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August 4, 2019

The Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton ~ a Review

by MK French


ST is a domesticated crow living with Dennis the dog and Big Jim, his human. It's a good and simple life, but that changes when Big Jim's eyeball falls out of his head and he no longer is able to take care of himself. The other humans in their Seattle suburb neighborhood are also acting oddly, including devouring each other or their beloved pets. There are rumors among the animals of new predators in Seattle, and that the humans are no longer in charge.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

August 2019; Grand Central Publishing
978-1538745823
audio, ebook, print (320 pages); fantasy
I am normally freaked out by zombie apocalypse-themed novels or movies, but to have a book told from the point of view of animals really changed my perspective on it. ST is a wonderfully foul-mouthed and observant crow, with an education borne of TV shows and Big Jim's questionable internet searches and online dating habits. He has such a fully realized voice that it was fun to see his usual routine and his relationships with Dennis, his friends in the neighborhood and the college crows that often look down on household pets. The changes wrought by a zombie apocalypse are realized slowly and subtly at first, then we're slammed with it full-blown when ST tries to go to Walgreens to get remedies for Big Jim. Coupled with the hilarity of his choices of remedies is the horror of the zombies listlessly moving around and then reacting like fast zombies at the sound of technology.

In this novel, technology is part of the zombie vector. The irony of reading this book on my kindle is not lost on me at all and is a brilliant bit of social commentary. ST initially doesn't have much purpose but to survive with Dennis, but soon develops the purpose of keeping the human culture and domesticated pets alive. This is a worthy endeavor and leads to all sorts of adventures that are endearing and heartbreaking at once. It's a post-apocalyptic kind of journey with various species of animals, told from their point of view. It's primarily ST, but we get glimpses of other animals and even trees. There are opportunities for great heroism and comedy as well as heartbreak, and lots of endearing characters to get to know.

Buy The Hollow Kingdom at Amazon

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and golden retriever.


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