion
Was this review helpful?